Australian Federal Budget Highlights Indispensability of Mining Sector

With Australia delivering a surplus of $9.3bn Federal Budget, it is expected that the government’s relief measures would not increase inflation. The government is claiming that Australia was among the best placed economies to manage the uncertainties and maximise its opportunities.

On the other hand, a lot is happening in the US election year too. The President is initiating strong measures including imposing a 100% border tax on electric cars from China.

What ripple effect this will have on Australian mining industry related to minerals associated with EVs. The Federal Budget 2024 has already showcased the significance of mining sector to the Australian economy as this federal government budget surplus has been led by the robust contributions from the mining industry.

Analysis of Aus Budget Summary putting emphasis on importance of critical minerals places certain stocks in strong focus.


Three Mining companies to look at:- 


Encounter Resources Limited (ASX: ENR)

Encounter Resources Limited recently announced significant findings from the first drilling at the Jessica project in the Northern Territory. The drilling successfully intersected copper mineralization in an iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) setting at Zeta. Results confirmed the presence of copper sulphide-bearing veins and alteration signatures typical of IOCG-style mineralization. 

Encounter Resources’ outlook appears promising as it embarks on significant drill programs aimed at exploring carbonatite targets, expanding niobium-REE mineralization, and conducting diamond drilling at Perce. With a well-funded position following a successful placement, the company is poised to advance its exploration efforts effectively. 

ENR is evaluating the completion of a deep seeking MIMDAS geophysical survey, scheduled for June-July 2024, to identify potential mineralized zones at Zeta. Additionally, assay results from six additional diamond drill holes, totalling approximately 5,700 meters, conducted at the Jessica and Carrara projects are anticipated in the June 2024 quarter. These developments signify ongoing exploration efforts and potential advancements in understanding the mineralization potential of the respective projects.

Impact Minerals Limited (ASX: IPT)

Impact Minerals Limited has achieved significant milestones in exploration, particularly at the Caligula Prospect, where a substantial target for porphyry copper mineralization has been identified. Additionally, at the Lake Hope project, positive Scoping Study results indicate its potential as the lowest-cost global HPA producer.

Impact also reported Rare Earth Element (REE) anomalism at the Arkun Project, with values of up to 5,880 ppm Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO+Y) and Nd+Pr of up to 21% from soil sampling. Covering at least a 3 km² area at greater than 1,000 ppm TREO, this soil anomaly presents a prime target for a large clay-hosted REE deposit. 

Moreover, at the Lake Hope High Purity Alumina (HPA) project, a significant bulk sampling and test pits program has been completed, contributing to the ongoing Pre-Feasibility Study. The positive Scoping Study results indicate that Lake Hope could potentially be the lowest-cost producer of HPA globally.

The diversified project portfolio, covering nickel, copper, HPA, REEs, and more, positions Impact Minerals strategically to leverage long term growth. 

Paladin Energy Limited (ASX: PDN)

Paladin Energy Limited, in its quarterly results for the period ending 31 March 2024 released on 24 April 2024 highlighted that its Langer Heinrich Mine (LHM) returned to commercial uranium production on 30 March 2024, meeting the schedule and remaining within the capital cost estimate of US$125 million.

The Restart Project, initiated in July 2022, focused on the repair, refurbishment, and debottlenecking of the existing LHM plant, which was placed into Care & Maintenance in 2018. Debottlenecking upgrades were implemented to mitigate production risks, enhance throughput capacity, and improve operational availability and sustainability aspects of the plant and operations.

With the commencement of commercial production at LHM, Paladin Energy has transitioned its operational focus from the restart phase to a production ramp-up phase. As the final project restart activities are nearing completion, the company is now concentrating on increasing production levels at the project. This strategic shift towards production ramp-up underscores Paladin Energy’s strong commitment to establishing a robust production capability. By prioritizing this aspect of operations, the company aims to maximize its potential to generate significant monetary value for its stakeholders.

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