SP Angel . Morning View . Wednesday 11 11 20
Copper and other industrial metals rise despite US dollar strength
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below
Today is the 11th of the 11th lest we ever forget!
AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG) – Operations in Argentina suspended due to COVID-19
Bluejay Mining* (AIM:JAY) – BUY – Valuation 27.4p– Rio Tinto sign option to jv with Bluejay on the old Enonkoski nickel/copper/zinc mine in Finland
Bushveld Minerals* (LON:BMN) BUY – Valuation 37.7p – Solar Mini-Grid with Vanadium Flow Battery to contribute 10% of Vametco power
Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV) / Teranga Gold (TGZ CN) – A potential merger between two West African producers
Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) – Dugbe project area extended
Lucara Diamonds (TSX:LUC) – Karowe yields 998 carat diamond
OXIS Energy* – OXIS Energy rolls out program to electrify maritime vessels
Thor Mining (AIM:THR) – Increasing its holding in EnviroCopper
APEX survey rankings for SP Angel commodity forecasts: 2nd in Gold, 2nd in Copper, 2nd in Nickel, 1st in Tin, 5th in Iron ore.
The survey takes forecast from 21 analysts from commodity traders, banks, economics and specialist commodity forecasters
China – Credit growth slowed in October reflecting lower issuance of government bonds and seasonal factors in October as businesses were shut because of public holidays.
Aggregate Financing (CNY bn): 1,420 v 3,477 in September and 1,400 est.
Singles’ Day sales kick off in China today which will be looked at closely as a barometer of the nation’s post-pandemic recovery.
US dollar strengthens following US long 10-year bond yields
US Treasury Yield consolidate Monday’s strong gains on vaccine hopes rising rose to 0.94% yesterday from 0.82% last Friday
US 10-year and 30-year treasury bonds hit eight-month highs on Monday, as the thought-to-be major vaccine breakthrough lifted optimism for a stable US economic recovery.
Rising treasury yields lent support to the dollar, edging higher in European trade on Wednesday from the two-month low seen last week as a result of prospects of further stimulus in the US.
Germany – Investor sentiment deteriorated sharply this month on the back of a resurgence in COVID infections and new restrictions.
While the ZEW survey does not account for recently released positive news over the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, manufacturing and distribution bottlenecks are likely to dampen optimism over the potential wide rollout of the drug.
ZEW Expectations: 39.0 v 56.1 in October and 44.3 est.
ZEW Current Situation: -64.3 v -59.5 in October and -63.5 est.
Italy – The government may need to spend up to €10bn a month to help businesses and workers during the lockdown, Bloomberg reports.
Authorities are working on plans to help the nation to get through an increase in infections.
Lockdown measures’ bill may cost the government between €40bn and €50bn, equivalent to 3% of the nation’s output, if restrictions last until March.
UK / London – Calls for London to be released from Lockdown as the capital’s boroughs all rank below the top 100 coronavirus hotspots
Ethiopia – The African Union called an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
The African Union is headquartered in Ethiopia so the conflict is quite close to home.
Japan – Machine tool orders fell -15% MoM and -5.9% YoY
US$1.1807/eur vs 1.1825/eur yesterday. Yen 105.37/$ vs 105.02/$. SAr 15.613/$ vs 15.491/$. $1.329/gbp vs $1.319/gbp. 0.729/aud vs 0.728/aud. CNY 6.608/$ vs 6.613/$.
Gold US$1,877/oz vs US$1,889/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 110.9moz vs US$111.0moz yesterday
Platinum US$887/oz vs US$878/oz yesterday
Palladium US$2,462/oz vs US$2,486/oz yesterday
Silver US$24.24/oz vs US$24.34/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 6,953/t vs US$6,909/t yesterday – Copper nears two-and-a-half year high on vaccine and stimulus hopes
London copper prices rose continued to climb on Wednesday, as vaccine hopes lifted expectations of economies reopening, increasing copper demand from infrastructure projects.
Prospects of further stimulus also lifted copper prices, as previous rounds of stimulus have seen vast amounts of government spending on infrastructure projects which increases demand for industrial metals.
Three-month copper on the LME rose 0.5% to $6,963/t earlier this morning, near its highest price since June 2018 that it breached on Monday at $7,054/t.
Copper cathode output at China’s 22 copper smelters fell 5.4% YoY last month to 741,900t due to maintenance at two major plant (Reuters).
