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Today's Oil and Gas Update - Seawater source could drive future nuclear carbon free energy

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SP Angel – Morning View – Tuesday 16 10 18

Seawater source could drive future nuclear carbon free energy

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MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below 

  

African Battery Metals (LON:ABM) – project update on Ivory Coast nickel, cobalt and chrome project

Arc Minerals* (LON:ARCM) – STRONG BUY – Drilling shows higher copper grades over good intersections from surface

Anglo American (LON:AAL) – De Beers sees continuing US demand for diamond jewellery

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) – Q3 production results highlights copper

SolGold* (LON:SOLG) – BHP invests a further US$45m in Solgold at a premium to market

Talga Resources* (ASX:TLG) – Talga anode enables ultra-fast charge battery

URU Metals (LON:URU) - contact to nickel-PGM mineralisation identified

Vast Resources (LON:VAST) – Baita association license secured

 

Nuclear fusion reactor targets carbon-free energy

  • When the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (“ITER”) is switched on in seven years’ time, the fusion of hydrogen atoms in southern France should release immense amounts of carbon-free energy.
  • Replacing hazardous radioactive waste, the fusion of two forms of hydrogen gas will be injected into a reactor called a tokamak and heading to 150 million degrees Celsius ten times hotter than the sun. To stop the reactor walls from melting, the superheated atoms in plasma form will be suspended in a vacuum by some of the most powerful magnets on the planet.
  • British engineer Aneeqa Khan says “nuclear energy as we know it today is fission, which is when we split large atoms and make smaller ones, releasing huge amounts of energy. Fusion is when we put two smaller nuclei together and fuse them. It’s the same process that happens in the sun – and it releases even more energy than fission. But we are trying to recreate the sun on earth – so it’s a lot more challenging to do”.
  • A pineapple-sized amount of hydrogen is equivalent to 10,000 tonnes of coal, while the source is extremely clean and can be extracted from seawater.
  • Unlike solar and wind energy which are too diffuse and unpredictable to meet the growing power demands of an expanding global population, scientists believe the second half of the century will be powered by nuclear fusion. “Very soon we will be 10 billion. You need a massive, predictable, continuous energy supply. That is why renewable energy will not be enough. When there is no sun or wind you could use fusion”, according to director general Bernard Bigot.
  • The project is drawing huge global interest, with 35 countries, including the EU, US, Russia and China, have invested £15bn into the project.
  • While the replacement of fossil fuel energy will significantly hamper demand for the raw materials, there is interesting specialist metals requirements for the construction. Permanent magnets, which incorporate many rare earth elements, are likely to be in demand to support the extraordinarily hot plasma material.

 

Solar cells could be revolutionised by crystal discovery

  • Next-generation solar cells could incorporate perovskites crystals according to new research from the University of Amsterdam and Osaka University which highlights new efficiency in turning light into electricity. The crystals have strong multiplication properties, with the potential of offer very high efficiency combined with low production costs.
  • Solar cell efficiencies of devices using perovskites have significantly increased in the past few years (3.8% in 2009 to 22.7% in late 2017 in single-junction architectures), with their inclusion also desirable in the construction of LEDs, TV-screens and even lasers.
  • The new discovery changes how scientists see the maximum theoretical efficiency of solar cells, which currently lies around 30%. However, in materials that display the carrier multiplication effect that limit has already been improved, with efficiencies of up to 44% reached. spectroscopy studies undertaken by the researchers on perovskite nanocrystals made out of cesium, lead, and iodine have shown that the "efficiency of this effect is higher than reported thus far for any other materials."
  • It is hoped the research will feed into the latest solar cells and used to construct very efficient photodetectors.

 

Another emissions scandal with around 100,000 Opel vehicles to be recalled

  • Germany’s Transport Ministry said on Monday it would order roughly 100,000 Opel vehicles to be recalled as part of an emissions probe, after prosecutors searched the carmaker’s offices and found a software programs capable of altering vehicle emissions.
  • KBA found four similar devices in 2015 and ordered Opel to implement a software update in cars to remove them, Germany’s Transport Ministry said in a statement.
  • Opel has rejected any accusation of using illegal defeat devices that can manipulate exhaust emission tests.

