SP Angel . Morning View . Tuesday 23 02 21
Copper leads metals higher following Chinese Central Committee comments
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Adriatic Metals* (LON:ADT1) (ASX:ADT) – Acquisition of RAS Metals
Arc Minerals* (AIM:ARCM) – Change of accounting reference date and issue of 1.2m new shares to service provider
Caledonia Mining* (AIM:CMCL) – Non-executive appointment
Strategic Minerals* (AIM:SML) – Exploring potential to the west at Redmoor
Rainbow Rare Earths* (LON:RBW) – 10,000tpa Gakara down-stream process plant feasibility confirmed
Sunrise Resources (AIM:SRES) – Progress report on projects
Metals prices continue to push higher following comments from the China’s Central Committee
- The market has taken comments from China’s Central Committee as a firm indication that China is going to continue to extend the growth it has crated in and around its cities into rural areas.
- The markets see this as extending demand for metals and other commodities with copper, iron ore, rare earths all continuing to rise.
- President Xi told a high-level committee to ‘deepen reforms’ to ensure ‘high standards’ of self-sufficiency and economic independence (SCMP).
- Xi’s is focussing on boosting rural infrastructure and economic growth, reorganising agriculture and eliminating poverty.
- There is also increasing focus on hi-tech industries, technological innovation and domestic demand (eg Dual Circulation).
- China will release it’s new work report in two weeks at the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress.
Ferro-vanadium - prices jump 45% to US$31.5/kg in China from US$30.5/kg (Asian Metal)
US – Investors are awaiting Fed Chairman testimony to Congressional committees over the next two days to gauge the central bank sentiment towards increasing inflation expectations amid the upcoming fiscal stimulus and ongoing expansionary monetary policy.
Eurozone - CPI 0.2% mom for January
- CPI 0.9% yoy for January
- Core CPI 1.4% yoy for January
Japan – The government is planning to lift the state of emergency outside the Tokyo area a week earlier than planned as the number of new infections come down easing the strain on hospitals.
- Markets are closed today as the nation celebrates 'Tennou Tanjyobi' or The Emperor’s Birthday.
Germany – The government is considering a €50bn additional COVID-19 related stimulus including funding for the virus tests, Bloomberg reports.
- The funding amounting to ~1.5% of the nation’s GDP is only an initial estimate and it remains unclear if the funds will be used in the end.
UK – The nation eyes full easing of restrictions by mid-June with the government prepared to extend emergency economic life support measures until summer.
- The phased reopening of the economy will start with schools on March 8 and potentially see the rest of the economy returning back to normal on June 21.
- A separate report released this morning showed unemployment picked up in three months to December to 5.1%, in line with expectations, and up 0.4pp on the previous quarter.
- That was the highest rate in almost five years.
- In order to avoid further job losses amid a continuing lockdown, UK Chancellor is expected to announce an extension to the furlough job support scheme on March 3 that is currently expected to run out on April 30.
- UK Chancellor A business rates holiday is also expected to be extended.
South Africa – Official unemployment hit a record high in Q4 amid the raging pandemic.
- The jobless rate climbed to 32.5% from 30.8% in Q3/20.
UK – More than half UK firms are planning to hire new staff
- Less companies are also planning to cut jobs highlighting how well the furlough scheme has worked so far
Currencies US$1.2160/eur vs 1.2107eur yesterday. Yen 105.18/$ vs 105.78/$. SAr 14.672/$ vs 14.860/$. $1.408/gbp vs $1.400/gbp. 0.791/aud vs 0.786/aud. CNY 6.461/$ vs 6.469/$.
Gold US$1,809/oz vs US$1,792/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 105.1moz vs US$105.5moz yesterday
Platinum US$1,260/oz vs US$1,266/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,401/oz vs US$2,391/oz yesterday
Silver US$28.06/oz vs US$27.34/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 9,186/t vs US$9,037/t yesterday – Zambia copper production rose 10.8% to 882,061t for new record in 2020 (Reuters)
- The nations plans to produce more than 900,000t of copper in 2021 rising to >1mt in future years
Aluminium US$ 2,168/t vs US$2,146/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 19,460/t vs US$19,700/t yesterday - Philippine nickel output rose 3% YoY in 2020
- Nickel output rose to 334,000t last year from 323,000t a year prior according to government data, although only 18 out of 30 nickel mines reported output.
