SP Angel . Morning View . Gold rises as copper backs off after breaching key target
Gold rises as copper backs off after breaching key target
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below – FCA looks to scrap MiFID research rules on small-caps in UK competitiveness drive (Investment Week)
AfriTin* (AIM:ATM) – DFS on Phase 1 expansion of the Uis tin mine
Arc Minerals* (AIM:ARCM) — Arc refutes Zambian newspaper article revoking mining consents granted by local chief
Aura Energy* – (AIM:AURA) – Results and project updates
Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) – Recovery of 254 carat white diamond from Letseng
Keras Resources* (AIM:KRS) – Fertilizer price rise lifts related stocks
Kodal Minerals* (LON:KOD) – Bougouni lithium project feasibility ratified subject to minor corrections
Mkango Resources* (LON:MKA) – Mkango announces metallurgical and 2020 results
Orosur Mining* (AIM:OMI) – High grade intersections at Anza
US – BioNTeck/Pfizer vaccine is set to be approved for 12-15 year olds in the coming days in the US.
- Application for authorisation was filed last month after trials showed the inoculations were 100% effective at preventing symptomatic disease among the age group.
UK – Strong manufacturing PMI data released this morning with growth in production and new orders among the strongest in the past seven years leading to a solid increase in employment.
- Further loosening of COVID-19 restrictions at home and abroad led to another marked growth spurt at UK factories… The headline PMI rose to a near 27-year high… The outlook for the sector is also increasingly positive, with two-thirds of manufacturers expecting output to be higher in one year’s time, “Markit wrote.
- PM Johnson on Monday indicated that Britons will be able to resume “some” international travel from May 17, FT reports.
- All holidays are banned at present with only essential travel allowed.
- UK PM comments follow announcements from the EC that foreign travellers who had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and were arriving from countries with a “good epidemiological situation” should be allowed to travel across Europe without any restrictions.
- Manufacturing PMI: 60.9 v 60.7 in March and 60.7 est.
India – Covid-19 cases crossed 20m today as the nation struggles with a second wave of infections.
- It has taken only over four months to add 10m versus more than 10 months for its first 10m.
- On Tuesday, India reported 257,229 new cases over the last 24 hours with 3,449 deaths taking a toll to more than 222k.
- Although, actual numbers can be significantly higher (5x – 10x) than those reported, Reuters cites local medical experts.
- A pressure on the healthcare system is further exacerbated by slowing vaccination on the back of a deficit in supplies.
Denmark – The nation is the first country to drop the J&J Covid-19 vaccine owing to blood clot concerns, weeks after also excluding the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab,.
- The decision is expected to delay the programme with everyone to be fully vaccinated now by late August, according to the Danish health authority.
DRC – President declares Martial Law in Ituri and North Kivu provinces
- President Felix Tshisekedi, who runs the ‘Sacred Union of the Nation’ party has declared martial law in two of the DRC’s eastern provinces.
- Violence has erupted in the state leaving hundreds dead this year.
- The state of Martial Law is decreed for 30 days from 6 May but may well be extended.
- The Eastern DRC has been a relatively lawless place for many years with a number of differing factions and warlords controlling areas along the border with Uganda and Rwanda.
- “In 2020, UNHCR partners registered a record of more than 2,000 civilians killed in the three eastern provinces (1,240 in Ituri, 590 in North Kivu and 261 in South Kivu). The majority of these attacks were attributed to armed groups.” (Reliefweb)
- DRC army soldiers have previously been accused of atrocities against the very people they are supposed to be protecting.
*The analyst has travelled into the East of the DRC looking at mineral assets and licenses.
US$1.2004/eur vs 1.2109/eur last week. Yen 109.41/$ vs 108.83/$. SAr 14.489/$ vs 14.380/$. $1.387/gbp vs $1.392/gbp. 0.772/aud vs 0.777/aud. CNY 6.475/$ vs 6.474/$.
Gold US$1,786/oz vs US$1,772/oz last week
Gold ETFs 98.3moz vs US$98.2moz last week
Platinum US$1,240/oz vs US$1,212/oz last week
Palladium US$2,990/oz vs US$2,975/oz last week
Silver US$26.83/oz vs US$25.97/oz last week
Copper US$ 9,941/t vs US$9,890/t last week
Aluminium US$ 2,437/t vs US$2,430/t last week
Nickel US$ 17,945/t vs US$17,525/t last week
Zinc US$ 2,981/t vs US$2,906/t last week
Lead US$ 2,166/t vs US$2,127/t last week
Tin US$ 29,060/t vs US$28,735/t last week
Oil US$68.3/bbl vs US$68.4/bbl last week
- Investment in new oil and gas projects last year fell to the lowest in 15 years at US$350bn.
