SP Angel . Morning View . Thursday 12 03 20
Stimulus rises over $275bn as markets continue to fall
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) – Iamgold to start drilling at Senala project, Senega
– Agreement for possible utilisation of Nugget Pond gold circuit
– Metal Tiger terminates acquisition jv in Thailand
Talga Resources* (TLG AU) – Talga joint venture with Faraday may have some similarity with Samsung solid state battery development
PDAC attendees asked to monitor for coronavirus symptoms after man tests positive
- Anyone who attended the PRAC mining conference in Canada is being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms after someone who attended has contracted the virus (Canadian Financial Post).
- The man admitted himself to a Canadian hospital after experiencing a cough and difficulty breathing, and is now home in self-isolation.
- More than 23,000 people from around the world attended the conference including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Italy closes all businesses as Coronavirus cases swamp hospitals
- Pharmacies and supermarkets remain open with the provision that customers must remain at a distance of 1m from staff and other people.
- All travel is also locked down unless citizens have the requisite papers.
Oil’s price collapse should cut mining costs by significant margin
- The recent crash in the price of oil will help many miners manage through an environment of lower metals prices
- Energy costs normally run at around 25-35% of the cost base of most miners making fuel costs a significant cost item to address
Coronavirus tests reveal virus lifespan in the air and on surfaces
- The scientists used a nebuliser to put the virus into the air to replicate the cough of an infected person (TIME).
- Viable virus could be detected in the air for up to:
- 3 hours in the air,
- 4 hours on copper,
- 24 hours on cardboard,
- 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel,
Stimulus funding relating to the Coronavirus (Updates in bold, figures in US dollars)
- $50bn – IMF
- $50bn – US – in the form of low-interest loans to companies in affected areas through the Small Business Administration.
- $39m – UK (£30bn) stimulus to support the economy through the coronavirus – Govt. pledged to do more if needed. (any excuse to spend money through Brexit)
- $28.3bn (€25bn) – EU
- $15.4bn – Hong Kong relief package
- $13.7bn – South Korea
- $12bn – World Bank
- $11.4bn – Australia
- $8.4bn – Italy doubles the stimulus package to $8.4bn (€7.5bn) breaking EU budget deficit rules. Expect other states to do the same.
- Italy – looking to increase stimulus to ($18bn), not yet approved. This will be the 4thstimulus increase in the last month
- The Italian banking sector will surely be under severe strain
- $8.3bn – US House of Representatives – (US GFC stimulus totalled $2.8tr starting with $168bn in early 2008).
- $5.5bn – Bank of Japan, ETF purchases and short term liquidity to Banks
- $11.9bn – BoJ triples financing for small and mid-sized firms
- $3.5bn – Ireland
- $2bn – Taiwan stimulus
- $0.75 – Indonesia
- $14.2bn China, already spent. $113bn worth of bonds issued by China regional governments in January
- China – much more stimulus to come
- ECB ready to take targeted action
- US – to announce new stimulus today
- Australia – to announce new stimulus today
- UK – Government advice: ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’
- Germany – Angela Merkel’s CDU party continue to object to easing Germany’s strict fiscal deficit rules. We expect this to change as the Coronavirus spreads.
- $275bn – TOTAL stimulus offered to-date –
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Dow Jones Industrials
HK Hang Seng
US – US equity markets slide more than 20% below their recent highs in February ending a 11-year ‘bull market’ as the WHO declared coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.
US – suspends all travel from Europe
- The US government banned flights from Europe (except for Ireland, the UK and other countries outside the 26-nation Schengen zone) effective this Friday.
- The administration instructed the US Treasury to defer tax payments (originally due April 15) without interest or penalties for certain individuals and businesses negatively affected by three months suggesting it would provide more than US$200bn in additional liquidity to the economy.
- Additionally, Trump will order the Small Business Administration, a government agency, to provide companies in affected areas US$50bn in low-interest loans.
- Earlier President signed a US$8.3bn emergency spending bill to help fight the spread of the virus and develop vaccines for the highly contagious disease.
- NBA suspends the current season after Rudy Gobert of Utah Jazz reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus.
Japan – The government introduced a second stimulus package for ~US$4bn in spending to cope with the outbreak focusing on support to small and mid-sized businesses.
- Separately, the BoJ pledged to pump more liquidity into markets and increase asset buying.
Germany – Centre-left coalition agreed to increase public spending by €12.4bn by 2024 and provide access to companies to claim subsidies to support workers on reduced working hours, Reuters reports.
- Earlier, Chancellor Merkel said up to 70% of the population was likely to be infected by the virus.
UK – The government launched a £30bn economic stimulus plan following the BoE decision to cut rates by 50bp.
