The seeds of every market shakeout and the inevitable recriminations are planted on the way up – and so it is with the present resources boom. It’s a great time to be flogging off shares in highly speculative ventures that have anything to do with resources in general and energy in particular.

When the steady trickle of “ambitious” proposals builds into a solid stream, you can expect at least a couple eventually to morph into the boom’s bellringers – the absolute blowouts that older and wiser folk will eventually look back on as signalling the market’s peak. Just in the past 24 hours, there are five proposals with that potential.

For a start, Uranium King listed yesterday, its 25 cent shares closing at 48 cents after touching 51 – all on the hope of finding some uranium somewhere in the US. It’s only one of a dozen uranium specs to have listed so far this year and there are more coming – UraniumSA will be next with the extra marketing gloss of claiming Chinese investors on its register. Just stick the capital letter “U” somewhere in your name and you can’t go wrong at present.

Then’s there’s the alternative mob. An outfit called Wind Hydrogen Ltd is out looking for seed capital ahead of floating what it says is a wind farm portfolio. Allegedly WHL is “one of the top wind farm companies around the world” – but my Google search finds extremely little about it and the Smage story seems to only mention projects rather than actual wind farms.

If wind farms are still too mainstream, you could jump aboard Sterling Biofuels which wants your money to build a biodiesel plant in Malaysia using palm oil feedstock. The company says it will sell the output to Europe.

But maybe these project are all too small for you. For bigger dreaming, get in touch with WA’s Yilgarn Infrastructure – at present a private outfit but one with ambitions to build a $2 billion railway and port in the north-west after raising $250 million from the public.

Of course there’s nothing wrong with speculative capital – that’s part of the stockmarket’s job, to raise funds for ventures that might or might not come off. But the worry is that, with the exception of the SMH Yilgarn yarn, all these ventures are being reported without a touch of inquiry or scepticism.

The investigation will come later – when it’s all too late.

Peter Fray

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