Tempest tops up coffers with Tolu transaction

Tempest Minerals (ASX:TEM) has netted $1 million in proceeds following the sale of 2 million shares in Papua New Guinea-focused Tolu Minerals (ASX:TOK). 

The company says the strategic move not only bolsters Tempest’s financial position but also allows it to maintain exposure to Tolu’s gold project portfolio. 

With this infusion of capital, Tempest is poised to accelerate its exploration efforts, particularly focusing on the upcoming drill program at the Remorse copper target in Yalgoo.

Tempest is actively advancing its exploration plans across various projects. In addition to drilling activities at the Remorse and Sanity targets in Yalgoo, the company will initiate fieldwork across other projects. 

Amid a backdrop of a looming copper supply crunch, Tempest says its focus on the Remorse copper target gains even greater significance. 

With global demand for copper on the rise, driven by the transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles, the company says securing new sources of this essential metal has become paramount. 

As Mining.com.au previously reported, copper has begun its rally early, with 2024 initially expected to see a surplus of the red metal, but instead prices are notching fresh highs with stocks at record lows and major operations facing disruptions.

Earlier this month, the price surged to its highest point since late-January last year, when it tipped over US$9,400 ($14,404) per tonne. Since bottoming at around US$7,077 per tonne in mid-July 2022, the copper price has surged nearly 34%.

Analysts from the likes of Bank of America and Citi forecast prices will average more than US$10,000/t by the end of this year and US$12,000/t by 2026, while Tribeca sees the price hitting US$15,000/t in the coming years.

Data from geospatial intelligence firm Earth-i’s SAVANT real-time copper monitoring index shows a significant decline in global copper smelting capacity in the first quarter of 2024. 

An average of 12.5% of global copper smelter capacity – covering 90% of the world total – was inactive in the first quarter of 2024, up from a more usual 9.3% and 8.7% in the same period of 2023 and 2022 respectively, Earth-i says.

That number was also higher than the already elevated 11.5% average registered in the first two months of the year.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: Tolu
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.