The Mining Report: Australian mining shares had a great July. Was that a one-off or indicative of a trend?
Luke Smith: July tends to be good because the fiscal year-end for most personal investors in Australia is June 30, so there is tax-loss selling up to that date. That said, this July was better than average. The gains slowed down at the end of the month, but we've seen a liftoff again from the middle of August. Hopefully, this trend will continue, and we'll see the revival of Australia's small-resources sector.
TMR: Asian countries such as China and Indonesia are moving toward added-value mining. What implications does that have for Australian mining?
LS: Indonesia is a large supplier globally of tin, nickel and pig iron. The decrease in tin from there is counteracted to some degree by Myanmar becoming a tin producer overnight. The decrease of Indonesian nickel has already been positive for Australian nickel producers and explorers and the nickel price on the London Metals Exchange.
TMR: Newcrest Mining Ltd. (NCM:ASX), Australia's biggest gold miner, has suffered a lot of bad news lately, including a $2.5 billion ($2.5B) write-down and a class action suit. To what extent do its woes mirror that of Australia's gold industry as a whole? [Read more...]