SP Angel . Morning View . Thursday 08 07 21
Metals prices pull back on strong US dollar amid general summer slowdown
Graphene producer funding – EIS scheme approval applied for
The company wishes to fund a ramp up in graphene production to get ahead of demand and to develop markets for a number of new, graphene products
The business is also able to upgrade graphite to a higher grade/specifications using its process – rolling out this process also requires funding
Please email if you wish to invest in the company
*SP Angel’s role is limited to making introductions and interested parties should be aware that investment in a private company can present certain risks not present in listed companies (e.g. limited or no liquidity and no rules compelling disclosure of information to investors). This offer is open to professional investors only and is not offered to retail investors.
Altus Strategies* (LON:ALS) – BUY, 118p, CLICK FOR PDF – Encouraging Tabakorole Gold Project drilling results
BeMetals (CVE:BMET) – New CFO appointed
Caledonia Mining* (LON:CMCL) – Zimbabwean listing under consideration
Central Asia Metals (LON:CAML) – H1 operational update indicates that Sasa is likely to deliver at the lower end of its 2021 production guidance
Orosur Mining* (LON:OMI) - CLICK FOR PDF – Flashnote – Drill results highlight progress at Anza
Shanta Gold (LON:SHG) – NLGM adds new ounces to the resource
SolGold* (LON:SOLG) – Moving towards an initial, internal, resources estimate at Cacharposa in Ecuador
China – SRB metals snapped up in seconds at auction
Metals prices pull back on stronger US dollar as US Federal Reserve reaffirms tapering of its asset purchase scheme
Chinese attempts to reduce metals prices may have suffered a significant setback as State Reserve Bureau metals were snapped up within seconds of their posting at auction (SCMP).
The authorities succeeded in cooling the market through announcements on SRB sales but the auction of 100,000t of metal is seen by many as way too small for any real difference.
Traders who were lucky enough to buy the metal were able to make a quick turn on the ShFE copper, zinc and aluminium price.
China should take advice from Gordon Brown who successfully depressed global gold prices to a 20-year low from 1999-2002 with the unintended consequence of causing hundreds of thousands of artisanal gold miners to suffer significant loss of income across Africa and Latin America.
While Beijing may be keeping its powder dry for later auctions SRB sales are likely to become less effective unless there is significant weakening of demand.
Rising Covid-19 cases in Yunnan are reported to be affecting smelters in the region restricting supply.
Demand normally weakens through the summer months in China as factories close for maintenance.
Record demand for Chinese goods may drive manufacturers to delay maintenance schedules unless logistics issues force closure.
We suspect low-value goods manufacturers who are finding the higher cost of containers will struggle while higher value goods will continue to export at high levels.
China battery production continues to grow amidst domestic NEV uptake
China’s production and installation of batteries continues to rise driven by the rapid growth in the ‘new energy vehicle’ (NEV) industry.
May battery production totalled 13.8GWh, an increase of 165% from the same period in 2020.
Battery production has reached a total capacity of 59.5GWh in January to May 2021.
The domestic NEV industry has also grown rapidly since the middle of 2020 as COVID-19 lockdown measures eased – production reached 967,000 units from January to May 2021, with sales totalling 938,000 units according to the China Automotive Manufacturers Association (CAAM)
NEV sales are forecast by CAAM to reach 2.4m units, up 70% compared with 2020.
Dow Jones Industrials +0.30% at 34,682
Nikkei 225 -0.88% at 28,118
HK Hang Seng -2.78% at 27,183
Shanghai Composite -0.79% at 3,526
US dollar strengthens following Fed minutes, causing gold and most industrial metals prices to fall
Gold prices fell on Thursday following six straight days of gains, as investors mulled Federal Reserve minutes that showed policy makers wanted a more solid economic recovery before setting a timeline for trimming bond purchases.
The US dollar rose for a third straight day, closing at its highest level in more than three months and making commodities more expensive for other currency holders.
