SP Angel . Morning View . Monday 01 03 21
Lithium carbonate, spodumene, NdPr prices, vanadium prices rise as base metals consolidate
Anglo Asian Mining* (LON:AAZ) BUY – H2/20 exploration work returns exciting results at Gedabek CA
Bushveld Minerals* (LON:BMN) – Strong Buy 31p – Vanadium prices rise as new demand meets tight supply
Gemfields (LON:GEM) – Resumption of operations at Kagem and Montepuez after a year of disrupted production and sales
Strategic Minerals* (LON:SML) – Continued access to Cobre confirmed while current copper prices boost Leigh Creek economic returns
China – China’s NPC meets from Friday 5th March with the CPPCC, meeting in parallel
The two groups bring some 5,000 delegates together with COVID-19 controls.
The new 14th 5-year plan will direct the nation to 2025 and beyond with a new 15-year plan for new transport development as part of the 2035 vision initiative.
China is not expected to announce a GDP target again this year due to COVID-19 though analysts expect strong, possibly 8% growth vs 2020 (Reuters)
The new 5-year plan is likely to include a 5%pa GDP growth target down from 6.5% previously, probably because the economy is very much larger and possibly because many regions may have been overstating their growth rates to meet the target (see Capital Economics for further detail on this).
China looks likely to continue to focus on developing self-reliance in agriculture and commodities. A mantra that China has followed for decades if not thousands of years.
New 15-year plan for new transport development running to 2035 (SCMP)
State planners are directing cities and regional authorities on commuter and intercity transport links with targets for commuting and intercity transit times.
One hour commutes to work within cities
Two hour journeys within city clusters,
Three hour Journeys between major cities. Maglev trains in some cases
700,000km of new transport infrastructure for road and rail by 2035:
200,000 km of rail
460,000 km of road
25,000 km of waterways
27 major coastal ports,
36 major inland ports, about
400 civil-transport airports
80 postal express-delivery hubs
Logistics development to centre around:
Beijing – Xiongan,
Yangtze River Delta,
The Big Bay area,
IGTV: Are we in a new commodity supercycle, or is one coming? https://youtu.be/sw6gLNnM1s0
Is this a new Supercycle for commodities: https://youtu.be/BIWb-wqoLpM
Metals expected to continue the last-year gains into 2021 https://youtu.be/afrB9cJe8L0
Is 2021 the start of the new COVID-Supercycle or will Lockdowns delay the recovery? https://youtu.be/7LO0tDc-pNc
VOX Markets: 24/02/20 https://www.voxmarkets.co.uk/articles/john-meyer-mining-talks-about-copper-bluejay-empire-metals-phoenix-copper-rainbow-rare-earths-rambler-metals-mins-tirupati-graphite-feb-24-1-18-pm-3b5e4d3
121 Conference panel: Investment Leader’s Discussion: Van Eck, Qora Capital, Nedbank, SP Angel
iiTV: Mining stock to own 2021: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x7SuSLQwCI&t=11s.
Mining share tips for 2021 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_6RKAp91k4
*SP Angel almost invariably acts as nomad or broker or nomad and broker to companies mentioned in the above videos and podcasts.
We speak more about these companies as we have a good understanding of their business and can talk with a greater degree of confidence. As ever, however, it should be noted that our views do not take into account the circumstances and needs of any particular investor or investor type. So enjoy the talks, but please do your own research, including other companies not mentioned by us but operating in the same areas, and get professional advice where appropriate.
