Top ASX Resource Companies with IPOs in 2020

IPOs on the ASX raised more than AU$5 billion last year. Which newly listed resource companies have performed the best since debuting?

The resource space was resilient to the turbulence and uncertainty of 2020, with companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) able to raise more money than in the last five years.

In 2020, capital raisings on the ASX brought in north of AU$50 billion, the highest level since 2015, with resource-focused stocks responsible for AU$7.7 billion of that amount.

Companies with initial public offerings (IPOs) raised more than AU$5 billion in total. Some stocks listed last year are now up more than 300 percent since debuting, and with that in mind it’s worth looking at the top-performing ASX-listed resource companies that had IPOs in 2020.

This list was created using data from the ASX, and was accurate as of January 26, 2021. Only companies listed in 2020 on the ASX under the materials and energy sectors are included.

1. Australian Strategic Metals (ASX:ASM)

Share price: AU$5.61; gain since IPO: 300.71 percent; year-to-date move: -14.87 percent

Australian Strategic Materials is an integrated materials business and describes itself as an emerging “mine to manufacturer” producer of critical metals. The company’s cornerstone Dubbo project hosts rare earths, zirconium, niobium and hafnium and is located in Central-Western New South Wales, Australia.

The company, a spinoff of Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK), has also patented a metallisation process that produces high-purity metals from oxides using up to 70 percent less energy than conventional methods. Following the success of a pilot plant, the company acquired 95 percent of South Korean Ziron Tech — including 100 percent of its pilot plant, patents and related intellectual property and technology.

Listed since July 30, 2020, and with a market cap of AU$577.39 million, Australian Strategic Metals continues to work on Dubbo’s optimisation feasibility study, with delivery targeted for the end of Q1.

2. Caspin Resources (ASX:CPN)

Share price: AU$0.70; gain since IPO: 54.35 percent; year-to-date move: +24.56 percent

Based in Perth, Western Australia, Caspin Resources is focused on exploration at the Yarawindah Brook nickel-copper-platinum-group elements project and at the Mount Squires project, where the company has identified a 50 kilometre structural corridor with significant gold mineralisation.

After completing an AU$8 million oversubscribed IPO, Caspin started to trade on the ASX on November 25, 2020, and has a current market cap of AU$38.68 million. The company is well funded to evaluate its current projects in 2021.

3. Manuka Resources (ASX:MKR)

Share price: AU$0.40; gain since IPO: 53.87 percent; year-to-date move: -6.98 percent

Listed since mid-July 2020, Manuka Resources owns two fully permitted projects, the Mount Boppy gold project and the Wonawinta silver project. After acquiring Mount Boppy in mid-2019, the company began processing its remaining gold ore in April 2020, becoming Australia’s newest precious metals producer.

The company expects to continue mining and producing gold from Mount Boppy until June 2021, after which it will transition to processing silver stockpiles at Wonawinta. The Wonawinta processing plant has a nameplate capacity of 850,000 tonnes per year

Following a AU$7 million IPO, Manuka Resources currently has a market cap of AU$136.02 million.

4. Siren Gold (ASX:SNG)

Share price: AU$0.68; gain since IPO: 51.11 percent; year-to-date move: -4.23 percent

After raising AU$10 million, explorer Siren Gold started trading on the ASX on October 7, 2020. Siren, which now has a market cap of AU$51.81 million, is focused on the high-grade Reefton goldfield in New Zealand, which consists of four key projects: Alexander River, Big River, Reefton South and Lyell.

The Reefton goldfield has been explored and mined for both hard-rock and alluvial gold since the first discovery of gold in 1870, and most recently at the Globe-Progress mine held by OceanaGold (ASX:OGC,TSX:OGC,OTC Pink:OCANF), which closed in 2015.

The company kicked off drilling at Big River at the end of last October, and to date eight holes have been completed.

5. Native Mineral Resources (ASX:NMR)

Share price: AU$0.32; gain since IPO: 47.72 percent; year-to-date move: -24.41 percent

Copper and gold company Native Mineral Resources listed on the ASX on November 16, 2020. The company’s portfolio includes the Palmerville copper-zinc project and the Mount Morgan copper-gold project in Queensland, and the Eastern Goldfields gold project in Western Australia.

Following an IPO of AU$5.7 million, Native Mineral Resources has a drilling program underway at Palmerville, and has also secured two key exploration assets in the Eastern Goldfields project; they are called Music Well and Arcoona.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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On 2 March 2021 the Australian Taxation Office issued Rio Tinto Limited with amended assessments related to the denial of interest deductions on an isolated borrowing used to pay an intragroup dividend in 2015. The borrowing was repaid in 2018. The ATO has today issued further assessments in relation to the same transaction levying penalties of A$352m and reducing the original interest assessment from A$47m to A$27m …

On 2 March 2021 the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) issued Rio Tinto Limited with amended assessments related to the denial of interest deductions on an isolated borrowing used to pay an intragroup dividend in 2015. The borrowing was repaid in 2018.