Notes from the June meeting indicated officials weren’t ready to scale back the bond-buying programme, although also acknowledged the need to plan for stimulus tapering.
Copper prices fell as much as 0.8% earlier this morning, while aluminium declined 0.8% and zinc 0.6%.
Copper has fallen more than 10% from record highs in May due to a rebounding US dollar and China’s efforts to rein in surging commodity prices.
US – FOMC June meeting minutes showed members debating over whether the US economy was ready to have a reduction in its $120bn monthly asset purchases programme brought forward.
“Various participants” felt at the meeting that conditions for reducing the central bank’s asset purchases would be “met somewhat earlier than they had anticipated”.
Some members advocated for a more cautious approach given potential uncertainty around reopening of the economy and argued that further information is required to better assess the path of the market labour and inflation.
Market reaction was relatively muted with S&P 500 and 10y bond yields trading in a range on the release of the report.
Attention turns to the semi-annual Fed Chairman monetary policy address to the Senate Banking Committee that starts July 15.
Japan – Authorities are expected to declare state of emergency in Tokyo during the Olympic Games.
Under the renewed state of emergency the Tokyo public will be asked to stay at home during Games.
The government is set to review its limits on a maximum of 10,000 of spectators in stadiums or 50% of total capacity, before the end of the week.
The nation noted increased prevalence of the Delta variant in the country.
Olympics are planned to be launched July 23.
South Korea – The government is considering reinstating tougher social distancing measures as the number of new cases hit the highest daily tally since the start of pandemic, FT reports.
1,275 new cases were recorded on Thursday, a near doubling from levels seen just a week ago, amid the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.
The nation has also been experiencing vaccine delays and supply shortages challenging plans to inoculate 3/4s of the 52m population by September.
Xiconomics – New ‘Xi Jinping Economic Thought Research Centre' In Beijing to promote Xiconomics
The move follows the creation of the Xi Jinping Research Centre for the Rule of Law last month and the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy Research Centre last year.
The new research bodies are seen as part of a strategy to strengthen the President Xi’s control over more government functions and consolidate Xi’s power.
Formerly economic policy was seen as guided by the Chinese premier.
The new research centre is seen as likely to propose Xi’s Dual Circulation strategy where the state stimulates internal consumption to lift demand while continuing to promote exports.
The trade war with the US along with logistics issues and Covid-19 have highlighted China’s reliance on export trade flows and the vulnerability of its SMEs to imported inflation and logistics disruption.
We suspect the new thinktank will spend some time working out strategies to break the dominance of the US dollar as the world’s major trading currency accounting for >50% of all cross-border trade invoices..
The ability of the US to weaponise the dollar and block US dollar transactions which wire through US banks has been used to restrict trade by Iran and certain Russian companies.
Chinese government tightening of oversight on data security and overseas listings wipes >$800bn off value of local tech companies
China is moving to tighten its oversight of data collection and its use within Chinese tech giants.
LinkDoc has already had to cancel plans for a US IPO following the crackdown as the China initiated an investigation by its cybersecurity regulator.
LinkDoc, a medical data company, backed by a subsidiary of Alibaba Health had already filed its prospectus in the US and was looking to raise $211m at $17.5-19.5c at a @1.5bn valuation.
The move is symptomatic of a paranoid regime which feels threatened by the rise of technology giants such as Ali Baba.
China banned Facebook along with many other global social media companies with the ‘Great Firewall’ in China preventing users from accessing non-approved sites.
China outlines wartime conscription plans
The regulations highlight veterans as targets for active service in the event of a war.
China – bans super skyscrapers of >500m with towers >250m limited
Buildings >100m must also match the scale and fire rescue capacity of their districts
We suspect the new regulations are partially in response to the embarrassment of the wobbling SEG Plaza skyscraper in Shenzhen.
UK house prices slide as stamp duty holiday comes to an end
UK house prices are reported to be sliding as the holiday for stamp duty draws to a close
Property prices fell by 0.5% in June mom.
We also understand that a proportion of buyers are struggling to meet stricter criteria for mortgage lending set by regulators post the sub-prime crisis.