Metals price forecasting through 2020 – 2020 was probably the most difficult year for forecasting anything
No.1 in Copper: “The winner of the 2020 Fastmarkets Apex contest for copper was the team at SP Angel comprising John Meyer, Sergey Raevskiy and Simon Beardsmore, with an accuracy score of 93.8%”
No1. In Gold: “SP Angel’s trio took the top spot for the gold price prediction throughout the year, with an accuracy score of 97.59%”
The SP Angel team also ranked 1st in Palladium, 3rd in Tin and 5th in Silver in the fourth quarter of 2020
Dow Jones Industrials -1.50% at 30,932
Nikkei 225 +2.41% at 29,664
HK Hang Seng +1.54% at 29,428
Shanghai Composite +1.21% at 3,551
Warren Buffet wards that Bonds are not the place to be these days (FT)
“Fixed-income investors worldwide — whether pension funds, insurance companies or retirees — face a bleak future,” according to Buffet
“Competitors, for both regulatory and credit-rating reasons, must focus on bonds. And bonds are not the place to be these days.”
China’s Inner Mongolia to ban all cryptocurrency mining projects
The Inner Mongolia region of China plans to shut down all virtual currency mining projects by the end of April, according to a draft plan on using energy efficiently.
The region aims to cut emission per unit GDP by 3% in 2021.
Codelco 2020 copper output rises 2% on higher grades and processing rates
Codelco’s total own copper production rose 1.9% to 1.62mt in 2020, with the state-owned producer forecasting production of over 1.65mt in 2021.
Chuquicamata copper production rose 4.2% to 401kt
El Teniente copper production fell 3.7% to 443kt
Radomiro Tomic copper production fell 1.9% to 261kt
Higher output, growing by-product sales and stronger unit efficiency performances slashed copper production cash costs to $1.294/lb in 2020, down 8.6% from $1.416/lb in 2019.
Full net cash cots climbed to $2.298/lb, a 2.5% YoY increase (Fastmarkets MB).
Iron ore futures decline as China vows a “substantial cut” in steel output
Iron ore futures fell on Monday, following an announcement that China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is working with other government departments on a plan to reduce smelting capacity.
Energy conservation and emission reduction are cited as major reasons for steel production curbs.
Meanwhile, manufacturing data pointed to a slower economic recovery as China’s Steel Industry PMI showed contraction in February with a reading of 48.6, albeit at a slower pace than January’s 44.3.
Iron ore futures fell as much as 2.8% to $168.5/t on the Singapore Exchange, while the most active contract on the Dalian Exchange closed 1.6% lower (Bloomberg).
Chinese nickel sulphate prices hit all-time high
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for nickel sulfate min 21%, max 22.5%, cobalt 10ppm max, exw China was at 35,000-38,000 yuan ($5,414-5,878)/t on Friday, up by 5.8% from the week prior.
The volatility of the LME nickel price and shortages of mixed hydroxide precipitate are the driving forces behind nickel’s record gains in China, according to Fastmarkets MB.
Currencies US$1.2067/eur vs 1.2135eur last week. Yen 106.60/$ vs 106.20/$. SAr 15.087/$ vs 14.914/$. $1.396/gbp vs $1.395/gbp. 0.775/aud vs 0.783/aud. CNY 6.463/$ vs 6.460/$.
Gold US$1,754/oz vs US$1,765/oz last week
Gold ETFs 104.2moz vs US$104.5moz last week
Platinum US$1,223/oz vs US$1,211/oz last week
Palladium US$2,358oz vs US$2,390/oz last week
Silver US$26.95/oz vs US$26.93/oz last week
Copper US$ 9,128/t vs US$9,245/t last week
Aluminium US$ 2,162/t vs US$2,213/t last week
Nickel US$ 18,620/t vs US$18,900/t last week
Zinc US$ 2,819/t vs US$2,864/t last week
Lead US$ 2,082/t vs US$2,141/t last week
Tin US$ 24,450/t vs US$26,100/t last week
Oil US$65.6/bbl vs US$66.2/bbl last week
Oil prices have opened to another green day, extending the strong rally YTD
Prices have rallied to pre-virus levels, as a oversupply has all but vanished and after US production took a hit from freezing storms.
