SP Angel . Morning View . Monday 27 04 20
Equities gain as economies look to ease lockdowns
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer in PDF
Aura Energy* – () – Issue of shares
* () – Tabakorole geophysical survey identifies new targets
Caledonia Mining* () – AGM Procedures
Chaarat Gold* () – BUY – Completion of a $13.8m placing
Empire Metals* (AIM:EEE) (formerly Georgian Mining GEO LN) – Acquisition of control in Australian Palladium Deposit
Mkango Resources* () – COVID-19 safety measures for Malawi
Scotgold Resources* () BUY – 119p – Earnings update: delivering gold at Cononish
Serabi Gold* (AIM:SRB) –– Appointment of non-executive director
Vast Resources* () – Baita Plai parts and equipment shipment update
Shanghai base metal inventories continue to fall as China managed COVID-19
Wuhan announced no COVID-19 patients currently hospitalised with a total of 46,452 infections and 3,869 fatalities though many think the figures are higher (The Times).
Deliverable base metal stocks were down across the board on Friday, amid continued supply disruptions from outside of China and a recovery in demand.
Copper stocks fell 14.6% to 259,040 tonnes.
Aluminium stocks fell 5.6% to 458,403 tonnes.
Lead stocks fell 10.3% to 7,074 tonnes.
Zinc stocks fell 9.3% to 133,349 tonnes.
Nickel stocks fell 1.8% to 27,461 tonnes.
Tin stocks fell 3.3% to 3,702 tonnes.
China reduces subsidies, excluding EV models
China announced last week that it will cut subsidies for EVs by 10% this year with further cuts to follow over the next 2yrs. (Electrek)
The reduced subsidies are only available for vehicles costing less than 300,000 yuan ($42,400).
This upper limit means Tesla’s Model 3 Sedan is not included along with models from BMW and . They will also raise the requirements for driving range and power.
The subsidies will be cut a further 20% and 30% in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
The government will support the sales of cars with swappable batteries and prioritise NEVs when buying vehicles for government use. (Reuters)
207,254 – Coronavirus
156,458 – Seasonal flu
315,420 – Malaria
344,832 – Suicides
434,084 – Road accidents
540,577 – HIV/AIDS
804,274 – Alcohol
1,607,535 – Smoking
2,641,028 – Cancer
4,174,532 – Communicable diseases
*Stats from Worldometers.info
Dow Jones Industrials
HK Hang Seng
US Coronavirus – some social-distancing measures will remain in place through the summer (NBC News).
Expect a slow reopening of states over the next few months according to Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force reported.
The US will be ramping up testing for coronavirus antibodies.
UK – Ministers discussing lockdown exit strategy
140 businesses have applied for help to pay wages through the government furlough scheme
Ministers debating on how to pay for the lockdown through higher taxes, restrictions on spending or increased borrowing (BBC).
UK – insurers put virus payouts to UK firms at just £1.2bn
US – The House passed $484bn aid package addressed for small businesses, hospitals ($75bn) and coronavirus testing ($25bn).
Boeing walks away from deal.
China – Industrial profits fall 34.9% last month YoY
PBoC cut the rate charged on its targeted medium-term facility by 20bp to 2.95%.
Industrial profits also fell 36.7% last month YTD compared to 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
Japan – Bank of Japan ramp up stimulus with bond-buying pledge
BoJ not ruling out deepening negative interest rates from future policy options
The BoJ will buy an unlimited amount of government bonds and quadruple its purchases of corporate debt as it steps in to protect the country’s economy from the coronavirus pandemic. The previous target was JPY 80tn (Nikkei).
This move brings the Japanese central bank in line with other major central banks which have adopted a policy of attempting to spend their way out of the economic fallout as a result of the virus.
The BoJ will triple the maximum amount of corporate bonds and commercial debt it buys to 20 trillion yen.
It also cut its growth production for the current fiscal year to a range of -3 to -5%.
Major European economies report positive Covid-19 data
European data released yesterday suggests that deaths caused by Covid-19 across major economies in Europe are falling.
