SP Angel . Morning View . Friday 30 10 20
Expectations for more COVID restrictions weigh on risk sentiment and economic outlook
China’s Fifth Plenum of the Nineteenth Communist Party Congress offers little to go on
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below
Altus Strategies* (AIM:ALS) – BUY, 132p – CEO bought £70k worth of stock in the market
Anglo American (LON:AAL) – Class action launched against Anglo as a historical partner over alleged mass lead poisoning of children in Zambia
BMR Group (AIM:BMR) – BMR Group now holds licenses over Star Zinc mine where Enviro Zambia has been cleaning up Kabwe mine site
Arc Minerals* (AIM:ARCM) – High-grade copper at Fwiji indicate potential for greater discovery
Beowulf Mining* (AIM:BEM) – Swedish government refer Kallak to UNESCO
SolGold* (AIM:SOLG) – Second hole at Porvenir continuing in visible mineralisation
Vast Resources* (AIM:VAST) – JORC Resource and Reserve at Baita Plai
Yamana Gold (LON:AUY) – Q3 results benefit from higher than expected gold production
APEX survey rankings for SP Angel commodity forecasts:
2nd in Gold, 2nd in Copper, 2nd in Nickel, 1st in Tin, 5th in Iron ore
US – Good GDP data released yesterday showed stronger than expected growth in Q3, although, the economy still remains some 3.5% below its prior peak.
A rebound in growth reflects reopening of the economy after widespread lockdowns earlier in the year.
Expectations are the economy will not regain its size for several quarters or longer.
A separate report showed jobless claims dropped more than expected last week in another sign of an improving trend in the labour market, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, new daily coronavirus cases hit record high of ~92k.
GDP (%qoq, annualised): 33.1 v -31.4 in Q2 and 32.0 est.
Walmart are taking guns and ammo off of their shelves ahead of election
China – Fifth Plenum of the Nineteenth Communist Party Congress offered no surprise pronouncements
The Party statement focussed on increasing self-reliance, eg the Dual Circulation strategy for increasing domestic consumption in some areas.
Security, intelligence and military modernisation are high on the agenda with China moving more assertively into the global stage.
The Party refer to a new era in international relations which loosely points towards the potential to challenge the US.
Innovation, modernization, construction, scientific and technological self-reliance
Acceleration of modernisation of Chinese industry and optimization and upgrading of the economic system
Building of domestic consumption and a base for new development
Reform of socialist market economic system
Agricultural and rural development – particularly given the destruction of crops by flooding and heavy rain along the Yangtze in recent months
Optimisation of national layout for coordinated regional development and new urbanization.
Development of Chinese culture and related industries to better use China’s culture internationally
Environmental remediation and integration of development with nature.
Opening of China to the world at a high level for mutual benefit
Tackling of poverty, domestic consumption, and wealth creation
Integration of security to create a safer environment
Modernisation of the military for defence and to promote China as a strong nation overseas
ECB, in line with expectations, left the size of the pandemic relief fund unchanged at €1.35tn reiterating that it will run until at least June 2021 and will continue to be made available until the “crisis phase” of the pandemic is past.
The central bank left rates unchanged at 0.0% for refinancing rate and -0.5% for deposit rate.
Additionally, the Governing Council suggested more stimulus may be announced in the December meeting.
“The new round of Eurosystem staff macroeconomic projections in December will allow a thorough reassessment of the economic outlook and the balance of risks… on the basis of this updated assessment, the Governing Council will recalibrate its instruments, as appropriate, to respond to the unfolding situation,” the statement read.
ECB hints at possible action in December
South Korea – Business confidence rose to 79 in October vs 68 in September
Japan – retail sales fell -0.1% in October vs +4.6% in September and -8.7% yoy vs -1.9% yoy in September
Consumer confidence 33.6 in October vs 32.7 in September
France – New lockdown is expected to cost economy 15% of output at least, according to Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
That would equate to around half of the 30% drop in activity during the nation’s first lockdown that started in March.
