SP Angel . Morning View . Tuesday 13 04 21
Strong China trade data lifts metal prices
China potentially looking to limit and control commodity prices as raw material price rises lead inflation higher
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Alba Mineral Resources (AIM:ALBA) – Waste dump sampling at the Clogau St David’s mine
Arkle Resources* (AIM:ARK) – Denial of rumours concerning a reverse takeover
Castillo Copper (LON:CCZ) – Historical data review highlights potential at Arya
IronRidge Resources* (AIM:IRR) – Multiple high grade lithium intersections point to Eqoyaa resource growth potential
KEFI Gold and Copper* (LON:KEFI) – Phase 3 step out drilling extends Hawiah along strike and down dip
Rambler Metals and Mining* (AIM:RMM) – CLICK FOR PDF – Asset sales completed
Vast Resources (AIM:VAST) – Baita Processing Manager appointment
China potentially looking to limit and control commodity prices as raw material price rises lead inflation higher
Do you ever have the feeling the Chinese government is playing a form of global economic and political ‘Go’
- China may be about to change the rules of the commodity price game – and guess what it is big and bad enough to do so!
- If you are a commodity trader and your metal is on a boat to China you may be forgiven for wanting to turn that boat around.
- If China sets a price for copper then we guess Chinese consumers will be legally obliged to pay that price. That’s what ‘regimes’ can do.
- It is possible that traders may be able to add premiums and extra transport charges or might sell lower quality metal into China
- And if you want to sell your metal into the world’s single largest consumer of raw materials then you will have to take whatever price they choose to set for you.
- Iron ore: Get ready for a showdown and sell the Aussie dollar as well as Rio Tinto, BHP and Anglo American.
- If China sets an iron ore price at half the current price, what are the big iron ore players going to do about it as China now accounts for 73% of all iron ore seaborne trade.
- China imported 1.17bnt of iron ore last year so that’s 702mt of iron ore worth some US$81bn or 36% of total Australian exports.
- Or to put it another way it’s six times the value of total Australian alcohol consumption and that’s a big number.
- Unintended consequences:
- Despite demand rising globally, the threat of price limits may cause producers to hold back on plans for expansion thus making any future supply / demand imbalance worse.
- China is looking to limit raw materials prices to limit inflation and it doesn’t want to reward ‘Imperialist’ CTAs and other hedge funds along the way.
- But the strategy may also allow Chin to better control internal inflation and therefore output prices for exports.
- Chinese Exports may increasingly undercut Western goods which are subject to ‘unregulated’ inflation.
- Traders and miners will still need to sell into China, or risk not selling at all.
- Now that would be a clever strategy to outfox the rest of the world – but will it actually happen?
BHP to ride EV, green power revolution as copper, nickel demand set to soar
- BHP, Australia’s largest miner, expects demand for copper to double and nickel to quadruple by 2050 due to faster rollout of electric cars, solar panels and wind farms.
- BHP is looking to clean up its portfolio by trying to sell several coal mines, to exit thermal coal altogether and to sell its interests in the Bass Strait oil and gas fields.
- Management have also detailed plans to promote nickel and copper, two metals that it believes will be in increasing demand.
Nornickel restarts production at the flooded Oktyabrsky mine
- Full production at the giant 5mtpa Oktyabrsky nickel / PGM mine will resume by end-April (Kitco News).
- Oktyabrsky mine production is already at 60%
- The Taimyrsky mine 4.3mtpa is expected to reopen in early June
- Management have backfilled the perimeter workings to reduce water inflow and are now focussed on pumping out the underground workings.
- Excessive groundwater caused excessive water inflow at Oktyabrsky Which also flooded the Taimyrsky mine due to interconnected workings.
- The mines are in an area of permafrost which is up to 700m in depth. However the water inflow is said to have occurred at the 350m mark indicating that mining may have fractured the permafrost allowing the frozen water to thaw.