 

121 Mining Investment conference with SP Angel in London

20-21 November - See:  https://www.weare121.com/121mininginvestment-london/

  • The depth of investment in mining continues to grow in London with >360 professional and other investors registered to see 115 mining companies at this year’s 121 Mining Investment conference

 

Dow Jones Industrials

 

-0.35%

at

25,251

Nikkei 225

 

+1.25%

at

22,549

HK Hang Seng

 

-0.44%

at

25,333

Shanghai Composite

 

-0.88%

at

2,545

FTSE 350 Mining

 

+1.52%

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17,163

AIM Basic Resources

 

+1.64%

at

2,148

 

Economics

US – Annual fiscal deficit widened to a six-year high in the financial year to September 2018 reflecting expansionary policy measures offered by the current administration.

  • The deficit expanded to $779bn, up $113bn from the previous year, and hit 3.9% of GDP, compared to 3.5% recorded in 2017 and the 40y average of 3.2%.
  • Receipts climbed only 0.4%yoy while spending was up 3.2%yoy.
  • The administration bets on increased economic activity generated by tax cuts and fiscal spending that should boost tax revenues.
  • Others are more sceptical saying that the latest budget measures are making a bad problem even worse”; “deficits are rising- and fast… in as soon as a year, they will top $1tn and never back down unless Congress acts,” the president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget said.

 

ChinaCPI climbs to the highest level in seven months in September on the back of strong gains in pork and vegetable prices.

  • A run up in food prices is attributed to African swine flu and bad weather.
  • Stripping out food and energy components, core inflation cooled last month falling to the lowest in two years (1.7%).
  • “The upshot is that the recent rise in CPI is due to temporary disruptions to food supply, with few signs in the inflation data of a broader increase in price pressures that would worry the PBoC… indeed, central bank officials have generally shrugged off inflation concerns recently and so we doubt these will prevent a further loosening of monetary policy in the coming months in a bid to shore up economic growth,” Capital Economics commented on the news.
  • CPI (%yoy): 2.5 v 2.3 in August and 3.5 forecast.
  • PPI (%yoy): 3.6 v 4.1 in August and 3.5 forecast.

 

France – New cabinet appointments announced this morning following a series of resignations in the Macron office amid falling President approval ratings.

  • New interior, cultural and agriculture ministers have been announced while PM, finance minister and foreign minister kept their jobs.

 

UK – Wage growth accelerated to the highest level since the financial crisis with the unemployment level holding down at lowest mark since the mid 1970s.

  • Average weekly earnings (ex bonus) were 3.1%yoy higher while the unemployment rate remained steady at 4%.
  • The pound is up on the news trading 0.3% stronger against the US$.

 

Currencies

US$1.1572/eur vs 1.1573/eur yesterday  Yen 112.13/$ vs 111.83/$  SAr 14.360/$ vs 14.443/$  $1.316/gbp vs $1.312/gbp 0.712/aud vs 0.713/aud  CNY 6.922/$ vs 6.928/$

 

Commodity News

Precious metals:         

Gold US$1,227/oz vs US$1,228/oz yesterday

   Gold ETFs 67.7moz vs US$67.6moz yesterday

Platinum US$842/oz vs US$844/oz yesterday

Palladium US$1,084/oz vs US$1,075/oz yesterday

Silver US$14.64/oz vs US$14.69/oz yesterday

           

Base metals:   

Copper US$ 6,195/t vs US$6,279/t yesterday

Aluminium US$ 2,022/t vs US$2,034/t yesterday

Nickel US$ 12,425/t vs US$12,670/t yesterday

Zinc US$ 2,583/t vs US$2,644/t yesterday

Lead US$ 2,074/t vs US$2,050/t yesterday

Tin US$ 19,130/t vs US$19,090/t yesterday

           

Energy:           

Oil US$80.6/bbl vs US$81.2/bbl yesterday - South Korea cuts Iran oil imports to zero

  • South Korea has stopped importing crude oil from Iran ahead of the U.S. sanctions - the country imported zero Iranian oil in September for the first time in six years.
  • Since the start of 2018, South Korean imports of Iranian crude had fallen by 49.1% from 2017, as of the end of September, to a total 7.15mt.
  • The country’s total September imports also declined on an annual basis, by more than a tenth to 10.83mt.