Haiti president assassinated by commandos at home as gang violence and political instability rises
FCA to ban the term ‘Chinese Wall’
The ban will remove the term Chinese Wall from its literature and rules so as to foster a more inclusive culture.
The term Chinese Wall dates back to around 1929 in the US and is a metaphor for the Great Wall of China.
We wonder what they will replace it with? Maybe a ‘Iron Curtain’ or perhaps ‘We are sorry, we don’t want to offend anyone Wall’.
Alternatively the FCA could look for an alternative wall / barrier such as Hadrian’s Wall or Offa’s Dyke.
US$1.1805/eur vs 1.1821/eur yesterday. Yen 110.01/$ vs 110.73/$. SAr 14.416$ vs 14.352/$. $1.378/gbp vs $1.380/gbp. 0.744/aud vs 0.751/aud. CNY 6.482/$ vs 6.468/$.
Gold US$1,800/oz vs US$1,802/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 100.5moz vs US$100.5moz yesterday
Platinum US$1,079/oz vs US$1,097/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,838/oz vs US$2,817/oz yesterday
Silver US$25.92/oz vs US$26.35/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 9,365/t vs US$9,489/t yesterday
Aluminium US$ 2,462/t vs US$2,525/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 18,295/t vs US$18,295/t yesterday
Zinc US$ 2,925/t vs US$2,966/t yesterday
Lead US$ 2,274/t vs US$2,314/t yesterday
Tin US$ 31,570/t vs US$31,700/t yesterday
Oil US$73.1/bbl vs US$75.2/bbl yesterday
Natural Gas US$3.583/mmbtu vs US$3.680/mmbtu yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$207.1/t vs US$207.1/t - China to increase steel scrap usage by 23% by 2025
China plans to increase its use of steel scrap by 23% to 320mt by 2025 and to increase production of recycled nonferrous metals in order to meet climate commitment, Reuters reports.
The world's top metals consumer will also boost its recycled nonferrous output to 20mt in the next five years from 14.5mt in 2020.
That includes targets of 4mt of recycled copper, 11.5mt of recycled aluminium and 2.9mt of recycled lead.
The state planner, NDRC, also vowed to raise the substitution rate of renewable resources to primary resources and to enhance utilisation of low-grade ores, tailing dams and other resources.
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$770.7/t vs US$770.7/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$86.8/t vs US$86.8/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$200.0/t vs US$198.0/t
China Ilmenite Concentrate TiO2 46% US$375.7/t vs US$378.0
Cobalt LME 3m US$50,500/t vs US$50,500/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$82,159/t vs US$80,784/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$12,343/t vs US$12,369/t
China Spodumene Li2O 5%min CIF US$690/t vs US$690/t
Ferro-Manganese European Mn78% min US$1,942/t vs US$1,933/t
China Tungsten APT 88.5% FOB US$280/t vs US$275/t
China Graphite Flake -194 FOB US$515/t vs US$515/t
Europe Vanadium Pentoxide 98% US$8.8/lb vs US$8.8/lb
Europe Ferro-Vanadium 80% US$40.25/kg vs US$40.75/kg
Spot CO2 Emissions EUA $60.0/t vs $60.0/t
Lightyear’s solar EV shows impressive efficiency during long-range testing
The latest prototype of the Lightyear One solar electric vehicle delivered 441 miles of range on a single charge during its latest track testing.
The prototype completed the distance on a single charge of its 60kWh battery, driving for just under nine hours.
Speaking after the test Lightyear CEO Lex Hoefsloot said, “we got a few hours of good sun and in total about 3.4 kWh from the solar panels, which equals around 25 miles.” – The Dutch start-up have previously stated that the solar panels could offer up to 45 miles of additional range on a sunny day.
The Lightyear One is the first long-range solar electric vehicle (SEV). The 5sqm of solar panels on the roof of the vehicle help charge the battery as you drive (up to 12km of range per hour)
Lightyear have goals of reaching the market with a limited run of around 950 SEVs in the first half of 2022.