- The cabinet will hold an emergency meeting today at around 1315 GMT and is expected to implement more stringent measures to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
PM, Boris Johnson to chair emergency meeting
- UK to bring in new emergency measures as it moves to ‘delay phase’ to restrict Coronavirus spread.
Coronavirus loan scheme to be introduced
- Mr Sunak announces that a coronavirus loan scheme is to be introduced to cover the cost of salaries and bills will offer loans of up to £1.2m to support small and medium sized businesses.
- “The government will offer a generous guarantee on those loans, covering up to 80% of losses, with no fees, so that banks can lend with confidence,”.
- “This will unlock up to £1bn of attractive working capital loans to support small businesses, with more as needed.”.
France – The government is allowing companies to suspend taxes and social security payments and orders the Bpifrance state investment bank to guarantee loans needed to overcome short-term cashflow problems.
- Paris allowed companies to declare force majeure due to the outbreak if they cannot meet obligations with the public sector and encouraged larger companies to do the same with their subcontractors.
Italy – Restrictions are stepped up with most shops and restaurants closed as death toll increased over 30% on Wednesday to more than 800 people.
- PM Conte said supermarkets and pharmacies will be the only retailers to remain open it Italy.
India – The central bank is looking to inject as much as 1tn rupees (US$13.6bn) using the second round of long-term repo operations (LTRO) into the financial system to support the liquidity in markets.
- The measure is expected to come into effect as early as April.
Denmark – The country shuts all its schools and universities after a 10-fold jump in cases since the start of the week.
Iran – The nation asked the IMF for emergency funding of $5bn to help fight the virus.
LME may switch to electronic trade if necessary during coronavirus
- The exchange may switch from open outcry to electronic price discovery if the coronavirus makes it impossible for ring-trading to continue safely.
US$1.1262/eur vs 1.1323/eur yesterday. Yen 103.60/$ vs 104.97/$. SAr 16.449/$ vs 16.079/$. $1.279/gbp vs $1.294/gbp. 0.645/aud vs 0.653/aud. CNY 6.987/$ vs 6.949/$.
Gold US$1,643/oz vs US$1,662/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 86.9moz vs US$86.9moz yesterday
Platinum US$858/oz vs US$879/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,242/oz vs US$2,371/oz yesterday
Silver US$16.69/oz vs US$17.02/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 5,440/t vs US$5,575/t yesterday
Aluminium US$ 1,671/t vs US$1,694/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 12,255/t vs US$12,660/t yesterday – LME Nickel orders post biggest ever drop
- Cancelled warrants for LME nickel dropped 17,100 tonnes to 73,500 tonnes, the biggest daily drop in data going back to 1997 (Bloomberg).
- According to data provided by the LME, this was due to declining orders in Singapore and Malaysia.
Zinc US$ 1,974/t vs US$2,013/t yesterday
Lead US$ 1,753/t vs US$1,806/t yesterday
Tin US$ 16,585/t vs US$16,845/t yesterday
Oil US$34.0/bbl vs US$36.8/bbl yesterday –
- OPEC’s third biggest producer, the UAE, is entering the oil price war announcing that it was positioned to boost its supply to the market to over 4MMbopd in April, 1MMbopd higher than current production
- The UAE has been producing c.3MMbopd, in line with its commitment to stick to and even over comply with the OPEC+ production cut deal, which fell apart last Friday.
- Whilst both Saudi and Russia can operationally produce oil at very low breakeven prices, the key issue is the country’s fiscal breakeven given the overreliance on energy production on their respective economies
- The IMF estimated that in 2020 oil would need to be priced at US$78.30/bbl for Saudi Arabia to balance its budget. Russia’s breakeven budget point is said to be in the US$40/bbl range.
- However, the countries seem willing to absorb the short-to-medium term pain to regain market share from the US shale producers
- By lowering oil prices, Russia and Saudi Arabia will disrupt the US industry and likely force some companies into bankruptcy
- Brent futures are down 1.6% to $34.8/bbl, whilst WTI futures are down 1.3% at US$32.1/bbl
Natural Gas US$1.805/mmbtu vs US$1.940/mmbtu yesterday – Natural gas prices ticked up yesterday ahead of today’s inventory report
- Expectations are for stockpiles to decline by 60Bcf according to survey provider Estimize
- This compares to a 109Bcf draw in stocks last week
- The weather on the east coast of the US is expected to remain warmer than normal while temperatures out west are expected to remain cool
- Support fell in the latest week driven by a decline in imports from Canada
Uranium US$24.25/lb vs US$24.25/lb yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$86.8/t vs US$88.8/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$527.7/t vs US$528.8/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$54.8/t vs US$55.9/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$151.5/t vs US$152.8/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$33,500/t vs US$33,500/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$38,787/t vs US$39,142/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,725/t vs US$5,756/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$28.0/kg vs US$28.0/kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5.2/kg vs US$5.3/kg
Tungsten APT European US$240-245/mtu vs US$240-245/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$540/t vs US$540/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,550/t vs US$2,550/t
Graphene – Graphene-based stress sensor could help NASA in testing anxiety levels of Astronauts
- A graphene based sensor has been developed that measured stress via cortisol in sweat by Caletch assistant professor of medical engineering, Wei Gao.
