SP Angel – Morning View –Wednesday 10 04 19
Gold price rises as IMF cuts global growth estimates
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Anglo Asian Mining* (LON:AAZ) BUY – Target Price 96p – GE production up 11%yoy on the back of stronger flotation plant performance
Bushveld Minerals* (LON:BMN) – Lemur Holdings update
Solgold* (LON:SOLG) - Drilling update from Alpala
Talga Resources* (ASX:TLG) – Metallurgical testwork positively enhances Vittangi PFS options
Walkabout Resources* (ASX:WKT) – Second binding offtake term sheet
IMF cut its global growth outlook to the lowest since the financial crisis amid weaker expansion in developed economies.
- The world economy is set to expand 3.3% this year, down 0.2pp from the January estimate. It was the third downgrade of 2019 outlook in the last six months.
- Growth is expected to recover in H2/19 before plateauing at 3.6% from next year; although, risks remain skewed to the downside including a failure to agree a US/China trade deal and no-deal Brexit.
- “Amid waning global growth momentum and limited policy space to combat downturns, avoiding policy missteps that could harm economic activity needs to be the main priority,” the IMF said.
- US growth outlook has been ct to 2.3% (-0.2pp) reflecting the partial government shutdown that ended in January, as well as lower-than-expected public spending. 2020 target has been revised upwards, but on ly slightly (1.9%, +0.1pp) on the back of the Fed’s revision to the monetary tightening pace.
- Chinese growth has been upped to 6.3% (+0.1) citing improved US/China trade negotiations as well as the government effort to support the economy countering “negative effect of trade tariffs”.
- Euro zone growth outlook has been cut to 1.3% (-0.3pp) with catalysts including weaker orders and tougher car-emission standards in Germany, lower domestic demand and higher sovereign debt spreads in Italy and business activity damaging street protests in France.
- UK is set to grow 1.2% (-0.3pp) this year, according to the fund.
Copper - Rio Tinto reckons the World will require the same amount of copper in the next 25 years as it produced in the last 500 years according to Rio Tinto, CEO, Copper and diamonds division at the CESCO copper conference in Chile as reported Fastmarkets
121 Mining Investment Conference London 20-21st May
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US – Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida, a voting FOMC member, said that the US unemployment may have more room to fall without causing an uptick in inflation expressing support for further delays in Fed tightening.
- The low unemployment rate “has been interpreted by many…. as suggesting that the labour market is currently operating beyond full employment”. However, the actual level of “full employment” is difficult to determine, Clarida said, and the “range of plausible estimates likely extends at least as low as the current level of the unemployment rate.”
- On a separate note, President Trump threatened a $11bn round of sanctions on EU goods in response to subsidies from Brussels for Airbus.
- The news comes on the heels of the WTO ruling that Airbus had received illegal funding for its A380 and A350models, costing Boeing sales.
- The US tariffs would be implemented only after the WTO gave the final go-ahead this summer, the Trump administration said.
UK – Growth supported by firms increasing stockpiles amid Brexit related uncertainty, the latest ONS data showed.
- The economy grew 0.3%qoq over the three months to February, posting the same pace as in January which was slightly revised upwards and stronger than 0.2% forecast by markets.
- Manufacturing production jumped 0.9%mom in February, beating all Reuters poll estimates and accounting for around half of the overall economic growth rate.
- Orders were being brought forward to beat the Brexit schedule, suggesting a likely drag on the numbers for coming months, ONS said.
Boeing did not record any commercial orders for its 737 jetliner in March marking the first month without a sale of the best-selling aircraft in almost seven years, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- The news highlight growing uncertainty among clients following the global grounding of the plane after two fatal crashes that are believed to be caused by software problems.
- Commercial airplane deliveries for the quarter dropped from 184 last year to 149 in Q1.
- Net orders dropped to 95 aircrafts in Q1/19 from 180 the same period last year.
