Featured in this issue of Australian Resources & Investment
Faint signs of life are emerging in the initial public offerings (IPO) market for resource-related companies. More floats are starting to close, some are rallying after listing, and there are expectations of a jump in so-called backdoor listings of resource companies this year. Compared to 2012 – the worst year in at least a decade for the IPO market, by capital raised – there is at least a glimmer of hope that the sharemarket rally in the fourth quarter of last year and in early 2013 can lure retail investors back and lead to more resource floats closing.
A friend of mine sent me some Christmas reading – an article from The Spectator Australia, written by Senator Barnaby Joyce. ‘Many have come to the conclusion that without a job you will not be emitting much carbon and poverty as policy is best left to the clergy. The sad thing for Australia is that we have managed to get ourselves stitched up in an idiotic broad-based energy consumption tax, which is doing nothing to affect the temperature…’
The mining industry has always been a cyclic business by its very nature, and remains very much so in the 21st century. More than perhaps any other business, mining operations and companies are beholden to commodity cycles created by fluctuating metal prices. There is a whole industry around predicting metal price movements and attempting to stay ‘ahead of the curve’. In addition to price cycles, actual demand for commodities rises and falls. For instance, metals that were very much in demand several decades ago have, to a greater or lesser extent, been substituted in certain uses by other (cheaper or better) replacements. p>
Graphene is a form of carbon. It is the first two-dimensional crystal discovered and has unusual electronic, optical and mechanical properties. These properties have resulted in much enthusiasm about the potential of graphene-based technologies in a range of industries, including aerospace, biotechnology, chemicals, defence, energy and telecoms. Graphene is of significant interest to research institutes, governments and corporations around the world. Yet graphene remains a relatively early stage technology space, with many challenges to overcome.