SP Angel . Morning View . Thursday 04 03 21
Base metals prices smashed as Stop Loss crucifies Asian investors
BlueRock Diamonds (LON:BRD) – BlueRock reports $423/ct tenders, raises £1.5m in oversubscribed placing
Cornish Metals* (LON:CUSN) – Warrants exercised
Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) – Progress at Kitlanya East
Pure Gold Mining (LON:PUR) – Further drilling results from Red Lake
Savannah Resources* (LON:SAV) – Processing circuit optimization points to capital and operating costs savings at MdB
Nornickel to Stabilize Water Inflows at Arctic Mine by Next Week
GM – production lines slow on shortage of semiconductors
The ongoing rise in demand for Playstations and other computer gaming consoles is exacerbating the shortage of semiconductor chips
The car companies misjudged the speed and strength of the recovery in demand for new cars reducing orders for semiconductors from the ‘foundries’ where they are made, mainly in Taiwan and South Korea.
Semiconductor supplies are expected to return to normal in H2 but will still cut up to $2bn off 2021 earnings.
Ford expects to lose around 20% off Q1 production with a $2.5bn hit to profits due to semiconductor shortages.
President Biden is looking to commit ~$37bn in funding to accelerate semiconductor manufacturing in the US.
The Administration is also reviewing supply chains for critical materials and components such as rare earths and other EV raw materials.
Base metals prices smashed in Asia on Stop Loss selling
The market turned aggressively against high metals prices overnight in Asia
Speculative buyers of futures, mainly in Shanghai, took a beating with copper falling 5% and nickel down 7.5% this morning.
Copper is looking for technical support around $8,400/t
We expect the market to remain generally long of copper and other EV metals this year as the new Supercycle gains pace
Lower automotive manufacturing and sales in Q1 due to semiconductor shortages and ongoing lockdowns will defer some demand for base metals
Nickel prices slump on oversupply concerns following Tsingshan announcement
Nickel prices fell sharply on Thursday, as Tsingshan Holdings, the world’s top stainless steel producer, announced that it will soon start supplying nickel matte to Chinese batter producers and plans to expand its nickel investments in Indonesia.
Tsingshan has signed agreements to provide 60,000t of nickel matte to Huayou and 40,000t to CNGR within a year from October 2021.
Nickel-pig-iron producers can now make a nickel matte by slightly adjusting the manufacturing process, which is expected to substantially ease concerns of a shortage of battery materials.
Prices fell as much as 5.7% in Shanghai to 130,510 yuan/t – dropping by the daily limit.
LME prices slumped more than 8% extending Wednesday’s 6.7% decline (Bloomberg).
Stainless steel prices slumped as a result of nickel’s fall, dropping 6% to hit their daily trading limit (Reuters).
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
*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 -0.39% at 31,270
Nikkei 225 -2.13% at 28,930
HK Hang Seng -2.15% at 29,237
Shanghai Composite -2.05% at 3,503
Global economic growth accelerated to a four-month high in February led by expansion in the US with downturns continuing in Euro area, according to J.P.Morgan Cmoposite PMI data.
Growth was also registered in India, China, Germany, Italy, Russia and Australia with a pull back in Japan, the UK< France and Brazil among others.
Manufacturing remained the driving force behind the global recovery while a contraction in consumer services sector extended into a thirteen consecutive month.
Employment climbed as a slight decline in service providers was more than offset by an increase at manufacturers.
New business orders climbed to a three month high while business sentiment regarding one year outlook remained positive through February.
J.P.Morgan Global Composite PMI: 53.2 v 52.3 in January.
US – Equity futures are flat with 10y Treasury bond yields slightly off this morning as markets are awaiting Fed Chairman speech later today.
Jerome Powell is set to speak at a WSJ conference at 1705 GMT in what will his last comments before the Fed’s policy-making committee meets March 16-17.
Expectations are for Chairman to reiterate central bank’s commitment to employment and inflation targets by continuing with loose monetary policy.
Market yields climbed strongly through February as investors started to price in higher inflation expectations amid strong government spending and a roll out of vaccines improves economic outlook.
UK February car sales lowest since 1959
British new car registrations fell 35.5% YoY last month, as lockdown measures kept dealerships closed to the public.
Registrations stood at 51,312 cars according to SMMT.
