“Pilbara Profit Secret” Australia Resource and Mining Report

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, April 14, 2008

This one is apparently a newsletter that’s new for US and European investors, but from an advisor who’s been doing research on commodities companies for Aussie subscribers for a number of years. The newsletter is called the Australian Resource and Mining Report, and it’s edited by Dan Denning, which we of course find out on page three as with all of these letters (“let me introduce myself … “)

So, this fella used to edit a newsletter called Strategic Investment, which I’ve also never heard of, but if he’s been recommending Australian resource stocks over the last five years then he would have to be an idiot not to be outperforming almost any index you can think of, so I’m sure he’s done quite well for his subscribers.

Now, he’s saying that that huge bull market in commodities, and in particular for iron ore as China’s steel appetite seems to be no less voracious than it was last year, is just going to get … more bull-y, I guess is the term. There are lots of little bar graphs showing small bars on the left and large ones on the right, and you can really just taste the money that’s bound to be oozing out of those fabulous graphs.

He says he’s got seven Australian companies that we can buy to take advantage of this “Pilbara Profit Secret” — the Pilbara part is named for a region where iron ore is plentiful but fairly low grade, so it’s an area that has not been heavily mined for ore recently but will be soon, given higher prices and increased demand. God knows if I’ll get around to all seven of them, which seems a bit too Herculean even for your mighty Gumshoe, but I can at least start with #1 and we’ll see where we go from there …

So, Pilbara Profit Secret #1 …

This is teased as a company that went public about a year ago.

It’s a contractor that does iron ore crushing as well as several other support things — including building pipelines (not for the ore, silly, for natural gas — LNG is likely to be a significant export driver for Australia, too). But their big business is subcontracting, apparently, to process ore for miners.

The argument is that in this current climate, where lots of small miners are trying to get started quickly to take advantage of high prices, and even the big miners are overwhelmed with demand, the stars are perfectly aligned for nimble service providers who can step in and do the messy processing work or provide other support for the mining infrastructure.

I’ll buy that for now, it has a nice ring to it on a common sense level.

And don’t worry — we get a few specific clues, too:

“… these Aussies have just inked a lucrative 280,000 tonne annualized sale contract direct with CITIC Pacific.”

And much of the argument here is also that the company is a likely takeover target (from CITIC or one of its peers), since Chinese companies are buying up whatever they can to ensure a steady supply of needed raw materials.

Here’s the short version of the spiel, from the horse’s mouth:

“A buyout could mean instant double or triple digit gains for shareholders.

“But even if this iron ore crusher stays independent, the big picture for this company is a simple one…

“The more money that resources companies spend in Australia to ramp up production and feed the voracious demand of China and India… the more new contracts these guys get… and the higher their share price goes . “

So what are we dealing with here? I think I have to set the Thinkolator to spin counter clockwise to get my Australian knowledge on … but this company must be …

Mineral Resources Limited (MIN on the Australian exchange, it has no US listing but theoretically trades on the grey market with the ticker MALRF — grey market means it’s really not listed at all, there is no one centrally collecting bids and asks and there are no market makers … makes the pink sheets look like the NYSE. I have no idea if you can actually buy shares through the grey market if you want to try, but if you do it would probably be very hard to sell, I’d stick to trading this one in Australia if you happen to be interested.)

Their big business is indeed iron ore crushing, and they also do pipeline and other mining support, and they have a third business line that does refined processing, they have some rights to the Woodie Woodie ore piles for fine processing of Manganese (can’t make up a name like that!), and are working on future similar business in the Philippines, including an iron sands project. Never heard of iron sands before, but perhaps it’s just as sexy as oil sands for the hungry steel makers.

Their last report is available here (pdf file), and it does sound pretty compelling. I might just actually get myself interested in this one if I spend a bit more time on it … things that stand out for me are their leverage to a growing industry of small companies and new producers, and their board’s decision to set a 50% dividend policy (50% of earnings paid out as dividends, that is). They’re also currently growing earnings at about 50% sequentially, and revenues at about 50% year over year, so there’s certainly plenty of growth going on — though since this is just their first year or so as a public company that is essentially a wrap-up of three firms that are now three separate divisions, probably it would be worth some time to look at the details of that growth. The shares were down about 5% today, for whatever that’s worth.