Aluminium US$ 1,921/t vs US$1,902/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 15,840/t vs US$15,780/t yesterday
Zinc US$ 2,646/t vs US$2,641/t yesterday –
China Minmetals to create Chinese Zinc Smelters Group to aid contract negotiation
China Minmetals have called for the establishment of a joint organisation of Chinese zinc smelters to negotiate with miners on zinc concentrate supply and pricing.
The focus of the group would be for Chinese zinc smelters to agree on a treatment charge benchmark price for zinc concentrates in the future.
The group would try and emulate the China Smelters Purchase Team (CSPT) in copper- a group of 12 smelters that meet every quarter to set a floor price for treatment charges for copper concentrate.
The annual TC benchmark has usually been agreed between Canadian miner Teck Resources and smelter Korea Zinc, with the benchmark price set at $299.75/t in March – the highest in 12 years (SMM News).
Lead US$ 1,872/t vs US$1,832/t yesterday
Tin US$ 18,260/t vs US$18,350/t yesterday
Oil US$44.7/bbl vs US$42.7/bbl yesterday
Shell will halve the crude oil processing capacity of its largest wholly owned refinery in the world, Pulau Bukom in Singapore, as part of its ambition to be a net-zero emissions business by 2050
Pulau Bukom hosts the largest Shell refinery globally in terms of crude distillation capacity, 500,000bopd, and it also has an ethylene cracker complex with a capacity of up to a million tons per year and a butadiene extraction unit of 155,000 tons annually.
As Shell is looking to cut carbon dioxide emissions and is transforming its refining business for the new future, it will cut the crude processing capacity at Pulau Bukom by 50%
In that new future, the Pulau Bukom Manufacturing Site will be one of Shell’s six energy and chemicals parks, and will pivot from a crude-oil, fuels-based product slate towards new, low-carbon value chains
The reduced refinery capacity in Singapore will result in fewer jobs at the site and would cut 500 jobs by the end of 2023
Currently, Pulau Bukom employs 1,300 people
Shell is implementing a new downstream strategy to reshape its refining business towards a smaller, smarter refining portfolio focused on further integration with Shell Trading hubs, Chemicals, and Marketing
As part of this strategy, Shell has sold the Martinez Refinery in California to PBF Holding Company for US$1.2bn
Shell is also set to shut down its 211,000bopd refinery in Convent, Louisiana, after failing to find a buyer for the site
Natural Gas US$2.957/mmbtu vs US$2.899/mmbtu yesterday
Natural gas prices edged higher during trading yesterday ahead of today’s inventory report from the Department of Energy
Expectations are for a 14Bcf build in natural gas stockpiles according to survey provider Estimize
Hurricane ETA is moving back into the Gulf of Mexico, forecast to generate supply disruptions
There is also another storm that is entering the Caribbean which has a 10% chance of forming a tropical cyclone in the next 48-hours according to NOAA
The weather is expected to be warmer than normal in the US and Europe over the next 8-14 days according to NOAA
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$119.2/t vs US$118.1/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$619.7/t vs US$618.1/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$54.1/t vs US$54.0/t – China coal imports from Australia fall 47% in September
Political tensions between China and Australia corresponded to a sharp drop in coal imports last month, which led to the Chinese authorities reportedly telling traders not to buy coal from Australia.
China’s coal imports from Australia amounted to 13.73mt last month compared with 25.69mt in the same period last year (Australian Mining).
China imported 253.2mt of coal from Australia between January and October compared with 299.7mt in 2019.
Around 20 sailors have been stranded at a Chinese port for five months with 170,000 tonnes of Australian coal as a result of the dispute, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$117.3/t vs US$117.3/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$32,835/t vs US$32,835/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$52,211/t vs US$52,016/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,524/t vs US$5,519/t
Spodumene 6% Li2O min, cif (China) US$385/t vs US$375/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$27.0/kg vs US$27.0/kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5.4/kg vs US$5.4/kg
Tungsten APT European US$220-225/mtu vs US$220-225/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$2,300/t vs US$2,275/t
Norway continues to set the pace
Plug in EVs accounted for 79.1% of vehicle sales in Norway in October while ICE vehicles accounted for just 10% of sales.
BEV accounted for 60% of plug in sales with PHEV making up 18.3%. The remaining 9.5% of sales came from hybrid vehicles (Cleantechnica).
Norway has targeted 100% of new car sales to be electric by 2025, the most aggressive target date in Europe. By comparison France is targeting 2040, the UK 2035, and Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands 2030.