- As the world continues its battle against Covid-19 and as the energy industry increasingly looks towards diversification outside its core business, it is doubtful how soon, if ever, investments in new upstream projects will recover to pre-pandemic levels.
- This is not to say there is no sign of recovery in investments
- Wood Mackenzie has reported there are a total of 26 new projects in conventional oil and gas that could get their final investment decision this year
- These projects would require as much as US$110bn in investments to unlock about 27Bnboe in reserves
- Underlining the changes that the energy industry is undergoing, more than 50% of the reserves to be tapped with these projects are natural gas reserves
- Many of the largest projects slated for greenlighting this year are in liquefied natural gas, notably Qatar Petroleum’s expansion of production at the North Field
- 10% of the projects awaiting FID this year are deepwater production, and the rest are a mix of offshore and onshore projects
- According to Wood Mac, however, there is no guarantee that all these projects will indeed receive a final investment decision
- This is due to a variety of reasons, chief among them the expected rate of return, carbon intensity, and the political context
- Returns, and the period they will take to make an appearance, have become of the utmost importance for oil and gas investors, and they have also become a top priority for the companies themselves
- While before it was usual to pour millions in projects that might not return the investment for decades, the focus is now on shorter return periods, which means short-cycle projects have the best chance for approval
Natural Gas US$2.951/mmbtu vs US$2.909/mmbtu last week
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$179.8/t vs US$185.9/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$805.1/t vs US$805.2/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$76.8/t vs US$75.5/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$121.0/t vs US$143.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$45,165/t vs US$47,100/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$83,245/t vs US$83,252/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$12,664/t vs US$12,665/t
China Spodumene Li2O 5%min CIF US$630/t vs US$630/t
Ferro-Manganese European Mn78% min US$1,663/t vs US$1,677/t
China Tungsten APT 88.5% FOB US$272/t vs US$272/t
China Graphite Flake -194 FOB US$505/t vs US$505/t
GE Haliade-X turbine passes typhoon test
- The new turbine that can be configured for 12W, 13W or 14W has been certified for operation in extreme weather by the DNV.
- “Typhoon loads on wind turbines is of critical importance in emerging offshore wind markets such as Taiwan, Japan, Korea and parts of the US.”
Germany continue impressive PV installation
- In the first three months of 2021, 1.32GW of solar capacity has been newly installed.
- 548.6MW of new PV installations were registered across March.
- Germany’s current cumulative PV capacity totals 59.4GW.
Chile copper output falls for 10th consecutive month
- The world’s top copper producer Chile saw output fall for the tenth consecutive month in March.
- Copper output fell 1.3% in March to 491,720t.
EnergyX gets $20m boost for lithium extraction technology
- The $20m investment comes from institutional investors and a small portion from the company’s equity crowd-investment.
- The US-based firm owns the exclusive, worldwide rights to commercialise a process to extract lithium at an impressive rate.
- The metal-organic framework (MOF) speeds up the extraction process and provides recovery rates of ~90%.
AfriTin* (AIM:ATM) – 6.5p, Mkt cap GBP55.2m – DFS on Phase 1 expansion of the Uis tin mine
- AfriTin has summarised its Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the expansion of its 85% owned UIS tin mine in Namibia with a 50% increase in plant throughput and improvements to the current 60% recovery rate to 64%.
- At a long-term tin price of US$20,000/t the company reports that a capital investment of US$5.7m to expand crushing capacity, and make adjustments to the dense media circuit and add additional spirals, will generate an NPV6.95% of US$12.1m and an IRR of 54% with a 2.4 years payback.
- Subject to Board approval to proceed, project implementation and construction is expected to take 8 months and the project is expected to deliver “100 tonnes of tin concentrate per month (equivalent rate of 1,200 tonnes per annum).”