Natural Gas US$3.291/mmbtu vs US$3.197/mmbtu yesterday - Kazakhstan to double natural gas exports to China

  • Kazakhstan's national gas shipping company KazTransGaz and PetroChina International Company on Monday inked a five-year contract to double Kazakh natural gas exports to China to 10 Bcm per year from 2019.
  • The deal comes as Kazakhstan increases gas production, with associated petroleum gas accounting for the bulk of the output and continues to expand its pipeline infrastructure.
  • In the first nine months of the year, gas production in Kazakhstan rose by 5.9% y/y to 41.45 Bcm, according to the State Statistics Service of Kazakhstan data published Monday.
  • Of the total, associated petroleum gas amounted to 24.4 Bcm, up 10.3% year on year.

Uranium US$27.45/lb vs US$27.50/lb yesterday

           

Bulk:   

Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$69.8/t vs US$69.9/t

Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$685.9/t vs US$685.4/t - Credit Suisse downgrades entire US steel sector 

  • Credit Suisse has downgraded the US steel sector because of concerns over the market becoming oversupplied and demand eroding as a result of rising interest rates.
  • "We are downgrading our US steel sector weighting to Market Weight from Overweight owing to our concerns with new supply entering the sheet market as well as increased concerns on US demand as interest rates rise," Credit Suisse said in a note to clients.
  • The bank also said it sees limited potential for expansion given late-cycle fears and that capital allocation has disappointed relative to investors' 'wish lists’.

Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$94.5/t vs US$95.5/t

Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$191.6/t vs US$191.5/t

           

Other:  

Cobalt LME 3m US$61,750/t vs US$61,750/t

China NdPr Rare Earth Oxide US$46,230/t vs US$46,191/t

China Lithium carbonate 99% US$9,824/t vs US$9,816/t

Tungsten APT European US$275-290/mtu vs US$275-290/mtu

 

Battery stuff:  

Aluminium-Air Flow battery innovation

  • A silver manganate nanoplate has enabled scientists to create a safer, more energy efficient aluminium-based air flow battery at a lower cost.
  • Researchers from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have used the new catalyst to develop an aluminium-air flow battery that could enable electric vehicle drivers to have battery packs that have a longer range and can be replaced.
  • The new battery, when compared to existing lithium-ion batteries, features a higher energy density, lower cost, longer cycle life and higher safety. It is also lightweight with little risk of catching fire or exploding.
  • The team was able to increase the discharge capacity of their battery 17 times as compared to conventional aluminium air batteries.

Brazil to slash electric vehicle tax

  • Brazil will reduce taxes on mass-produced electric vehicles from 25% to 18%.
  • Due to come into force in November, the national government is hoping the cut will boost stagnant EV sales and improve electric urban mobility in a country which only sold 1,472 electric vehicle units in the first six months of 2018.
  • Currently the most affordable EV on the market costs US$30,300.

 

Company News

African Battery Metals (ABM LN) 2.0p, Mkt Cap £2.7m – project update on Ivory Coast nickel, cobalt and chrome project

  • The company announce its commenced geological work on its recently acquired 380 sq km Lizetta II nickel, cobalt and chrome exploration project in Ivory Coast. ABM commissioned a site visit by a technical team, led by a highly qualified exploration geologist to prepare for a structured field exploration programme.
  • Additional historic technical data has been identified during the visit and is in the process of being acquired which will augment the 2017 Watts Griffis McOuat, ("WGM") of Canada, independent consultancy's results already acquired by the Company. The work of WGM re-confirms previous exploration highlighting the occurrence of up to 0.25% Co, 0.87% Ni and >1% Cr in surface anomalies.
  • The major surface anomaly remains open to the South-South-East and provides potential to expand the mineralisation’s footprint. The supplementary surface sampling programme will initially exploration extensions of the anomaly, as well as follow up on unexplored areas, with the aim of identifying areas potentially suitable for reverse circulation drilling.
  • ABM CEO Roger Murphy notes “the work marks the next stage in our development as we look to work closely with all shareholders in developing the current asset base, with includes cobalt and nickel projects in the Cameroon and the DRC, as well as identifying additional opportunities to cement our growth strategy and build value”.