The impressive numbers for October followed record breaking numbers in September, plugins reached a high of 82% share and BEVs a 62% share. 88% of September sales were electrified (BEV, PHEV, HEV) (EV sales blogspot).
The Volkswagen ID3 was the best selling vehicle in the month, achieving 2475 sales, considerably more than the #2, the MG ZS EV which achieved 586 sales.
Of note Norway was able to achieve these numbers with few Tesla sales as the Californian EV giant didn’t receive a shipment in October. Tesla sold over a 1000 units in September.
Renewable energy thriving despite pandemic
Wind, solar and hydro electricity consumption will grow almost 7% in 2020, this is a great jump considering overall energy demand will fall by 5%.
Renewables are projected to expand almost 50% by 2025 to match coal in terms of power generation.
The world is expected to add ~4% to renewable power generation capacity by 202.
BP has recently made a preliminary agreement with Orsted, a Danish offshore windfarm developer, to build a pilot plant for generating emission free hydrogen. This would use electricity from an Orsted wind farm in the North Sea to create hydrogen from water. The companies say that this plant would replace 20% of the refinery’s consumption of polluting hydrogen. This would reduce emissions by the equivalent of 45,000 cars every year. It is an interesting deal as it is between one of the largest clean energy providers and an oil giant.
AngloGold Ashanti (JSE:ANG), R381, Mkt Cap R159bn – Operations in Argentina suspended due to COVID-19
The Company suspended operations at the Cerro Vanguardia mine in Argentina for 10 days due to the detection of COVID-19 cases on site.
In the meantime, the site will be restricted to essential personnel only.
The operation is located in the province of Santa Cruz and involves a series of open pits and multiple narrow vein underground mines.
Cerro Vanguardia produced 225koz gold and 3.4moz silver (92.5% attributable reported) last year at $859/oz AISC.
The stoppage is estimated to cost 8koz in lost production.
Bluejay Mining* (AIM:JAY) 10.55p, Mkt cap £102m – Rio Tinto sign option to jv with Bluejay on the old Enonkoski nickel/copper/zinc mine in Finland
BUY – Valuation 27.4p (from 24.7p)
Bluejay Mining report the signing of an option to joint venture with Rio Tinto over Bluejay’s Enonkoski mine in Finland.
Enonkoski is an old polymetallic mine, developed by Outokumpu and run till low metals prices and rising mining costs forced its closure.
The mine forms a key part of the Enonkoski nickel belt in Finland with 15km of strike along from the Enonkoski and Hälvälä mines.
Enonkoski mine previously produced 6.7mt of ore grading 0.8% nickel.
Outokumpu, the former Finnish state mining company which grew rich from the historically high-grade Outokumpu nickel mine became burdened as operating costs rose resulting in the forced closure of its mines when base metals prices collapsed in the 1994.
Historic drilling showed 32.90m grading 4.09% Nickel, 0.56% Copper, 0.17% Cobalt and 19.70m grading 6.12% Nickel, 1.94% Copper, 0.29% Cobalt highlighting concentrations of high-grade material within the larger orebodies.
Enonkoski-style orebodies are made up of large remobilised VMS deposits resulting in a chain of separated metals along a decent strike length.
Under the agreement Rio Tinto may acquire up to a 75% of Enonkoski through $20m of expenditure on the property.
Stage One – allows Rio Tinto to gain a 51% stake in the old mine by spending US$5m over three years with $0.4m to be spent by 30 March 2021
Stage Two – gives 65% ownership for another $5m of expenditure by November 2025
Stage Three – allows Rio Tinto to take 75% for a further $10m by November 2029
Beyond Stage Three, each party shall fund its respective 75%:25% share of project expenditure or be diluted
Bluejay is currently one of largest licence holders in East Finland and wholly owns a range of brownfield sites around historic mines including the old Hammaslahti open cast copper mine.
The company also holds key licenses for nickel around the old Outokumpu copper and nickel mine.
Valuation: We value Bluejay at 24.7p/s based purely on our risked value for the Dundas ilmenite mining project.
Bluejay has a number of highly prospective exploration programs on including the Disko and Thunderstone licenses in Greenland as well as the old Hammaslahti mine and licenses near the historic Outokumpu mine in Finland.
Adding in an approximate $35m of value for Bluejay’s exploration portfolio adds a further 2.7p/s to our valuation.
Dundas: We expect Bluejay to announce a larger offtake commitment for the Dundas ilmenite mine by end November
OTC listing: Bluejay listed on the US OTCQB market earlier this week under the BLLYF ticker making the shares more accessible to US investors.