US$1.1269/eur vs 1.1268/eur yesterday Yen 111.16/$ vs 111.32/$ SAr 14.025/$ vs 14.069/$ $1.307/gbp vs $1.308/gbp 0.715/aud vs 0.715/aud CNY 6.714/$ vs 6.715/$
Gold US$1,305/oz vs US$1,299/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 71.9moz vs US$71.9moz yesterday
Platinum US$893/oz vs US$902/oz yesterday
Palladium US$1,391/oz vs US$1,385/oz yesterday
Silver US$15.24/oz vs US$15.24/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 6,497/t vs US$6,520/t yesterday - Copper – price not to exceed $3/lb this year according to Sonami
- Base metals broadly slipped, with LME copper easing from a one-week high, as pressure follows the International Monetary Fund cutting its global growth forecast and as the United States threatened to slap tariffs on hundreds of European products.
- Warning the chance of further outlook cuts was high, the IMF reduced its forecast for world economic growth this year to 3.3% from 3.5% previously, citing the U.S.-China trade war and a potentially disorderly British exit from the European Union.
- Meanwhile, the U.S. Trade Representative on Monday proposed slapping tariffs on a list of EU products ranging from large commercial aircraft to dairy products and wine as it kicked off the retaliation process against European aircraft subsidies.
Aluminium US$ 1,875/t vs US$1,875/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 13,225/t vs US$13,245/t yesterday
Zinc US$ 2,853/t vs US$2,880/t yesterday
Lead US$ 1,979/t vs US$2,005/t yesterday
Tin US$ 20,900/t vs US$20,905/t yesterday
Oil US$70.8/bbl vs US$71.0/bbl yesterday – The US recorded the record high annual oil production rates in 2018 averaging 10.96mmbbl per day, 17% yoy up on 2017.
- The national output rate hit 11.96mmbl in December last year which was the highest level on record.
Saudi Aramco bonds raise >$100bn of interest
- The Saudi Aramco bond offering has raised >$100bn of interest from investors in bond markets. The offering has now been raised to $12bn.
Natural Gas US$2.702/mmbtu vs US$2.719/mmbtu yesterday
Uranium US$25.85/lb vs US$25.85/lb yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$91.4/t vs US$93.1/t -
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$643.5/t vs US$636.4/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$76.5/t vs US$74.2/t
Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$187.5/t vs US$187.4/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$33,000/t vs US$32,000/t
- Cobalt prices could have found the bottom following a year-long rout, however the prospect for the battery material remains highly uncertain as concerns about excess supply stalk the industry.
- While cobalt prices have lost two thirds of its value from a peak in April 2018, a flurry of trader and consumer interest spurred the biggest weekly gain since 2017.
- After spiking to ~$97,000/t amid fears of shortages as the EV industry rapidly expanded, a surge of output from top producer DRC reacted to rising prices.
- “There was that feeling that the price was getting very oversold and the elastic band was getting very stretched,” said William Adams, head of battery materials research at Fastmarkets. “But I don’t think this is the start of a major rebound. We’re still in an oversupply situation and we will remain in one.”
- Supply is also able to rapidly response to changing demands, with additional expansions planned by Glencore PLC, Eurasian Resources Group, Chemaf Sarl and a swathe of Chinese companies in DRC, while Roskill’s Jack Bedder pointed to artisanal mining that will ramp up strongly again if prices rise beyond $25.
- The long-term outlook remains robust on battery growth, with Roskill predicting demand to double in the next ten years.
- “We’re probably going to see a lot volatility because you will get short-term supply bottlenecks,” Bedder said. “This is almost a completely new market, and a very difficult one to forecast.”
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$41,111/t vs US$41,397/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$9,608/t vs US$9,605/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$51.5/kg vs US$53.0/kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$6.4/kg vs US$6.5/kg
Tungsten APT European US$270-282/mtu vs US$271-282/mtu
Paris fights smog with largest EU electric bus purchase
- Paris’ public transport operator announces an 800 e-bus order to replace ageing diesel buses, as RATP reporting the electric vehicles would be used to fight smog prior to the 2024 summer Olympics.
- RATP said three separate firms won the tender to supply the buses — Heuliez Bus, Bollore and Alstom. The deals are worth “up to 400 million euros”. It’s the biggest bus purchase of its kind in Europe.