- CEO, Anthony Viljoen, said that “The DFS confirms the highly attractive economics from a low-cost modular expansion of the current Phase 1 at Uis which can be implemented in eight months. The DFS also coincides with the Company achieving its first full quarter of steady state production at the Phase 1 plant as a global tin prices reach a 10-year high”.
- The company has also published an updated, JORC compliant, mineral reserve estimate for the Uis mine with a proven and probable reserve of 15.6mt at an average grade of 0.138% tin. The new reserve contains 12.6mt classified as proven at an average grade of 0.139% tin with the remaining 3.0mt at a grade of 0.132% tin classified as probable.
Conclusion: Uis Stage 1 achieved nameplate capacity in November and the incremental upgrade of capacity by 50% to an already established project should therefore be a relatively low risk expansion at a modest additional cost. Afritin has previously reported that it is looking at boosting revenue opportunities through the recovery of by-product tantalum and lithium which should further enhance the project’s economic returns. The confirmation of the ore reserves, with over 80% classed as ‘proven’ provides, in our opinion, a solid long term reserve base to underpin the project
*SP Angel act for Bushveld Minerals which holds around 9.5% of AfriTin
Arc Minerals* (AIM:ARCM) – 6.15p, Mkt cap GBP68m – Arc refutes Zambian newspaper article revoking mining consents granted by local chief
(Arc holds 72.5% of Zaco and 66% of Zamsort in Zambia. The Cheyeza license is 66% owned by Arc Minerals through its holding in Zamsort.)
- Arc Minerals reports its licenses in Zambia are in good standing order.
- The RNS statement is in response to a newspaper report in Zambia titled “FED-UP CHIEF CLOSES MINES”.
- “revokes consent to mine in his chiefdom due to delays to open mine” (Daily Nation).
- The Chief has revoked mining consents granted to Zamsort and ZACO Investments Limited due to the delay in opening the Kalaba mine.
- Chief Sailunga Ikundu previously called for a serious investor for Kalaba mine at end March this year.
- “Last year in May, 27 headmen and women wrote to Zamsort and made known their concerns regarding the delay to open the mine. They stated that Zamsort continued to make promises about the mine’s future but nothing had been done so far, including employment of youths in the area.” (Daily Nation).
- While the government holds and issues mineral licenses in Zambia the local chiefs who hold 94% of the land have a prominent role in mining. ‘Recognized traditional rulers have a strong political lobby and companies intending to develop mines in Zambia would be well-advised to seek guidance on how best to approach them’ according to KPMG’s Zambian country guide.
- Zambia recently assured mining investors of better policies towards mining companies.
- President Edgar Lungi confirmed the country will develop a more simplified tax administration system to facilitate companies and investors.
- “My government is determined to take significant steps to resolve policy and regulatory issues that investors have raised regarding investment in the mining sector.” (aa.com)
- Lungu also said mining firms should also fulfill their corporate social responsibilities to benefit the local population.
Conclusion: Arc’s management are due to publish a Scoping Study for a process plant for the Cheyeza East copper mining project by end June. The proposed plant may be sited at Cheyeza East or at Kalaba where the trial processing plant is sited.
We met with the local chief by chance on our journey to Arc’s Kalaba mine site in August 2018. The Chief greeted us with friendship, wisdom and grace.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and broker.
Aura Energy* – (AIM:AURA) 9.75p, Mkt Cap GBP38.3m – Results and project updates
- On Friday, Aura Energy reported on its activities during the quarter ended 31st March 2020.
- The company confirms that “During the Reporting Period, no activity took place on the Tiris Project” although “The recent placement coupled with the fully underwritten Rights Issue and Loyalty Options Rights Issue will recapitalise the Company, strongly positioning Aura to expedite the development of the zero emission Tiris Uranium Project”.
- Aura Energy also confirms that at the AGM held on 17th March, “all 17 resolutions were voted on with 95% acceptance” indicating that the recent corporate turbulence may now be past.
- Non-Executive Chairman, Martin Rogers, thanked shareholders for their support and said that he looked “forward to an exciting year for the Company”.
*SP Angel are Nomad and Broker to Aura Energy
Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) 69.4p, Mkt Cap GBP97.2m – Recovery of 254 carat white diamond from Letseng
- Gem Diamonds reports the recovery of a 254 carat white Type IIa diamond from its Letseng mine in Lesotho.