Conclusion: Today’s deal is great news for Bluejay and vindicates management’s decision to hold onto the Finnish licenses despite previous requests by third-parties to buy them.
Today’s news also demonstrates that Bluejay has passed Rio Tinto’s exacting standards as people to do business with and we wouldn’t be surprised to see other majors joint venture with Bluejay on their highly prospective gold and nickel exploration in Greenland.
We do not currently include any value for the Enonkoski mine or other Finnish prospects in our modelling due to a lack of a resource definition at the mine and look forward to adding value for the project in time.
Rio’s interest in the Enonkoski mine and surrounding license area adds a whole new dimension to the potential value of BlueJay.
*SP Angel act Nomad and broker to Bluejay. The analyst has previously visited the Enonkoski mine site in Finland
Bushveld Minerals* (LON:BMN) 12.8p, Mkt Cap £148m – Solar Mini-Grid with Vanadium Flow Battery to contribute 10% of Vametco power
(Bushveld Energy has negotiated to holds 50% Enerox Holdings Limited (50% other investor) which holds 90% of Enerox GmbH along with 8.71% in Invinity) If no other investors participating then the €3.7m loan will be split between the Bushveld and the other investor.
BUY – Valuation 37.7p (was 45.7p)
Bushveld Minerals reports on progress with its 3.5MW solar mini-grid at the Vametco site in South Africa.
The mini-grid is to be supported by a 4MWh VRFB vanadium redox flow battery to maintain a consistent power supply for the plant.
The mini-grid should provide around a 10% of Vametco’s power consumption and demonstrate the technical merits of long duration VRFB systems when paired with renewable energy.
The mini-grid should also help protect Vametco against power supply disruption from ESKOM, the troubled South African state utility.
ESKOM has only recently allowed independent companies to produce their own power in South Africa.
While the system is designed to provide a commercial return it should also show the value of VRFB and solar instillation.
The system should also work well with wind and other renewable energy supplies.
The mini-grid should cut CO2 emissions by more than 5,700tpa and nearly 114,000t over the next 20 years.
Abengoa is to manage the Engineering, Procurement and Construction and is their fourth solar project in South Africa.
Enerox is supply a 1MW / 4MWh VRFB. Enerox has installed more than 136 VRFBs and 23MWh of energy storage capacit.
Thebe Investment Corporation is working as a strategic equity partner in finalising the terms of the external debt funding.
Vametco will supply ~25t of vanadium in oxide form to Enerox GmbH for conversion to electrolyte
Conclusion: The Vametco mini-grid should become a template for combining renewable energy with industrial demand in South Africa and overseas. The projected reduction in carbon emissions is substantial showing that Bushveld and its partners can make a meaningful contribution to greenhouse gas emissions while profiting from the use of solar power and developing the market for VRFB batteries.
Endeavour Mining (TSX:EDV) C$30, Mkt Cap C$5.0bn – A potential merger between two West African producers
Teranga Gold (TGZ CN) C$13, Mkt Cap C$2.2bn
Endeavour Mining is considering a merger with Teranga Gold as the Company is aiming to build scale.
The miner is discussing a “merger of equals style” deal with Teranga.
Endeavour operates six gold mines across Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire and aims to produce 995-1,095koz gold at $865-915/oz AISC this year including output from SEMAFO, acquired for C$1bn earlier in 2020.
Endeavour mineral reserve base stands at ~10moz.
Teranga Gold is targeting ~390koz at $1,013/oz AISC from its two mines in Senegal and Burkina Faso in 2020 and growing to ~520koz at $717/oz in 2021.
Company wide reserves stand at 6.4moz.
Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) 33p, Mkt Cap £118m – Dugbe project area extended
Pasofino Gold, an earn in partner in the Dugbe gold project in Liberia, acquired the Central License adding 210km2 of prospective area to the Project.
The area hosts a number of artisanal gold workings and benefits from a previous drilling data showing high grade intersections.
Exploration will focus on ~16km land stretch with the goal to identify another open pit deposit that could be processed at the Tuzon-Dugbe complex.
Historical RC drilling at one of the targets (Bukon Jedeh) in the area returned the following selected interestions:
2 m @ 61.80 g/t Au from 74 m (BRC050)
10 m @ 6.20 g/t Au from 11 M (BRC037)
7 m @ 5.69 g/t Au from 10 m (BRC019)
5 m @ 3.55 g/t Au from surface (BRC035)
Lucara Diamonds (TSX:LUC) C$0.57, Mkt Cap C$226m – Karowe yields 998 carat diamond
Lucara Diamonds reports that a 998 carat white diamond has been recovered from its wholly owned Karowe diamond mine in Botswana. The stone is reported to have been recovered unbroken.
