SP Angel . Morning View . Tuesday 24 11 20
Vaccine optimism lifts copper and weighs on gold prices
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below
Anglo Asian Mining* () – FY20 production guidance revised to 68-72koz GEO
Bezant Resources () – Drilling intersects copper mineralisation at the Gorob-Vendome project, Namibia
Bushveld Minerals* (AIM:BMN) – New orders from Invinity indicate rising demand for VRFB Grid storage systems
Keras Resources* () – Nayéga Project Update Togo
Kingston Resources () – Misima PFS
Panthera Resources () – Review of historical data from Beredo
Vast Resources* () – Shareholders approve the acquisition of the minority stake in Baita Plai
Versarien* (AIM:VRS) – MOD DSTL awards £1.95 for product development
US – President Trump hinted at transfer of power to President-elect Biden asking hi administration to cooperate with the transition team .
President recommended the General Services Administration that provides transition resources for new presidential administrations, to “do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols”.
Janet Yellen, a former Fed chairwoman who led the central bank for four years between 2014 and 2018, is set to be nominated by Mr Biden to the next US Treasury Secretary.
Markit PMI data showed economic recovery gathered pace in November with both manufacturing and services sectors posting steeper growth in output.
Composite PMI hit the strongest reading since March 2015 along with the fastest growth in new business orders since June 2018 as well as a marked increase in hiring.
Employment increased at the fastest rate since the survey began in 2009 led mostly by service providers with hiring in manufacturing slightly slowing.
Markit Manufacturing PMI: 56.7 v 53.4 in October and 53.0 est.
Markit Services PMI: 57.7 v 56.9 in October and 55.0 est.
Markit Composite PMI: 57.9 v 56.3 in October.
UK – England will follow strict three-tier system from December 2 once the lockdown expires with regions to be allocated different tiers based on a number of factors including each area’s case numbers, the virus reproduction rate and the current and projected pressure on the NHS locally.
Tier allocations will be reviewed every two weeks and the regional approach will last until March.
EU leaders express hope for a BREXIT deal by the end of the week
Boris Johnson is reported to be poised to seal a breakthrough deal with EU president Ursula von der Leyen
As with Chinese we wait to see what they do and don’t listen much to what they say
/Oxford University vaccine delivered better than expected results showing up to 90% efficiency in late-stage interim trials.
Following an accelerated approval process, the vaccine rolled out from December, director of Oxford’s University’s Jenner Institute that developed the vaccine said.
The UK is reported to have secured 100m doses of the AstraZeneca shot, 40m of the vaccine and 5m of the one from Moderna.
India is expecting to have a COVID-19 vaccine by March next year with up to 300m citizens to have been vaccinated by September, national health minister said.
The government is preparing a data bank of those to be prioritise for immunisation, including healthcare and frontline workers and the elderly, FT reports.
India is working on 30 candidates, five of which are in clinical trials.
Qantas CEO suggested that a vaccine might become “a necessity” for international travel, FT writes.
The Australian airline plans to insist that passengers on international flights have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding its planes once the medication is rolled out.
Germany –Business confidence dropped for the second consecutive month in November reflecting the second wave of COVID-19 infections, according to IFO Institute.
The data suggests the economy is likely to contract in the final quarter, although, the survey is likely to have not included recent positive vaccine news.
IFO Business Climate: 90.7 v 92.5 in November and 90.2 est.
Hong Kong – The government ordered mandatory testing for people exposed to a cluster of infections recorded in a number of dance venues and restaurants.
People who visited those places must be tested by Thrudsay or face a fine of HK$2,000 (US$258).
More than 500 people have been tested following the discovery of the dance studio cases with 132 people found infected.
US$1.1872/eur vs 1.1875/eur yesterday. Yen 104.32/$ vs 103.79/$. SAr 15.334/$ vs 15.325/$. $1.337/gbp vs $1.326/gbp. 0.736/aud vs 0.733/aud. CNY 6.578/$ vs 6.566/$.
Gold US$1,827/oz vs US$1,871/oz yesterday – Gold prices continue to fall on vaccine optimism
Gold prices have fallen throughout November on vaccine breakthroughs from various developers, triggering a wave of risk-on sentiment among investors.
The latest development, a vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, sent bullion prices tumbling to a four-month low.
Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust ETF fell 0.6% to 1,213t on Monday from 1,220t on Friday.
The appointment of former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as the US Treasury Secretary could lead to further fiscal and monetary stimulus in the future, which will likely support gold prices.
Spot gold declined as much as 0.9% to $1,821/oz on Tuesday morning, the lowest level since July (Bloomberg).