European steel industry sees opportunity for recovery
- A new report by McKinsey & Co. indicates the current crisis might be an opportunity to turn around Europe’s ailing steel industry (Consultancy.eu).
- Steel producers have consistently delivered the lowest dividends for investors since the Subprime crisis which squeezed economic growth and hit construction, drilling and infrastructural investment.
- European steel demand fell by around 19% or 35mtpa from 2011-2019 raising unit costs for local steel furnaces at a time of rising iron ore and other input prices.
- The report may not come in time to help save Liberty Steel which failed to lodge accounts for some of its biggest British businesses yesterday.
- We wonder if the treatment and tracing of invoices to the failed Greensill Capital for forward financing may be part of the issue.
- Greensill had lent Gupta companies some $5bn, much of which will have been lent against invoices from Liberty Steel companies.
No.1 in Copper: “The winner of the 2020 Fastmarkets Apex contest for copper was the team at SP Angel comprising John Meyer, Sergey Raevskiy and Simon Beardsmore, with an accuracy score of 93.8%”
No1. In Gold: “SP Angel’s trio took the top spot for the gold price prediction throughout the year, with an accuracy score of 97.59%”
The SP Angel team also ranked 1st in Palladium, 3rd in Tin and 5th in Silver in the fourth quarter of 2020
US – Bond yields increased and equities rangebound as investors are looking forward to inflation data to be released later today.
- 10y bond yields headed back toward 1.7%.
- Estimates are for headline CPI to come in at 2.5%yoy in March v 1.7%yoy the previous month.
China – Strong trade data released this morning with imports coming well ahead of expectations while overseas shipments underperforming in March.
- Comparison will be distorted by the onset of the pandemic in China in early 2020.
- Exports (US$, %yoy): 30.6 v 154.9 in February and 38.0 est.
- Imports (US$, %yoy): 38.1 v 17.3 in February and 24.4 est.
- Total social financing rose to Rmb3,340bn vs Rmb1,710bn in February
Gao Fu, head of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, has rushed to defend locally produced vaccines after comments over low efficacy of existing jabs made over the weekend.
- Gao insisted that his remarks had been “taken out of context” and misunderstood.
- Earlier, Gao suggested that mixing vaccines and varying dosing regimens may improve efficacy of local vaccines.
- We wonder there is a nice warm room in a Gulag waiting for Mr Fu after he has finished defending his comments
EU – Retail sales rose 3% in February vs -5.9% in January but fell -2.9% yoy in February vs -6.4% yoy in January
India – Industrial production -3.6% yoy in February vs -1.6% yoy in January
- Manufacturing output rose 3.7% yoy in February vs -2% in March
Japan – PPI rose 0.8% in March vs 0.6% in February and 1% in March yoy vs -0.6% in February yoy
Germany – Investor sentiment dipped in April amid a resurgence of new cases and extension lockdown measures.
The government approved legislation for mandatory nationwide restrictions with parliament set to vote on new measures after some of Germany’s 16 regions failed to impose curbs agreed with the cabinet despite increasing case numbers.
Tighter restrictions in virus hotspots would include night-time curfews and the closing of non-essential stores and schools, Bloomberg reports.
- ZEW Expectations: 70.7 v 76.6 in March and 79.0 est.
- ZEW Current Situation: -48.8 v -61.0 in March and -54.1 est.
UK – The economy posts a 0.4%mom growth in February led by a partial rebound in trade as businesses adjust to lockdown as well as Brexit border restrictions.
- Separate reports showed exports to the EU increased £3.7bn in February v a £5.7bn monthly decline in January.
- Services sector climbed 0.2%mom helped by a pick up in wholesale and retail trade.
- The construction sector expanded 1.6% on the back of a strong housing market while manufacturing increased 1.3% from January’s contraction as auto manufacturers experienced a partial recovery, Ft reports.
- The economy was still 7.8% below the level seen in February last year, before the first lockdown.
- GDP (%mom): 0.4 v -2.2 (revised -2.9) in January and 0.5 est.