- The transport operator will buy 150 buses first, with deliveries expected “between the end of 2020 and 2022.”
- While the order is significant, it still falls short of full replacement of 4,700 buses. RATP currently has “some 950 hybrid-powered buses, 140 bio-fuel buses and 83 electric buses in its fleet”.
- Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has made tackling smog “a priority.” Paris wants to phase out diesel cars by 2024, and the city previously set a goal of only allowing electric cars in the city by 2030.
The world’s first 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone goes live in London
- London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, which aims to reduce air pollution, is now live in the central section of the city.
- Billed as the world’s first 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone, the year-round measure ensures vehicles that don’t meet new emission standards will incur a daily charge. Depending on the time of day, drivers may also have to pay a congestion charge on top of that.
- Cars, vans, and motorbikes that don’t meet standards will pay £12.50 a day, while lorries, buses, and coaches must pony up £100 a day for driving into the zone.
- Motorcycles must meet Euro 3 standards, petrol vehicles must meet Euro 4 standards, and diesel vehicles must meet Euro 6 standards.
- It’s estimated that emissions will fall 45% in the ULEZ zone — the mayor’s office says “ULEZ has already led to a reduction of approximately 20% in NO2 concentrations measured at roadside monitoring sites in the zone.”
Anglo Asian Mining* (LON:AAZ) 78p, Mkt Cap £89m – GE production up 11%yoy on the back of stronger flotation plant performance
BUY – Target Price 96p
- GE production climbed 11%yoy to 20.3koz in Q1/19 (Q1/18: 18.3koz) reflecting higher output at the flotation plant running in parallel to HL and AL circuits.
- Gold production climbed 5%yoy to 17.2koz (Q1/18: 16.5koz).
- Gold in dore was little changed at 15.5koz (Q1/18: 15.8koz) while gold contained in the copper concentrate climbed to 1.7koz v 0.7koz in the same quarter last year.
- Copper production doubled to 513t (Q1/18: 255t).
- Silver came in at 51.3koz (Q1/18: 40.6koz) contributing some 0.6koz to GE production.
- Q1/19 gold bullion sales (post PSA share) totalled 13.1koz at an average price of $1,306/oz (Q1/18: 15.0koz at 1,328/oz).
- Copper con shipments totalled 279dmt with sales proceeds of $0.7m (post PSA share) versus 608dmt and $1.8m recorded in Q1/18. Lower sales volumes compared to production are attributed to logistical issues with the off-taker that are being resolved.
- Net cash climbed to $10.8m during the quarter, up from $6.1m as of Dec/18.
Conclusion: Gedabek operations reported good quarter with GE production up 11%yoy reflecting a contribution from higher throughput at the flotation plant. Numbers were broadly in line with our estimated (SPAe 21.0koz at average quarterly prices) with the Company remaining on target to hit guided 82-86koz GE this year.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Anglo Asian Mining
Base Resources* (LON:BSE) 15.5p, Mkt Cap £181m – Kwale production guidance lowered due to move to South Dune
- Base Resources is lowering production guidance for FY2020 due to its move to the Kwale South Dune in June.
- The Central Dune has seen declining grades will shortly be depleted causing the move to the South Dune which has lower heavy mineral grades.
- Drawdown of stockpiled concentrates has allowed Base to maintain higher feed rates to its plant through FY 2019 despite lower ore grades at the Central Dune.
88,000 to 94,000
64,000 to 70,000
385,000 to 415,000
315,000 to 350,000
31,000 to 34,000
25,000 to 28,000
- Rio Tinto approved $463m of investment on Monday for the Zulti South project at Richard’s Bay Minerals. The investment confirms Rio’s confidence in the mineral sands market, particularly for higher priced Zircon and Rutile production and will help maintain their dominant position in the sulphate slag market. Base’s Toliara project has a higher proportion of ilmenite and lower proportion of rutile than at Kwale which may lead to adjustments to the future value of the Toliara concentrate when Rio’s Zulti South project comes on line. By comparison Kenmare’s Moma mine is similar in its mineral suite to Toliara with slightly less zircon and more ilmenite.