Gold ETFs 109.0moz vs US$109.3moz yesterday
US$939/oz vs US$949/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,334/oz vs US$2,334/oz yesterday
Silver US$23.43/oz vs US$24.06/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 7,313/t vs US$7,249/t yesterday – Cochilco expect Chile’s copper production to rise 0.6% this year
Chile’s state copper commission expect the country’s copper production to rise 0.6% to 5.82mt in 2020, and to 5.99mt in 2021.
Copper – Refined copper market sees 72,000t deficit in August (ICSG).
Aluminium US$ 1,985/t vs US$1,994/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 16,160/t vs US$16,220/t yesterday
Zinc US$ 2,740/t vs US$2,784/t yesterday
Lead US$ 2,017/t vs US$2,017/t yesterday
Tin US$ 18,665/t vs US$18,690/t yesterday
Oil US$46.5/bbl vs US$46.0/bbl yesterday
Natural Gas US$2.722/mmbtu vs US$2.711/mmbtu yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$123.5/t vs US$125.6/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$626.5/t vs US$631.2/t – China’s stainless crude steel output falls 2.3% Jan-Sep
China produced 21.97mt of crude stainless steel in the first nine months of 2020, 516,000 tonnes less than the same period last year, according to the China Stainless Steel Council.
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$56.3/t vs US$56.5/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$111.2/t vs US$111.2/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$32,390/t vs US$32,390/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$56,251/t vs US$54,745/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,929/t vs US$5,940/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$27.0/kg vs US$27.0/kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5.4/kg vs US$5.4/kg
Tungsten APT European US$220-225/mtu vs US$220-225/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$445/t vs US$430/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,475/t vs US$2,275/t
Spodumene 6% Li2O min, cif (China) US$375/t vs US$385/t
Australia’s $16bn solar project to be the world’s largest
Australia’s proposed Australian-ASEAN Power Link will be the world’s biggest solar project and will cost $16bn.
The 10GW solar farm will include the world’s largest solar farm, the largest battery and the longest undersea electric cable. It will cover 30,000 acres in Australia’s Northern Territory.
It will be paired with a 30GWh battery storage facility to enable 24/7 dispatch of renewable power.
It plans to have an 800km high voltage overhead power line to transmit 3GW to Darwin. From there, it would transfer to a 3,700km 2.2 GW undersea power line to Singapore. Sun Cable, a Singapore based company is behind the project.
The project is scheduled to come online by the end of 2027 and is expected to create over 1500 jobs.
Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility launch H2goesRail
German state rail operator Deutsche Bahn and Siemens Mobility have established the H2goesRail partnership to trial hydrogen technology in the rail sector.
Siemens Mobility will build the Mireo Plus H train. It will be a two-car unit with hydrogen drive and have the same power output as electric multiple units and a range of 600km.
It will have a fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery, and its top speed will be 160km/h
Deutsche Bahn will develop the refuelling station which will refuel in 15 mins. DB Energie will manufacture the hydrogen though electrolysis, it will then be compacted into a compressor and stored in a mobile container.
Test operations will happen in 2024. One regional train running on green hydrogen will reduce carbon emission by 330 tons a year.
LG Chem to supply Tesla Model Y batteries
Reports suggested Tesla has signed a contract with LG Chem for the supply of batteries for the Model Y Dual Motor vehicles in China.
It is also being reported that CATL will supply LFP batteries for the Model Y Standard Range Plus .
Since Elon Musk announced Tesla would be moving some battery production in-house there have been concerns for battery suppliers including LG Chem and Panasonic.
This contract will be welcome news for those companies in the shadow of some negative sentiment and should be evidence of Tesla’s continued need to source batteries from suppliers in order to keep up with demand.
Tesla hopes to produce 550,000 vehicles for the Chinese market in 2021, to reach this number it will have to rely on current suppliers. (Inside EVs)
GM withdraws legal challenge in California
GM has decided to withdraw its backing for the Trump administration’s legal challenge against California’s strict emissions standards.
CEO Mary Barra has suggested the incoming Biden administration’s intent to address climate change issues is aligned with the automakers objectives. She has also encouraged other automakers to follow suite.
There has been a split in support from automaker for the legal challenge. Honda and Ford have supported California while GM and Toyota have backed the Trump administration until now.
California has mandated a 2035 ban on sales of ICE vehicles, the most aggressive target in the US but very much in line with European countries plans.
The incoming Biden administration early posturing shows a commitment to clean energy, promising to spend billions on clean energy technologies to create millions of jobs; $400bn on the transition and $300bn on R&D.