 

Arc Minerals* (LON:ARCM) 4.0p, Mkt Cap £25m – Drilling shows higher copper grades over good intersections from surface

(ARC Minerals currently owns 66% of Zamsort which holds 100% of the Kalaba copper/cobalt mine and associated mineral licenses)

STRONG BUY

  • Arc Minerals continues to report compelling results in drilling at their Kalaba cobalt and copper project in Zambia.
  • The results show elevated Copper grades when compared with the first results with the added benefit of greater value in the Cobalt co-product
  • Critically drilling continues to show mineralisation from or very close to surface with the potential for higher-grade traps.
  • Mineralised intersections also indicate the potential for good economics for mining provided results from metallurgy on the cores shows reasonable recovery rates.
  • Mineralisation is seen for down dip for 600m and along strike for 500m and remains open to the north and west.
  • The team are around a third of the way through the drill program with 25 diamond and 21 Reverse Circulation holes so far drilled.
    • 128m at 0.74% Copper Equivalent from surface
      • Inc. 10m at 0.50% Cu and 0.22% Co for 2.70% Cu Eq. and 19m grading 0.58% Cu
    • 75m at 0.85% Cu Eq. from surface
      • Inc. 19m at 0.49% Cu from surface including 10m at 0.66% copper
    • 59.5m at 0.87% Cu Eq. from 2.8m
      • Inc. 23m 0.54% Cu and 0.10% Co for 1.57% Cu Eq.
  • See Map at: http://www.arcminerals.com/gal.php?gID=148
  • Highlights from the first eight holes drilled showed:
    • 29.3m at 1.15% Cu Eq. from surface to 29.3m with 0.45% Copper and 0.07% Cobalt
      • including from 7.3m; 18.5m at 0.63% Cu and 0.09% Co or 1.52% Cu Eq.
      • and from 17.5m; 8.3m at 0.81% Cu and 0.13% Co or 2.06% Cu Eq.
    • 144m at 0.54% Cu Eq. from surface with 0.20% Cu and 0.03% Co
      • including from 11.5m; 3m at 1.07% Cu and 0.07% Co or 1.79% Cu Eq.
      • and from 33m; 55m at 0.30% Cu and 0.03% Co or 0.63% Cu Eq.
    • 34.3m at 3.26% Cu Eq. from to 39.3m with 1.31% Cu and 0.19% Co
      • including from 48m; 90.83m at 0.24% Cu and 0.03% Co or 0.56% Cu Eq.
    • 127m at 0.64% Cu Eq. from surface with 0.28% Cu and 0.04% Co
      • including from 0m; 8m at 0.41% Cu and 0.14% Co or 1.77% Cu Eq.
      • and from 24m; 26m at 0.53% Cu and 0.01% Co or 0.63% Cu Eq.
      • and from 57m; 48m @ 0.31% Cu and 0.04% Co or 0.68% Cu Eq..

Conclusion: It is very encouraging to see such positive and generally improving grades and intersections so soon in the drill campaign given that we have seen only 11 of the holes drilled so far. We await news of the next batch of assay results and metallurgical work so we can see what sort of processing route should be used and what type of recoveries might be expected.

*An SP Angel analyst has recently visited the Kalaba open pit mine, stockpiles, process plant and drilling operations.

Our intrepid analyst and co-driver drove to site from Lusaka and back again briefly stopping at the Royal Solweizi hotel on the Old Chingola Road.

*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Arc Minerals.