Conclusion: The Base team appears to be managing the transition to lower grades at Kwale relatively well. The move to lower grades should have been well known in the market and Base indicates it believes there will be sufficient cash flow from Kwale to support the development of the Toliara mineral sands project according to the Pre-Feasibility Study funding requirements which may vary by about 20-30%.
*An SP Angel analyst recently visited the Toliara mineral sands project in Madagascar
Bushveld Minerals* (LON:BMN) 33.3p, Mkt Cap £372m – Lemur Holdings update
(Bushveld holds 100% of Lemur Holdings)
Bushveld Minerals has updated the market on progress at its wholly-owned subsidiary Lemur Holdings through the past quarter.
- Lemur signed a Project Preparation Finance facility agreement with the Development Bank of Southern Africa US$1m towards completion of the project development activities and advisory services for the Imaloto coal project in Madagascar.
- Review and sign-off of the power bankable feasibility study (“BFS”) has been completed by Sinohydro.
- Review of opencast mine BFS completed. Optimisation exercise underway to consider the inclusion of underground mining within the development plan.
- Engineering, Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract negotiations for the power plant are progressing.
- Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (“SEIA”) fieldwork ongoing and on track to be completed in Q2 CY2019.
- Negotiations with potential lenders are progressing.
- The Project Preparation Finance facility is important to Lemur as it provides “at-risk” funding for Lemur so it can develop its Imaloto Project, complete feasibility and reach financial close. Participation should accelerate the due-diligence and approval process for the eventual project finance.
Sinohydro has completed its review of Lemur’s power BFS and signed-off on the final report.
- Phase-1 installed capacity focuses on 30Mw, which site expansion reserved in the design for an additional 30MW Phase-2, to bring the total capacity to 60MW using Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion and Electrostatic Precipitators for emission control.
- Initial distance of the transmission line will be 250km, interconnecting the Imaloto power station with Ilakaka, Toliara and Ambalavao. Post Phase-2, the Imaloto project transmission network will cover an addressable market stretching approximately 500km - and will connect Toliara in the west to Fainaranstoa in the east for the first time.
- Review of the opencast mine BFS has been completed. Lemur has begun to focus on optimising the mix of opencast and underground mine output and an independent consultant, Bara Consulting, has been appointed to conduct the underground mine BFS.
- Negotiations on an EPC contract are at an advanced stage with signing expected by the end of the second quarter
Conclusion: Lemur Holdings appears to be firming up on many of the elements required ahead of financing of its Imaloto coal to power project in Madagascar. The project will take on new value on financing as this is a major milestone for any capital project.
*SP Angel act as nomad and broker to Bushveld Minerals
Metal Tiger (LON:MTR) 1.3p, Mkt cap £21m - Adding to its Botswana land position
- Metal Tiger reports that its 50% owned Kalahari Metals has agreed to acquire Kitlanya Limited, the owner of 5 recently granted exploration licences covering approximately 4.65km2 within the Kalahari Copper Belt of Botswana.
- Kalahari Metals was previously earning an interest in the licences but has now agreed to acquire the company "for US$700,000, satisfied by the issue of shares representing approximately 13.4% of KML". The transaction dilutes Metal Tiger's interest in Kalahari Metals to approximately 43.9%.
- The acquired licences increase Kalahari Metals' holdings in the area to approximately 8.59km2 and comprise the Kitlanya East and Kitlanya West project areas.
- As described, the Kitlanya licences appear to fit well with the existing Kalahari Metals interests in the area. Kitlanya West is located adjacent to the company's existing Ngami Copper Project while Kitlanya East is located close to MOD Resources' T3 copper project and s said to benefit from relatively thin overlying cover potentially making exploration easier and less costly.
- "Applications for environmental permits have been submitted to the Botswana Department of Environmental Affairs for both KIT-W and KIT-E, with a view to drill testing targets in the latter part of the 2019 field season"
- Conclusion: The acquisition of Kitlanya and its exploration licences appears to fit well with Kalahari metals' existing exploration holdings in the area where the success of MOD Resources, in particular at T3, is rejuvenating interest in the Kalahari Copper Belt.
Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) 4750p, Mkt cap £81bn to join World Bank’s green mining program
- The World Bank’s green mining initiative aims to help developing countries sustainably mine lithium, cobalt and other primary battery minerals critical to the global electrification trend.
- The Climate-Smart Mining programme, set to launch in May, comes as miners face increasing pressure from investors and non-governmental organizations to make supply chains more sustainable and transparent while reducing climate impact.
- The program "will innovate and deploy financing specifically designed to manage the clean energy transition - responsibly, pragmatically and sustainably," Arnaud Soirat, Rio's head of copper and diamonds said. Anglo American have recognised the importance and confirmed it will join the program.
- "Significant challenges will likely emerge if the climate-driven clean energy transition is not managed sustainably," according to a World Bank presentation.
- The World Bank has raised $50m from the private sector to support the initiative. Soirat added “society’s expectations of mining have increased and this has now extended into the investment community in a greater way”.
Solgold* (LON:SOLG) 38p, Mkt cap £697m - Drilling update from Alpala
- Solgold has provided an update on the progress of its drilling campaign at the Alpala project within its Cascabel project area in Ecuador where it currently has ten drilling rigs deployed and a further two man-portable rigs due to join the fleet in May.
- To date, a total of almost 190,000m of drilling has been completed in 168 holes and over 56,000m of additional drilling has been completed since the company released its new mineral resource estimate in January.
- The January 2019 resource estimate, using a0.2% copper equivalent cut-off grade, identifies 2.05bn tonnes classed as indicated at an average grade of 0.6% copper equivalent with an additional 900m inferred tonnes at 0.35% copper equivalent grade.
- Solgold highlights that the recent drilling has identified zones of higher grade min highlights potential for further significant resource extension as the 2019 drilling campaign continueseralisation both within and extending beyond the currently defined low grade, JORC "inferred" envelope mainly in four parts of the deposit:
- At Alpala North, Hole 75 intersected 1918m of mineralisation at an average grade of 0.53% copper equivalent of which 288m "lies outside the existing Inferred Resource area". Unfortunately the company does not disclose details of the depth of the intersection or of the split between the elements contributing to the copper equivalent grade.
- At Alpala Northwest, Hole 86 encountered a previously unknown source intrusion, designated QD10 which "highlights potential for further signficant resource extension as the 2019 drilling campaign continues". Hole 86 intersected 318m at an average copper equivalent grade of 0.67%, including 100m at 1.34% copper equivalent, from an undisclosed depth
- At Alpala South, "mineralisation remains open to the south and towards surface, as revealed by Hole 89 intersection (420m @ 0.61% CuEq)"
- At Trivinio, on the northern flank of the Alpala cluster, Hole 93 intersected 862m at an average copper equivalent grade of 0.43% at an undisclosed depth. The company points out that 520m of the intersection "lies outside the existing Inferred Resource area."
- The drilling results released today continue to show the potential to expand the overall resource at Alpala with the Alpala North structure remaining open towards the north, the discovery of the QD10 intrusive suggesting possibilities to extent the Alpala Northwest structure and the Alpala South structure remaining "open to the south and towards surface". At Trivinio, Hole 93 encountering over 500m of mineralisation beyond the current limits of the inferred resource bodes well for possible further resources lying to the north of the currently drilled area.
- We also note that the wider Cascabel licence includes other targets at, amongst others, Aguinaga and Chinambicito which may in due course provide further resource expansion opportunities.
Conclusion: Solgold has drilled over 56,000 additional metres since it released its mineral resource update in January and is continuing to increase the size of its drilling fleet. Recent drilling has extended the footprint of the known mineralisation and intersected previously undetected zone s of mineralisation which are likely to add to the resource base in a future mineral resource update.
*SP Angel acts as broker and advisor to Solgold. SP Angel have raised funds for SolGold on eight previous occasions.
Talga Resources* (ASX:TLG) A$0.64, Mkt Cap A$139.8m – Metallurgical testwork positively enhances Vittangi PFS options
- Highly positive preliminary metallurgical processing and Li-ion anode test results reveal Vittangi ore produces high recoveries, purities and anode material yields utilizing industry standard crush-grind-floatation equipment.
