Mining Stocks, News & Tips on the ASX

Australia’s metals and mining sector is clearly the country’s largest industry sector. There are over 760 Australian companies involved in mineral exploration, development and production across more than 110 countries.

This sector includes several of the world’s largest diversified resource companies, including global giants such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. There’s also plenty of potential to invest in future industry leaders. In fact, since 2009, investors in the Australian market have supported more than 400 new junior resource floats.

This sector relies heavily on equity markets to receive capital for the intensive development of mineral projects or the funding of higher risk explorations to locate new resource deposits.

Whether you’re interested investing in Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton, or any one of the multitudes of Australian mining companies out there, browse Australian Stock Report’s analyses below to find out everything you need to know about investing in the mining sector, including news, tips, and advice.

  • Share to buy – Whitehaven Coal (WHC)


    Until recently, we've viewed a lack of market confidence as mis-pricing WHC.

    Over the journey, the company has maintained an earnings margin average of $13/t but it appears the market has been factoring in the future coal price and giving management little benefit for being able to sustain its margins, despite its track record.

    The risk lies with the thermal coal price outlook and whether China continues to retreat from the trade.

    Today the company announced record high ROM coal production of 5.7Mt for the March quarter, up 21% compared with the previous corresponding period and 44% YTD.

    The company also recorded its highest quarterly saleable coal production of 5.3 Mt for March, up 28% compared to a year earlier, and 48% YTD.

    Whitehaven Coal says that it is on track to meet FY2016 guidance for saleable coal to be in the range of 19.5 Mt to 20.1 Mt.

    The miner says that costs guidance for the full year FY2016 is now expected to be $57/t.

    We think momentum can now build in the stock and are prepared to be buyers..

  • Share to buy – APN Outdoor Media (APO)


    The evolution of Billboards from static to digital has presented significant growth opportunities for APO.

    The company, since IPO (Nov 2014), has secured both existing Static Billboards as well as development options to develop Digital Billboards.

    Given the ability to modify advertising on-demand using sophisticated yield management techniques for digital formats, the potential revenue uplift is significant.

    This can be observed by recent revenue trends whereby revenues have far exceeded the company's and market's expectation.

    Given the scalability of digital formats, this translates strongly for profitability.

    At their most recent update, the company has also upgraded guidance due to acquisitions, increased market share and an increase in penetration of digital formats.

    The company also confirmed the renewal and expansion of key Airport related contracts, in particular with Sydney Airport.


  • Share to buy – Rio Tinto (RIO)


    Since bottoming out near $38 in December, iron ore has rallied to presently be trading above $48.

    • Overnight, the bulk commodity jumped 3%.
    • The bounce in iron ore, unsurprisingly, has coincided with a bounce in Rio Tinto which has completed a basing pattern and now appears poised to push higher.
    • We are looking for a short-term rally in Rio and active traders can consider being buyers.

  • Shares To Sell Newcrest Mining Limited (NCM)

    Newcrest Mining (NCM) is an Australian gold producer, with operations in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and West Africa. The group’s flagship mine is PNG-based, Lihir, with the other offshore operations being Gosowong in Indonesia, Hidden Valley (50%-owned) in PNG and Bonriko in Ivory Coast. NSW-based Cadia Valley and WA-based Telfer make up the company’s domestic operations. Gold weakness This week the US Federal Reserve did what many expected it to do and that was announce plans to reduce stimulus. Beginning in January, the Fed will reduce the amount of its monthly bond buying program – known as QE3 – by US$15 billion. Last night gold plunged more than 3% to its lowest settlement in over three years. After a brief respite for gold between June and September, prices have begun heading south, culminating in last night’s plunge. During that time, ETFs have continued to shed their bullion holdings and prices have been pressured by the additional supply coming onto the market. The big slide in bullion reflects the strong likelihood that the Fed will reduce its stimulus by an even greater amount in 2014 as economic conditions in the US continue to improve. Moreover, inflation is very low as this week’s US CPI numbers highlight. Inflation is running at 1.2% annual pace as at November, well below the Fed’s 2% threshold. Gold is usually seen as a safe-haven alternative in times of rising inflation, so with consumer prices in the US rising at a snail’s pace there is less of an investment rationale to be holding bullion. These factors are likely to persist into 2014, suggesting further downside for gold. Cash cost squeeze NCM’s cash costs for the September quarter were $1093 an ounce (oz), whilst the average realised gold price was $1442/oz. With gold prices now trading below $1200/oz that implies NCM’s cash margin has plummeted by approximately 72% since the end of the September quarter, to just $97. It also means that Lihir, with a cash cost of $1152/oz, Telfer, with a cash cost of $1296/oz and Bonriko, with a cash cost of $1889/oz, have essentially become cash flow negative and are not economically viable.