 

Anglo American (LON:AAL) 1673 pence, Mkt Cap £21.6bn – De Beers sees continuing US demand for diamond jewellery

  • Anglo American reports that De Beers achieved sales of US$5475m for its 8th diamond sale of 2018. The figure is provisional at this stage.
  • The level of sales, which is approximately 26% higher than the US$375m achieved at the equivalent stage in 2017 brings year-to-date sales to approximately US$4.4bn, broadly equivalent to the 2017 running total after the eighth sale of the year.
  • Commenting on the result, Bruce Cleaver, De Beers CEO said that “While the Rupee-Dollar exchange rate has impacted demand for lower value categories, we continue to see steady overall demand for De Beers Group rough diamonds, reflecting ongoing consumer demand for diamond jewellery in the US."

 

Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) 3707p, Mkt cap £65.5bn – Q3 production results highlights copper

  • Rio Tinto highlights the strong production profile from its copper division which delivered a 32% increase in mined production (159,700t) during the quarter ending 30th September compared with Q3 2017. The result brings year-to-date output to 455,800t approximately 38% higher than in 2017.
  • The copper operations benefitted from the mining of a higher grade area of Kennecott’s pit associated with “productivity improvements and increased plant throughput”. The company notes, however, that “The production profile is expected to experience increased variation in grade as operations mine in lower levels of the pit, together with waste stripping related to the south wall pushback expansion. Anticipated south wall pushback grade increases beginning in late 2020 are expected to offset this impact over the longer term”.
  • Production at Escondida increased by 6% compared to Q3 2017 to 87,400t as the mine ramped up to nameplate capacity following the commissioning of the Los Colorados concentrator.
  • Copper output also improved, by 7%, at Oyu Tolgoi where output reached 13,200t during the quarter.
  • Overall 2018 copper output is “expected to be at the upper end of the previously published range of between 510 and 610 thousand tonnes. Refined copper production is expected to be between 225 to 265 thousand tonnes.”.
  • Iron ore production remains relatively stable with quarter-on-quarter production down by around 5% compared to 2017 but year-to-date output of 251.2mt approximately 4% higher than in 2017.
  • A final decision on the Koodaideri feasibility is expected by the end of the year and the $1.55bn (Rio Tinto 53%) development of the West Angelas C and D deposits and the Robe Valley sustaining project is expected to start in 2019.
  • Rio Tinto’s iron ore production from its Pilabara operations in W Australia is “expected to be at the upper end of the existing guidance range (330 to 340 million tonnes, 100 per cent basis).”
  • Rio Tinto’s exit from its coal interests has raised in excess of US$4bn with the completion of the sale of the Kestrel and Hail Creek assets in August.
  • The company expensed US$341m of exploration expenditure during the first three quarters of 2018. “bulk of the exploration expenditure in this quarter was focused on copper targets in Australia, Canada, Chile, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Serbia, Uganda, United States and Zambia”.

Conclusion: Copper operations are highlighted in today’s production quarterly and exploration expenditure seems to be directed at evaluating additional copper targets.

 

SolGold* (LON:SOLG) 41.8p, Mkt Cap £717m – BHP invests a further US$45m in Solgold at a premium to market