- The device features a plastic sheet etched with a laser to generate a 3D graphene structure with tiny pores which sweat can collect.
- NASA announced in October that Gao is one of six researchers to receive funding for studies of the health of humans on deep-space missions.
Coronavirus threatens to derail EV momentum
- Leading industry experts point to a 3rd year of falling auto sales in China, with EV’s suffering more than their fossil fuel counterparts. The damage could be greater as any measures taken by China to arrest the situation will likely benefit petrol and diesel. (Financial Times)
- Policy support from the central government remains key to the survival of EV players. Last year the government reduced subsidies for EVs in an attempt to thin the market and in a bid to halt a recession in the sector could favour traditional fuel burning vehicles as they constitute an important part of the Chinese economy.
- Although industry consolidation will benefit players like Nio, Xpeng and WM Motor, funding has become more difficult to secure and only Guangzhou has explicitly supported EV sales.
- Outside of China, General Motors (GM) announced the cancellation of their EV crossover launch. The Lyriq model is the first of a suite of vehicles to be produced as part of the Company’s $20bn investment into EV. (Yahoo Finance)
- The global pandemic has impacted operations as employees have limited travel outside of the Detroit headquarters and meetings with dealers and suppliers are conducted remotely.
- Shares in GM have declined 26.6% in the past year whilst Groupe PSA, Ford ,Fiat Chrysler, FCAU, Honda, Nissan and Renault have all suffered as operations at their Chinese plants have been curtailed.
- The crisis extends beyond the car makers with 3 major lithium mining firms issuing profit warnings in 2020, with SQM explicitly citing coronavirus-driven logistical issues. (Quartz)
- China is the single largest consumer of lithium (39%), the country is integral in the industry’s supply chain and 25% of lithium is produced by 2 Chinese companies (Tianqi and Ganfeng).
Tesla to begin delivery of the Model Y ahead of schedule
- Customers confirm Tesla scheduling delivery dates of the new Model Y from March 13th, 2 days ahead of the original date, March 15th. (Electrek)
- Tesla has been texting customers inviting them to confirm their delivery dates through their account. The majority of customers have been provided with a delivery window between March 15th and March 30th.
- The Californian automaker has also added a further configuration to the offering, a white interior.
- Tesla is also looking to expand its US operations, scouting locations for a further Gigafactory in to produce the Cybertruck and Model Y crossover. Nashville is believed to have made the shortlist. (TechCrunch)
Oriole Resources (ORR LN) 0.271p, Mkt cap £1.9m – Iamgold to start drilling at Senala project, Senegal
- Oriole Resources reports that Iamgold is to commence a programme of approximately 10,000m of aircore drilling at the Fare project area within its Senala project in Senegal where Iamgold has the option to earn a 70% interest from the expenditure of US$8m.
- Iamgold’s earlier work has concentrated on the Madina Bafe prospect area in the southern part of the Senala project which lies some 10km from Iamgold’s 2.5moz Boto gold deposit.
- Following the securing of a new licence over the Fare area, ʺIAMGOLD has confirmed that it will now move northwards to commence drilling at the Faré prospectʺ where earlier work by Oriole Resources, including some 10,000m of reverse-circulation drilling and an extensive soil sampling programme has ʺidentified a south-westward extension of the Faré South Au anomaly (>30 ppb Au) by at least 750m and up to 600m in widthʺ.
- Subject to the aircore results, Iamgold may move to a further phase of reverse-circulation drilling.
- Oriole Resources says that ʺSince signing the agreement in March 2018, IAMGOLD has spent a total of c.US$1.5 million. As per the terms of the option agreement, IAMGOLD must spend a further US$1 million during Year 3 to keep the option in good standing.ʺ
Rambler Metals* (RMM LN) 1.4p, Mkt Cap £18m – Agreement for possible utilisation of Nugget Pond gold circuit
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- Rambler Metals has announced the signing of a non-binding letter of intent with Maritime Resources which gives Maritime an exclusive 12 months period to assess the possibility of treating ore from its Hammerdown gold project through the currently unused gold plant at Rambler’s Nugget Pond processing facility.