OPEC+ is expected to agree to an increase in production when it meets on Thursday
Brent crude trades at just above US$65/bbl this morning
Meanwhile, government bonds extended a rebound as equity futures rose and the dollar dipped, meaning potentially calmer markets ahead
An Argus report over the weekend confirmed that OPEC+ producers complied at 103% with the oil output cuts in January, higher than the estimated compliance in December
In December 2020, the OPEC+ coalition saw its overall compliance with the original production adjustments at 101%
According to Argus’ sources, in January 2021, the ten OPEC members bound by the pact achieved 108% compliance, while the non-OPEC group of producers, led by Russia, complied with the cuts at 95%, up from 93% in December
Argus itself pegs the January compliance of OPEC+ at 104%, including 110% from the ten OPEC members and a 95% compliance rate for non-OPEC producers.
The biggest producer in the non-OPEC group, Russia, is aiming for 100% compliance, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak confirmed at the beginning of February
Russia was just one of two members of the OPEC+ group, alongside Kazakhstan, which was allowed to raise its oil production – by 65,000bopd each in February and March – while all the others are set to keep output flat and Saudi Arabia is cutting 1MMbopd beyond its quota this month and next
The compliance figures will be reviewed by the OPEC+ panels next week, before the monthly meeting of the group’s ministers, expected to decide how the group will proceed with the supply management from April onwards.
Natural Gas US$2.786/mmbtu vs US$2.719mmbtu last week
Natural gas futures finished lower last week with the selling pressure driven by a mild weather pattern, a weak response to the second largest storage draw on record and lower spot market prices
The focus now shifts to the start of meteorological spring on 1 March and whether end-of-March storage winds up at or above 1.6Tcf
Total inventories will start the new month down to 1.8Tcf, but warmer temperatures are expected to weigh on demand so storage draws could undoubtedly be weak
According to a report from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the weather points to warmer than normal temperatures in most of the US for the next weeks
Natural gas futures are also continuing to drift as warmer weather in Texas is helping production to recover faster than previously expected from last week’s Arctic freeze that rattled the energy markets last week
Falling spot gas prices are also weighing on the futures markets as well as forecasts calling for improving weather conditions
Nonetheless, traders shouldn’t become complacent with volatility expected to return with the March contract roll-off on Wednesday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$169.1/t vs US$172.1/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$720.5/t vs US$721.1/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$68.5/t vs US$68.0/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$147.5/t vs US$154.5/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$51,800/t vs US$51,800/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$85,880/t vs US$85,913/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$11,992/t vs US$11,920/t
Spodumene 6% Li2O min, cif (China) US$510/t vs US$455/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$33.5/kg vs US$33.0/kg –
Ferro-vanadium prices rose 17.8% over the last month to $32.31-32.76/kgV in Western Europe (FastmarketsMB)
Vanadium Pentoxide prices also rose over the last month by 20.2% to 7.04-7.4/lb in Rotterdam
Ferro-Manganese high carbon 78% Mn US$1,625/t vs US$1,610/t
Tungsten APT European US$260-265/mtu vs US$250-255/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$560/t vs US$560/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,625/t vs US$2,625/t
Airbus exploring hybrid-electric aircraft technology
Airbus is working on hybrid-electric propulsion among the options for reducing emissions.
Although experts say hydrogen could power relatively small planes to start with and galvanise green investments, it poses challenges due to its volume and the need for new infrastructure.
The leading option for a future replacement to the best-selling 150-seat A320, likely to enter service in the 2030s, involves hybrid -electric power, with hydrogen only likely to power larger planes later.
Engine makers are actively exploring open-rotor engines with visible blades using a mixture of traditional turbines and electric propulsion for future replacements to the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737.
Germany puts three new offshore wind sites out for tender
Germany’s Federal Network Agency has opened tenders for three new offshore wind sites for wind farm developments. Two of the sites are located in the North Sea and the other ne is in the German part of the Baltic Sea.