  • Solgold reports that BHP is investing a further £45m in Solgold via a subscription for 100m additional shares at 45p per share. The price is reported by BHP to be “a 32 per cent premium to the 20 day volume-weighted average London Stock Exchange price of 34 pence per share”.
  • The additional investment increases BHP’s stake from the 6.1% interest it originally acquired through its purchase of the Guyana Goldfields stake in September up to 11.18 percent.
  • We note that in its presentation in September, Solgold showed that Newcrest Mining held a 14.5% interest and the support of two major mining companies is a significant endorsement of the quality of the Cascabel project and of Solgold’s wider exploration strategy in Ecuador which is increasingly emerging as an attractive exploration destination.
  • The extra funds are to be deployed to advance “the Cascabel Project in 2019, including a concerted focus on the further expansion of the Alpala resource, completion of the preliminary economic analysis, currently underway and pre-feasibility studies currently targeted for end 2019”. Recent statements from the company indicate that  an updated mineral resource estimate for the Alpala deposit is expected during December.
  • BHP will have the right to nominate a director to Solgold’s board provided it maintains its holding above 10% of the company and “For a period of two years, BHP has agreed to support proposed change of control transactions relating to, and capital raising up to a limit by SolGold, provided these actions have the support of 60 per cent of SolGold's shareholders. During this period, BHP will also support proposals by the SolGold board to appoint or remove a director”.
  • In addition, subject to certain conditions, BHP has agreed to a two-years standstill agreement capping its interest at a threshold of approximately 246.6m shares.
  • Commenting on the agreement with BHP, Solgold’s CEO, Nick Mather, said that SolGold is pleased to have entered this agreement with BHP.  We believe that the Alpala project is one of the five best undeveloped copper projects in the world.  SolGold is intent on taking an aggressive path to the development of this exciting project and BHP's investment is welcome.”
  • BHP’s Danny Malchuk, President Minerals Americas, commented that “Ecuador is a highly prospective region for the next generation of copper supply. This additional investment in SolGold strengthens our strategic position in the Cascabel copper exploration project, and is consistent with BHP's strategy to replenish our copper resource base and grow the business.”

Conclusion: BHP’s increased investment in Solgold is being made at a premium to market and is a powerful endorsement of the Cascabel project and Solgold’s wider exploration strategy in Ecuador. The additional funds should facilitate the continuing pace of project assessment and development as Solgold moves ahead with pre-feasibility studies in 2019.

*SP Angel act as UK broker to SolGold

 

Talga Resources* (ASX:TLG) A$0.54, Mkt Cap A$117m – Talga anode enables ultra-fast charge battery

  • Positive test results on Talga’s Li-ion battery anode product are shown to outperform commercial benchmark results and enables ultra-fast charge rates >300mAh/g at 20°C.
  • The results from a leading ‘independent’ European battery test facility working in partnership with Talga follow breakthrough results first published in May 2018.
  • Accelerated development of the anode material is subjected to high charge conditions and benchmarked against a global leading commercial anode product at the facility.
  • In practical terms, this anode performance enables a Li-ion battery to be charged from 0% to 100% in ‘3’ minutes without losing its capacity.
  • Fast-charging Li-ion batteries are increasingly important as consumer demand is for shorter charging times, but have a significant negative impact on the life of conventional graphite battery anodes.
  • Rapid charging increases the risk of internal overheating and the growth of metal dendrites which create short circuits the battery leading to potential catastrophic failure (ignition).
  • The Talga anode product has been engineered to have excess capacity in the anode compared to a conventional cell anode, enabling ultra-fast charge rates of 20 Coulombs, while top-tier conventional graphite cells lose capacity when charged at a rate of 5 Coulombs. A Coulomb is a defined at one ampere-second, eg the flow of one amp of electrical power in a second.
  • Testing of Talga’s Talnode™ is ongoing at a number of battery test facilities in Europe and at a leading independent battery development institute in Asia.
  • Test parameters include customer protocols and specifications, with results benchmarked against current commercial anode materials.
  • Managing Director, Mark Thompson, adds “ultra-fast charging is a key goal of li-ion battery developers and a high value customer deliverable. The target for the next generation of electric vehicles is to charge in the same time it takes to currently fill a tank with fuel”.

Conclusion – Benchmarked test results of ‘Talnode’ material highlight the superior performance of developed graphite anode product. The results are promising for ultra-fast charging capabilities, and we look forward to following the results as test work is scaled up from coin cell scale.

*SP Angel acts as UK broker to Talga Resources. SP Angel analysts have visited the leading battery R&D institution WMG partnering with Talga.  

