Bromby shares his wisdom

JOURNALIST Robin Bromby has drawn on his 26 years as a resources reporter in his new e-book, The Mining Investor’s Handbook: what you need to know for the next bull market.
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Kristie Batten

“Having spent the best part of 26 years writing about the day-to-day foibles of the mining sector and commodity prices – the aftermath of the 1987 crash, the doldrums of the 1990s, then the greatest commodity boom of all time – I have tried to stand back, look at the big picture and conclude that in the long term mineral commodity prices only go one way (and will continue to do so as we mine all the low-hanging fruit),” Bromby said.

“You have to be able to distinguish between the cycle and the trend, especially at a time like the present when iron ore, coal, gold and other prices are taking a battering.

“There has been a long-run trend across the index of the 32 commodities for an uninterrupted rise since 1940 – that’s the trend.

“Uranium prices collapsed in 2007, rare earth prices imploded in 2012, iron ore prices are tanking now – that’s the cycle.”

Bromby says the book will reassure gold and silver bugs, if investors focus on the trend rather than panic at market manipulation of precious metals.

Despite the bullish outlook for many commodities given the speed of urbanisation in developing countries, the book contains examples of how things can go horribly wrong in the short-term, such as this:

So, we have a fast rising global population, arable land disappearing due to causes ranging from urban sprawl to soil degradation, growing numbers of middle class people in developing countries who want more than two bowls of rice a day. Therefore, we are going to need more and better food (including red meat), are we not? Well, yes. So it follows, does it not, that the companies mining potash and phosphate will be able to uncork champagne as prices soar? No, definitely not, as we have found out.

Bromby said he spent the past couple of years compiling the book before deleting most of it.

“Instead, I have distilled the message down to just 23,000 words, ideal for an e-book read,” he said.

“I have tried to apply broad brushstrokes to produce a largely positive view of the resources future – and, I hope, provide an entertaining read as well.”

Bromby has had a distinguished 52-year career as a newspaper journalist, including at The Australian, where he remains a columnist.

But readers of will best know Bromby as author of The Outcrop column, posted every Thursday.

The Mining Investor’s Handbook: what you need to know for the next bull market, by Robin Bromby. Available as an Amazon Kindle e-book, $US5.99.