The UK reported 413 coronavirus deaths, the lowest since the 31st of March.
Italy reported 260 virus deaths yesterday, the lowest since the 14th of March. Italy is to begin easing lockdown measures on the 4th of May as Europe watches on, assessing the pros and cons of restarting public life.
The construction and manufacturing sectors will be the first to reopen, with retailers and museums to follow two weeks later, and bars/restaurants potentially on the 1st of June.
Spain reported 288 virus deaths yesterday, the lowest in over a month, and France reports its fewest deaths since the 25th of March.
Spain have begun outlining plans which suggest a return to public life, as Children under the age of 14 are now allowed to exercise as recent figures show a “clear descending trend” according to the country’s chief health minister.
France’s lockdown measures are expected to continue of the time being, however Prime Minister Philippe is set to propose an exit strategy on Tuesday for parliament to vote on.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index opened 1.8% higher at 335.57 this morning.
Spain – prime minister said the country would allow adults outside to exercise beginning 2 May if figures continued to improve.
Australia – Mining sector drives trade amid Covid-19 pandemic
The country’s natural resources sector has been largely attributed to the 29% improvement in the value of Australia’s goods exports in March compared to February.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, exports of goods increased to AU$36.1bn in March compared to $28bn in February.
This was predominantly driven by a 20% increase to $4.7bn in the value of exports of non-rural goods.
Australia’s growth in iron ore exports to support China’s rebounding economy, as well as increases in the value of gold, coal and petroleum exports have resulted in the value of exports rising.
Peru – Government extends lockdown to the 10th of May
Quarantine was previously due to end on the 26th of April; however, the country’s infection curve is still on the rise and President Vizcarra has decided to postpone the reopening of the country for two more weeks.
The country had had 20,914 confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Friday compared to 13,489 people a week earlier.
The country is the second largest producer of copper and zinc in the world, however most of its mines are either suspended or running at lower capacity, and companies have adjusted production which is expected to amount to 66-77% of Peru’s 2019 production.
US$1.0846/eur vs 1.0729/eur last week. Yen 107.15/$ vs 107.70/$. SAr 18.842/$ vs 19.160/$. $1.244/gbp vs $1.231/gbp. 0.646/aud vs 0.635/aud. CNY 7.080/$ vs 7.082/$.
Gold US$1,718/oz vs US$1,729/oz last week – Gold prices likely to rise further with inflation a likely side effect of the massive Quantitative Easing required to drag economies out of recession
The amount of money in the US is increasing at the fastest pace since 1946 according to .
‘The age of running economies, public sector and businesses on minimal overheads should be over. There needs to be more fat in the system to absorb systemic shocks like that of COVID-19.’ (Paul Tucker former head of the )
Gold ETFs 95.5moz vs US$95.2moz last week
US$764/oz vs US$772/oz last week
Palladium US$2,045/oz vs US$2,022/oz last week
Silver US$15.19/oz vs US$15.29/oz last week
Copper US$ 5,221/t vs US$5,137/t last week – LME copper prices near six-week highs
The price of copper on the LME touched its highest level in nearly six weeks this morning, as major economies begin to ease coronavirus restrictions.
Examples of economies reopening businesses include Italy, which will allow factories and building sites to reopen from the 4th of May. More US states are expected to ease restrictions this week.
The prospect of Japanese stimulus also helped sentiment, as the Bank of Japan expanded monetary stimulus for the second month in a row in order to cushion the economic implications as a result of the pandemic.
Three-month copper prices on the LME rose as much as 2.3% this morning to $5,260/t. (Reuters).