Germany – The government set out phased reopening schedule lifting some restrictions every two weeks depending on local contagion rates.
This marks a turnaround on Chancellor Merkel harder stance suggesting that previously set targets for the contagion rate are unlikely to be reached in time, Bloomberg reports.
Book stores and flower shops are set to reopen next Monay after hairdressers resumed operations this week.
Hotels, restaurants and other non-essential retail outlets will remain closed until March 28 with the status review scheduled for March 22.
Vaccination has been to a slow start with 8 doses per 100 people administered, compared to more than 32 for the UK and 24 in the US.
Australian PM launches 10-year critical minerals “value-add plan”
Scott Morrison has announced plans to improve the processing of rare earths and other critical minerals in order to develop a domestic supply chain and reduce reliance on China.
Along with increasing processing capacity, Mr Morrison opened the door to applicants for a $1.3bn fund to help manufacturers ramp up production and commercialise global supply chains (Financial Review).
Australia – Iron ore export value falls 7.1% MoM in January to A$12.2bn.
Coal exports fell 7.5% to A$3.4bn.
Gold exports fell 6.9% to A$2.5bn.
Natural gas exports rose 9.2% to A$2.9bn.
Glencore puts South American Zinc, lead and silver portfolio up for sale
Glencore is looking to arrange the sale or explore partnerships for its entire wholly-owned zinc, lead and silver mining portfolio in South America, according to Fastmarkets MB.
Glencore is the world’ largest miner of zinc and produces around 12% of global output.
JP Morgan global – composite services 52.8 in February vs 51.6 in January
JP Morgan global composite 53.2 in February vs 52.3 in January
China – Official nonmanufacturing PMI fell to 51.4 in February vs 52.4
Caixin China service 51.5 (52.0) and composite 51.7 (52.2),
Japan – Services PMI for February 46.3 vs 46.1) and 48.2 (47.1) respectively,
India – Services PMI for February 53.3 vs 52.8 in January and 57.3 (55.8),
Russia – Services PMI for February 52.2 vs 52.7 in January and 52.6 (52.3),
Sweden – Services PMI for February 62.7 vs 59.3 in January,
Germany – Services PMI for February 45.7 vs 46.7 in January and 51.1 (50.8),
France – Services PMI for February 45.6 vs 47.3 in January and 47.0 (47.7),
EU – Services PMI for February 45.7 vs 45.4 in January and 48.8 (47.8).
UK – Services PMI for February 49.5 vs 39.5 in January and 49.6 (41.2),
Brazil – Services PMI for February 47.1 vs 47.0 in January and 49.6 (48.9),
US ISM services 55.3 in February vs 58.7 in January,
US Markit 59.8 vs 58.3 in January and 59.5 yoy in February and 58.7 yoy in January,
HK PMI 50.0 (47.8 in January,
Singapore 54.9 (52.9 in January
South Africa 50.2 (50.8 in January
Currencies US$1.2049/eur vs 1.2085eur yesterday. Yen 107.21/$ vs 106.11/$. SAr 15.061/$ vs 14.868/$. $1.395/gbp vs $1.398/gbp. 0.780/aud vs 0.783/aud. CNY 6.467/$ vs 6.461/$.
Gold US$1,718/oz vs US$1,729/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 103.2moz vs US$103.6moz yesterday
Platinum US$1,165/oz vs US$1,208/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,363oz vs US$2,365/oz yesterday
Silver US$26.10/oz vs US$26.71/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 8,921/t vs US$9,223/t yesterday
Aluminium US$ 2,159/t vs US$2,231/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 16,230/t vs US$18,630/t yesterday
Zinc US$ 2,717/t vs US$2,857/t yesterday
Lead US$ 2,028/t vs US$2,060/t yesterday
Tin US$ 23,250/t vs US$24,380/t yesterday
Oil US$64.6/bbl vs US$62.9/bbl yesterday
OPEC+ is poised to agree a production increase this week as it seeks to cool a rapid rally in crude prices
There’s a widespread view within the group that the market can absorb additional barrels
While the usual differences are present, with Saudi Arabia cautious and Russia keen to open the taps, all sides are ready to increase production
That could put the group on track to implement the majority of the 1.5MMbopd output increase that’s up for debate as the meeting begins today
An agreement to hike OPEC+ supply would be the latest sign that the global economy is recovering from the damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic
OPEC+ has endured a year of pain, dominated by the deepest output cuts in its history
But the sacrifice has paid off, reviving oil prices back to pre-crisis levels above US$60/bbl
There are two distinct elements to the production increase that OPEC and its allies will debate this week
First, will the cartel proceed with a 500,000bopd collective output hike in April? Second, how will Saudi Arabia phase out the extra supply reduction of 1MMbopd it’s been making voluntarily in February and March?