Bidders have a deadline on 1st September to submit their bids, and the ones with the lowest funding requirements are being prioritised.
The sites could have an offshore wind capacity of up to 958 mw of which 658 mw is in the North Sea and 300 mw in the Baltic Sea. The wind farms to be developed are required to be operational by 2026.
Germany is currently the third largest offshore wind country in terms of capacity, accounting for around 22% of the global offshore wind capacity
Anglo Asian Mining* (LON:AAZ) 148p, Mkt Cap GBP169m – H2/20 exploration work returns exciting results at Gedabek CA
At Gedabek Contract Area, the team discovered Zafer copper/gold mineralisation located 1.5km away from processing facilities.
Selected intersections included:
0.68g/t Au, 0.50% Cu over 113.0m from 257m (20GED08)
0.81g/t Au, 1.85% Cu, 4.49% Zn over 9.0m from 231m; 1.30g/t Au, 3.02% Cu, 2.83% Zn over 4.0m from 243m; 1.12g/t Au, 1.71% Cu, 7.34% Zn over 4.0m from 232m and 0.83g/t Au, 2.55% Cu over 4.5m from 465m (20GED09)
Drilling results at Zafer returned 113m at 0.5% Cu and 0.7g/t Au with maximum grades within all drill holes completed on the target coming up to 6.0% Cu, 14.6% Zn and 12.4g/t Au.
Three core drilling rigs are currently running at Zafer as the team is aiming to better understand the scale/grades of the mineralisation and recognising potential significant value given its favourable location. Preliminary estimates point to six million tonnes of mineralised rock at Zafer.
Initial copper/gold mineralisation model was competed at Avshancli delineating a 200x300m central zone surrounded by satellite zones.
The central zone located 10.5km away from the Gedabek plant is free digging lending itself for potentially low cost open pit mining operations in the future
Selected intersections included
1.17% Cu over 3.0m from 18m (20AAVDD01)
0.56% Cu over 41.0m from 30m (20AAVDD02)
3.00g/t over 2.4m from 21m (20AV1DD13)
6.59g/t over 2.0m from 18m (20AV2RC08)
11.27g/t over 2.0m from 13m (20AV2RC09)
3.88g/t over 2.0m from 5m and 5.41g/t over 2.0m from 9m (20AV1RC11)
4.33g/t over 2.0m from 19m (20AV1RC22)
3.90g/t over 2.0m from 21m and 6.43g/t over 2.0m from 29m (20AV1RC14A)
Initial drilling programme and surface IP survey were launched at Gilar, located only 2km away from the Avshancli exploration area.
Selected intersections included
3.69g/t Au over 2.0m from 182m (20GLD07)
6.28g/t Au, 4.48% Cu, 6.30% Zn, 107.5g/t Ag over 2.6m from 171m (20GLD11)
4.93g/t Au, 1.26% Cu, 26.9g/t Ag over 5.3m from 192m (20GLDD17)
1.55g/t, 1.60% Cu over 20.0m from 166m (20GLDD22).
Along with greenfield targets drilling continued at Gedabek and Gadir underground to grow and upgrade the resource with 1,371m and 533m of diamond core drilling completed returning high grades of up to 6.2g/t and 4.5g/t, respectively.
Additionally, the team completed seven drill holes into the Ugur deposit testing high grade copper-silver mineralisation at depth (Ugur Deeps) with intersections assaying more than 1% Cu at depths of around 300m. Drilling is ongoing in H1/21.
At Gosha Contract Area, drilling focused on “Zone 5” and “New Zone”, the area connecting “Zone 5” and “Zone 13”, with significant grades of up to 15g/t encountered confirming gold mineralisation exists at depth below “Zone 5” and “New Zone”.
At Ordubad Contract Area, COVID-19 related restrictions limited access to the site with no new drilling completed in H2/20 and exploration work focused on collecting trenching samples.
