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The materials sector has started the week in the red, falling more than 1.5 per cent in early trade.

Leading the retreat was Fortescue Metals (FMG), which has seen its share price fall on the back of its latest quarterly production results.

Mined ore fell 16 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 3 per cent year-on-year to 50.3 million wet metric tonnes.

However, FMG’s shipments for the first nine months of the financial year remain at a record high of 143.1 million tonnes — a 3 per cent jump on the prior comparable period.

The ASX giant produced its first wet concentrate from its multi-billion-dollar Iron Bridge magnetite project in WA last week.

The company has been trading down nearly 4 per cent to $20.69.

Voltaic Strategic Resources (VSR) has been given the green light for its program of work for maiden drilling at its Ti Tree lithium project in Western Australia.

The company has identified more than 30 drill targets from initial rock chips, indicating the presence of lithium, caesium, and tantalum geochemistry.

The program will target four areas of high-priority geochemical anomalism through more than 1200 metres of reverse circulation drilling. Shares in VSR climbed more than 14 per cent to 2.4 cents.

Los Cerros (LCL) has seen its shares jump more than 6.5 per cent. It comes after the company struck gold during its maiden drilling program at the Kusi prospect within its Ono gold project in Papua New Guinea.

The company hit up to 4.4 grams per tonne of gold from 138.2 metres in its first diamond drill hole. Trenching and regional mapping in the area are now underway.

Shares in the LCL were last trading at 3.2 cents.

Arizona Lithium (AZL) has launched a $10 million share purchase plan.

The company reported a portion of the funds would go towards a potential listing on the Nasdaq exchange in the US.

AZL was last trading at 4.6 cents.  

Boss Energy (BOE) has announced it’s on track to become Australia’s next uranium producer.

The company reported the development of its Honeymoon uranium project in New South Wales was running on time and within budget, with first production slated for the December quarter.

The company confirmed it was fully funded through to production, with cash on hand of $103 million. Shares in BOE last traded at $2.33.

And finally, shares in Australian funeral services provider InvoCare (IVC) have slid after private equity firm TPG Global withdrew its $1.81 billion takeover bid.

TPG Global’s decision to withdraw came after InvoCare failed to provide access to full due diligence.

InvoCare said its board unanimously concluded that TPG’s offer did not provide compelling value for its shareholders and, for that reason, didn’t grant due diligence.

Despite turning down the $12.65 per share offer, InvoCare says it remains open to new proposals. IVC fell 8 and a half per cent to $11.06.

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