- The mine, described as “the highest dollar per carat kimberlite diamond mine in the world” has a track record of producing large, high quality diamonds and today’s announcement follows the discovery of other type Type IIa stones including a 233 carat stone in September last year and a 442 carat diamond in August and a total of over 760 diamonds larger than 10 carats in size produced during 2020.
Keras Resources* (AIM:KRS) 0.12p, Mkt cap GBP7.5m – Fertilizer price rise lifts related stocks
(Keras also hold an 85% interest in Societe General des Mines which holds the Nayega manganese project license in Togo. Keras also holds 51% of Falcon Isle Holdings which holds 100% of the Diamond Creek phosphate mine which is operating in Utah, USA)
- A number of articles over the weekend have highlighted the rise in fertilizer prices which have been depressed for the past nine-years.
- The Covid-19 crisis caused governments to move to help protect and ensure food supplies through favourable credit to farmers as consumers raised food stocks.
- The turnaround caused Mosaic, the largest US-based fertilizer company, shares rise to $35/s today from $11/ a year ago.
- Rock phosphate prices have risen to $88/t from $70/t a year ago though this is still far off the peak of $450/t .
- Keras is producing organic phosphate at its Diamond Creek mine mine in Idaho.
- Diamond Creek is the highest grade organic phosphate mine in the US containing a 28% Phosphorus pentoxide ‘P205’ premium product with minimum 14% available phosphorous.
- The mine’s first batch of organic phosphate fertilizer product for around $260/t last year with sales expected to rise to 48,000tpa in 2024.
- Costs at the mine are estimated to fall to around US$92/t from an initial $229/t indicating margins should grow from here.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Keras Resources
Kodal Minerals* (LON:KOD) – 0.16p, Mkt cap GBP24m – Bougouni lithium project feasibility ratified subject to minor corrections
- Kodal has received confirmation that the feasibility study and mining development plan have been ratified and approved by the DNGM committee, subject to minor corrections to bring the mining licence application in line with the new Mali Mining Code of 2019.
- “The Company then expects to receive a formal notification from the DNGM requesting payment of the Mining Licence fee prior to the formal production of the “Exploitation Decree” (Mining Licence) for approval by the Prime Minister.”
- Next steps are:
- Finalisation of minor changes to the licence application in accordance with the new Mining Code 2019 expected this week.
- Formal notification from the DNGM and payment of ~GBP135,000 mining licence fee
- DNGM to issue the Exploitation Decree (Mining Licence) to be forwarded to the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water.
- The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water should then forward the Exploitation Decree to the office of the Prime Minister for formal signing.
- At this point Bougouni will be fully permitted for development as the Environmental Permit was granted in 2019.
- Kodal are currently engaged with Sinohydro (Power China) on the potential development of Bougouni and are in contact with Suay Chin and Shandong Ruifu Lithium Industry Co Ltd, which are expected to take the Bougouni spodumene concentrate. Shandong Ruifu produces lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide in China.
- Bougouni lithium project key stats:
- 220,000tpa of 6% spodumene concentrate over an initial 8.5 years
- 71% recovery rate of contained lithium based on laboratory metallurgical recoveries of 75%;
- >USD$1.4bn of total revenue at $680/t starting H2 2021 and rising 2%pa
- 2mtpa throughput with DMS and conventional flotation circuit. Recoveries are acceptable with the DMS on its own.
- USD$431/t C1 cash costs or USD$466/t inc. royalties and sustaining capital.
- US$117m Capex est. plus contingency:
- 1.7 year payback est.
- LoM production of 1.94mt of concentrate. Sales >$1.4bn assuming spodumene concentrate sales price of $680/t increasing 2% year-on-year;
- 58% IRR pre-tax
- 51% IRR post tax
- US$300m NPV7% pre-tax
- US$200m NPV7% post-tax
*SP Angel acts as Financial Advisor and Broker to Kodal Minerals
Mkango Resources* (LON:MKA) 22.25p, Mkt cap GBP29.3m – Mkango announces metallurgical and 2020 results
- (Mkango’s 75.5% subsidiary, Maginto Ltd holds a 25% stake in HyProMag which is a partner in the ‘Rare-Earth Recycling for E-Machines’ RaRE project)
- Mkango Resources has announced the results of flotation test-work on material from its Songwe Hill rare-earths project in Malawi and the commencement of hydrometallurgical testing of the flotation concentrate.