- Processing of ore samples from Talga’s supplementary Jalkunen and Raitajärvi graphite resources, using the same industry standard method, resulted in comparable high recovery and purity graphite concentrates that were successfully refined into high-capacity Li-ion battery anodes.
- Representative samples of the three graphite resources compiled from drill core were subjected to crush-grind-floatation processing in a series of metallurgical tests with Talga’s consultants across Australia and Europe.
The concentrate was refined into Li-ion anode material, purified via a Talga-proprietary chemical process, and tested at leading independent battery research centres in Europe and Japan:
- Vittangi graphite produced a high concentrate grade of 95.1%Cg at a high recovery rate of 91%, at premium sub-10 micron graphite flake size.
- Graphite concentrates made from Jalkunen and Raitajärvi ore returned 87.2%Cg grade at a carbon recovery of 96% and 86.1%Cg grade at a carbon recovery of 94% respectively, before optimisation of grind size and flotation conditions specific for these samples.
- All concentrates were successfully refined to >99.5%C purity with low carbon losses, producing Li-ion anodes that exceeded commercial levels of performance in battery tests (capacity of up to 370mAh/g).
- Talga’s concentrate was refined into Li-ion anode material, purified via a Talga-proprietary chemical process with testwork, including surface treatment and coating, at leading independent battery research centres in Europe and Japan.
- Talga see the product goal to achieve premium performance battery anode material using naturally forming <10 micron flake. The natural formation omits the need for energy-intensive size-reduction and shaping process steps resulting in higher processing costs, with 88% Vittangi material recovered to anode material.
- Production of a final coated version is in progress to support Talnode-C as a fully engineered anode material suitable for sale directly to battery manufacturers.
- The alternative flowsheet identifies a number of additional benefits including potential reduction in capital requirements, operating costs and plant footprint. The anticipated PFS, scheduled for completion by end of April 2019, will be based on a stage development strategy that includes options for lower cost primary toll processing during the early stages of project development, the inclusion of an onsite concentrator at Vittangi as a primary stage and the construction of a Li-ion battery anode refinery at a nearby port facility.
Conclusion: Preliminary metallurgical testwork is significant for enhancing project economics via industry standard processing and equipment. While the PFS will only incorporate the Vittangi resource, comparable metallurgical properties of supplementary Jalkunen and Raitajärvi graphite deposits is important to offer scale for a crucial supply of European battery material.
*SP Angel acts as UK broker to Talga Resources. SP Angel analysts have visited the leading battery R&D institution WMG partnering with Talga.
Walkabout Resources* (ASX:WKT) A$0.19, Mkt Cap A$57.8m – Second binding offtake term sheet
- Premium large-flake graphite concentrate supply from Walkabout Resources secures a second binding offtake term sheet into China to graphite products manufacturer Qingdao Risingdawn Graphite Technology Co. (“QRGT”).
- Binding terms with QRGT are to deliver 10,000t flake graphite concentrate into China for a period of three years following the commencement of production, with the final off-take agreement due to be finalised during Q2 2019.
- The two recently announced agreements secure the sale of up to 75% of high-purity large flake graphite for the first three years of production.
- QRGT is constructing an additional expandable graphite plant within its upgrading facilities and is now securing suitable graphite feedstock for this production unit. The Company will also use Lindi Jumbo graphite in the manufacture of graphite pipes which employ licenced processing technologies.
- Cumulative binding offtakes and non-binding agreements are in place for between 50,000-60,000tpa, while planned plant capacity focused on 40,000tpa. Certain agreements will not be converted to binding agreements to ensure that the Company retains a degree of flexibility in order to take advantage of marketing opportunities.
Conclusion: The second binding offtake agreement is significant and signals an increased level of confidence in stable, large flake graphite. We look forward to understanding ongoing funding negotiations, particularly with demand-side risk reduced in line with binding agreements.
*SP Angel acts as UK Broker to Walkabout Resources Ltd