Aluminium US$ 1,514/t vs US$1,508/t last week
Nickel US$ 12,375/t vs US$12,175/t last week
Zinc US$ 1,912/t vs US$1,883/t last week
Lead US$ 1,638/t vs US$1,650/t last week
Tin US$ 15,305/t vs US$15,095/t last week
Oil US$20.0/bbl vs US$21.8/bbl last week
Natural Gas US$1.661/mmbtu vs US$1.816/mmbtu last week
Uranium US$33.30/lb vs US$33.20/lb last week
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$81.4/t vs US$81.5/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$526.7/t vs US$527.4/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$53.3/t vs US$54.0/t
Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$116.0/t vs US$126.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$30,000/t vs US$30,000/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$36,937/t vs US$36,928/t – China’s rare earth exports up 19.2% last month
Rare earth exports increased 19.2% to 5,551 tonnes in March compared to a year earlier according to the General Administration of Customs.
In the first three months of 2020, China exported a total of 11,041 tonnes of rare earths, down 2.3% compared to last year (Xinhua).
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,368/t vs US$5,366/t –
AVZ Minerals lithium project blocked by Australian Federal Government
The project in Central Africa has hit a major roadblock after Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board advised that that the investment application would be rejected by the Federal Government.
The blocking is a result of new tough scrutiny of Chinese investment in the country’s minerals sector.
Yibin Tianyi Lithium Industry withdrew its Foreign Investment Review Board application to invest AU$14.1m in AVZ after the investment was deemed “contrary to the national interest”.
The ordeal has set a marked precedent, showing that ownership and not necessarily the location of a critical minerals project is what matters to the Australian government.
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$27.5/kg vs US$27./kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$4.9/kg vs US$4.9/kg
Tungsten APT European US$215-225/mtu vs US$240-245/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$530/t vs US$540/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,450/t vs US$2,550/t
China focusing on swappable batteries
The government has included swappable batteries with no upper limit on price in their new subsidies for NEVs. (China Daily)
Swappable batteries solve issues of slow charging, a primary hurdle in widespread adoption of EVs.
Chinese EV start-up NIO has built 125 battery swapping station across 53 cities in China. 400,000 batteries have been swapped to date.
BJEV a subsidiary of BAIC has produced 16,000 vehicles capable of swapping batteries which are in 15 cities.
A lack of standardisation amongst batteries has prevented swappable batteries from gaining traction in the US but tighter state control in China could overcome these issues. (Electrek)
China has increased efforts to establish common industry wide standards enabling batteries to be swapped quickly without error. (Bloomberg)
Zinc-bromine flow batteries to be used in mobile and broadband network
Redflow (ASX listed) has received an order from a JV including the NZ and mobile network operator Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees called Rural Connectivity Group. (Renew Economy)
The order is for an additional 10 zinc-bromine flow batteries to add to the 8 ordered in November 2019.
The additional batteries will be installed in 2 off grid telecommunications towers on New Zealand’s North Island.
Long life, heat tolerance and theft resistance have been cited as reasons why zinc-bromine batteries are well-suited for use in off grid transmission.
Aura Energy* – () 0.17p, Mkt cap £3.2m – Issue of shares
Aura Energy reports the issue of a further 60m shares on the conversion of Convertible Notes issued to the Lind Global Macro Fund.
ʺ The issue of shares referred to above relates to the eleventh Conversion Notice received from Lind to convert A$120,000 of convertible notes into fully paid ordinary shares.ʺ
We estimate that the new shares represent approximately 3% of the enlarged capital of Aura Energy.
*SP Angel are Nomad and Joint-Broker to Aura Energy
Altus Strategies* () 33p, Mkt Cap £23m – Tabakorole geophysical survey identifies new targets
The Company released results from the a 25km2 high-resolution ground magnetic survey at the Tabakorole gold project in the Massagui gold belt in southern Mali.
The survey showed excellent correlation between geophysics and known gold mineralised shear zones.
Initial interpretation of the geophysical data identified nine priority magnetic anomalies with accumulative strike length of over 8km.
Those targets are viewed as an extension to the know shear zone as well as splays or sub-parallel or splay structures.
The anomalies are typically coincident with geochemical samples that returned high gold values.
The survey was completed by the Altus team under the JV agreement with Glomin who funded the programme.
The next phase of exploration works at Tabakorole will include trenching and drilling across new targets as well as in the area od the Historical Mineral Resource (240koz at 0.94g/t in Indicated and 350koz at 1.03g/t in the Inferred category).