The ATO has today issued further assessments in relation to the same transaction levying penalties of A$352m (US$257.9m) and reducing the original interest assessment from A$47m to A$27m (US$19.8m).

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Ioneer Ltd is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture with Sibanye Stillwater Limited to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA . Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer …

Ioneer Ltd (“ioneer" or the “Company") (ASX: INR) is pleased to announce that the Company has reached an agreement to establish a joint venture (the " Joint Venture “) with Sibanye Stillwater Limited ( “Sibanye-Stillwater" ) to develop the flagship Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project located in Nevada, USA (the “Project" ). Under the terms of the agreement, Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the Joint Venture, with ioneer to maintain a 50% interest and retain operatorship. ioneer has also agreed to provide Sibanye-Stillwater with an option to participate in 50% of the North Basin 1 upon the election of Sibanye-Stillwater to contribute up to an additional US$50 million subject to certain terms and conditions.

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Perth, Australia – Australia’s next rare earths producer Hastings Technology Metals Ltd is pleased to announce that it has received the commendation of Premier Mark McGowan and the Western Australian Government for the Company’s development of the Yangibana Rare Earths Project in the State’s Gascoyne region. Premier McGowan said Hastings’ development of Yangibana was expressly aligned with the State’s Future Battery …

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Australia’s next rare earths producer Hastings Technology Metals Ltd (ASX:HAS) (FRA:5AM) is pleased to announce that it has received the commendation of Premier Mark McGowan and the Western Australian Government for the Company’s development of the Yangibana Rare Earths Project (Yangibana), in the State’s Gascoyne region.

Premier McGowan said Hastings’ development of Yangibana was expressly aligned with the State’s Future Battery Industry Strategy, which aims to expand the range of future battery minerals that are extracted and processed in Western Australia. Appendix 1 provides a copy of the public commendation that Hastings has received.

The Premier’s commendation follows the West Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation (JTSI) acknowledging that the Yangibana Project represents a strategic opportunity for investment and growth to position the State as a reliable supplier of speciality rare earth minerals.

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Gold isn't all that glitters in the land down under — silver in Australia is a major industry, and the country is home to both large and small players.

When it comes to precious metals, Australia has long punched above its weight — the nation was born riding the wave of a gold rush.

Gold isn't all that glitters through — Australia is also a major global producer of silver. It's among the 10 top producers, and was ranked seventh in 2020, with 1,300 tonnes coming from the many operational mines in the country. By comparison, the world's top producer, Mexico, produced 6,300 tonnes that same year.

Other key players in the silver market are Peru, China and Russia, which produce more silver than Australia, and the US, Argentina and Bolivia, which produce less.


Australia is sitting on quite a lot of the precious metal, with the world's second largest reserves, behind only Peru.

According to Geoscience Australia, one of the country's first mines was a silver-lead mine near Adelaide. Since then, the entire continent has been combed over with a fine-toothed comb, with deposits identified in every state and territory and active mines in every jurisdiction but one (Victoria).

Overall, Australia is well explored when it comes to silver, and since the mid-1800s it's had a constant stream of silver production. Aside from that, the country boasts metals-processing facilities in South Australia that separate the precious metal from its commonly mined counterpart metals, lead and zinc.

Silver companies in Australia

Those looking at the Australian silver market have options. There are plenty of big players with interests in Australian silver, and many smaller players for investors to consider researching too.

Most silver comes from mines dedicated to other metals — Glencore's (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF) Mount Isa in Queensland produces mainly copper, zinc and lead, but silver is separated by the company's integrated processing streams. Glencore also operates the McArthur mine in the Northern Territory, which is primarily zinc, but between its copper and zinc assets, Glencore produced 7,404,000 ounces of silver in Australia in 2020 — over 200 tonnes.

Elsewhere, BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT) produces a lot of silver as well at the Olympic Dam operation in South Australia. Perhaps best known for the production of uranium and copper, it also yields significant silver resources to the tune of 984,000 ounces in 2020 (or almost 28 tonnes).

According to Geoscience Australia data from 2016, over 20 mines in Australia produced silver in that year, while there are dozens of other resources identified in each state.

A primary producer of silver is the Cannington mine in Queensland, where South32 (ASX:S32,OTC Pink:SHTLF), a company that was spun off from BHP in 2015, mines silver and lead. Cannington is a big one, producing 11,792,000 ounces in 2020, or 334 tonnes of silver.

