Latin America’ s mining sector has been encouraged to step up its presence on the A$2 trillion Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) as the ASX continues to underpin substantial capital raising and equity market listings for exploration and mining plays.

The global lithium market needs investment of at least US$12 billion ($17.32 billion) in just the next five years if it is to have any realistic hope of matching supply with demand, according to the President of Californian-based Global Lithium LLC Joe Lowry.

The price of WA’s most important economic commodity, iron ore, has jumped to fresh five-year highs overnight as supply interruptions combine with strong demand to leave stockpiles in China dwindling.

A Melbourne exploration company will step-up its fledgling gold-silver hunt in one of the most southern but mineral-rich provinces in the world – Argentina’s Santa Cruz.

Newly merged entity Newmont Goldcorp has highlighted its commitment to the Tanami region in the Northern Territory with a $14.5 million joint venture with greenfields explorer Prodigy Gold.

Just four plants are holding up the mining of $100 million worth of gold that would provide more than 100 jobs and support a small struggling town in the Wheatbelt.

Corporate activity in the lithium space is growing momentum with Galaxy Resources lifting its stake in Alliance Mineral Assets Limited (AMAL) to 12 per cent via an investment of $22.5 million.

The historic Central Norseman gold mine will be restarted under a joint venture between Kimberley producer Pantoro and the project’s existing owners.

Bill Shorten has used WA to sharpen his pitch to the business community, promising unions and bosses would be able to negotiate long-term workplace agreements for so called “mega projects” such as mines and oil and gas operations.

Engineering and construction company Civmec has blamed project cost overruns for a 52 per cent drop in profit over nine months.

BHP boss Andrew Mackenzie has given the clearest indication yet that the mining giant will not be selling its WA-based Nickel West division.