Tabakorole fieldwork has been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 containment measures.
Conclusion: The JV partner funded geophysics survey showed good correlation with historic geochemical anomalies and identified nine new targets for over 8km in additional strike length.
*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Altus Strategies
Caledonia Mining* () 960p, Mkt Cap £110.6m – AGM Procedures
Caledonia Mining reports that, following the decision of the Government of Jersey to extend restrictions on public gatherings until 11th May and to limit attendance to a maximum of two people, the company’s AGM scheduled for 6th May will now be limited to the minimum quorum of two people and ʺOther shareholders will not be allowed to attend and anyone seeking to attend the AGM will be refused entry on the grounds of safetyʺ.
While acknowledging the importance of the AGM to its shareholders, the company is urging them to exercise their proxy voting rights ʺby appointing the Chairman of the AGM or the Management Nomineesʺ.
Conclusion: The restrictions on the AGM are entirely understandable in the present circumstances however, the company has made significant progress during the last year with the implementation of its long-term development strategy to expand production and ensure the long term future of the Blanket mine. We imagine many shareholders will be disappointed that they will not have the opportunity to hear news on this progress at first-hand.
*SP Angel mining analysts have visited Caledonia’s mining operations in Zimbabwe
Chaarat Gold* () 26p, Mkt Cap £127m – Completion of a $13.8m placing
The Company completed a $13.8m equity raise through an issue of 42.1 shares at 26p, marking an increase from the previously announced $12m.
13.0 shares were acquired with existing shareholders and new investors.
25.4m shares were taken up by Labro Investments.
3.8m shares were placed with directors (including 2.6m bought by Martin Andersson) and senior management.
Following the placing, Martin Andersson and Labro Investments, the majority of shares where Martin Andersson is directly beneficially interested, will have a 39.8% holding in the Company.
In response to the level of interest, Labro reduced its participation from $10m to $8.3m with $6.3m invested through a conversion of outstanding debt to equity and additional $2m in the form of cash subscription.
Following the conversion, the outstanding amount under the Labro loan facility is zero with $6.5m remaining available for drawdown.
Conclusion: The expanded equity placing in the current challenging market conditions is a welcome news for the Company allowing the team to reduce outstanding debt as well as providing capital to continue works on its growth projects in the Kyrgyz Republic.
*SP Angel acts as Broker to Chaarat Gold
Empire Metals* (AIM:EEE) 1.2p, Mkt cap £2.42m – Acquisition of control in Australian Palladium Deposit
(formerly Georgian Mining. The company also holds the Kvemo Bolsni copper, gold project in Georgia)
Empire Metals has agreed to acquire a 41% interest in the Munni Munni Palladium Project from Artemis Resources
Empire also has a first right of refusal on a further 29% interest in the project.
The project is in the West Pilbara 55km south of the port of Karratha. and is reported to be the largest undeveloped primary PGM resource in Australia.
The JORC 2004 resource (SRK, 2002, Snowden, 2003, contains:
24mt @ 2.9 g/t Platinum Group Element (PGE) plus gold
All likely extensions are thought to be contained within Munni Munni exploration tenements
Empire Metals are issuing 95m new shares at 1p/s plus a cash option payment of £25,000 for its stake worth £975,000 at the time of issue.
The company formerly Georgian Mining recently received confirmation on the tenure of its two of our primary projects in Georgia and with an appeal process commenced on a third key asset.
This feels like a significant advance toward restarting work at Kvemo Bolnisi though the Georgian government are busy dealing with the COVID-19.
Georgia like most other countries is going to look for cash generative projects to help restart the economy and drive employment.
The development of Kvemo Bolnisi will immediately create significant new employment and tax revenues for the government when ministers sign the necessary permits.
Platina Resources (PGM AU, Mkt cap A$4.6m) holds 30% of Munni Munni. Platina is allowing Empire to acquire the Artemis stake subject to a loan to Almeera of £100,000 made in the form of an issue to Artemis of 10,000,000 to satisfy the consideration due to Artemis for the acquisition of a 10% stake in the Munni Munni licence. See RNS for further details on the loan.