The cost of the second lockdown is estimated at €15bn per month.
Concerns are the economy can even slip back into a recession amid a deteriorating outlook.
Meanwhile, released Q3 data showed the economy bounced back stronger than expected last quarter.
Q3 GDP (%qoq): 18.2 v -13.7 in Q2 and 15.0 est.
Q3 GDP (%yoy): -4.3 v -18.9 in Q2 and -7.3 est.
Spain – Growth bounced back in Q3 beating estimates, however, the economy’s strong reliance on the services sector means output was still operating more than 9% below its Q4/19 level, Bloomberg reports.
Retail, hospitality and leisure services continued to lag the strongest compared to their pre-pandemic levels.
New restrictions are almost certainly to see growth reversing in the final quarter.
Q3 GDP (%qoq): 16.7 v -17.8 in Q2 and 13.5 est.
Q3 GDP (%yoy): -8.7 v -21.5 in Q2 and -11.8 est.
Quebec government to set aside C$90m for junior critical minerals projects
The Quebec government is going to spend C$90m over the next five years to develop critical minerals.
The province will be extracting, transforming, and recycling niche minerals essential to new technology applications, which now come from China, according to Premier Francois Legault on Thursday.
The new initiative will involve developing cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, and rare-earth metals (ipolitics.ca).
US$1.1682/eur vs 1.1731/eur yesterday. Yen 104.32/$ vs 104.32/$. SAr 16.315/$ vs 16.380/$. $1.293/gbp vs $1.300/gbp. 0.703/aud vs 0.706/aud. CNY 6.697/$ vs 6.707/$.
Gold US$1,874/oz vs US$1,878/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 110.9moz vs US$110.9moz yesterday
Platinum US$853/oz vs US$871/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,224/oz vs US$2,250/oz yesterday
Silver US$23.37/oz vs US$23.29/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 6,731/t vs US$6,757/t yesterday
Copper inventories on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell -15,849 tonnes, or 10% to 139,657 tonnes this week.
Aluminium US$ 1,816/t vs US$1,810/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 15,250/t vs US$15,675/t yesterday
Nickel ore inventories across all Chinese ports increased 34,000 tonnes to 9.42mt this week, according to SMM data.
Zinc US$ 2,526/t vs US$2,542/t yesterday
Lead US$ 1,825/t vs US$1,821/t yesterday
Tin US$ 17,755/t vs US$17,950/t yesterday
Oil US$37.5/bbl vs US$39.0/bbl yesterday –
Russia’s crude oil exports dropped by 7.7% in the period January to August, according to Russian federal customs data
For most of the period through August, Russia was part of the OPEC+ agreement to curtail supply to the market, except in March and early April, when Russia and Saudi Arabia disagreed on how to manage oil supply to the market when demand was crashing due to the pandemic
The current production cuts began in May 2020 and are much deeper than in the previous deal
Russia’s crude oil exports also dropped in terms of value due to the slump in oil prices
Between January and August, the value of Russian crude oil exports plunged by 38.9% compared to the same period last year, to US$48.8bn, according to data from the Russian federal customs service
Currently, Russia’s economy is suffering the consequences of the oil price crash that it helped create with the temporary rift with its OPEC+ partner Saudi Arabia
Due to the restrictions under the OPEC+ deal, Russia plans to export 16.4% less crude oil this year compared to 2019
Crude oil production is expected to drop by 10% in 2020 from 2019, whist the ministry estimates that output could return to the levels before the pandemic by 2023, but this would depend on global oil demand and the OPEC+ agreements
OPEC+ is set to ease the current cuts by 2MMbopd as of January, but weak demand and rising supply from exempt OPEC member Libya could derail those plans
Natural Gas US$3.317/mmbtu vs US$3.280/mmbtu yesterday
Natural gas prices continue their upward trend, buoyed following a smaller than expected build in natural gas inventories
Natural gas in storage was 3,955Bcf as of Friday 23 October, according to the EIA
This represents a net increase of 29Bcf from the previous week
Expectations were for a 46Bcf build according to survey provider Estimize
Stocks were 285Bcf higher than last year at this time and 289Bcf above the five-year average of 3,666Bcf
At 3,955Bcf, total working gas is above the five-year historical range
Hurricane Zeta battered the New Orleans coast and has been downgraded to a post-tropical depression
There is another storm that is entering the Caribbean that has a 20% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone according to NOAA
The weather is expected to be warm and moderate over the next two weeks, reducing the need for heating demand
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$114.1/t vs US$114.6/t – China iron ore futures rise for third straight session
China’s iron ore futures continued to rise on Thursday, supported by data showing a decline in weekly shipments from Australia.
Iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange closed daytime trading up 0.7% at 779.50 yuan ($116.18)/t, whilst shipments from Australia last week fell to 14mt- the lowest since the third week in September (Refinitiv).
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$571.0/t vs US$566.9/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$55.7/t vs US$57.5/t
Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$138.5/t vs US$138.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$33,305/t vs US$33,305/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$49,347/t vs US$48,822/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,375/t vs US$5,292/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$28.0/kg vs US$28.0/kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5.3/kg vs US$5.3/kg
Tungsten APT European US$220-225/mtu vs US$212-220/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$440/t vs US$440/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,275/t vs US$2,275/t
Altus Strategies* (AIM:ALS) 61p Mkt Cap £43m – CEO bought £70k worth of stock in the market
BUY – 132p
Steven Poulton, CEO, bought ~112k shares in the market at 61.5p (~£70k worth).
That brings total CEO shareholding in the Company to 8.2%.
Conclusion: It is good to see CEO acquiring shares in the market in a relatively sizeable volume. The management has historically held a significant interest in the Company with executive directors currently owning ~11% of the Company that implies strong alignment of management and shareholder interests. The Company has recently released positive metallurgical testwork at Diba that should yield stronger project economics with exploration drilling ongoing at its assets in Mali aimed at growing scale of respective projects.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Altus Strategies
Anglo American (LON:AAL) – Class action launched against Anglo as a historical partner over alleged mass lead poisoning of children in Zambia
BMR Group (AIM:BMR) – BMR Group now holds licenses over Star Zinc mine where Enviro Zambia has been cleaning up Kabwe mine site
Lawsuit claims Anglo failed to prevent pollution in Kabwe, affecting multiple generations but should consider impact of Zambian nationalisation in 1969
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Anglo American over alleged lead poisoning at Kabwe in Zambia.
The Guardian newspaper reports relatively high levels of lead are reported to have been detected in the blood of Children and adults in the area which has led to the class-action which is funded by Augusta Ventures, the UK’s largest litigation fund.
A subsidiary of Anglo American was one of a number of investors involved in the Kabwe lead/zinc mine from 1925-1974 along with a number of other partners making responsibility for the lead/zinc tailings unclear.
A number of lead / zinc mines operated in the Kabwe area over the last 100 years including the Star zinc mine which is currently with Galileo Resources.
We visited the Star zinc mine two years ago while driving round Zambia looking at mining and exploration projects and were impressed at the work done to clean up the mine site by Enviro Zambia and Geoff Casson the consultant metallurgist.
We were also dismayed to see local people scavenging from the waste dumps which had been walled in to contain the waste material.
The site was manged under care and maintenance by ZCCM ‘the Zambian national mining company since the nationalisation of the mining industry in 1969 denying Anglo American an others the opportunity to manage and rehabilitate the Kabwe site.
ZCCM has since sold the Kabwe mine sites in small lots to a number of owners with ZCCM retaining the overall responsibility for the decommissioning and rehabilitation of the sites according to bmr Group PLC (formerly Berkeley Mineral Resources which was run by the now disgraced Masood Alikhani whose family was forced to repay £1m to the company following an investigation into missing funds. Alikhani was excused from court having been diagnosed with Altzheimers (could that have been Corporate Altzheimers?).