Altus Strategies* (LON:ALS) 61p, Mkt Cap £49m – Encouraging Tabakorole Gold Project drilling results
BUY - 118p
CLICK FOR PDF
The Company released further encouraging drilling results from the infill and stepout programme currently carried by Marvel Gold at the Tabakorole Gold Project in southern Mali.
Marvel Gold is in the middle of a 3,400m DD programme designed to infill the central and northwest zones.
The Company is expecting to have completed the programme by August that together with the already completed 5,400 RC and 900m DD programmes will be used to update the Tabakorole mineral resource.
Selected results from first 6 holes received to date include:
2.0g/t over 13m from 174m;
3.9g/t over 4m from 110m;
2.8g/t over 4m from 29m.
Separately, Marvel completed ~5,150m AC programme discovering a potential extensions 3km to the southeast of the Tabakorole deposit.
Selected results from the AC drilling programme included:
2.7g/t over 4m from 20m;
1.3g/t over 4m from 8m.
The Tabakorole Gold Project currently hosts 23.9mt at 1.18g/t for 910koz in total mineral resource.
Marvel Gold is in the Stage 3 of the JV earn in taking its interest to 70%, up from current 51% on spending of $3m and ~$150-200k payment to Altus.
Conclusion: Drilling results return encouraging results at the Tabakorole Gold Project as Altus Strategies and Marvel Gold JV is aiming to grow the scale and improve confidence of the deposit with updated MRE due later this year. Additionally, AC drilling 3km SE to the deposit discovered close to surface gold mineralisation highlighting strong prospectivity of the area.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Altus Strategies
BeMetals (CVE:BMET) – C$0.40, Mkt cap C$70m – New CFO appointed
BeMetals reports that Mr. Nicholas Furber has been appointed the Company’s new Chief Financial Officer.
Furber will take over CFO duties from Kristen Reinertson who will be continuing her role as Corporate Secretary with the Company.
Nicholas Furber is a senior financial professional with some 25 years of experience providing consulting, management and financial advisory services for private and publicly traded companies, including 10 years as CFO and Corporate Secretary of Dynasty Metals & Mining.
Nick helped guide Dynasty from gold exploration into a producer listed on the TSX.
BeMetals is currently progressing both its advanced high-grade, zinc-silver-gold-copper polymetallic underground exploration at the South Mountain Project in Idaho through a PEA, along with its Pangeni Copper Exploration Project in Zambia.
BE Metals, led by John Wilton, formerly regional exploration manager of Africa for Antofagasta, recently acquired some particularly interesting gold exploration projects in Japan.
Caledonia Mining* (LON:CMCL) 965p, Mkt Cap £117m – Zimbabwean listing under consideration
Caledonia Mining reports that it is considering a listing of depositary receipts on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange in Zimbabwe.
Pursuing this initiative “would be conditional upon market conditions and the implementation of positive proposals made by the Zimbabwe authorities in respect of improved payments in US dollars for gold produced at the Company's majority owned Blanket Mine”.
The company explains that the proposed listing “demonstrates Caledonia's continued commitment to Zimbabwe and would allow Caledonia's and Blanket's employees in Zimbabwe to participate more easily as Caledonia shareholders”.
CEO, Steve Curtis, said that he welcomed “the step towards a more liberal financial environment which is embodied in the proposed benefits attaching to a listing on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange.”
*SP Angel mining analysts have visited Caledonia’s mining operations in Zimbabwe
Central Asia Metals (LON:CAML) 233.5p, Mkt Cap £427m – H1 operational update indicates that Sasa is likely to deliver at the lower end of its 2021 production guidance
The company reports that copper production of 3,334t at Kounrad during Q2 2020 brings output for the first 6 months to 6,214 tonnes and that over the six months a total of 6,241t of copper was sold,
Referring to the mining operation at Sasa, the company says that “Additional localised ground support was required during the period, resulting in more production from the stopes as opposed to from development. The latter typically produces zinc and lead ore of elevated grades due to reduced dilution, and hence head grades were lower in H1 2021”.