Anglo Asian Mining* () 126p, Mkt Cap £144m – FY20 production guidance revised to 68-72koz GEO
BUY – 200p
The Company revised FY20 production guidance to 68-72koz GEO from previously expected 75-80koz.
As highlighted in Q3/20 update, the reduction is attributed mainly to delays in underground development on the back of the conscription of a number of engineering staff amid the Azerbaijan/Armenia conflict as well as slower underground infrastructure development due to underground rock faulting.
Conscripted staff is expected to return to work early next year after the military start to demobilise.
Operations are reported to be continuing as normal and no damage recorded through the course of the territorial dispute between two countries.
The peace agreement has been signed between two nations earlier this month with the Company expecting to update the market on its plans for the three contract areas that have now become accessible in due course.
The Company confirmed it is still on track for over $100m turnover in FY20.
Conclusion: The Company released updated FY20 production guidance that marks a 10% reduction on the previous forecast as the conscription of the its staff as well as geotechnical conditions in the underground slightly delayed underground development works. Lower guidance has been flagged in the Q3/20 update and, hence, does not affect our recommendation and price target. The Company remains on track for an over $100m revenue this year reflecting strong gold price performance.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Anglo Asian Mining
Bezant Resources () 0.28p, Mkt cap £9.3m – Drilling intersects copper mineralisation at the Gorob-Vendome project, Namibia
Bezant Resources reports that two drill holes at the Gorob Vendome property within the well-known Matchless mineral belt in Namibia have intersected visual copper mineralisation and that assays will be performed for “copper, gold and other associated minerals”.
The drilling rig has been moved to “the Hope deposit to test an EM anomaly target north of the main deposit”.
Executive Chairman, Colin Bird, describing a “promising start to our exploration and drilling programme” explained that “physical inspection of the newly drilled core at the Gorob prospect indicates well-developed copper mineralisation at the anticipated depths to be confirmed by assay”.
The company describes that vertical hole GOD001 “passed through the mineralised schist horizon from 127m to 148.42m depth, with strong copper sulphides occurring from 137m to 140m”.
Hole GOD002, also vertical, “intersected strongly developed copper mineralization from 172m to 178m depth, with weaker disseminated sulphides above this zone”.
“The Bezant project area contains a series of copper deposits, of which three (Hope, Gorob-Vendome and Anomaly) make up the combined Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 10.2Mt @ 1.9% Cu and 0.3g/t Au at a 0.7% Cu cut-off, reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012)”.
Bezant Resources says that “Apart from extensions to the known deposits, further strong exploration potential is recognised along the substantial strike continuation within the Bezant property, as much of the prospective ground has never been tested by EM geophysical surveying which is the most effective method of identifying buried massive sulphides”.
The company also reports that it has been granted a two-year renewal of its licence EPL5796 covering “the Hope and Gorob-Vendome project areas where exploration start-up is under way, as well as several other copper-gold discoveries on the property”.
Conclusion: Drilling intersections of visible copper mineralisation at the expected point in the first two holes of the programme is encouraging, however, we await assay confirmation of the grades.
Bushveld Minerals* (AIM:BMN) 12.35p, Mkt cap £141m – New orders from Invinity indicate rising demand for VRFB Grid storage systems
BUY – Valuation 37.7p
(Bushveld Energy has negotiated to holds 50% Enerox Holdings Limited (50% other investor) which holds 90% of Enerox GmbH along with 8.71% in Invinity) If no other investors participating then the €3.7m loan will be split between the Bushveld and the other investor.
Guidance maintained despite severe weather holds back Q3 production at Vametco
Bushveld Minerals report that a longer than normal power outage caused by severe weather hit the vanadium production in the refinery at Vametco.
Guidance: management still expect to make up much of the lost time in the refinery and to meet the lower end of its full-year production guidance of 3,660-3,950mtV with Vametco production 2,700-2,850 mtV.
While Nitrovan sales will be hit by the refinery outage the roaster before the refinery produces vanadium AMV which can be converted into other saleable products using the facilities at Vanchem.
This gives very fortunate flexibility to group production and should enable the group to meet guidance.
Q3 Results: Vanadium production rose 28% in Q3 to 725t on the second quarter.
Nine-month production was surprisingly steady at 1,942mtV approximately in line with 1,953mtV last year despite the lockdown and Covid-19 issues.
Group production rose 31% to 1,019 mtV including Vanchem on Q2
Vanadium sales fell 27% to 639mt in the quarter
The production picture for the nine months to end September looks somewhat better than last year despite the lockdown
Nine-month production rose 37% to 2,667 mtV mainly due to the addition of material from Vanchem
Group sales are 74% higher at 2,987mtV1 for the nine months to end September
C1 cash costs fell 12% to $18.10/kgV yoy due to the weaker South African rand which was severely impacted by the fall in mineral exports out of South Africa.