  • Good News Gets Better For Rio Tinto

    rio tinto logo Rio Tinto (RIO) is an international mining company listed on both the Australian Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange. The group is an industry leader in most of the major commodities, including aluminium, coking and thermal coal, copper, manganese, iron ore, uranium, nickel, silver and titanium. Rio also has sizable interests in oil, gas and natural gas. China manufacturing growing again Iron ore makes up the most significant component of RIO’s business, around 44% of its overall revenue. Not only have iron prices risen around 19% since the end of June, but the outlook for the mineral appears to be improving. The iron ore recovery has coincided with data showing a return to growth for China’s manufacturing sector. On Monday, the HSBC Final PMI returned a reading of 50.8 for September, representing a slight acceleration in manufacturing growth from October’s 50.4 reading. It was also the third month in a row where China’s manufacturing sector expanded, adding to signs the economy is regaining its footing after a year slowing growth. Outlook Following a poor 1H13, RIO is generating a healthy dose of momentum and is ahead on a number of some of its strategic goals. Last week, RIO announced that iron ore production capacity will rapidly increase towards its targeted 360 million tonnes a year (MT/a), and at significantly lower cost than originally estimated. From a base run rate of 290Mt/a, RIO expects to reach its target between 2014 and 2017, with the majority of the increase to be delivered in the next two years. The miner expects to achieve this by expanding production at existing mines and securing productivity gains. The costs savings works both ways for RIO – helping to alleviate margin pressures in a weak commodity environment and increase earnings leverage to rising commodity prices. For all of our latest australian share tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files. Read more:

  • Newcrest Mining Limited – Sell Stock

    Newcrest Mining (NCM) is an Australian gold producer, with operations in Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and West Africa. The group’s flagship mine is PNG-based, Lihir, with the other offshore operations being Gosowong in Indonesia, Hidden Valley (50%-owned) in PNG and Bonriko in Ivory Coast. NSW-based Cadia Valley and WA-based Telfer make up the company’s domestic operations. Gold weakness Although gold prices have stabilised in recent months, gold exchange traded funds (ETFs) have continued to shed their bullion holdings, highlighting weak investment demand for the yellow metal. Last Friday night’s better-than-expected US jobs report has increased the likelihood of the US Federal Reserve bringing the forward the date it begins tapering stimulus to December. The market response will likely be a rise in US bond yields and the US dollar, both of which are negative for gold. This reduces the incentive for ETFs to hold bullion and if they continue to sell their holdings – which we expect they will - gold prices are likely to head south. Outlook NCM’s cash costs for the September quarter were $1093 an ounce (oz), whilst the average realised gold price was $1442/oz. With gold prices recently trading around $1285/oz that implies NCM’s cash margin has shrunk by approximately 44% since the end of the quarter, to $192. It also means that Lihir, with a cash cost of $1152/oz, Telfer, with a cash cost of $1296/oz and Bonriko, with a cash cost of $1889/oz, have either become uneconomical or are very close to it. The balance sheet worsened considerably in FY13, with the net debt to equity ratio soaring from 14% to 41%. High costs and falling gold prices are hammering the group’s cash flows, limiting its options to arrest the balance sheet deterioration. This increases the odds of a capital raising. NCM stuck to its FY14 production guidance of 2.0 – 2.3 million ounces. Unfortunately, it is mining lower grade ore from its gold mines, as evidenced by the September quarter production report. A repeat performance in subsequent quarters increases the risk of missing production guidance. Amidst all these concerns, we think there is enough bad news to send NCM shares even lower from current levels. For all of our latest australian sell shares and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.  