- The country’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau warned of uncertainty in 2021, commenting: “The outlook for 2021 for the minerals industry remains uncertain as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a threat to lives and livelihoods,”
- The Bureau expressed hopes that rising prices of nickel in the world market and the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines would encourage miners to restart and ramp up production, and pave the way for new projects to come on stream (Reuters).
Zinc US$ 2,898/t vs US$2,904/t yesterday
Lead US$ 2,158/t vs US$2,160/t yesterday
Tin US$ 26,595/t vs US$26,570/t yesterday
Oil US$66.1/bbl vs US$63.4/bbl yesterday
Natural Gas US$2.916/mmbtu vs US$2.977/mmbtu yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$171.5/t vs US$168.2/t - Anglo American to spend $246m extending life to Sishen iron ore mine
Anglo is set to spend 3.6bn rand to extend the life of its Sishen open pit operation to 2040 as the company improves efficiency and deploys new technology through its high-density media separation project.
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$719.6/t vs US$714.4/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$67.0/t vs US$65.8/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$154.5/t vs US$154.5/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$50,000/t vs US$50,000/t - Zambia's cobalt production fell 21.8% to 287t in 2020 from 367t in 2019.
The fall was down to lower grades and and operational challenges at the Konkola Copper Mine.
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$73,288/t vs US$73,200/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$11,144/t vs US$10,822/t
Spodumene 6% Li2O min, cif (China) US$455/t vs US$395/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$31.5/kg vs US$30.5/kg
Ferro-Manganese high carbon 78% Mn US$1,610/t vs US$1,610/t
Tungsten APT European US$250-255/mtu vs US$250-255/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$560/t vs US$560/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,625/t vs US$2,625/t
Lucid Motors to go public in $24bn SPAC deal
The Luxury EV maker has agreed to go public by merging with blanc-cheque firm Churchill Capital IV Corp in a deal worth $24bn.
Lucid is on track to start production and deliveries of in North America in the second half of this year with Lucid Air, its first vehicle.
The EV maker plans to build vehicles at its factory in Arizona, and aims to deliver 20,000 vehicles in 2022 and 251,000 in 2026.
The Lucid Air has a starting price of $77,400 and expected to have a 500-mile driving range.
Adriatic Metals* (LON:ADT1) (ASX:ADT) 129p, Mkt cap £265m – Acquisition of RAS Metals
Adriatic reports that it has completed the acquisition of the entire issues share capital of RAS Metals, who’s assets include the exploration licenses for both Kizevak and Sastavci, known together as the ‘Raska Project’.
The acquisition was completed under an agreement held by Tethyan Resource Corp, a wholly owned subsidiary of the company.
Since the Tethyan acquisition last year, 11,000m of diamond core drilling has been completed on the Raska licenses, focused around the area South East of Kizevak, where under the prior ownership of Tethyan, thick intersections of high-grade mineralisation were drilled.
The consideration paid for the remaining 90% of the shares in RAS Metals that the Company did not already hold was EUR 1,365,000 in cash plus the allotment of 166,000 Ordinary shares of 0.013355p each in the Company.
Additionally, there is deferred consideration of EUR 500,000 in cash, payable on 14 May 2022, and 498,000 Ordinary shares in the Company that will be allotted in three equal tranches on or around 22 August 2021, 22 February 2022 & 22 August 2022.
*An SP Angel mining analyst has visited Adriatic Metals operations in Bosnia
Arc Minerals* (AIM:ARCM) – 7p, Mkt cap £73m – Change of accounting reference date and issue of 1.2m new shares to service provider
(Arc holds 72.5% of Zaco and 66% of Zamsort in Zambia. Zamsort has a portfolio of copper-cobalt prospects close to FQM’s new Trident mine on the Copperbelt in Zambia. The Cheyeza project is 66% owned by Arc Minerals through its holding in Zamsort.)
Arc Minerals reports the company is changing its accounting reference date to 31 December to align the date with the operations of the group.