BMR Group, now led by Colin Bird, has since continued to consolidate the ownership of the Kabwe complex and now owns all the surface rights overs the 705 hectares at the site.
An ongoing environmental rehabilitation program was started in 2005 by the World Bank and Nordic Development Fund.
Enviro Zambia has since spent a number of years cleaning up and rehabilitating the old Star Zinc mine site.
The Kabwe mine complex formerly produced:
Zinc (Zn) 1,800,000 tons
Lead (Pb) 800,000 tons
Vanadium Oxide (V2O) 7,816 tons
Silver (Ag) 80,000kg
Cadmium (Cd) 235,000kg
Conclusion: We have viewed a number of legacy toxic lead tailings sites over the years and have formed the opinion that the best way to deal with these tailings is to continue to run the lead process plants to reprocess the tailings till the maximum amount of toxic material has been extracted. Companies and governments which were swift to close mines and smelters for environmental and economic reasons now have legacy issues to deal with but without the benefit of in-situ management and processing facilities. BMR, Galileo Resources and Enviro Zambia are working towards the reprocessing of this tailings material alongside fresh ores creating employment, wealth and a cleaner environment in the Kabwe area. While we do not view Anglo American as responsible for the ongoing site issues we would not be surprised if the company were to assist bmr, Galileo and Enviro Zambia in the restart of the reprocessing and the ongoing clean-up of the historic Kabwe site.
*An SP Angel mining analyst has visited the Kabwe tailings and Star Mining sites in Zambia
Arc Minerals* (AIM:ARCM) – 3.50p, Mkt cap £34m – High-grade copper at Fwiji indicate potential for greater discovery
(Arc holds 72.5% of Zaco and 66% of Zamsort in Zambia)
Arc Minerals reports high-grade copper seen in mineralisation in the first two drill holes tested at Fwiji in Zambia.
Drilling at the new Fwiji target shows broad sections of copper mineralisation.
Higher-grade copper is seen within these intersections indicates potential for a greater discovery of high-grade copper in the area.
One assay contains a section of 7% copper suggesting there may be sections of very high-grade copper as yet undiscovered within the deposit.
The copper is also in near-surface sulphide mineralisation improving the potential for an open pit economics for future mine planning.
Hole 1: 24.15m @ 0.45% Cu from 12.40m down the hole
Hole 2: 34.00m @ 0.52% Cu from 58.90m
Plus 3.50m @2.26% Cu from 163m
This included 1m @ 7.17% copper from 165.5m
Inspection of mineralisation in subsequent also confirms the potential for further interesting copper results.
Muswema has been confirmed as a high priority target on soil sampling results
A ‘Rig has been deployed to Muswema as a priority target for immediate drilling’.
Fwiji, Cheyeza and Lumbeta have also been confirmed as targets of major interest
10 holes have been drilled so far at Fwiji testing >1sqkm confirming the structure and showsing both oxide and sulphide mineralisation.
Conclusion: These are really interesting results from the first two holes at Fwiji.
Mineralisation seen in subsequent drill holes suggests more good news to come and the potential for further discovery.
*SP Angel act as nomad and broker to Arc Minerals. The analyst holds shares in Arc Minerals
Beowulf Mining* (AIM:BEM) 5.50p, Mkt cap £33m – Swedish government refer Kallak to UNESCO
The Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation in a submission to the Constitutional Committee has suggested UNESCO should be given the opportunity to assess whether the activities in question have an impact on the world heritage of Laponia.
The same ministry is also reviewing the Swedish Government’s handling of the Company’s application for and Exploration Concession for Kallak North
Curiously, Laponia has never been on the danger list of World Heritage sites and Kallak is approximately 34km outside of World Heritage Site area
The total area of Laponia is about 9,400sqkm.
Beowulf has previously provided the ministry with a Heritage Impact Assessment, following UNESCO guidelines, in April 2017.