Sasa treated approximately 224,000t of ore, bringing zinc production over the six months to 11,292t of contained metal within 22,571t of concentrate.
Lead production for the six months amounted to 13,807t in 19,119t of concentrate.
The company says that it “expects that 2021 zinc and lead production at Sasa could be towards the lower end of the guidance range, which is between 23,000 tonnes and 25,000 tonnes for zinc and between 30,000 tonnes and 32,000 tonnes for lead.”
Conclusion: The Company indicates that 2021 production from Sasa is expected to be towards the lower end of the 2021 production guidance range of 23-25,000t of zinc and 30-32,000t of lead in concentrates.
Orosur Mining* (LON:OMI) 19p, Mkt Cap £39m – Flashnote – Drill results highlight progress at AnzCentra
CLICK FOR PDF
Orosur Mining, the Colombia-focused gold exploration Company has reported assay results for nine additional drill holes at the Company’s Anzá project, including 59.55m @ 9.61g/t Au.
The company notes that the results have been successful in providing greater guidance as to the shape and nature of gold mineralisation at Anzá, while indicating that Mineralisation thus far extends over a strike length in excess of 800m and remains open in several directions according to the most recent interpretation
The company is now progressing with regional field work across Anzá, in order to identify new prospect areas, and expecting further results from its assay lab in Peru.
The Anzá Project is subject to an Exploration Agreement with Venture Option between Orosur's 100% subsidiary Minera Anzá and Minera Monte Águila - a 50/50 joint venture between Newmont Corporation and Agnico Eagle Mines Limited.
The well-structured deal gives opportunity for project to be progressed to NI 43-101 compliant feasibility study.
Orosur has entered into a non-binding Letter of Intent with Canadian listed Meridian Mining SE in order to finalise a Joint Venture on Meridian's Ariquemes Tin project in Brazil.
The Ariquemes project comprises a large collection of granted tenements and applications, totalling almost 3,000km2, in Rhondonia State, western Brazil.
The licenses were all accumulated and owned by Meridian and represent a dominant land position in the Rhondonia Tin Province, one of the world's most significant tin regions.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Orosur Mining
Shanta Gold (LON:SHG) 16.7p, Mkt Cap £175m – NLGM adds new ounces to the resource
The Company released drilling results from drilling at the BC East Area 1 at New Luika Gold Mine in Tanzania.
Assays relate to 22 DD and 16 RC holes drilled in Q2/21 in the area aimed at testing the continuity of mineralisation below the BC pit.
Drilling returned high grade intersections at 130-200m downhole depth allowing the Company to add new ounces in the NLGM mineral resource.
Drilling at BC East Area 1 has generated ~40koz of Indicated Resources of gold grading 4.74 g/t at a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au.
In total, the Company added ~116koz at 6.41g/t to Indicated Resources at NLGM in H1/21 highlighting strong resource potential at New Luika.
SolGold* (LON:SOLG) 27.2p, Mkt Cap £627m – Moving towards an initial, internal, resources estimate at Cacharposa in Ecuador
In a progress report on its regional exploration activity in Ecuador, Solgold provides the results of recent drilling at the wholly-owned Cacharposa target, located within its Porvenir project area in southern Ecuador and confirms that it is working towards an initial, internal, mineral resources estimate for Cacharposa.
The company reports results from holes 8-13 of the current drilling programme and confirms that it is awaiting results for holes 14-16, where copper sulphide mineralisation is observable in the drill-core and that it is currently drilling holes 17 and 18 using man-portable rigs.