The company also reports the issue of 1.2m new shares worth £85,000 to a service provider.
A former director of the company has also exercised options over 1.2m shares at a strike price of 4.5p/s bringing in £54,000.
Arc is preparing to restart drilling in Zambia with the end of the rainy season to follow up on the results seen at Fwiji and Muswema where the company recently commented on the identification of significant sulphide mineralisation.
Management are planning on drilling deeper holes to extend the depth of known mineralisation on the new targets
Arc is also in contact with Anglo American which has completed its technical due diligence and may or may not make an offer for an earn-in or jv style transaction.
Covid-19 has delayed the turnaround of some assay results but Zambia has seen relatively Covid-19 impact possibly due to robust BCG vaccination programs in the past.
Arc are fast tracking a scoping study for a process plant at Cheyeza East which is due in Q2.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and broker. Our intrepid mining analyst and co-driver drove to Arc’s license and pilot process plant at Kalaba from Lusaka and back again.
Caledonia Mining* (AIM:CMCL) 1167.5p, Mkt Cap £141m – Non-executive appointment
Caledonia Mining has announced the appointment of Mrs Geralda Wildschutt as an independent non-executive director of the company with immediate effect.
Mrs Wildschutt is described as bringing “a wealth of experience with 25 years working in social development and stakeholder management in the fields of social performance, community relations in mining operations, financial services and industry bodies focused on responsible mining”.
In recent years she has assisted Anglo American, Gold Fields Ivanhoe Mines and South 32, in a consulting capacity, “on a range of social performance areas, including social investment, ESG compliance, human rights and social impact assessments, strengthening of community trusts, capacity building and systems development” and prior to this she was engaged in social and ESG related issues as an employee with various major mining companies including Gold Fields and Anglo American.
Caledonia Mining’s Chairman, Leigh Wilson welcomed the new appointment and said that with her African expertise and experience in sustainability and community relations “Her expertise will prove invaluable and my fellow Board members and I very much look forward to working with her”.
*SP Angel mining analysts have visited Caledonia’s mining operations in Zimbabwe
Phoenix Copper* (LON:PXC) 41.5p, Mkt Cap £25.3m – £2m debt facility to accelerate the Empire project
(Phoenix holds 80% of the Empire mining property in Idaho)
We apologise for an inadvertent error in our comments yesterday in which we incorrectly referred to Phoenix Copper’s CFO, Mr. Richard Wilkins as Richard Williams. We regret any embarrassment this may have caused to Mr. Wilkins and any confusion to our readers.
We take the opportunity to reissue our comment below.
Phoenix Copper has announced that it has drawn down a £2m debt facility in order to expedite the development of its Empire mine open pit copper project located close to Mackay, Idaho.
CFO, Richard Wilkins, explained that the new facility, which pays interest at 8%pa, “will allow the Company to accelerate project development whilst we work on the final project financing package, which will be primarily debt related, and will be used to repay the Facility.”
Mr. Wilkins also commented that “Our next objective is to submit the project Plan of Operations to the relevant authorities as soon as possible, so that we can commence the final stages of construction permitting”.
Last week, the company announced the results of a revised economic plan involving the extraction of a total of 14.3mt of mineralised material currently within the measured and indicated resources in order to produce an average of 8,550tpa of copper, 1,970tpa of zinc, 17,235oz pa of gold and 680,050oz pa of silver at a life-of mine copper equivalent cash cost of US$1.83/lb or US$1,190/oz of equivalent gold.
Unlike earlier plans, which focused largely on the recovery of copper, the new study reflects the recovery of gold and silver made possible by the use of the environmentally benign reagent, ammonium thiosulphate.
Implementing a ten-year, two-phase development plan, with precious metal recovery commencing in the fourth tear of operations, Phoenix Copper’s plan envisages that pre-production capital investment of US$52.6m generates a pre-tax NPV7.5% of US$105m and IRR of 57%. The company’s analysis shows an after-tax NPV7.5% of US$88m and IRR of 47%.
The study estimates commodity prices of US$3.60/lb for copper, US$1.20/lb for zinc, US$1,825/oz for gold and US$27/oz for silver.
