Positive end to the week

THERE was action in London overnight as most commodity prices picked up steady gains with three-month nickel, tin and lead breaking new barriers. Australian resource equities were overall in a buoyant mood ahead of China’s return from holidays.

Rebecca Lawson

The spot price of copper led base metal gains overnight, surging $US355 or 6.2% to end trading at $US6100 per tonne. Its three-month counterpart followed suit with a $US345 or 6% gain to finish stronger at $US6135/t.

An unnamed Hong Kong-based trader told Dow Jones Newswires the strong upside in copper was “instigated by hedge funds, short covering to fuel Asia catch-up once China returns from [its] week-long holiday”

Copper plays made the most of the bullish lead with the majority posting stronger gains.

Vulcan Resources led the charge, adding 2.5c (10.6%) to 26c, Copper Strike gaining 2c (6.5%) to 33c and Jabiru Metals climbing 6c (6.25%) to $1.02.

BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto also netted in gains on the bourse today, climbing 16c (0.6%) to $28.94 and 30c (0.4%) to $77.60 respectively.

However, copper stock Redbank Mines missed out, shedding 0.5c (3.1%) to 15.5c, as did Sovereign Metals (down 1c or 2.5% to 39c) and Exco Resources (off 0.5c or 1.8% to 27.5c).

Meanwhile, three-month nickel rose to break new ground on the London Metal Exchange, jumping to a high of $US39,850/t before closing to $US38,900/t.

BHP may be hoping to cash in on the higher nickel price, with the Philippines’ environment secretary reportedly saying the mining major is to invest between $800 million to $1.5 billion in a nickel operation in the south of the country, and is also in talks over another nickel project in the northern region.

Metallica Minerals took advantage of the stronger nickel price, jumping 7c (10%) to 77c, while Niagara Mining’s nickel drill result of 0.56 metres at 13.49% at the Windarra project pushed its share price up 1.5c (6.7%) to 24c.

Advanced nickel plays Mirabela Nickel (up 14c or 3.9% to $3.76), Sally Malay Mining (gaining 13c or 3.3% to $4.03) and Albidon (up 6c or 3% to $2.09) also felt the effects of the latest price rise.

Tin was also up there in the record-breakers category, with its three-month price climbing to a high of $US13,850/t, before cooling to settle at $US13,650/t.

However, the fresh record did not help Australia’s small band of tin plays, with Wolf Minerals losing 1c (1.3%) to 79c, Stonehenge Metals shedding 0.5c (1.03%) to 48c and Metals X dipping 1c (3.2%) to 30c.

In the top performers list, newly listed Yellow Rock continued its stellar run jumping 19.5c (38.6%) to close at 70c, followed by Rusina Mining, which gained 3.5c (22.6%) to 19c following the release of an update on its Acoje project in the Philippines. Empire Resources, which kicked off a drill offensive at its Pennys Find gold-nickel prospect near Kalgoorlie, added 3.5c (20%) to 21c.

In other news, executive chairman for International Goldfields and Cape Lambert executive chairman Tony Sage has bought himself one-third of the Western Australian A-League soccer team Glory.

Sage teamed up with financial services director Brett McKeon and property developer John Spence to take charge of the soccer team.