Renewed speculation on a Bougainville revival

BOUGAINVILLE Copper was a standout performer on our watchlists this week gaining just over 10% on the back of rumours the major mine could reopen as copper prices continue to surge.

The rumours were fuelled by speculation that Bougainville's Panguna mine lease is the subject of a Chinese buyout.

An unconfirmed article in the Post Courier reported last month there was "big" Chinese interest to buy out the Panguna mine lease.

Separately, has heard whispers that Rio Tinto, the parent company of Australia-listed Bougainville Copper, had applied for a 21-year extension to the mining lease at Panguna.

The speculation added to the upward swing which was also aided by rising copper prices.

London Metal Exchange cash official copper prices are trading at $US8711.5 per tonne, up 5% on last Friday's close.

LME cash official nickel prices are trading at $23,675 /t, also up by 5% from Friday's $22,510 /t close.

Meanwhile spot gold rose by 2% to $1390.30 an ounce from Friday's close of $1363.30.

Asia-Pacific benchmark Singapore Tapis crude closed at $93.5 a barrel overnight, up slightly on Friday's close after reaching a price of $95.38 at market close on Wednesday.

Marengo Mining shares also climbed 7% for the week as the triple-listed company is set to raise $55 million of gross proceeds through an equity raising.

The offering remains subject to approvals from the Australian and Toronto stock exchanges and is scheduled to close around December 7.

Funds raised will be used to further advance exploration of the mammoth Yandera molybdenum-gold project in Madang province.

Otherwise, most of the PNG-focused companies gained ground as copper and gold prices increased.

Oil Search was another standout performer for the week with its price expected to gain over the long term as the PNG LNG project moves closer to fruition.


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