Russia has been the most consistent advocate for the 500,000bopd increase, and other members now largely agree that it should go ahead, according to people familiar with the matter
SP Angel’s view is that Saudi Arabia will indeed reduce its 1MMbopd cut in April to at least 500,000bopd
Natural Gas US$2.814/mmbtu vs US$2.786mmbtu yesterday
Gas prices are volatile but ticking up this morning ahead of today’s inventory report from the Department of Energy
Expectations are for a 175Bcf draw according to survey provider Estimize
The weather is expected to remain mild across the US mid-west and the east coast, which has put downward pressure on prices, but cold weather in the west could continue to move east, helping buoy prices
Demand declined in the latest week according to the EIA
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
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$169.8/t vs US$168.6/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$735.2/t vs US$735.9/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$69.6/t vs US$70.0/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$137.0/t vs US$140.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$52,610/t vs US$52,610/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$90,840/t vs US$89,776/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$12,370/t vs US$12,306/t
Spodumene 6% Li2O min, cif (China) US$510/t vs US$455/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$34.0/kg vs US$34.0/kg
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
EU countries approve green transition fund
EU officials formally approved the bloc’s multibillion-euro fund to help wean countries off fossil fuels by shielding vulnerable communities from the impact of transforming polluting sectors.
Eu ambassadors greenlit the legal text to create a 17.5-billin euro EU Just Transition fund, a pot of cash to help regions wind down their coal, peat and oil shale sectors and replace them with low-carbon industries and jobs.
Poland, Europe’s largest coal producer, will be the biggest beneficiary, followed by Germany and Romania – all home to coal mining regions.
Sunak to issue UK’s first green bonds
Rishi Sunak announced the introduction of ‘green’ savings bonds in the budget, giving investors the opportunity to buy into projects dedicated to accelerating the UK’s push to become a net-zero economy.
Money raised from the sale of the sovereign debt will be ploughed into programs underpinning the transition to a low carbon economy.
The notes, whose size, price, yield, term and structure has yet to be determined, will be offered this year through National Savings & Investments, the government-backed scheme which also offers premium bonds.
BlueRock Diamonds (LON:BRD) 42.38p, Mkt cap £4.8m (fully diluted) – BlueRock reports $423/ct tenders, raises £1.5m in oversubscribed placing
BlueRock Diamonds reports the raising of gross proceeds of £1.5m at 40p per share.
The new funds will be used to complete the expansion of the mine to around 1mtpa by early in the second quarter this year.
The fund will also ‘provide working capital to cushion against further disruption which has arisen due to excessive rain and Covid-19.’
Throughput: We expect BlueRock to process around 850,000t of material grading approximately 4.3cpht for 36,550cts.
Production target: we note management are sticking to their diamond production target of 34,000cts at over $330/ct
New shares: The issuance of the 2,187,500 new shares will be subject to shareholder approval of the extension of share issuance authorities at a General Meeting.
BlueRock’s Executive Chairman, Mike Houston, commented: “The need for further funding is frustrating but sadly unavoidable given the extreme weather conditions from mid- December to end-January and the lower sales prices that we experienced in Q4 2020 due to the absence of competitive tenders in South Africa.
“The rains, resulting in 29 production days being lost, had a similar impact on the Project, delaying the completion of the crushing circuit and ongoing development of the processing side of the new plant. I am pleased to report that the new crushing circuit is now operating at expected levels and having a positive impact on production levels by ensuring a consistent supply of crushed material to our current plant. This arrangement is key to our plan to limit the disruption to production levels as we transition to a fully operational new plant by the end of May 2021.
The good news for investors is: that diamond sales prices have risen for BlueRock’s first two tenders of the year to average $423/ct. The company reports strong international participation.
