Opinion: Lithium boom has echoes of Poseidon craze – by Trevor Sykes (Australian Financial Review – June 2, 2016)


The lithium boom has revived happy memories for Pierpont, because it has strong similarities to the great Poseidon boom of 1969. For the benefit of those infants who weren’t trading back then, Poseidon shares ran from $1 in September 1969 to a screaming peak of $280 in February 1970.

Better still, Poseidon dragged a mass of ragtag and bobtail penny stocks along with it in the wildest share boom Australia ever saw. Poseidon’s major shareholder, Norm Shierlaw, became a household name.

They were magic times, which Pierpont thoroughly enjoyed. He didn’t make much money out of it overall but the experience was terrific. A typical episode involved Pursuit Oil, whose shares trebled from 4¢ to 12¢ in a single day’s trading (October 16, 1969, if you want to check).

The run was started by heavy buying from around Geelong. The stock exchange queried the company, which said it knew nothing that would justify the run.

One chap claiming to be a fisherman rang a broker and said while he had been out on a lobster boat he passed an oil rig and someone had called out to him to buy Pursuit. The broker pointed out that Pursuit was drilling its Hindhaugh No.1 well onshore, not out in the Bass Strait.

Further investigation – some of it by Pierpont – revealed that the punters who started buying had spotted oil stains on the creek alongside the rig. So they put two and two together and got 22. Or rather, they raced off to phone their brokers.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.afr.com/business/mining/lithium-boom-has-echoes-of-poseidon-craze-20160601-gp9jt3