Conclusion: A comprehensive report on exploration work completed in H2/20 reveals exciting drilling results at a number of mineralised areas at the Gedabek Contract Area including Zafer, Avshancli and Gilar. The team is focused on extending the Gedabek life of mine growing the scale at operating Gedabek and Gadir mines as well as fast tracking discovered satellite mineralised areas into production.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Anglo Asian Mining
Bushveld Minerals* (LON:BMN) 19p, Mkt cap GBP226m – Vanadium prices rise as new demand meets tight supply
(Bushveld is invested in Enerox alongside 5.66% in Invinity Energy Systems)
Strong Buy 31p
Ferro-vanadium prices leapt higher last week as European traders and consumers rise 17.8% to $32.31-32.76/kgV in Western Europe
Vanadium Pentoxide prices rise in Rotterdam by 20.2% to 7.04-7.4/lb
European prices have now overtaken China due to tight supply, probably more due to available supply en-route to China.
Ferro-vanadium prices also rose 9.9% in China last week to $32.2-33.2/kgV
Ferro-vanadium prices in the US rose 1.3% to $34.1-36.3/kgV highlighting the premium paid on US vanadium.
Competition between Europe, China and the US looks likely to lift prices higher as the three markets compete for imports from South Africa and Brazil.
Construction machinery saw strong sales in China last year due to stimulus in suburban housing and new infrastructure projects.
Steel production also rose 5.2% to 1.053bnt last year recording a new high.
Demand for vanadium which is used for hardening/alloying rebar and other structural steel is also expected to have seen new highs
Orderbooks for construction machinery are more than double last year as construction companies gear up for new work.
Steel producer utilisation rates are rising globally as furnaces gear up for new stimulus demand
Conclusion: 2021 is shaping up to be a good year for ferro-vanadium demand and for prices
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and broker to Bushveld Minerals.
Gemfields (LON:GEM) 7.88p, Mkt Cap GBP89.3m – Resumption of operations at Kagem and Montepuez after a year of disrupted production and sales
Gemfields reports that it plans to resume mining at both its 75% Kagem mine in Zambia and the 75% owned Montepuez ruby mine in Mozambique during March.
The phased resumption at both mines is expected to restore them to full scale operations by the end of April.
“As a result of the assorted cash saving measures implemented by the Group in response to the impact of Covid-19, all but critical operations at Kagem and MRM were suspended since 30 March 2020 and 22 April 2020, respectively”.
Gemfields describes that the impact of the pandemic on travel and on the ability to assemble has resulted in “no traditional Gemfields auctions … [being] … held since February 2020, when USD 11.5 million was realised from the sale of commercial quality emeralds in Lusaka”.
In the interim period, it has held what it describes as “a series of sequential emerald mini-auctions, whereby bids were placed online after multi-city, in-person viewings of the gemstones by customers in November and December 2020, generating total revenues of USD 10.9 million … In 2020 therefore, aggregate auction revenues were USD 22.4 million, a fall of USD 178.3 million (or approximately 89%) when compared with 2019”.
The company also confirms that there was “no ruby revenue in 2020”.
Gemfields confirms that it will continue its current sales mechanism for both emeralds and rubies “in the near term” commencing on 15th March and that “Subject to Covid-19 developments, the Company is hopeful that it will be able to return to a more regular auction format during the fourth quarter of 2021”.
Describing “a grisly 2020”, CEO, Sean Gilbertson, said that “With the world’s largest emerald and ruby mines producing no gemstones for a year, we look forward to seeing the supply and demand picture play out in 2021. No ruby auctions have been held since December 2019 and there has been no new ruby supply produced by MRM since April 2020, meaning the forthcoming auctions represent an important offering for both mid-stream players and jewellers seeking to secure inventory”.
GoldStone Resources* (LON:GRL) 10.9p, Mkt Cap GBP31.1m – Exercise of warrants raises GBP1.2m
GoldStone reports that Asian Investment Management Services (AIMS) has exercised warrants over 40,000,000 new ordinary shares of 1 penny each in the capital of the Company at a price of 3p per ordinary share.
