Stocks to Watch: December

IS a Santa Claus rally on the way for the mining sector?
Stocks to Watch: December Stocks to Watch: December Stocks to Watch: December Stocks to Watch: December Stocks to Watch: December

Staff reporter

Indicators over the weekend were positive for metals, with Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell taking a more cautious tone, and US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreeing to hold off on imposing trade tariffs for at least 90 days.

"Concerns over China stimulus intent and efficacy, and recent commodity price weakness are holding investors back on our overweight resources call," Morgan Stanley said on Friday.

"A dovish tilt from the Fed will see our defensive yield names better bid."

While the past few weeks have been quiet on the news front, a more positive market could see things pick up.

One of the biggest deals of last month, Mineral Resources sale of 50% of the Wodgina lithium project to Albemarle Corp for US$1.15 billion, is set to be formalised by mid-month.

The battle for a piece of Explaurum should also come to a head this month.

Explaurum has postponed a general meeting to consider a strategic investment by Alkane Resources until December 21.

The company had previously promised that an update on its Mace discovery and an independent expert's report regarding a hostile takeover by Ramelius Resources would be out by November 16.

The expert's report was delayed while Explaurum engaged with Ramelius, while the Mace update is due out on Friday.

There are also plenty of project milestones set to be met this month.

Resolute Mining's Syama gold mine in Mali remains on track to produce first ore from sub-level caving this month.

Fortescue Metals Group will make its maiden shipment of its new higher grade West Pilbara Fines this month, which CEO Elizabeth Gaines estimates could add as much as US$10 per tonne to its sales price.

She also didn't rule out the company making a final investment decision on the Iron Bridge magnetite development, but stressed it was also subject to a decision by its partners.

Australian Vanadium is due to report reserves for its Gabanintha project, along with a prefeasibility study.

Echo Resources has flagged the release of an optimised feasibility study for its Bronzewing project.

Orion Minerals is due to upgrade resources and release a scoping study for its Prieska zinc-copper project in South Africa.

Elsewhere in Africa, Celsius Resources is expecting to upgrade the resource at its Opuwo cobalt project in Namibia.

AVZ Minerals flagged a scoping study update into 5 million tonne per annum and 10Mtpa options for its large Manono lithium project in the Democratic Republic of Congo by mid-month.

Red 5 is set to report a maiden resource for its Eastern Margin discovery in the Eastern Goldfields, while Calidus Resources has guided for a resource upgrade at its Warrawoona project in the Pilbara.

There is still a long backlog of resources initial public offerings.

Hopefuls aiming to make a debut before year-end include Yandal Resources, PVW Resources and Torque Metals.

Montem Resources and International Cobalt Resources have withdrawn applications.

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