Monday was a horror first day back to the trading room for Atlas Iron as the Pilbara miner’s share price plunged by more than 70 per cent.
Atlas’ shares were reduced to 3.6 cents by end of trade, a massive fall from the 12 cents it had been trading at in April, and a sliver of the 71 cents they were worth this time last year.
“Coming back online today meant that every shareholder that was waiting for them to come back chose to make a massive loss and get out,” said IG markets strategist Evan Lucas.
Strong-arm tactics from the big miners and falling Chinese demand had squeezed the pure player’s profit margins to death, Mr Lucas said.
In April, Atlas was forced to suspend operations at its three mines and call a trading halt following the collapse of the iron ore price which roughly halved to around $50 a tonne in the past year.
The rush by investors to get out also follows a disappointing capital raising which only brought in $87 million of the hoped for $180 million target.
Resource sector watchers say they expect it will be difficult for Atlas to rally.
“Atlas Iron is unsustainable… it’s very hard to see how they can compete against its major peers and the price point they’ve been averaging,” said Mr Lucas.
“BHP said that they would be producing iron ore at $US16 a tonne and nobody else can compete with that.
“Let’s hope they get through the year – if they get through the year they may survive.”
“However if the iron price falls back below $US50 a tonne and holds there it will become a question of how long they can sustain the situation.”