First Moderna vaccines will be delivered to England today to be used as an alternative to the Astra’s vaccine for those aged 18-29.
- Separately, the UK reached its target to offer a first vaccine shot to all people over 50 several days ahead of the target for April 15.
- Vaccination of people in their late 40s are expected to be invited to receive vaccines in the “coming days”.
US$1.1893/eur vs 1.1884/eur yesterday. Yen 109.59/$ vs 109.53/$. SAr 14.575/$ vs 14.650/$. $1.375/gbp vs $1.372/gbp. 0.761/aud vs 0.762/aud. CNY 6.549/$ vs 6.552/$.
Gold US$1,725/oz vs US$1,742/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 99.4moz vs US$99.4moz yesterday
Platinum US$1,171/oz vs US$1,197/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,704/oz vs US$2,632/oz yesterday
Silver US$24.85/oz vs US$25.16/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 8,861/t vs US$8,820/t yesterday
Aluminium US$ 2,277/t vs US$2,254/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 16,125/t vs US$16,210/t yesterday
Zinc US$ 2,757/t vs US$2,787/t yesterday
Lead US$ 1,973/t vs US$1,964/t yesterday
Tin US$ 25,650/t vs US$25,500/t yesterday
Oil US$63.8/bbl vs US$62.6/bbl yesterday
- The Houthi rebels from Yemen have claimed yet another attack on Saudi Aramco facilities, involving 17 drones and two ballistic missiles
- Reuters has reported the attack, according to the statement, targeted Aramco facilities in Jeddah and Jubail
- The news comes just a day after Arab News reported that Saudi forces had intercepted three drones and one ballistic missile fired at two other locations, both in southern Saudi Arabia: Khamis Mushayt and Jazan
- Reuters reported yesterday that the Saudi side had not yet confirmed the latest Houthi attack and noted that Aramco has a refinery in Jeddah, which was decommissioned in 2017
- The site, however, still houses an oil distribution plant that has been the target of Houthi attacks before
- The attack on Jazan is the second in as many weeks
- The previous one, targeting an oil products distribution site in the town and was confirmed by the Saudis
- The late-March attack on the Jizan terminal follows attacks in recent weeks, in which the Houthis claimed a drone attack on the Riyadh refinery and a drone-and-ballistic-missile attack at oil facilities at the Saudi port of Ras Tanura, one of the world’s largest oil ports
- The latest attacks come amid an escalation in fighting between the Saudi-led coalition that seeks to reinstate Yemen’s elected government, which the Iran-backed Houthis overthrew some six years ago
Natural Gas US$2.556/mmbtu vs US$2.562/mmbtu yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$166.0/t vs US$164.9/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$773.2/t vs US$772.9/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$71.0/t vs US$70.8/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$149.0/t vs US$149.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$49,750/t vs US$49,750/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$87,718/t vs US$87,679/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$12,673/t vs US$12,667/t
China Spodumene Li2O 5%min CIF US$610/t vs US$605/t
Ferro-Manganese European Mn78% min US$1,576/t vs US$1,575/t
China Tungsten APT 88.5% FOB US$267/t vs US$267/t
China Graphite Flake -194 FOB US$515/t vs US$515/t
Scotland’s Whitelee wind farm in frame to power hybrid Iberdrola hydrogen complex
- Iberdrola has unveiled plans to use the 540MW Whitelee wind farm in Scotland to create a new giant hydrogen production complex.
- The project ITM Power will utilise 40MW of PV, a 50MW battery and a 20MW electrolyser, sited near Whitelee, one of Europe’s largest wind power projects.
- The Whitelee-connected project, will aim to produce 8 tonnes of H2 per day, which will be used deliver carbon-free transport for the Green Hydrogen for Glasgow scheme, as well as meeting growing industrial hydrogen demand in the region.
- ScottishPower expects a decision on the planning application “in autumn 2021”, with the project being switched-on in 2023.