Tasmania boasts the Rosebery mine, which has seen 85 years of continuous operations and is currently owned by MMG (ASX:MMG,HKEX:1208). Rosebery, like all the others here, is polymetallic, and besides silver also produces copper, zinc, lead and gold. MMG also has the Dugald River mine in Queensland which also produced silver.

Getting into smaller companies, there are those like New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) which restarted the Century mine in the Northern Territory for zinc and silver.

The future of silver in Australia

So, you get the picture — there's a lot of silver to be mined in Australia by way of mining everything else.

It's worth noting that because silver operates both as a precious and an industrial metal, and is mined most often alongside base metals, it can be pulled in many directions. However, it traditionally follows (and lags behind) its precious metal sibling, gold, making it a valuable investment commodity to keep an eye on.

Looking forward, the future of the commodity in the land down under — especially given Australia's significant reserves and operator diversity — is as bright as you'd like it, and depends on what investors are most interested in, given the by-product nature of the metal.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Scott Tibballs, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Australia took a stand against Facebook and Google earlier this year, and the move could have long-term implications for tech investors.

It was a ban that sent Australians wild and had the whole world watching.

Back in February, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) stopped users in Australia from posting news in a week-long blackout, reacting to proposed legislation that would have forced the social media behemoth to pay publishers for content.

What prompted Facebook to "friend" Australia again, and what are the potential long-term implications of the squabble? Read on to learn what tech-focused investors in Australia should know about the situation.


Australia squares off against Facebook

On February 25 of this year, Australia's federal government passed the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code. It was developed after extensive analysis by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and is aimed at ensuring that news media businesses are fairly remunerated for their content.

It stipulates that digital platforms such as Facebook and Google (both named in the documentation) must pay news outlets whose content they feature — for example, if content is shared on Facebook or shows up in Google search results. The idea is that this will help to sustain journalism in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Google didn't react well to the code, which was first introduced in 2020.

Google didn't make any moves after it passed, but Facebook quickly made it impossible for Australian users to share news content, and pages for both local and international news organisations went blank — a major concern given the COVID-19 and wildfire concerns that were circulating at the time.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was scathing about Facebook's decision — which he ironically shared in a Facebook post — declaring the tech giant's actions "as arrogant as they were disappointing." He added, "These actions will only confirm the concerns that an increasing number of countries are expressing about the behaviour of BigTech companies who think they are bigger than governments and that the rules should not apply to them."

Despite strong feelings from both Australia and Facebook, the dispute was resolved fairly quickly, with the country agreeing to make four amendments to the legislation and Facebook restoring Australian's access to news.

Implications for Big Tech and news organisations

Both Australia and Facebook have claimed victory in the dispute, with a Facebook representative saying the company will be able to decide if news appears on the platform — meaning it won't automatically have to negotiate with any news businesses. Changes were also made to the arbitration process.

Tech experts have pointed out that larger news companies may ultimately benefit from the changes, but smaller ones could be pushed to the side. Major publishers that have struck agreements with tech giants, such as News Corp, Nine Entertainment (ASX:NEC,OTC Pink:NNMTF), Seven West Media (ASX:SWM) and Guardian Australia, may be able to increase their market share while smaller independent players lose out.

A business that is in full support of the laws is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). During the conflict, President Brad Smith came out loudly in favour of Australia's law, and advised that his company is willing to step up with search engine Bing should Google and/or Facebook pull out of the Australian market.

"In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pushed forward with legislation two years in the making to redress the competitive imbalance between the tech sector and an independent press. The ideas are straightforward. Dominant tech properties like Facebook and Google will need to invest in transparency, including by explaining how they display news content," he said in a blog post.

"The United States should not object to a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support a free press. It should copy it instead."

Global reach and tech investor impact

Six months down the road from Australia's landmark legislation, it's tough to say what the long-term impact may be.

That said, market watchers do believe the country is part of a new precedent of forcing Big Tech into paying for journalism — something giants Facebook and Google are not used to.

Countries looking to pursue similar legislation include Canada, where Facebook agreed in May to pay 14 publishers to link to their articles on its COVID-19 and climate science pages, as well as other unspecified use cases. Canada is pursuing other avenues too. Meanwhile, in France, Google said it will pay publishers for news content after the country took up new EU copyright laws that make digital platforms liable for infringements.

For investors, the takeaway is perhaps that while companies like Facebook and Google may seem too big too fail, they too can fall subject to new regulations that can change how they do business. As nations around the world look to take back control from these mega companies, it's important to be aware of possible effects on their bottom lines.

Don't forget to follow @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Ronelle Richards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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