Conditionality: The deal is conditional on due diligence, execution of a formal joint venture agreement between the Parties and necessary regulatory approvals and third-party consents and approvals.
Geology: The late Archaean Munni Munni Igneous Complex is a layered mafic-ultramafic intrusion emplaced into granitic rocks of the West Pilbara Block and is the largest (25km x 9km) and one of the best preserved of a number of complexes, which occur throughout the Pilbara.
Empire intends to update the resource to comply with the JORC 2012 standard.
Metallurgical test work completed in 1988 indicated that conventional flotation would concentrate the PGE sulphide mineralisation.
Further work in 2001 also showed moderate PGE recoveries of the high sulphide and low sulphide ore of 70% and 66% respectively.
Modern processing and reagents may well improve recoveries from here.
Conclusion: Australian PGM projects are generating interest among the PGM majors due to high prices, project scarcity and the potential to improve metallurgical recoveries to economic levels.
Technical problems associated with mining in South Africa, which produces around 75% of the worlds platinum and 40% of palladium is causing consumers and miners to look overseas for diversification.
Empire Metals offers investors exposure to an interesting Australian PGM project while hopefully advancing again on the Kvemo Bolnisi project in Georgia.
*SP Angel act as nomad and broker to Empire Metals
Mkango Resources* () 3.1p, Mkt cap £4m – COVID-19 safety measures for Malawi
Mkango Resources, which are developing a REE mine in Malawi have been following strict social distancing procedures for the last month.
Full PPE including soap are provided to all Exploration team members in Malawi and full training has been provided to follow strict WHO, UK and Canadian Covid-19 guidance.
Mkango are currently arranging a large shipment of PPE to arrive into Malawi to be delivered to the Doctors and Nurses at the Queen Elizabeth Central Teaching Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi as PPE is in short supply. Malawi has 650 medical doctors and 4,500 nurses in country for a population of ~18m people so it is critical that the medical specialists in Malawi are properly protected.
*SP Angel act as nomad and broker to Mkango Resources
Scotgold Resources* () 49p, Mkt Cap £25m – Earnings update: delivering gold at Cononish
BUY – 119p
CLICK FOR PDF
The high grade Cononish gold project is expected to come online this year offering investors exposure to rising gold prices amid increased investment demand, heightened volatility in financial market and downgraded economic growth forecasts seeing monetary and fiscal authorities embarking on unprecedented stimulus measures.
On project development status, the Company reported the arrival of all seaborne equipment parts in Oct/19 and an engagement of a local construction firm to build a dedicated plant building and tailings management facility in Sep/19.
Development works encountered delays due to changes in construction scheduling as the team altered the site layout to accommodate environmentally sensitive peat areas and heavy rainfalls recorded earlier this year exceeded planned allowances. The team identified and had approved a new peat cell layout, and decided to downscale the earthmoving machinery, making it less sensitive to wet conditions but in turn that has meant a delay to the Cononish commissioning.
In March, in line with the Scottish government’s coronavirus guidance, all underground work and all non-essential surface work was placed on hold. Around half the total workforce has been furloughed to keep running costs down (~$0.1m per month). Operations are ready to restart once the lockdown is lifted, with the site kept on care and maintenance for now.
In the latest operations update, the Company highlighted mobilisation risks and uncertainty over how fast contractors can restart construction and plant assembly works.
In our updated earnings and cash flow estimates, we adjusted the start of operations to H2/20 with a slow ramp up processing <10kt through=”” to=”” the=”” end=”” of=”” year=”” compared=”” 36ktpa=”” full=”” phase=”” i=”” capacity=”” li=””>
On available liquidity, the Company had A$4.6m (~£2.4m) in cash as of YE19 and £3.5m remaining undrawn under the £7.5m secured loan facility provided by Nat le Roux, its major shareholder (44%).