Dutch govt commits spending €338m for green hydrogen
- The Dutch government has committed to spending €338m on the expansion of their Green Hydrogen sector as part of its climate plan.
- The funding is part of a €20 bn package aimed at strengthening the Dutch economy.
Eos Energy receives orders for zinc-based storage in US, India
- Eos Energy Enterprises Inc, a US provider of zinc-based energy storage solutions has new orders from customers working on projects in Texas, California and India
- The company’s backlog has been boosted to around $30m and includes over 20 orders totalling over 107 MWh in the last six months.
- Hecate Energy LLC is seeking to add an energy storage system to integrate renewables and support the local grid, in Texas, as part of a broader 1 GWh energy storage project.
CATL to buy 25% stake in Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine in DRC from China Molybdenum Co For $137.5m
- China Molybdenum Co (CMOC) has agreed to sell a 25% stake in its Kisanfu copper-cobalt mine in the DRC to Chinese battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co (CATL) for $137.5m (Mining-Journal.com)
- CMOC and CATL said they would also look to co-operate on nickel projects and further lithium opportunities.
- “This is a significant development, in that CATL, a China based global leader in the production of EV battery materials, is moving upstream in the supply chain to secure supply of battery materials and supports the view that cobalt is likely to continue to be a very important component of EV batteries over the long-term.” Sunrise Energy Metals (formerly Clean TeQ Holdings)
Giant copper mines getting serious about green hydrogen
- The talk about how green hydrogen will help heavy industries kick their fossil fuel habit is becoming a reality in Chile, the biggest copper-producing nation.
- An Anglo American PLC pilot project supplying hydrogen to forklifts at a waste facility in Chile may now expand to other equipment and eventually larger trucks with the goal of eliminating diesel in their mines entirely by 2030.
- Antofagasta PLC and Codelco, Chilean mining companies, are also looking into pilot projects to introduce hydrogen into their operations.
- The Chilean government has identified around 40 projects in industries, including mining, and plans to award $50m in subsidies this year with a view of reducing the cost of electrolysis and scaling up production.
Alba Mineral Resources (AIM:ALBA) 0.31p, Mkt cap £18.7m – Waste dump sampling at the Clogau St David’s mine
- Alba Minerals reports that a programme of sampling of the waste dump at the Clogau St David mine in North Wales is expected to start shortly.
- The dump is said to contain around 20,000t of material resulting from the historic mining activity and a series of pits are to be excavated providing a series of 15t samples to assess the extent of any residual gold mineralisation within the dump.
- “If the gold content is found to be sufficiently high-grade, the Company will then move to the next stage (subject to all regulatory approvals), being to extract large tonnages of the waste rock dump material and to then process the material in the Company’s pilot processing plant. Most likely the pilot plant will first be modified and extended to enable it to handle the large tonnages which would be extracted from the waste rock dump”.
- The company indicates that in total its expects to recover around 135t of material from its sampling over a period of two weeks, which implies that it will take samples from 9 locations throughout the waste dump and that “we expect, therefore, to have a definitive answer on the gold-bearing potential of the waste rock dump by the middle of next month”.
Conclusion: The news of the imminent dump-sampling programme follows yesterday’s announcement of resumption of drilling to test further extensions of the Main Lode at the Clogau mine. We await news of the progress of this further exploration with interest.
Arkle Resources* (AIM:ARK) 0.98p, Mkt Cap £3.4m – Denial of rumours concerning a reverse takeover
- Arkle Resources has responded to movements in its share price arising from stories circulating on an investor forum by formally denying that discussions regarding a reverse takeover are occurring.
- The company explains that it was one of a group of companies approached by an intermediary about financing a Mongolian mining project but confirms that it has “since declined to progress matters and there are no discussions regarding a reverse takeover taking place”.
*SP Angel are Nomad and broker to Arkle Resources
Castillo Copper (LON:CCZ) 2.55p, Mkt Cap £25.5m – Historical data review highlights potential at Arya
- Castillo Copper reports that as it moves towards the resumption of drilling at its Mt Oxide project in Queensland, a review of historical geological information generated by BHP and Mt Isa Mines during the 1990s has provided additional insights into the potential of the Arya prospect area.