In March 2017, it was concluded by Naturvårdsverket and Riksantikvarieämbetet that a mining operation at Kallak would have no direct impact on Laponia.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Beowulf Mining
SolGold* (AIM:SOLG) 35p, Mkt Cap £743m – Second hole at Porvenir continuing in visible mineralisation
Solgold reports that its second drill-hole at its wholly owned Porvenir prospect in southern Ecuador is currently at a depth of 674m having intersected 658. m of visible chalcopyrite mineralisation from a depth of 15.5m.
The hole (PDH-20-002) is testing the eastern part of a 1700m x 1000m wide mineralised corridor at Cacharposa Creek and is targeted to at least 750m depth. The hole is being drilled from the same collar location as the first hole, which intersected 893m of visible mineralisation, and at a steeper angle of 75⁰ in order to “more fully transect the interpreted core of the Cacharposa porphyry system”.
Although assay results are not yet available from either PDH-20–001 or PDH 20-002, Solgold has been sufficiently encouraged by the early results at Cacharposa to expand its planned drilling programme from an initial 8,000m programme to 50,000m and plans to have a second drill rig on-site later this month at a location approximately 200m west-northwest of PDH-20-01 in order to “test the central and western portions of the system including the potential root of the core of the system, which may extend deeper than 1000m as indicated by 3D geochemical modelling”.
Today’s announcement also says that a “A third drill rig is also being mobilised to Cacharposa and will be sited approximately 200m south of PDH-20-001 to test the southern extension of the targeted mineralised system … [and that a] … fourth machine is expected to be finalised for mobilisation from Hubbard Perforaciones Cuenca workshops in November”.
Visual inspection of the drill-core from the first two holes has, however, indicated that there is up to 2-3% by volume of the copper mineral, chalcopyrite and “as much as 28% porphyry style quartz veins by volume”. Photographs which accompany today’s announcement https://www.rns-pdf.londonstockexchange.com/rns/7410D_1-2020-10-30.pdf clearly show chalcopyrite and pyrite mineralisation within the drill core.
The drilling so far has, however, shown the presence of a number of phases of intrusion at Cacharposa and this relatively early stage drilling will concentrate on “defining the geometry and extent of the early-stage, highly mineralised intrusions.”
“The Cacharposa target is characterised by coincident Cu, Mo, Au and Cu:Zn soil anomalies that lie central to a magnetic high and zone of Mn-depletion in soil” and in an announcement last week Managing Director, Nick Mather, explained that “mineral zonation and close correlation between chalcopyrite and magnetite is giving us a lot of confidence in the model and our drillhole target strategy at Porvenir. More broadly, across SolGold’s 14 exploration Targets in Ecuador, its increasingly obvious that the gross controls to orebody emplacement in the Ecuadorean sector of the Andean Copper Belt replicate”.
Conclusion: After intersecting almost 900m of visual mineralisation in its first hole at Cacharposa Creek Solgold’s second hole has now penetrated over 650m of similar visual mineralisation so far. Although assays are still awaited to confirm the grades, the initial success of the Porvenir exploration is prompting a rapid build-up of drilling capacity in order to accelerate the exploration. The operational exploration capacity in terms of drilling equipment, geological and logistical staff built up during the evaluation of Alpala gives Solgold the physical resources to move rapidly and vindicates the exploration model which was fine-tuned at Alpala in northern Ecuador and which gives Solgold a deep insight into the geological controls of mineralisation and into the effective exploration management of its Ecuadorean project portfolio. We look forward to the initial assay results from Porvenir.
*SP Angel act as financial advisor and broker to SolGold
Vast Resources* (AIM:VAST) 0.16p, Mkt Cap £22m – JORC Resource and Reserve at Baita Plai
Vast has released a JORC compliant resource and reserve report for its 80% owned Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in Romania.
The mineral resource estimate is based on the recent completion of an underground diamond drill hole programme, which was executed during March–September 2020.