Prices: The $423/ct price for the two tenders is ahead of the 2019 average eg pre-COVID-19 indicating either an unusually strong recovery in the local diamond market or the sale of better quality stones or both.
We expect diamond prices to continue to recover as COVID-19 lockdowns eased and the engagement ring and other jewellery markets recover in a similar but possibly greater degree than seen following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
Rapaport, the expert diamond pricing service, reports continuing gains in the value of 1ct and 3ct diamonds and a levelling of prices for 0.3ct and 0.5ct stones following strong recovery in prices from June/July last year.
Resources: BlueRock recently reported a 49% increase in the estimated resource at its Kareevlei Diamond Mine in South Africa to 10.4mt of kimberlite ore.
The figures indicate a 53% increase in contained diamonds to 516,200cts in-situ and supports the company’s plans to raise production to 1mtpa
Management expect to add to the diamond resource through the further evaluation of KV3 the largest kimberlite pipe in the Kareevlei Diamond pipe cluster.
Conclusion: The revelation of higher local diamond prices in our model more than offsets the negative impact of the dilution from the new placing when considered in the context of the higher the higher production run rate.
*SP Angel act as nomad and broker to BlueRock Diamonds
Cornish Metals* (LON:CUSN) – 8.38p, Mkt cap £22.4m – Warrants exercised
Cornish Metals has announced the issue of an additional 100,000 shares as a result of the exercising of warrants bringing the total number of shares in issue to approximately 268.3m shares.
The warrants were exercised at C$0.07 each bringing aggregate proceeds of C$7,000) or £3,960.
Cornish Metals made its AIM Market debut on 16th February and has previously announced that it expects to restart drilling on its United Downs property in Cornwall in late March or early April
Previous drilling, by Cornish Lithium, in the United Downs licence area included an intersection of 15m at an average grade of 8.45% copper and 1.2% tin in an area with a prolific history of historic mining which will be investigated further in the planned drilling campaign.
In addition to the United Downs project, Cornish Metals’ assets include the former operating tin mine at South Crofty and additional minerals rights totaling approximately 15,000 hectares throughout Cornwall.
* SP Angel acts as broker and financial advisor to Cornish Metals
Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) 22.5p, Mkt Cap £34.8m – Progress at Kitlanya East
Metal Tiger provides an update at the Kitlanya East Project, operated by Kalahari Metals Limited, in which Metal tiger has a 62.17% equity interest.
Airborne Geophysics collected over the Southern Fold target confirms the prospectivity of the target and potential for parallels to the structural setting at Sandfire Resources’ A4 deposit.
A total of 1,834km of detailed magnetic data was collected on 100m spaced traverse lines over the Southern Fold Target.
Re-logging of drill chips from several historical reverse circulation drill holes located on the northern margin of the South Fold Target suggest they correlate with the upper portion of the D’Kar or Mamuno formations, providing further support that the target is an anticline with the most prospective stratigraphy located in fold hinge.
A total of 1,603 geochemical soil samples were collected along 1km traverses at 50m spacing, highlighting a broad 9km long zone of elevated Cu, Pb, Zn zone which correlates with the central portion of the South Fold Target along with local anomalies often associated with interpreted structures- supporting the possibility of underlying Cu-Ag.
Follow-up stratigraphic drill testing will be undertaken in the central portion of the target area to confirm the presence of prospective lower D’Kar Formation stratigraphy, alteration and mineralisation along structures, suitable trap-sites and associated Cu-Ag mineralisation.
Pure Gold Mining (LON:PUR) 109.5p, Mkt Cap £403m – Further drilling results from Red Lake
Pure Gold Mining has reported results from its continuing surface exploration drilling programme within its 47km2 licence area around its Red Lake mine in Ontario.
To date, the company has completed approximately 3,700m of its planned 21,000m 2021 surface drilling campaign which follows 21,417m drilled in 2020 and is part of PureGold’s “objective of fueling PureGold’s future organic growth beyond the Phase 1 Mine by discovering new zones and expanding upon known zones of high grade gold” within the wider licence.
Today’s results come from three distinct targets designated ‘Wedge’, ‘Treasure Box’ and the ‘No.1 Vein’.