- Geophysical work by BHP, reported in 1997, “identified 11 … anomalies worthy of attention (now in Castillo’s tenure), however ground geophysics and rock chip sampling was only completed on four” of these providing Castillo Copper with readily identifiable targets for the remaining anomalis.
- The company also reports that BHP’s work identified “130m thick potential massive sulphide bedrock conductor (1,500m by 450m and circa 430m deep) – as a priority drill-test target” as well as shallower secondary targets.
- Castillo Copper says that incorporating the historical information it geologists “created a maiden copper heat map which seamlessly reconciles with geophysical findings to boost confidence in drill-test targets at the Arya Prospect”.
- The company plans to drill three deep vertical holes and a number of shallower hioles in its forthcoming campaign to test this newly recognised potential.
- The company also says that “In a fresh development, another deep bedrock conductor has been identified at the newly named Sansa Prospect, which is immediately west of the Arya Prospect” and where copper results from surface sampling coincide with a bedrock geophysical conductor.
Conclusion: Examination of historical records has helped focus attention on the potential at Arya and we look forward to further news as the drilling resumes and the significance of the historical information is tested.
IronRidge Resources* (AIM:IRR) 23p, Mkt Cap £104m – Multiple high grade lithium intersections point to Eqoyaa resource growth potential
- The Company released drilling results from an additional ~1,500m of drilling currently in progress at the Ewoyaa Lithium Project (ELP) in Ghana.
- Selected results from new targets tested adjacent to the ELP (<1,000m away=”” included:=”” ul=””>
- 34m at 1.54% Li2O from 32m, including 13m at 1.8% Li2O from 51m and 1m at 4% Li2O from 62m (GRC0219);
- 36m at 1.44% Li2O from 83m, including 10m at 1.8% Li2O from 87m (GRC0221);
- 31m at 1.59% Li2O from 31m (GRC0223);
- 14m at 1.59% Li2O from 33m (GRC0217);
- 7m at 1.73% Li2O from 101m (GRC0220);
- 12m at 1.74% Li2O from 118m (GRC0220);
- 9m at 1.44% Li2O from 131m (GRC0220).
- The mineralisation has been traced over 400m of strike with true pegmatite widths up to 25m that remains open at depth and along strike.
- The team decided to expand the originally planned 12,500m RC drilling programme to 16,500m to expedite exploration programme aimed at growing the ELP mineral inventory and life of mine.
- ELP MRE currently stands at 14.5mt at 1.31% Li2O in total resource including 4.5mt at 1.39% Li2O in the Measured&Indicated category.
Conclusion: Drilling at new targets adjacent to the Ewoyaa lithium mineral resource area returns high grade wide close to surface intersections implying good resource expansion potential. The team decided to expand the drilling programme to 16,500m from originally planned 12,500m targeting Ewoyaa Lithium Project MRE growth.
*SP Angel act as Nomad for IronRidge Resources
KEFI Gold and Copper* (LON:KEFI) 2.2p, Mkt Cap £48m – Phase 3 step out drilling extends Hawiah along strike and down dip
- The Company completed Phase 3 drilling programme at the 34% owned and operated Hawiah Project in Saudi Arabia.
- Drilling extended Camp Lode orebody down plunge confirming better grades at depth with the deepest intersection representing a 670m extension from the 2020 MRE area.
