Small Talk: On the hunt for Botswana's new copper reserves

The FTSE 100 is awash with copper miners. Investors have their pick of the big diversified groups or more focused players such as Antofagasta and Kazakhmys, both of whose shares tend to move in tandem with the copper price.

At first glance, the small-cap sector seems better resourced with oil and gas companies. But there are options for those seeking to increase their exposure to the red metal – and last week, one of those options, the Alternative Investment Market-listed Discovery Metals, published a drilling report that could trigger renewed interest its shares.

The copper exploration and production group is currently focused on its fully owned Boseto Copper Project in north- west Botswana. Production is slated for the second quarter of 2012, giving investors much to look forward to. But we've also been waiting to hear about the potential for activity beyond Boseto – and on Wednesday, we got the first hint of what that might look like.

Discovery said it had zeroed in on a new mineralised area located just 40 kilometres south-west of Boseto. It is too early to say what this might eventually yield, but the drill intercepts from all three holes drilled to date point to copper grades of 1 to 1.6 per cent.

Given the promise, Discovery is pushing ahead with a prospecting campaign in the area, which will proceed against the backdrop of building work at Boseto. Managing director Brad Sampson said that while further drilling was required to verify the find, "the initial success bodes well for our search that could support a standalone mining operation, beyond the immediate environs of Boseto".

The potential for a second mine also bodes well for the share price. The last year has seen some strong gains in the copper price, which struck fresh records last week. This has coincided with some heady gains in theDiscovery's share price, which is up more than 165 per cent since the beginning of January.

Part of that must be down to the fact that Boseto is coming closer to production. But the uptick in copper prices is also likely to have played its part in the rally.

News on the new mine could help offset the possibility of short-term profit-taking as current investors await further updates and new ones study the potential for further upside.



Looking east with Fidelity

Last week's newspapers were full of headlines to do with China as the Prime Minister, David Cameron, led a delegation to drum up business for British companies. The trade visit neatly coincided with an update from Anthony Bolton's Fidelity China Special Situations fund, which unveiled plans to issue new shares early next year as it seeks to meet strong demand.

Mr Bolton has in effect staked his stellar reputation on the new venture. And for now, it looks as if he is on track to bolster his standing.

The new share announcement was accompanied by some pretty upbeat figures. In the period since it listed in April, for instance, Fidelity China's net asset values per share have climbed from under 100p to 115.02p, notching up a pretty healthy 16.2 per cent rise and outperforming the benchmark MSCI China index by more than 5 per cent.

The share price has also booked healthy gains, boding well for those who backed Mr Bolton from the start – and for Mr Bolton's reputation.



Planet Payment flashes plastic

Talking of foreign lands, wouldn't it be nice when you're on holiday to be able to pay for things in sterling, instead of fishing out your card and doing the conversion in your head only to find out, when the bills arrive at home, that you got the sums wrong and that your bargain purchase wasn't much of a bargain after all?

Planet Payment's main offering allows you to do that – its platform does the maths and allows you to pay in your own currency. One of its products also looks up the conversion rates and ensures you get the best deal. The company works with banks, who outsource processing to its platform.

Recent regulatory changes, including Visa's decision tooverturn rules that restricted the expansion of the company's Pay In Your Currency service in Asia Pacific and North America, have boosted the shares, but they remain below the peaks seen in April.

The chairman and chiefexecutive Philip Beck is hoping that positive results, such as the quarterly figures posted last week, spark some new interest in the stock.

And to tie in with the previous piece about China, those looking to up their exposure to thecountry might be interested to hear that more than 60 per cent of revenues stem from the Greater China region.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links