The company also announces that it has agreed with AIMS a further deferment of the gold loan interest payment to 30 June 2021, which was previously deferred to 31 March 2021 for consideration of 2,000,000 new ordinary shares being issued to AIMS known as the “Deferment Agreement”.
The deferment agreement provides time and working capital to enable the company to meet he gold loan interest payment and commence revenue generation, with the company on track to achieve first gold pour within two months of the award of the Environmental Permit on the 11th of February.
On Admission, AIMS will hold 72m Ordinary Shares in the Company, representing approximately 22.1% of the Company’s then issued share capital and will also hold a further 50m warrants to subscribe for new Ordinary Shares at a price of 3 pence per share.
*SP Act as Broker for GoldStone Resources
Power Metal Resources* (LON:POW) 2.3p, Mkt cap GBP26.3m – Portfolio update
Power Metal has provided investors with a business update for shareholders, with the latest status for each project in the company’s portfolio found here: https://www.powermetalresources.com/p/193/presentations.
Paul Johnson, CEO of Power Metal Resources commented: “The team at Power Metal are intent on building a great company for our shareholders. Through the past two years, as evidenced by our market updates, we have built a global resource exploration and development company, with precious, base, and strategic metal interests in North America, Africa, and Australia.”
“We have multiple workstreams underway, seeking our dual objectives of large scale metal discoveries and corporate activities to build our “balance sheet” through vend outs of certain interests into their own (mainly listed) vehicles in which Power Metal holds a significant stake.”
*SP Act as Nomad and Broker for Power Metal Resources
Strategic Minerals* (LON:SML) 0.53p, Mkt Cap GBP9.9m – Continued access to Cobre confirmed while current copper prices boost Leigh Creek economic returns
Strategic Minerals has confirmed continued access to the magnetite stockpile at its Cobre operation in New Mexico for the ninth year. The renewal of the access agreements “ensures continuity of profitable operations for the year ahead”.
The company says that sales from Cobre grew by 21.6% to US$3.025m during 2020 ant that it “expects it will maintain, if not increase, this level in 2021”.
Strategic Minerals also takes the opportunity to describe the financial impact of the recent copper price strength on the Paltridge North and Lorna Doone deposits within its Leigh Creek Copper project in South Australia where the company is awaiting the approval of the South Australian Department of Energy and Mining for the environmental protection and rehabilitation plan.
The company highlights the impact of a rise in copper prices from US$3/lb at the time of the project acquisition and the time of its November 2020 announcement to the prevailing level of $4/lb and of the US$/A$ exchange rate movement from 0.7 to the current level of 0.79.
Applying these adjustments to the company’s internal projections increases the pre-tax NPV8% from US$9.9m at the time of acquisition and US$26.7m in November 2020 to a current US$42.9m while improving the operating margin from the 51% estimated in November 2020 to 58%. Operating costs are currently projected at US$1.42/lb.
Managing Director, John Peters highlighted the access to cash flow from Cobre as a differentiating factor for Strategic Minerals in comparison to many of AIM’s other junior miners and explained that “The increasing interest in copper and projects which offer a quick route to production, due to the continued rise in copper prices, has proven timely as the Company progresses discussions with potential LCCM joint venture partners. Given the material changes in the project economics, this update was deemed appropriate to highlight to the market the impact of the copper price rise ahead of completing any joint venture on LCCM”.
Conclusion: Continued access to the magnetite stockpiles ensures continuity of the cash flows generated at Cobre while the current strength of the copper market provides a healthy enhancement to the economics of the Leigh Creek copper project at a time when there is increased interest in near-term copper development projects. We look forward to news of progress on the environmental and permitting process as a milestone on the route to capturing the enhanced economic opportunity at Leigh Creek.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Strategic Minerals
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
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