The Measured, Indicated and Inferred mineral resource category amounts to 608,000 tonnes at 2.58% copper equivalent- 486,400t of which is attributable to Vast.
Measures and Indicated resource category amounts to 376,000t at 3.01% EqvCu, whilst the inferred resource category amounts to 232,000t at 1.88% EqvCu, both with a cut-off grade of 0.75% CuEqv.
The mineral resource estimate underpins the initial mine production life of approximately 3-4 years of in-situ 15,695 tonnes copper equivalent available for mining.
Of which total Measured, Indicated and Inferred of Silver (Ag) amounts to 1,307,000oz at a total grade of 66.97g/t on a 100% basis.
Measured, Indicated and Inferred of Gold (Au) amounts to 8,800oz at a total grade of 0.45g/t on a 100% basis.
Other metals making up the resource include Lead and Zinc, amounting to 1,759,000t at 0.29% and 1,821,000t at 0.30% respectively on a 100% basis.
Vast continues to explore at Baita Plai, and a significant portion of the exploration target is expected to be converted to a JORC compliant mineral resource in the coming months.
Current drilling indicated that the Antonio skarn is continuous beyond 18 level and to at least 20–21 level horizons, and a level 21 elevation would provide sufficient mineralisation for an approximate 7 to 8 year period
Andrew Prelea, CEO of Vast Resources, commented: “Our maiden JORC report for Baita Plai marks another major milestone and achievement for the Company. With over US$104,450,255 as an in-situ value set to be exploited from an initial 3-4 year mining period and with significant further upside identified, the report provides a solid resource base to underpin a fair market Company valuation.
The mineral resource estimate was prepared by Craig Harvey, MGSSA, MAIG, on behalf of Vast.
*SP Angel act as joint Broker to Vast Resources
Yamana Gold (LION:AUY) 422.5p Mkt Cap £3,997m – Q3 results benefit from higher than expected gold production
Yamana Gold reports that gold production of 201,772oz and silver output of 3.14moz at all-in-sustaining costs of US$1,096/gold equivalent oz was better than planned and generated the “highest operating cash flows since 2015 of $215m” and facilitated a reduction in net debt of $149m to $619m.
The Company announced “it has increased its annual dividend by a further 50% to $0.105 per share” which it states “will be 425% higher than the rate just 18 months ago”.
The company says that “the fourth quarter, … is expected to be the strongest production quarter of the year … [and that] … the cost per ounce is expected to decrease”.
“With its preliminary operating results reported in October, the Company increased its 2020 production guidance to 915,000 gold equivalent ounces (“GEO”)(4) from the previous guidance of 890,000 GEO, representing an increase of 3%. Gold production and silver production guidance have increased from previous guidance by approximately 1% and 6%, respectively”.
The company describes the operating performance of its mines at Jacobina, El Penon, Mineral Florida and Canadian Malartic as “standout”.
At Canadian Malartic, production of 76,398oz of gold benefitted from improved grades and mill throughput.
Jacobina also exceeded planned output with 44,080oz of gold production while at Cerro Morro, (18,818oz of gold and 1.7moz of silver) the “mine and processing plant were operating at full capacity as of September 30, 2020, after a longer ramp-up of operations following a temporary suspension due to inter-provincial travel restrictions related to COVID-19 which impacted availability of workers travelling from out of province. Cerro Moro’s plant has now returned to its optimized 1,000-1,150 tpd throughput, which is expected to be maintained going forward”.
At El Penon, the mine “had a strong third quarter, with strong gold production [39,322 0z] and silver [1.36moz] production greatly exceeding plan, primarily due to processing higher grade silver ore. Higher gold grades are anticipated in the fourth quarter due to increased underground production and lower stockpile reclaim, as well as mining from higher gold grade sectors”.
“Minera Florida had a strong third quarter, with production increasing 30% quarter over quarter” to 23,153oz of gold.
At 30th September Yamana Gold reports cash balances of $474m.
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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
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