Conclusion: The debt facility will enable Phoenix Copper to accelerate the Empire mine open-pit copper mine project which will now also recover precious metals using an environmentally friendly processing method which, in our view, should facilitate the project permitting.
*SP Angel act as Nomad for Phoenix Copper
Strategic Minerals* (AIM:SML) 0.55p, Mkt Cap £10.7m – Exploring potential to the west at Redmoor
Strategic Minerals has announced that it is starting a further programme of trenching and auger drilling to investigate western extensions to the mineralisation at its Redmoor project in Cornwall.
The programme, which is aimed at three priority tin and copper mineralised targets located approximately 1km west of the existing inferred mineral resource at Redmoor is following up a review of historical exploration data from the 1960s to the 1980s, including an historic core-drilling intercept of 1.26% tin over a width of 2.55m from a depth of 40.01m (30m below surface) in hole RM79-01 drilled in 1979.
The company explains that “Three priority targets, primarily for tin and copper, have been selected for follow-up. The planned program will utilise a combination of powered-auger sampling and trenching techniques. … It is likely that similar techniques will be employed to follow-up anomalies identified during the forthcoming separate Deep Digital Cornwall geochemistry program …[and] … Ultimately, this work is expected to lead to the definition of a series of additional targets suitable for reconnaissance drilling at a later stage should the initial exploration work be successful”.
Executive Director, Peter Wale, explained that “it likely that the western potential of Redmoor extends farther away from the granite intrusions which drove the mineralisation in the area. As such, the mineralisation is likely to be richer in those metals that are typically distributed more distally from the source, such as tin and copper”.
Highlighting the existing inferred resource of 11.7mt averaging a tin equivalent grade of 1,17% already established at Redmoor, Mr. Wale said the “the proposed work programme is designed to increase our confidence in the strike continuity of the main Redmoor system; to investigate a number of separate tin and copper lode-style targets; and to act as a precursor to further work associated with the recent Deep Digital Cornwall grant”.
Conclusion: Investigation of the westward extent of the mineralisation towards historic exploration results from the 1980s and earlier has the potential, ultimately, to expand the overall mineral resource inventory at Redmoor and we look forward to the results from this initial exploration of three priority target areas.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Strategic Minerals
Power Metal Resources* (AIM:POW) 2.8p, Mkt cap £30.8m – Drilling update
Power Metal reports drilling progress at its Molopo Farms Complex Project, targeting massive nickel sulphide and PGM mineralisation in Botswana.
The second diamond drill hole KKME 1-6, has been continued from 547m to a final depth of 598m in ultramafic rocks which will provide further core from the geophysical target depth and will assist in further geophysical interpretation.
Core from holes KKME1-6 and KKME1-14 have been transported to Lobatse where it is being cut by the Botswana Geoscience Institute in preparation for half-core samples being sent to a South African assay laboratory for base and precious metal analysis this week.
Logging KKME 1-6 cut core has identified disseminated sulphide mineralisation below 500m drill hole depth, further to mineralisation identified around 308-313m drill hole depth from the initial KKME 1-6 core inspection.
A report from Aster Funds has shown that satellite based survey data has identified about 14 new targets in the feeder zone, with priority targets recommended to be ranked for follow-up ground exploration.
Paul Johnson Chief Executive Officer of Power Metal Resources commented: "Identification of additional visible sulphides deeper in hole KKME 1-6 gives further encouraging signals to the prospect of discovering significant mineralisation within the Molopo Farms Complex.”
“So far we are encouraged by the indications from core logging, and await assay results and mineralogical studies to confirm the sulphide minerals present. To be absolutely clear we make no assumption as to which sulphide minerals are present and await the assay results, and those results will likely guide the next exploration steps.”
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Power Metal Resources
Rainbow Rare Earths* (LON:RBW) 18.92p, Mkt Cap £89m – 10,000tpa Gakara down-stream process plant feasibility confirmed
Rainbow completes acquisition of Phalaborwa tailings and REE pilot plant
(Rainbow hold 70% of Phalaborwa with 30% to be held by Bosveld Phosphates. There is currently no BEE requirement as this is a retreatment processing operation)
Rainbow Rare Earths confirm they are working on the feasibility of a 10,000tpa downstream process plant to process ore from the Gakara mine in Burundi.
