Manganese demand is closely tied to the global steel market. While there are questions about what 2011 will offer, in terms of steel demand, especially as China appears to be cooling off, there are other stories out there talking about India’s rampant appetite for raw materials for steel production in the face of rising prices.
There are more than a few explorations companies drilling holes in the Philippines these days, all with the quiet hope that the country soon finds favour with serious resource investors in the much the same way that Ventana Gold and others became overnight rock stars, if you will, with their projects in Colombia.
The global uranium market is dominated by just 10 players – companies that account for 60% of the world’s production of yellow cake. While Canada’s Athabasca Basin remains the hotspot for the highest-graded uranium coming out of the ground, other countries are pushing hard to ramp up their own uranium markets, such as Kazakhstan, Tanzania and Namibia, which is about to finalize its first nuclear policy by the middle of the year.
Nickel is your quintessential commodity – out of favor last year, in favor this year, meaning market deficits aplenty, with companies scrambling to fill the void left by dormant production during the down years.
The whole issue of blood diamonds refuses to go away, even though Zimbabwe’s deputy mines minister, gift Chimanikire, rather wishes it would. He told Diamond Investing News this week that the country will hold two auctions, after getting written permission from the Kimberley Process, the international body set up to monitor the distribution of conflict diamonds.
The U.S. decision last month to launch a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Export initiative should turn out to be yet another boon for lithium producers, who are or will be trying to sell into a growing lithium ion battery market for technological and electric car uses.