 

URU Metals (LON:URU) 0.35p, Mkt Cap £2.7m - contact to nickel-PGM mineralisation identified

  • URU Metal reports it is confident it has identified the geological contact to nickel-PGM (PGE) mineralisation at its Zebediela project.
  • Data from the 11 survey lines will now be tied into earlier drilling and geophysical data and will be supported by results to come from soil geochemistry.
  • Zebediela which is located in the Bushveld region of South Africa looks as if it could demonstrate a substantial scale near-surface nickel resource with Platinum Group Metal credits.
  • Metallurgical test work has previously indicated some positive results for nickel recovery rates suggesting the potential for economic extraction if sufficient grade and uniformity of mineralisation is proven.
  • Work done earlier this year ruled out the use of a Rados XRF (x-ray) ore sorter to economically upgrade mill feedstock though the Rados sorter did upgrade the overall mill feed. Further work could result in more optimal upgrading of feedstock further improving the potential economics of the Zebediela project.
  • A six-hole drill program reported in July indicated an average grade of 0.44% nickel and 1.85% PGE over an average thickness of 4.2m and a depth of 28m to 176m below surface.
  • The basket price value of these grades were reported as $132/t at the time ranking the project close to Anglo American’s Waterberg Project F-Zone and just behind Current mine reserves in the Merensky Reef.
  • Zebedia’s good average intersection widths indicates potential for lower cost mining but this will really depend on the recovery rates gained.
  • The potential for open pit mining looks good providing recovery rates for the suite of metals is sufficient in the near-surface oxidised zone.
  • The potential for ore sorting and upgrading of feedstock material could further enhance the economics of this project thought larger sample work will need to be done to determine the consistency of any process.
  • Reported test work shows 80% of the nickel contained at Zebedia can be dissolved into solution after 26 days with consumption of 447kg/t of 1.8PH acid vs a 50% overall nickel recovery seen previously.
  • Previously announced results include:
    • 9m at 0.15% copper, 0.43% total nickel and 1.97g/t PGE from 78.9m depth
      • including 1.8m at 0.1% copper 0.44% total nickel and 1.6g/t PGE from 100m depth
    • 10.0m at 0.18% copper, 0.52% total nickel and 2.39g/t from 43.2m
      • Including  2.1m at 0.15% copper 0.59% total nickel and 2.0g/t PGE from 137m
    • 4.8m at  0.12% copper, 0.48% total nickel and 2.15g/t PGE 176m
    • 3.6m at 0.09% copper, 0.35% total nickel and 0.89g/t PGE from 28.9m
      • Including 0.5m at 0.13% copper 0.39% total nickel and 6.37g/t PGE from 70m
  • URU recently appointed Jay Viera as non-executive Chairman. Jay is VP of corporate and legal affairs at Distinct Infrastructure Group Inc. Formerly he was a partner with, law firm, Fogler, Rubinoff LLP in Toronto where he focussed on securities and corporate finance

Conclusion: The challenge for URU Metals is to work up a robust project with sufficient scale, grade and recovery rates. Today’s work on locating the contact takes the team a step closer in their understanding of the mineral resource.

*SP Angel acts as Nomad and broker to URU Metals


Vast Resources (LON:VAST) 0.63p, Mkt Cap £35m – Baita association license secured

  • The Company secured the right to restart mining operations at the high grade polymetallic Baita Plai Mine in Romania.
  • African Consolidated Resources, the Company’s 80% subsidiary, have now signed and pre-agreed commercial associations contract with Baita SA, the holder of the head license.
  • The team is planning an accelerated re-start programme with initial production from Baita Plai for H1/19.
  • The Company will be releasing the schedule of start-up works over the coming days.
  • “This is a momentous day for Vast as we move forward with Baita Plai, alongside our numerous other production, development and appraisal assets in Romania and Zimbabwe, and target mid-tier multi-commodity producer status,” the Company commented on the news.

 

Conclusion: The secured license allows the Company to launch restart works at a high grade high margin operation with the team expecting first production in H1/19. The project is benefiting from good on-site infrastructure including production shafts, developed adits and cross-cuts, road access, reliable power source and historic tailings dam. The site also features the processing plant that has been running standard crushing/milling/flotation process before suspension in 2011. This allows the Company to keep restart works at an estimated minimal $1.5m.

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