Purchasing Managers Indices in France and Germany very strong, especially for manufacturing...
China increases trading costs and margins for all commodities substantially, leading to a sell-off in metals / iron ore / steel today.
Strike Energy - finally fixed the previously agreed term sheet with Orica, which effectively lets Strike out of the previous off-take agreement. Quantity is much smaller, and we understand, prices much better than agreed upon a few years ago. That´s very good news for Strike - however, it had been expected following earlier announcements.
Sheffield - the mineral sand developer has succesfully cleared an appeal against their Native Title Agreement in a Western Australian court. Sounds like nothing, but the Native Title Agreement is an essential basis for the mining license, and this appeal would have had the potential of serious time delay for the developement. Mineral Sand prices have gone from strength to strength, helped by a strong building sector around the world. SFX have a very large resource, while some other Australian producers have a diminishing reserve base at existing mines. Blackrock is the cornerstone-shareholder here, owning just under 10% of SFX. For everybody interested in mineral sands - I know, that not many are! - this stock should be looked at carefully.