  • WPL Woodside Petroleum – Share Tip

    Woodside Petroleum (WPL) Shares | Blue Chip Shares NewsWoodside Petroleum (WPL) is Australia’s largest oil and gas explorer and producer. WPL operates the $27 billion North West Shelf (NWS) Venture in offshore WA, which produces around 40% of Australia’s oil and gas. The company also has several key LNG projects, which include, Pluto (WA), Browse (WA) and Sunrise (East Timor). The Pluto project is up and running, but the Browse basis LNG project has been delayed for a period of the two years. Key Points Quarterly Report: WPL reported strong production of 21.9 mmboe for the 3Q13, which was up 9.5% quarter on quarter, the result was mainly due to increased production from the North West Shelf following planned maintenance shutdowns in 2Q13 Sales volumes of 20.9 mmboe up 33.5% on 2Q13 Revenue came in flat at US$1.34 billion, with the higher sales offset by slightly lower realised average prices Leviathan and Browse

    >> The groups growth profile has been questioned over the past few years, with issues and delays over two potential projects, Browse LNG project in WA and the Leviathan fields located offshore Israel. However a number of key issues in these projects have been alleviated of late.
    >> The Browse project which was shelved early in the year looks to be back on the table. WPL and its Joint Venture partners have decided to take USE floating LNG technically to commercialise the Browse gas fields.
    >> While no costing has been done for the new concept, we would expect it to be less capital intensive than its previous options.
    >> The Leviathan gas fields is one of the world’s largest off shore gas finds of the past decade.
    >> WPL successfully bid for a 30% stake in project almost 12 months ago, but the deal is yet to be finalised, with the Israeli government trying to set gas reservation on the field.
    >> The Israel Supreme Court has recently dismissed the right to do this which paves the way for WPL to proceed with its offer.
    Outlook WPL’s quarterly results were solid with lower pricing offset by higher production. Interestingly a majority of its sales were done via previous contracts; we expect repricing of these contracts in the coming quarters which should lead to a higher average price. We expect WPL would want a deal to be finalised in the next few months for the Leviathan Gas fields as it is expected to begin drilling in 1QCY14. In our view a Leviathan deal coupled with a clearer outlook on the Browse project will continue to lead to share price appreciation. For all of our latest australian share tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.

  • Atlas Iron (AGO) Buy Share

    Atlas Iron AGOAtlas Iron (AGO) is an iron ore producer and explorer located in Western Australia. The company has a growing number of high quality iron ore projects and one of the largest landholdings in the lucrative Pilbara region. AGO is now one of the area’s largest iron ore producers. The company has a significant number of direct shipping ore (DSO) projects in WA. DSO projects are those that are in close proximity to ports, which helps to significantly lower capital costs. AGO has several projects in varying stage of development, with its Abydos mines in production and its Mt Webber mine due to e commissioned in December. Key Points: Quarterly Production:

    >> A record 2.4 million tonnes of iron ore shipped in third quarter, up from $2.2 Million tonnes in the previous quarter
    >> Production rate of 10 million tonnes achieved in the quarter
    >> Operating costs for the quarter were within the $49-$53 region
    >> Average sale price increased 9% from the previous quarter to USD 117 a tonne, which on an Aussie dollar basis would have been much higher
    China Growing: Today saw the HSBC flash Product Manufacturing Index return a reading of 50.9, which was above of the 50.5 expected by economists A reading above 50 indicates that the Chinese manufacturing sector is expanding, which is a good sign for commodity demand. Recent trade data out of China data showed a record level of iron-ore imports, which reaffirms the case of strong Chinese demand. Outlook The group’s outlook looks good, with solid production from its producing mines. AGO has confirmed its FY14 shipping guidance of 9.0 – 9.3 million tonnes of with cash operating cost guidance (excluding royalties) of $49 - $53 per tonne. The groups Mt Webber mine is also due begin production in December, with first shipments scheduled in the new year. An annual run rate is scheduled for 3 million tonnes, but upgrades are likely to increase this 6 million tonnes. Overall AGO is good position, with low costs and high growth moving forward. For all of our latest buy share options and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.

  • Western Areas NL – Sell Stock

    Western Areas NL (WSA) is an Australian-based nickel sulphide producer which owns the Forrestania Nickel Project, along with development projects in Canada and Finland. It was listed as a share to sell in our traders report on September 30th 2013. The company has two producing nickel mines, Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll. The primary discovery at Flying Fox, is one of the highest grade nickel deposits in the world. Along with Spotted Quoll, these operations are some of the lowest cost nickel mines in the world. Key Points:

