PNG stocks shine like gold

MOST stocks exposed to PNG had a good week as commodity prices performed well against a falling US dollar.

Asia Pacific benchmark Singapore Tapis crude closed at $US96.03 a barrel yesterday, roughly in line with the previous week's close.

But the trend this month for rising oil prices is continuing as the US dollar loses strength against other currencies.

Parity with the Australian dollar might still seem unusual, but there are indications this could go on for several months.

Mine Life senior resources analyst Gavin Wendt provided his views to's sister publication this week.

"I think we are going to see waxing and waning in the value of the US dollar but I don't think we are going to see a rally in the US dollar by any means," he said.

"I think commodity prices are going to stay strong, which is certainly going to provide support for the Aussie dollar.

"But I would think that we are not going to see too much movement away from parity over the next three to six months."

Spot gold has fallen away from the $US1400 an ounce milestone it achieved briefly this week and is trading at around $1389.28 early this afternoon.

While spot gold often pulls back after breaking new ground, it is hard to keep down in these times of so-called "quantitative easing".

London-listed Triple Plate Junction was one of the best performers this week after Newmont made an indicative approach to the company.

The 4 pence per share offer was rejected by TPJ, but the PNG explorer quickly made good on the news by placing 100 million shares at 2.5 pence each.

The extra funds will help it explore more opportunities in PNG and southeast Asia.

London Metal Exchange cash official prices for copper are at a staggeringly high $8925 a tonne in trading today, up 2.6% from last Friday's close.

LME cash official nickel is trading around $24,200/t, down 1% by the same comparison.

This week we have initiated coverage of Papuan Precious Metals on our Toronto-listed watchlist and we look forward to providing future updates on its projects.

The company has six tenements and is also earning interest in two tenements held by state-owned Petromin in the Waria River area.

While PPM was previously active with platinum exploration, its new focus is gold and copper exploration and the company has identified a cluster of such prospects in the Mt Suckling region of southeastern Papua.

Of much concern to the petroleum community is a decision by PNG's Petroleum and Energy Minister William Duma to refuse approval of an application for an extension of the PRL 5 licence.

While this decision affects PRL joint venture partners Horizon Oil, Santos and Talisman, there could be wider implications for PNG's energy scene. plans to investigate the matter.

We encourage industry insiders to contact us at:

Horizon shares lost 18% this week.


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