Cash cost are reported to be 11% lower for the nine-months at US$17.50/kgV.
Vanchem production rose 39% on Q2 to 294mtV due to the lifting of the nationwide lockdown in Q2 2020. Production for the 9M 2020 was 725mtV.
Vanchem remains to track to meet guidance of 960-1,100mtV and cash costs of US$18.40-19.0/kgV.
Bushveld Energy: Bushveld has formed a special purpose vehicle to work with Invinity Energy Systems named Vanadium Electrolyte Rental Limited VERL which has signed a contract for electrolyte rental with Pivot Power, part of EDF Renewables.
VERL will hold, and rent to Pivot for a period of ten years, the electrolyte in Pivot Power’s new Oxford 5MW VRFB battery.
Invinity Energy Systems (BMN holds 8.71% in Invinity) report a significant number of new continues to report new VRFB projects. Bushveld have a first right of refusal to supply into Invinity. Invinity‘s latest 8MW project should use around 40-44t of vanadium in electrolyte representing significant additional demand.
Vanadium market: China continues to import vanadium with local producers working at full capacity though the local premium has reduced.
We expect vanadium imports to rise from here and for this to lift local and global vanadium prices
Iron ore and steel prices continue to rise in China indicating that local stimulus and other infrastructure programs continue to drive strong demand growth for structural steel.
Conclusion: Bushveld continues to perform well despite challenges in South Africa. Reports of new VRFB battery orders by Invinity Energy Systems indicates substantial new demand for vanadium to come through new grid-scale battery instillations next year. This new demand looks likely to tighten the supply / demand balance with potential to significantly raise vanadium prices from here.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and broker to broker to Bushveld Minerals
Keras Resources* () 0.12p, Mkt cap £6.57m – Nayéga Project Update Togo
(Keras also hold an 85% interest in Societé General des Mines which holds the Nayega manganese project license in Togo. Keras now holds 40% of Falcon which holds 100% of the Diamond Creek phosphate mine which is operating in Utah, USA)
CEO of Keras Resources, Russell Lamming, has recently returned from Togo having had meetings with key government officials in order to progress the Nayéga Manganese Project.
Keras recently completed 25 trial pits, with a further 25 pits being completed by the end of October, which were then submitted for analysis in Ghana.
The company previously said that “test-pitting in the area to test the core area of mineralisation have returned positive results, with best intercepts including 1.76m @ 18.6% Mn from 0m, 2.05m @ 15.8% Mn from 0m and 2.00m @ 16.2% Mn from 0m.”
Mr Lamming met Ms. Mila Aziablé, the Minister of Mines and Energy, and Ms. Kayi Mivedor, the Minister of the newly formed Ministry of Investment Promotion, which is focused on encouraging and enhancing investment in Togo. Follow-up meetings were also held with state-owned Togo Invest Corporation S.A., which is helping to assist the permitting process at Nayéga.
Mr Lamming commented: “Constructive meetings were undertaken with both the ministries of Mines and Energy and Investment Promotion during my recent trip to Togo; I expect to get feedback in the near term on what the pathway to final permitting at Nayéga comprises.” “I am particularly encouraged with Togo Invest’s endorsement of Keras’ investment in the country, which marks the start of a constructive collaboration, in tandem with the creation of a Ministry of Investment Promotion by the new Togo Government; both are positive steps for the Nayéga Mine and Keras’s further investment”.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Keras Resources
Kingston Resources () A$0.265, Mkt Cap A$57.6m – Misima PFS
Australian listed Kingston Resources has released details of its Preliminary Feasibility Study (PFS) for the Misima gold project on the eponymous Misima Island, Papua New Guinea.
Misima was a mainstay of the former Placer Pacific’s operations in PNG with production total of approximately 4moz of gold over 15 years until 2004.
Kingston Resources’ development plan for the 1.35moz reserve (48mt classed as probable at an average grade of 0.87g/t gold) envisages average gold production of 130,000oz over a seventeen year mine life.
Mining is expected to source ore from multiple open-pits at an overall strip ratio of 5:1 resulting in a peak movement of approximately 60mt of combined ore and waste in year 5 of the mine’s life.
The company expects that at a US$1,600/oz gold price an A$280m capital investment to develop a 5.5mtpa plant delivers an after tax NPV8% of A$308m and IRR of 24%.
Life of mine operating costs on an all-in-sustaining basis are reported at A$1,247/oz.