    >> Revenue of $306 million, down 7% from FY12, hurt by a fall in nickel prices
    >> Underlying profit of $6 million, an 87% decline on the prior year
    >> On a reportable basis, the group lost of $94 million on the back of a $99.7 million impairment relating to exploration write-offs
    >> Cash flow from operations did decrease 27% over the year, whilst cash on hand halved to $80.7 million. Despite the fall the group did repay $105 million of convertible bonds and a $45 million corporate loan facility during the year
    >> This recent fall coincides with data out of China, which showed copper imports (a widely accepted barometer of economic activity) declined 20% over the month of August
    >> This data coupled with today’s lower-than-expected final read from the HSBC manufacturing index (actual 50.2 versus forecast 51.2) paints a bleak picture immediate picture for Chinese demand
    Outlook WSA has great long term prospects, with quality assets an low cash costs. Sensible management has seen the company lower its exploration and capex guidance for FY14, with certain expansion plans deferred. This is a good move given the depressed state of the nickel market, and a $110 million bond repayment due in 12 months. Given there is another $115 million bond maturing in July 2015, we see all the groups cash flow being diverted to the repayment of these notes for the next few years, thus limiting WSA’s growth and by extension share price growth. For all of our latest share market tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.

  • Boart Longyear (BYL) Share To Sell

    boart longyearBoart Longyear (BLY) provides contract drilling services to the mining, environmental, infrastructure, and energy industries. The Drilling Services business provides drilling services to the mineral exploration, development and production, environmental, infrastructure and energy markets. The Drilling Products business designs, manufactures and sells drilling equipment such as drills and support systems, as well as bits, rods and all requisite tooling. China continues to slow Yesterday, the HSBC Final Manufacturing PMI confirmed China’s manufacturing sector contracted sharply in June. The PMI reading of 48.2 was the weakest since September 2012. Deteriorating business conditions, including falling customer orders and rising inventories, were blamed for the poor manufacturing result. Another worrying trend that has emerged in recent weeks has been a tightening in Chinse credit markets. Since mid-May, Chinese banks and financial institutions have been wary of lending to each other, leading to sharp rises in inter-bank borrowing rates. Weaker credit, combined with Beijing’s reluctance to stimulate the economy, is likely to keep manufacturing in the doldrums for a little while longer. Poor operational update BLY warned yesterday that it indeed was facing worsening trading conditions, particularly relating to its Drilling Services business, which is suffering from weak rig utilisation rates and customers delaying their drilling programs. The group said FY13 revenue and EBITDA were likely to miss consensus estimates of a US$1.355 - US$1.556 billion range for revenue and a US$176 – US$211 million range for EBITDA. In FY12, BLY reported revenue of US$2.01 billion and EBITDA of US$254 million. Not only is the group on track for a massive year-on-year drop in revenue and operating earnings, but it was forced to seek assistance from lenders regarding its bank debt facility. BLY was allowed to reduce its leverage ratio (gross debt / EBITDA) requirement from 4.75x in FY13 to 3.50x by FY16. In return the company must give up security over a greater range of assets, has to pay a higher rate of interest and increase the pace of principal repayments. Outlook China’s manufacturing sector has entered contraction territory and its export sector is buckling under the weight of tepid global economic growth. As a result, miners are likely to curtail their capital expenditure in response to weaker demand. BLY is therefore unlikely to see a pickup in demand for its drilling products, whilst drill rig utilisation rates are likely to continue heading lower. At the end of FY10 rig utilisation rates were 75%, but are heading towards 50% at the end of FY13, according to BLY. Although BLY’s revised covenants allow it space to breathe if EBTIDA stays low in coming years, the fact it must pay higher interest is worrisome in a period where lending rates are expected to rise. BLY must convince the market that it has measures in place to slash costs and/or that revenue is likely to rebound. We don’t think the latter is likely to occur any time soon. Net profit margin has shrunk from 7.9% in FY11 to just 3.4% in FY12. Higher interest expense without an offsetting reduction in operational expenses is likely to heap further on the group’s margins. Boart Longyear was listed as a sell share for our members on June 2nd. For all of our latest share tips and trading ideas sign up for FREE 7 Day Trial and gain full access our research files.


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*Performance is derived from recommendations provided by Australian Stock Report’s Trading Report, opened on or after date of acquisition in Nov 2014
*Return figures are gross returns and do not take into account fees or brokerage costs.
*Returns are calculated based on a $50,000 hypothetical portfolio, risking 2% of the overall portfolio balance ($1,000) as a starting point for each trade.
*Due to slippage and gapping, losses can sometimes exceed $1,000 on an individual trade.
*Opening and closing prices for trades (and therefore the prices used for determining aggregate profit/loss) will be those published on the Australian Stock Report website and will be determined by the price at which they could realistically be executed in the market at the time the recommendation is published.
*ASX 200 Accumulation Index Return is calculated based upon the price of the index at the start of the session on the day the first ASX 200 trade was placed, i.e. 24.11.2015

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