Among the results highlighted from the current drilling of the “1,700m long northerly-trending mineralised corridor, up to 1,000m wide”at Cacharposa are;
A down-hole intersection of 712m at an average grade of 0.25% copper and 0.17g/t gold (also reported as 0.37% copper equivalent -CuEq) from surface in hole 8, including a higher-grade section of 106m averaging 0.67% copper and 0.47g/t gold from a depth of 230m; and
A 206m long intersection averaging 0.37% copper and 0.29g/t gold (0.59% CuEq) from 24m depth in hole 9 which are reported as “Preliminary assay results only. Final assay results from 7 of 96 samples within interval from 24-230m remain pending”. The intersection includes a higher-grade section of 108m averaging 0.58% copper and 0.52g/t gold (0.97%CuEq) from 86m depth; and
A 608m long intersection at an average grade of 0.30% copper and 0.22g/t gold (0.47%CuEq) from surface in hole 10 with a richer portion of 70m which averages 0.44% copper and 0.39g/t gold (0.73% CuEq) from a depth of 86m; and
A 610m long intersection at an average grade of 0.32% copper and 0.13g/t gold (0.42% CuEq) from 2m depth in hole 13 and including 174m at an average grade of 0.74% copper and 0.23g/t gold (0.92% CuEq) from 262m depth.
A geological cross-section provided on the pdf version of today’s announcement 5887E_1-2021-7-8.pdf (londonstockexchange.com) shows the drillholes cutting the mineralised body obliquely and the expected track of a planned hole targeting what appears to be a higher grade core.
The company also takes the opportunity of today’s announcement to report progress on several other of its wholly-owned exploration projects in Ecuador, including at the Bianca, Sharug and Rio Amarillo projects.
At Bianca, located around 8km northeast of the company’s flagship Alpala project in northern Ecuador, drilling at the Quiroz target intersected 9m at an average grade of 3.12g/t gold, 7.5g/t silver and 0.74% zinc from a depth of 440m. and “Hole 5 is currently underway, testing for extensions to mineralisation encountered in Hole 4.”
An initial six-holes drilling programme is expected to start in August at the Sharug project area in in southern Ecuador in order to test a 1200m x 500m porphyry target at Santa Martha where the target area remains open towards the east.
Solgold is also planning to start drilling the Varela target within its Rio Amarillo project area, approximately 30km southeast of Alpala as soon as road access construction is completed “in about two months”.
Geological indications, including alteration zones, at Varela are “inferred to be consistent with large and strongly mineralised porphyry copper-gold(-molybdenum) systems”.
Conclusion: With long mineralised drill-hole intersections reported at Cacharposa, including some from surface, Solgold is moving ahead to prepare an initial, internal, mineral resources estimate which should help to guide future exploration and focus on the most promising zones of mineralisation. We hope that Solgold will, at the appropriate time, be able to disclose its initial findings in order to inform a wider audience of the scale of the Cacharposa target. Solgold is also progressing the drilling of other targets within its Ecuadorean exploration portfolio of 13 high priority copper/gold targets.
*SP Angel act as Financial Advisor to SolGold.
IGTV: Stock picks in the small-cap mining space: https://youtu.be/UNFfjLeDZ6I
Commodities: is China’s dominance nearing its end? https://youtu.be/TxtMf6B2t8Q
Copper in the limelight amid Chinese clampdown: https://www.ig.com/uk/market-insight-articles/copper-attempts-to-regain-ground-after-chinese-led-selloff-210624
Evolution of Chinese construction and implications for commodity demand: https://youtu.be/jB2nURL8uPw
VOX Markets: 10/06/21: https://audioboom.com/posts/7884446-john-meyer-talks-about-cornish-metals-empire-metals-anglo-american-ncondezi-energy-mkango-r
BBC: Catalytic converters https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p09jl6c9
*SP Angel almost invariably acts as nomad or broker or nomad and broker to companies mentioned in the above videos and podcasts.
We speak more about these companies as we have a good understanding of their business and can talk with a greater degree of confidence. As ever, however, it should be noted that our views do not take into account the circumstances and needs of any particular investor or investor type. So enjoy the talks, but please do your own research, including other companies not mentioned by us but operating in the same areas, and get professional advice where appropriate.
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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
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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, Tungsten, Spodumene, Ferro-Manganese, Graphite
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