- The recent testing has shown a “Significant increase in flotation recovery of total rare earth oxides (“TREO”) to 74% from 67% … [as well as a] … Tripling of flotation concentrate grade to 15% TREO from 4.7% TREO”.
- Chief Executive, William Dawes, described the test results as “a significant improvement versus the 2015 pre-feasibility study … [which] … is expected to have a positive impact on downstream hydrometallurgical operations”.
- The flotation test results and the hydrometallurgical testing of over 1 tonne of flotation concentrate which it generated will provide design and “essential operating data to assist it in the engineering of the Company’s commercial scale operation” which is “targeting a high grade purified mixed rare earth carbonate grading greater than 50% TREO”.
- Mr. Dawes explained that “Completion of flotation piloting is a major milestone for Mkango and further positions the Company as one of the very few advanced stage rare earth projects positioned to meet demand from accelerating growth in the electric vehicle sector, wind power generation and other industries driven by decarbonisation of the economy”.
- The company has also taken the opportunity to release some of the key design parameters for its continuing feasibility study for the development of Songwe Hill.
- Among the changes in comparison to the 2015 pre-feasibility study, are:
- A doubling of the proposed run-of-mine feed rate to 1mtpa from the 0.5mtpa previously envisaged; and
- An improvement in flotation concentrate grades from 4.7% to 15% and TREO recovery rates from 67% to 74% as demonstrated by the test results; and
- A lower feed rate of the higher-grade flotation concentrate to the hydrometallurgical plant of 74,000tpa (formerly 115,250tpa) as a result of the grade and recovery improvements demonstrated by the test programme.
- We anticipate that the ability to feed more contained rare-earths in a reduced volume of concentrate should have a positive impact on the capital cost of the hydrometallurgical plant.
- Mkango Resources confirms that “The development of the optimised flotation regime is underpinned by a significant amount of mineralogy, comminution and flotation test work … [which has] … led to a greater understanding of the mineralogy, geometallurgy and beneficiation processes for primary carbonatite hosted rare earth deposits”.
- As well as the technical information, Mkango Resources has also released its 2020 financial results showing an attributable net loss of US$4.07m (2019 – net loss US$3.04m).
- The company reports a 31st December 2020 cash balance of US$4.92m (December 2019 – US$9.53m).
Conclusion: Advances in understanding the metallurgical characteristics of the Songwe Hill mineralisation have resulted in improved recovery rates to produce a higher-grade flotation concentrate for hydrometallurgical processing being incorporated in the feasibility study, currently underway. We expect that the ability to feed lower tonnages of higher grade concentrate to the hydrometallurgical plant should have a beneficial impact on the capital required for the hydrometallurgical plant and look forward to the results of the current feasibility study in due course.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Mkango Resources
Orosur Mining* (AIM:OMI) 17p, Mkt Cap GBP31m – High grade intersections at Anza
- The Company released further drilling results from four additional holes of the ongoing programme at the Anza Project in Colombia.
- Selected results included intersections from MAP-079 and MAP-082:
- MAP-079 23.75m @ 17.40g/t Au, 1.84g/t Ag, 0.19% Zn from 270m including 0.40m at 948g/t, 1.10m at 8.83g/t and 1.55m at 7.33g/t.
- MAP-082 29.45m @ 2.50g/t Au, 1.95g/t Ag, 1.08% Zn from 227m including 5.45m at 11.42g/t
- The team decided to expand its regional field work across its wider license area to identify potential targets for follow up work.
- While Colombia is now in the middle of a third wave of Covid-19 infections, with curfews and lockdowns in place in the major cities like Bogota and Medellin, mining is designated as an essential industry and permitted to continue.
- Currently five diamond drill rigs are active at the APTA prospect with ~6,000m having been completed since Nov/20.
- Drilling is focused on a combination of understanding the geological controls of mineralisation, step out as well as infill drilling.
- ALS laboratory turnaround in Peru slowed down significantly on the back of Covid-19 related shortages of staff with over 2,000 samples currently awaiting assay.
- Mining consultants CSA Global reviewed previous drilling confirming that subject to minor modifications the data is of a high standard and can be sued for future mineral resource estimate.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Orosur Mining
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- The SP Angel team also ranked 1st in Palladium, 3rd in Tin and 5th in Silver in the fourth quarter of 2020
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 – 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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