PureGold Mining confirms that it expects to publish an updated mineral resources estimate during the second quarter. The current estimate contains approximately 2.06moz of gold within the indicated category (approximately 7.2mt at an average grade of 8.9g/t gold) with an additional inferred resource of 0.47moz (1.88mt at 7.7g/t). The published resources include a probable reserve of 1.01moz of gold within approximately 3.5mt at an average grade of 8.97g/t using a 4,75g/t cut-off.
Among the results reported today, the company highlights:
An intersection of 5m within the Wedge Zone averaging 16.6g/t gold from a depth of 65.8m in hole PG20-817 and including higher grade 1m sections averaging 33g/t and 19.5g/t from depths of 65.8m and 68.8m respectively; and
A second intersection within the Wedge Zone averaging 10.5g/t gold over a width of 3.5m from a depth of 669.1m in hole PG20-797 and including 1m averaging 28.9g/t from 671.6m; and
Intersections from the Treasure Box Zone of 1.1m at an average grade 13.5g/t gfold from a depth of 237.7m in hole PG20-792; and
A second intersection in the Treasure Box Zone of 19.2g/t gold over a width of 1.1m from a depth of 139.4m in hole PG20-803; and
An intersection of the No.1 Vein averaging 16.1g/t gold over a width of 2m from 100.3mdepth in hole PG20-828
The company explains that its exploration of the Wedge Zone, located 2km south of the mill, “has been focused on a new target in the Starratt area, Wedge-ST, testing both near-surface and deeper extensions of high grade gold mineralization intersected by earlier PureGold drilling programs. Drilling … [has expanded] … the vertical extents of high grade mineralization at Wedge to over 500 metres and stepping out along strike over 200 metres.”
Puregold says that “These results highlight the deep roots of the Wedge Zone, as well as the strong potential to expand mineralization at Wedge both laterally and at depth. The high grade Wedge Zone, including Wedge-ST, remains a core component of the phased growth plan at the PureGold Mine”.
The Treasure Box target which lies around 3km north of the mill, and is described as a new target and is located along the same geological contact which hosts “the Company’s 8-Zone and Russet South deposits”.
Drilling of the No.1 Vein to the east of the Red Lake mine, “has intersected gold mineralization in an extension of past historical underground exploration which was left behind upon discovery of the Austin ores in 1937”.
The mine was formerly operated by Placer Dome and PureGold Mining will, in all likelihood, have inherited a comprehensive geological database to help guide its exploration efforts.
In addition to the surface drilling campaign, PureGold Mining has previously reported underground drilling results which extend the mineralisation beyond the existing stope limits and which should aid the expansion of immediately accessible resources when the updated resources are released later this year.
PureGold Mining announced its initial gold pour at the Red Lake mine in late December and President and CEO, Darin Labrenz said that with the mine approaching commercial production “we remain as committed as ever to growth through exploration … to unlock the full potential of the PureGold Mine in Red Lake”.
Conclusion: Drilling continues to extend the overall mineralisation envelope within the Red Lake area and we look forward to the updated mineral resources estimate later this year for an insight into the scale of this increase.
Savannah Resources* (LON:SAV) 4.7p, Mkt Cap £67m – Processing circuit optimization points to capital and operating costs savings at MdB
The Company reports on initial results from the ongoing metallurgical testwork at the flagship spodumene Mina de Barroso Project (MdB) in Portugal.
Tests from pilot scale Dense Media Separation circuit suggest a potential 20-25% reduction in milling/flotation throughput may be achieved using a single stage DMS pre-concentration with only minor Li2O losses.
An optimisation in the size of the flotation circuit may translate into a sizeable reduction in capital as well as operating costs with minimal effect to overall Li2O recoveries (~3.5-5.0%).
Further results from the ongoing programme will be reported as they become available with the data to be used in the Project DFS targeted for later this year.
Additionally, product samples will be supplied to Galp and other commercial partners for further testwork of the MdB concentrate as part of potential offtake/funding agreement.
Conclusion: Ongoing metallurgical work shows that an addition of a single stage DMS may potentially yield a 20-25% reduction in the milling/flotation circuit size with only minimal reduction in Li2O recoveries that may translate into a reduction in capital and operating costs improving MdB economics.
The metallurgical work continues on course for DFS completion later this year allowing the project to progress towards finalisation of permitting, funding and ultimately start of construction at the time of recovering spodumene and lithium chemicals prices driven by accelerating trend for transport electrification.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad to Savannah Resources
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