The feasibility is focussing on the production of an enriched mixed rare earth carbonate from the very high-grade ore from the Gakara mine.
The new plant will double capacity to 10,000tpa from the previously proposed 5,000tpa plant in the SGS PEA study and following the identification of new mineable areas of high-grade ore.
The new feasibility study is being done by METC ‘Metallurgical Engineering Technology and Construction (Pty) Ltd’ who will re-validate and update the SGS PEA which was based on a SAAB ‘Strong Acid Agitated Bake’ process.
The METC optimised process plans to produce a high-grade cerium-depleted mixed rare earth carbonate of 39% NdPr.
CAPEX: METC estimated US$35.2m for a 10,000tpa plant ($3,522/t capacity)
This compares well with the previous SGS PEA in 2015 est. $22.3m for a 5,000tpa plant ($4,456/t capacity) in 2015.
OPEX: METC Operating cost est. $1,279/t
This is a significant improvement on the SGS PEA est. at $1,654/t in 2015.
Capital intensity: The METC work estimates a 21% reduction in capital intensity and 23% in operating cost.
Location: The METC plant would be located in South Africa to give strong synergies with Rainbow’s Phalaborwa project.
The South African location will benefit hugely from local engineering and mineral processing skills and specialist companies resident in the area.
This will help Rainbow create a consistent high-purity NdPr-rich, cerium-depleted, mixed rare earth carbonate product supporting the economics of the Gakara and Phalaborwa projects.
SGS live tested five process routes to develop the SAAB process for a cerium-depleted mixed carbonate
Rainbow is also considering using renewable energy as a power source
Conclusion: Rainbow are in the very fortunate position of being able to scale up production. The team plan to define a new JORC resource at Gakara and to build the downstream plant in two to three years using +/- 80% project finance.
*SP Angel act as broker and financial advisor to Rainbow Rare Earths
Sunrise Resources (AIM:SRES) 0.26p Mkt Cap £9.6m – Progress report on projects
Sunrise Resources has provided a progress report on its CS Pozzolan-Perlite project in Nevada as well as its plans to start drilling at its Bakers Gold project in Australia at the end of March.
Following the successful extraction and delivery of a 500t bulk sample of natural pozzolan material from the CS project to an un-named large cement and ready-mix concrete producer Sunrise Resources expects that the ground pozzolan will be used in “a number of commercial concrete pours” from the end of March.
The company confirms that its own independent testing of concrete made using natural pozzolan from the project area in place of 20% of the Portland Cement has shown 7-day mortar strength measurements in excess of those required under the relevant ASTM standard (American Society for Testing of Materials) and that consequently Sunrise Resources “is expecting positive results” from the commercial scale concrete pours.
Sunrise Resources also advises that demand for horticultural grade perlite, which is also present at the CS Project, has reached exceptional levels in 2021, and that consequently as a result of this demand “potential customers have been reluctant to cease commercial production in order to use their production facilities to test the Company's product and as a result testing was delayed, cut short and, in one case, not yet started. Only one potential customer has provided detailed feedback to date, describing the test as "promising but inconclusive".
“Alongside the opportunities for horticultural perlite, the Company is also continuing its evaluation of production opportunities for industrial grades of perlite which make up 84% of the perlite market and which have been produced successfully from CS project perlite at a laboratory scale”.
The planned drilling in Australia will consist of five reverse-circulation drill-holes extending to depths of 1-200m “to test three separate gold targets which include old mine workings, areas of gold nugget production and a gold-in-soil geochemical anomaly”.
Conclusion: Promising strength test results from concrete made using the natural pozzolan from the CS Project are encouraging and may well be further vindicated by commercial scale concrete pours due to start over the coming months. Delays have been encounterd to testing the Project’s perlite as a horticultural product and the potential to produce industrial grade perlite is now under consideration. Drilling of the Australian Baker Gold project is expected to start with an initial five RC holes programme in late March.
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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
Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Tin, Cobalt
Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore
- Bloomberg OTC Composite
Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Antimony
- Asian Metal
- Metal Bulletin
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