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Finance

  • Here's The First Big Change For A Critical Coal Spot

    All eyes are on Indonesia in the coal world right now. Whether they know it or not.The industry has been riveted of late on the price of thermal coal. Which has been edging lower in many markets--threatening to break through five-year lows.The question is: is coal putting in a bottom? Or is there further to fall?And much of that depends on Indonesia. Which has lately become the only source of supply growth going on the planet. With recent statistics showing that the nation's production for the first half of 2014 was up 7.6% from the same period of 2013--to 213…

  • Is This "Lost World" Finally Opening For Exploration?

    There's a saying in exploration that there are only two ways to make a discovery.Either used advanced technology and techniques in a mature area. Or apply basic methods in a new terrain.One of the most interesting "new places" around the world is Madagascar. A nation that enjoyed a rich mining history in colonial times. But has seen little in the way of systematic modern exploration since.There was a brief period of openness here from 2002 to 2009. Which encouragingly, yielded some major mining developments like Sherritt's Ambatovy nickel mine, and the Fort Dauphin titanium project developed by Rio Tinto.But then…

  • Here's Yet Another Problem in Platinum Supply

    It's no secret the platinum mining industry has been suffering of late. With mineworker strikes in South Africa having caused significant losses of production.And now there's another problem. In the world's third-largest platinum producing nation: Zimbabwe.The news comes from Zimplats, a subsidiary of global number two platinum miner Impala. With the company reporting a major underground collapse at its Bimha mine, in the country's south-central region.Few technical details were given. Beyond that fact that the rockfall is related to a fault within the below-surface operations here.But the event will apparently have a major effect on supply from Bimha. With Zimplats…

  • Crude Energy Targets Prolific Wolfcamp Formation

    Crude Energy, an independent exploration and production company based in Dallas, TX, seeks to build on its string of successful drilling projects with the announcement of its new White Wolf Prospect.The 640-acre site is located near Midland in West Texas, one of the most oil-rich regions in the country. Crude Energy just announced that it is opening up its White Wolf Prospect to accredited investors, who can profit from the drilling operation that is set to begin in August. Crude plans on drilling at a total depth of 9,220 feet. The target will be the prolific Wolfcamp section, which ranges…

  • Shale's "Ground Zero" Moves To Ban Drilling

    A big part of investing success is seeing critical events emerging. The kind of "dark horses" that can change a sector or an industry--sending things in a completely unexpected direction.We're seeing such happenings right now in the U.S. unconventional oil and gas sector.Namely, a grassroots backlash against fracking. The drilling technique that's been largely responsible for the shale production boom the last few years.Last week, Pennsylvania courts once again upheld the right of individual municipalities to set their own fracking rules. Meaning cities and towns are now able to impose fracking bans--regardless of laws set by the pro-shale state government.And…

  • Are These Unloved Assets Today's Best Value In Oil?

    I've been looking at potential acquisitions of oil projects this week. And there are something interesting patterns emerging across the sector.Investors in the space today want one thing: America. With buyers seeking exposure to "hot" unconventional plays like the Bakken, Marcellus and Eagle Ford.But all that attention is driving up prices. Meaning that getting into this room is becoming ever-more expensive--raising the bar for performance needed to generate acceptable returns on drilling dollars.Amid that environment, it's interesting to see what's happening in other parts of the world. With news yesterday suggesting that international oil assets could be getting very cheap.That's…

  • The Year's Best Uranium News (So Far)

    The uranium market has been looking for something to cheer about lately. And this week finally got some positive news--from a place that's long been a drag on the sector.That's Japan. Where reports are emerging that the first idled nuclear reactors may be nearing a restart.Bloomberg reported this week that Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority has taken the first steps toward rebooting two reactors. Both of them part of the Sendai facility run by Kyushu Electric Power Company on the country's southernmost island. These regulators have reportedly finished safety checks at Sendai's two reactors. Finding no outstanding problems with the equipment…

  • Here's A Critical Policy You Haven't Heard About

    One of the biggest drivers of metals markets lately has been governments.Policy changes in some of the world's largest mineral-producing nations have created big moves in prices. Such as Indonesia's ban on unprocessed exports causing nickel to jump as much as 50% since January. Or India's heavy gold taxes weighing on that market.And last week we got news of one more shift that could have big effects. Although this critical change got almost no press globally.The metal is aluminum, and the government is once again India--the world's fifth-largest producer of the aluminum ore bauxite.And the policy move is aimed at…

  • Coal Investors Need to See This Chart

    Sentiment in the thermal coal market is nearly as poor as it gets right now.The mood has been further dampened this week by price cutting from Chinese coal producers. With sellers slashing prices in an attempt to clear out inventory.That's led to an almost complete loss of appetite for imports into China. With buyers simply adopting a "wait and see" posture--looking for domestic supplies to get even cheaper.But amid all the negativity, the data shows that the fundamentals for the global market are still strong. Driven by major supply issues looming in one part of the world: India.Data released this…

  • Are These New Rules A Lift For Uranium?

    We've seen a number of countries pushing to re-do their exploration rules lately. And last week news emerged of changes afoot in one more spot--which may have some big implications for at least one commodity.The place is the West African nation of Gabon. Where the government is reportedly aiming to having a new exploration regime in place by the end of the year.Officials from Gabon's state mining company Société Équatoriale des Mines told Mining Weekly last week that the rule change is designed to attract new investors to the local sector. By making it easier to explore for new deposits,…