- Maritime Resources has made an advance to Rambler of $200,000. Maritime Resources CEO, Garett Macdonald, explained that ʺThe gold circuit is currently idle and was operated in the past by Richmont Mines, processing feed from the former Nugget Pond and Hammerdown gold mines with gold recoveries of over 95%ʺ.
- Mr. Macdonald also outlined that the recent Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) on the Hammerdown project showed that re-opening the operation gould generate an average 69,500 oz pa of gold production over the initial five years generating an after tax NPV5% of $111.3m and IRR of 50.5% at a gold price of US$1,375/oz.
- Rambler Metals & Mining President and CEO, Andre Booyzen, welcomed the potential development of a new mining project in the area and explained that while the gold circuit had remained unused for a prolonged period ʺapart from the addition of a grinding circuit, [it] will not require significant further investmentʺ.
- Mr. Booyzen went on to confirm that ʺOur agreement with Maritime will not distract us from our focus on continuing to develop our operations to 1,500 tpd of ore processed at >2%Cuʺ.
- Our recent research on Rambler Metals highlighted the potential benefits of an increase in throughput from the current 1,250tpd base case to 1,500 tpd which at current copper prices of around $5,500/t would increase our estimated NPV7.5% by around 40%.
Conclusion: The use of a currently unused asset at the Nugget Pond Plant to facilitate Maritime Resources’ reopening of the Hammerdown gold project makes practical sense for both parties reducing the re-opening capital required for Hammerdown while, presumably, generating an additional income for Rambler. The fact that the gold circuit at Nugget Pond was previously used to process ore from Hammerdown provides reassurance that the proposal is unlikely to be thwarted on technical grounds.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Rambler Metals & Mining
Metal Tiger (MTR LN) 1.2p, Mkt Cap £18m – Metal Tiger terminates acquisition jv in Thailand
- Metal Tiger report the termination of their acquisition joint venture with Mr Klipbua in relation to the Boh Yai lead-zinc-silver mine in Thailand.
- The drilling and geological analysis required would have required a substantial commitment by Metal Tiger.
- The agreement also required a viable and compliant framework for permitting under Thai law. Metal Tiger was to take a 49% stake in the jv.
- Unfortunately, despite all the work done Meta Tiger was not able to reach agreement with Mr Klipbua without an upfront payment.
- Metal Tiger has done a shed load of work on the project and is “open to approaches from third parties, particularly those that would be willing to explore a joint approach to help capture the project’s potential value. The Board believes the relationship with Mr Klipbua remains a very positive one.”
Conclusion: Many individuals and introducers look for upfront cash payments in relation to the acquisition of rights to mineral assets in the emerging markets.
We would caution any mining company from making any sizeable up-front cash payments to individuals as this is seen by investors as dead money unless the asset can demonstrate significant tangible value.
Up-front payments to introducers are particularly controversial as with the recent fraud perpetrated on Lekoil by an introducer who offered to arrange a $184m loan from a fake sheikh. Lekoil is blaming its advisers.
Earn-in options, royalties and other similar schemes are generally more acceptable.
Talga Resources* (TLG AU) A$0.315, Mkt Cap A$77m – Talga joint venture with Faraday may have some similarity with Samsung solid state battery development
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- Talga resources has a joint venture battery development with Faraday with a silver-carbon anode which sounds similar to the Samsung solid state battery
- While Faraday battery does not use metallic lithium Talga’s solid state anode is a carbon-metal hybrid which looks similar to Samsung’s approach.
Samsung – claims 900Wh/l solid state lithium ‘metal’ battery in new study
- Samsung report the development of a new generation solid state lithium battery with 900Wh/l power density. (we estimate ~300Wh/kg)
- The density of lithium batteries varies but appears to run at close to 3 litres per Kg.
- Samsung’s Advanced Institute of technology (SAIT) and R&D Institute Japan (SRJ) have published a study on their next generation lithium metal solid state battery. (Cleantechnica)
- The new lithium ‘metal’ formulation does not include liquid electrolytes, preventing chemical degradation and improving the safety of the battery.
- The battery includes a 5 micrometre silver-carbon (Ag-C) coating on the anode which both halts the build-up of dendrites, increasing battery longevity and improving energy density up to 900Wh/L. (TechXplore)
- We expect development to continue for some years.
- Tesla 2179 cells run at 711Wh/l (246Wh/kg)
- Tesla P11D 18650 cells run at 721Wh/l (250Wh/kg)
- Chevy Bolt cells run at 444Wh/l (237Wh/kg)
*SP Angel acts as UK broker to Talga Resources. SP Angel also act for Oxis Energy a leading Lithium metal battery development company.
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