Mineral Resources Limited is saying, as of their last announcement, that they’re forecasting net profit for FY 2008 of about AU$40 million, they trade at a PE ratio of about 16, and, as one should expect from a relatively newly public company, they have very little debt and plenty of cash.

And as the Gumshoe feared … I can’t get another quick one out for you just this moment, but at least we’ve got a little start on this “Pilbara Profit Secret” for you … not so easily traded in the U.S., in my opinion, but maybe worth a look if you’re interested. I’ll check out the others and see if there’s anything worth reviewing and maybe even get a second writeup out later today … have a great week, everyone!

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11 Comments on "“Pilbara Profit Secret” Australia Resource and Mining Report"

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Subscribed to Strategic Investment.
Bought 3 recommendations.
Lost money 3 times.


Gravity Switch

Pithy and helpful, David, thanks.

Peter Michaelson

A critical factor in evaluating these newsletter recommendations, in my mind, is whether the publisher is paid to send out the recommendation, how much, and by whom.

I have found that paid promotions – particularly those sent by post – almost always result in a precipitous decline in share price.

Garry Cleverdon
Dear Gumshoe, I know nothing about Oz stocks except Lynas and have a truck full of their shares but do know about the importance of CITIC Pacific. I spent 10 years in Hong Kong and China (now of course the same) and CITIC are THE company in China to do stuff with. We used to refer to them as the sons and daughters of the China Politiburo. Any agreement with such a company is not to be under-estimated. I met with them in Hong Kong and Beijing on many occasions and entered into very successful business deals. They are honorable… Read more »
oh speaking of Agora down there, i subbed to their Options Hotline for a year and still have a few weeks left but I am not renewing. At first the picks were pretty profitable but the guy cannot seem to wrap his head around the current market. at least I made about 3x the cost of the subscription before I started calling bullshit on his picks. case in point: last Sunday he said to buy the CROX June $20 call (I think it was June, I was so astounded at this absurd reco that I deleted it immediately). well, guess… Read more »

Through which online brokers can one buy shares in Oz? I contacted Etrade because of their new international trading platform but they don’t, as yet, offer trading on any Oz stocks – except ADRs traded in the US or shares traded on the LSE.

Mike S

Anything to do with Agora is a loser. I, too, subscribed to Options Hotline and made some money at first. He must be letting his children pick them the last three months. Dan Doering SI — I tried his service and lost money on 4 straight investments, and finally got wise and dropped it.

former stockpicker

I did very well with the Strategic Investment picks when I subscribed, which was when Dan Denning was t he writer, I think. They were a lot of China proxy picks (Bunge, CVRD, maybe ABB) which have done very well.


oh and it gets better. this was Sunday’s Option Hotline pick: CSX August $55 put, limit 4.50

guess who had great earnings after-hours tonight?

the CROX call closed at 20 cents. that company is a zero.

while the CSX rec isn’t a total loss and has a lot of time left, these are both pretty spectacularly-bad picks.

I haven’t placed any of Sarnoff’s trades in months because they all just smelled bad. Shoulda asked for a credit on the remaining sub. fee but forgot… besides I’ve learned to do my own homework.


I subscribed Strategic Investments. It was OK, but then Dan left, so I dropped it. Now, the Survival Report has morphed into SI, as they discontinued the Survival report.

As for Options Hotline, I believe that is Steve Sarnoff’s Report and I have NEVER heard anything good about it.
I DO trade options, but id I were to pay for one of these services it would have to be with Kevin Kerr’s RTA (Resource Trader Alert).
Also, Outstanding Investments is Excellent (Agora).


HI Larry and other overseas traders, we trade ASX stocks and CFDs from as little as $25 for stocks and a minimum of $10 for CFDs. Go to our website http://www.commoditybroking.com.au and download the platform free. WE are EXECUTION COST only no account keeping fees.