As temporary lockdown remains in place and the timing of commissioning is uncertain, the Company may run into a liquidity gap. While we expect the current quarantine to be relatively shortlived, we argue that the shortfall is likely to be limited and attractive economics of the project with favourable precious metals environment can carry more leverage that may be utilised to close the gap.
Using $1,600/oz gold price and 1.3 GBPUSD exchange rate, the project at full 72ktpa and 23kozpa capacity yields £19m EBITDA and £16m FCF (excluding corporate expenses), implying strong earnings margins (~65% project EBITDA margin) that the Company can potentially leverage off if required. Additionally, high grade nature of the deposit and easy metallurgy means the project remains economical at weaker gold prices as well.
Conclusion: We maintain our buy recommendation on the Company having revised our gold price ($1,600/oz from the start of CY21 onwards compared to $1,455/oz use previously), exchange rate (1.3 USDGBP rate v 1.4 before) and discount rate (8%, down from 10%) assumptions as well as pushing out the Cononish commissioning to Q4/20 adjusting for the lockdown related delays. Target valuation and NAVPS increase to £63m and 119p, respectively. We attach a sensitivity table for NAVPS versus different gold price and USDGBP exchange rate assumptions (all using 8% discount rate).
(Jun year end)
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Scotgold Resources
Serabi Gold* (SRB LN) – 82p, Mkt cap £48.3m – Appointment of non-executive director
Serabi Gold confirms the appointment of Mr. Luis Mauricio Ferraiulio de Azevedo as a non-executive director with immediate effect.
Mr. Ferraiulio de Azevedo is described as an experienced resources industry professional with over 37 years’ experience who is both a ʺlicensed lawyer and geologist with over 27 years of business and mining experience, specifically in Brazilʺ.
He currently ʺthe Managing Partner at FFA Legal Ltda, a legal firm he founded with its main office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and which is focused solely on natural resources companies …[and is] … is also an Executive Director of Harvest Minerals Limited and , GK Resources, Five Start Diamonds, and previously worked for Western Mining Corporation, Barrick Gold Corporation and ʺ.
The company also announced ʺthat Mr Felipe Swett who has served as a Non-executive Director since September 2014 has stepped down from the Board with immediate effectʺ.
Mike Hodgson, CEO, thanked Mr. Swett for his contibution as a director and welcomed Mr. Ferraiulio de Azevedo to the Board saying that his experience as legal counsel to Serabi over many years had given him a ʺstrong understanding of the Company and its future plans and with his intimate knowledge of the mining industry in Brazil will provide valuable insight to the Board. His expertise and experience will be invaluable going forward, and helping the Company successfully see Coringa into production.ʺ
Conclusion: Serabi Gold is restructuring its Board while retaining a strong local Brazilian representation through the appointment of its legal counsel as a non-executive director.
*An SP Angel analyst has visited the Serabi’s gold mining operations in Brazil
Vast Resources* () 0.17p, Mkt Cap £17m – Baita Plai parts and equipment shipment update
The first shipment of equipment for Baita Plai from China has arrive at the Port of Constanta in Romania.
The equipment including railway tracks and locomotives is being loaded for transport to Baita Plai located ~500 miles from the port.
The shipment of the remaining parts and equipment remain on track.
*SP Angel acts as Broker to Vast Resources
John Meyer – 0203 470 0490
Simon Beardsmore – 0203 470 0484
Sergey Raevskiy – 0203 470 0474
Richard Parlons – 0203 470 0472
Abigail Wayne – 0203 470 0534
Rob Rees – 0203 470 0535
Prince Frederick House
35-39 Maddox Street London
*SP Angel are the No1 integrated nomad and broker by number of mining brokerage clients on AIM according to the AIM Advisers Ranking Guide (joint brokerships excluded)
+SP Angel employees may have previously held, or currently hold, shares in the companies mentioned in this note.
Sources of commodity prices
Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver
BGNL (Bloomberg Generic Composite rate, London)
Gold ETFs, Steel
Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Tin, Cobalt
Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore
Bloomberg OTC Composite
Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Antimony