Unsurprisingly, at prevailing gold prices of US$1,900/oz the return increases to an NPV8% of A$541m and an IRR of 35%.
The company explains that it is also following up further exploration targets at Kulumalia, Umuna East, Kobel/Maika and Abi in order to improve the grade of early feed to the mill.
Work on a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) is expected to start during Q2 2012.
Conclusion: It is encouraging to see a rejuvenation of Misima. A long production history which should help minimise operational risks as well as current robust gold prices. We look forward to the DFS in due course.
Panthera Resources () 11.25p, Mkt Cap £8.9m – Review of historical data from Beredo
Panthera Resources reports that it has conducted a review of historical geological information, including rock-chip sampling, within its Beredo target area which is part of the Bido project in Burkina Faso.
The company reports north/south trending veins, “sometimes associated with artisanal workings” which seem to us to be consistent with previous soil-sampling work which “delineated a series of north-northwest to north-south trending zones of anomalous gold in soil”.
Today’s announcements tabulates around 60 rock-chip sample results ranging from less than 0.1g/t gold to one sample, S84,showing an assay of 20.9g/t while a map accompanying the announcement shows an assay of 17.3g/t gold at the south-eastern end of the Beredo target zone and in close proximity to another sample assaying 8.21g/t gold (these are thought to be samples S52 and S53 on the table).
Managing Director, Mark Bolton, expressed encouragement that the “numerous high-grade assays returned from an area with no previous drilling is very encouraging. It is unusual to obtain such good values from outcropping quartz veins, many of which have not been targeted by the local artisanal miners”.
Mr. Bolton explained that “ A new geological model is emerging to explain the formation of these veins and this will be built upon and reported after results of the current soil sampling survey are to hand”.
Conclusion: Although rock-chip sampling is generally regarded as an early stage exploration tool, the coincidence of high grade rock-chip samples within the Beredo corridor, in conjunction with widespread artisanal working in the area, warrants follow-up exploration. Although the company does not elaborate on its new geological model it will provide a framework for this follow-up work and we look forward to further news on the progress of the exploration effort.
Vast Resources* () 0.18p, Mkt Cap £25m – Shareholders approve the acquisition of the minority stake in Baita Plai
The resolution to acquire the entire share capital of AP Mining Group that holds the remaining 20% interest in Baita Plai was passed with 84% of the votes cast in favour at the General Meeting held yesterday.
Following the approval, the Company will be issuing 2,850m new shares to owners of AP Mining Group including 1,500m to be allotted to Andrew Prelea (CEO), 225m to Roy Tucker (Director) and 550m to Michael Kellow (former Director).
Both Andrew Prelea and Roy Tucker agreed to a 12 month lock up period.
The acquisition consolidates the Company’s interest in the polymetallic Baita Plai underground mine as well as brings in further interests in other early exploration Roamnian assets.
*SP Angel acts as Broker to Vast Resources
Versarien* (AIM:VRS) 39.8p, Mkt cap £68m – MOD DSTL awards £1.95 for product development
Versarien reports the award of £1.95m from DSTL, the Defence, Science and Technology Laboratory, the part of the Ministry of Defence which is responsible for ensuring that innovative science and technology contribute to the defence and security of the UK.
‘The Agreement is to develop graphene loaded polymer composites for certain defence related applications, the details of which remain confidential.’
The agreement relates to a number of work programs in relation to the development of graphene loaded polymer composites for three specific applications due for completion by 31 March 2022.
The Company has been awarded the Agreement due to its technical applications capability in conjunction with its accredited graphene quality.
Conclusion: The MOD DSTL award provides further proof of the tangible interest in graphene as a super material able to enhance other materials in many specialist applications.
The company has been awarded the funding due to its technical capability and the accredited quality of the graphene it produces.
Today’s statement tells us that Versarien is working on new material composites that are seen as important to the security of the UK.
We also infer that these polymer composites may also become significant in other applications at a later stage.
The statement provides further proof that Versarien is working on cutting edge technology with a very broad range of real-world applications ranging from anti-viral coatings to Li-ion battery performance enhancement, strengthening materials and improving their conductivity.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Versarien. The analyst has visited Versarien graphene manufacturing facilities
John Meyer – [email protected] – 0203 470 0490
Simon Beardsmore – [email protected] – 0203 470 0484
Sergey Raevskiy –[email protected] – 0203 470 0474
Joe Rowbottom – [email protected] – 0203 470 0486
Richard Parlons –[email protected] – 0203 470 0472
Abigail Wayne – [email protected] – 0203 470 0534
Rob Rees – [email protected] – 0203 470 0535
Grant Barker – [email protected] – 0203 470 0471
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*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
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