- Selected drilling results at Camp Lode include:
- 10.4m at 1.6% Cu, 1.4% Zn, 0.5g/t Au from 504m (HWD-074)
- 9.7m at 1.5% Cu, 1.3% Zn, 0.5 g/t Au from 409m (HWD-079)
- 10.0m at 1.8% Cu, 1.6% Zn, 0.5 g/t Au from 408m(HWD-082)
- 8.7m at 1.1% Cu, 1.6% Zn, 0.6 g/t Au from 490m (HWD-084)
- 9.3m at 1.8% Cu, 0.6% Zn, 0.4 g/t Au from 552m (HWD-086)
- 5.5m at 1.6% Cu, 0.53% Zn, 0.3 g/t Au from 721m (HWD-092)
- Additionally, drilling at the Crossroads Lode extended the mineralisation at depth by 110m to the current known limits of mineralisation at a vertical depth of 380m with outstanding results to be announced in due course.
- A total of 27 diamond drillholes for ~13,400m was completed in the Phase 3 with a 13,500m Phase 4 programme having now started.
- Phase 4 drilling will mostly focus on infill drilling for MRE update including the recently discovered down plunge and down dip extensions.
- MRE update is expected to be come in together with the completion of the Phase 4 drilling.
- The team started baseline works for the PFS with a mining application targeted for mid-22 and the start of development in 2023.
- The Company is also reporting that the opening round of metallurgical testwork is progressing well, with initial findings in line with expectations.
- The team hosted local mineral resources authorities at the Hawiah project and is expecting to secure additional Exploration Licenses in the area in the up-coming months.
- The latest Hawiah MRE stands at 19.3mt at 0.9% Cu, 0.8% Zn, 0.6g/t Au and 10.3g/t Ag (all Inferred).
Conclusion: Phase 3 step out drilling programme at the polymetallic Hawiah Project in Saudi Arabia confirms down plunge and down dip extensions at higher grade Camp Lode as well as Crossroads deposits. The team has now started Phase 4 13,500m programme to infill drill the Hawiah Project ahead of the MRE and economic study update. The Company is targeting PFS completion for Q2/22.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to KEFI Gold and Copper
Rambler Metals and Mining* (AIM:RMM) 0.37p, Mkt Cap £39m – Asset sales completed
(Rambler owns 100% of the Ming Copper-Gold Mine)
- Rambler Metals & Mining has confirmed the closure of its previously announced sale of non-core assets to Maritime Resources for a total of US$2m in cash and a further C$0.5m in Maritime shares.
- The assets consist of the existing gold recovery circuit at Rambler’s Nugget Pond processing plant, which has been unused and surplus to Rambler’s needs since 2012, together with “a number of Canadian exploration properties and royalties”.
- The properties divested by Rambler include the La Pelletier property in the Abitibi greenstone belt of Quebec and other licences in the area and royalties on the non-producing Gold Hawk and Valdora properties near Val d’Or, Quebec.
- President & CEO, Toby Bradbury, confirmed the sale and that “Rambler’s focus remains the turnaround of the Ming Mine operations as a platform for expansion and the future growth of its highly prospective mineral properties including Little Deer deposit in the Baie Verte region of Newfoundland”.
Conclusion: The completion of the previously announced sale of non-core and unused assets realises some cash and, importantly, underlines Rambler Metals’ focus on the Ming mine in Newfoundland.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Rambler Metals & Mining
Vast Resources (AIM:VAST) 1.0p, Mkt Cap £20m – Baita Processing Manager appointment
- Vast appoint Edward Hollings as Processing Manager at the Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania.
- Edward has been engaged in metallurgy and processing for 15 years having previously worked in base and precious metals projects.
- Most recently, he managed gold/silver heap leach ADR process plants at Endeavour Mining.
- Earlier, Edward was with Glencore as a Senior Metallurgist at copper/lead/zinc/silver Mount Isa Mines operations in Australia.
- Edward holds a masters equivalent of B.Eng and B.Sc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Sydney, and is currently working towards attaining an MBA in International Minerals Resource Management from Dundee University.
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 – Bloomberg
Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Tin, Cobalt – LME
Oil Brent – ICE
Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore – NYMEX
Thermal Coal – Bloomberg OTC Composite
Coking Coal – SSY
RRE – Steelhome
Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Tungsten, Spodumene, Ferro-Manganese, Graphite – Asian Metal
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