The latest recovery is the second diamond larger than 500 carats recovered this year and “follows a notable series of diamond recoveries during this recent production run, including a number of top quality clivage and gem quality stones of 273, 105, 83, 73, and 69 carats in weight”.
The company says that so far in 2020 “Karowe has produced 31 diamonds greater than 100 carats including 10 diamonds greater than 200 carats comprising of the 549 carat Sethunya, and the 998 carat diamond”.
CEO, Eira Thomas, said that “Lucara is extremely pleased with the continued recovery of large high quality diamonds from the South Lobe of the Karowe mine. To recover two +500 carat diamonds in 10 months along with the many other high quality diamonds across all the size ranges is a testament to the unique aspect of the resource at Karowe and the mine’s ability to recover these large and rare diamonds. Operations at Karowe have continued through 2020 and operational challenges, due to Covid-19 restrictions, have been met with professionalism by the team”.
The company also reports today that average sales prices of US$365/carat have generated revenues of US$41.3m during the three months to 30th September at an operating margin of 47%.
Over the nine months to the end of September, Lucara generated US$82.9m in revenues from the sale of 268,101 carats of diamonds at an average sales price of US$309/carat (2019 – US$135.5m from 313,189 carats at an average price of US$436/carat).
The company explains that “The reduction in revenue results from a combination of a 15% decrease in the number of carats sold and a deliberate decision not to sell any diamonds +10.8 carats in favour of entering into a committed supply agreement for these diamonds for the remainder of the year”.
Discussing the current market for rough diamonds Ms Thomas commented that “Moving into Q3, Lucara was pleased to see a stabilization of the rough diamond market and an improvement in consumer demand for polished diamonds in both Asia and the U.S. markets”.
She also explained that “we are delighted to have entered into a second, strategic collaboration with Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury brand, and HB Antwerp for the planning and polishing of the exceptional, 549 carat white gem diamond referred to as “Sethunya” meaning “Flower” in Setswana and recovered from the Karowe Mine in February 2020. Sethunya is one of the highest quality exceptional diamonds ever recovered at Karowe and we believe this partnership is a unique opportunity to showcase it to the world and ultimately transform it into an extraordinary, bespoke, polished diamond collection”.
Conclusion: The continuing recovery of large high value diamonds from Karowe provides bolsters operating margins which ran at 47% during Q3. The company also flags improving consumer demand in Asia and the US as the rough diamond market stabilises.
OXIS Energy* – Private – OXIS Energy rolls out program to electrify maritime vessels
Oxis Energy, which makes high-capacity Lithium-Sulfur batteries for aircraft and busses is now moving into shipping.
Yachts de Luxe of Singapore have placed a 10-year commercial contract with Oxis valued at $5mto build the world’s first ever luxury boat to be powered by Lithium-Sulfur batteries. The boat aims to have a range of 70-100 nautical miles at cruising speed.
“OXIS will work with YdL to design the new 40 foot luxury day boat which will carry a 400kW/h battery system comprising of Ultra Light, High-Power cells and a BMS. The design and manufacture of the cells modules, the BMS and its installation will be carried out by Williams Advanced
Engineering, a subcontractor on the project. This joint expertise will secure enhanced safety levels and the necessary elimination of distance and safety anxiety.
Oxis recently supplied a Li-S battery system powering the first ever US-built electric aircraft with a flight time of just under two hours.
The flight was approved by NASA and the Federal Aviation Authority.
OXIS Energy and Texas Aircraft Manufacturing ‘TAM’ are developing Brazil’s First Fully Electric Commercial Aircraft.
The new all-electric ‘eColt’ aircraft will be a for flight training and regional transportation with >2 hour flight time and 200 nautical mile range.
TAM will use a 90kWh battery system will use a 400Wh/kg OXIS high power battery which is 40% lighter than current Li-ion technology.
Tesla’s Model 3 battery pack is currently at 170Wh/kg though Tesla does have plans to raise this to 350Wh/kg.
Tesla needs to improve its anodes to increase cell density beyond the 220Wh/kg achieved with graphite anodes.
The company is also building a new Li-S battery manufacturing facility at a Mercedes site in Brazil supported by funds from the Brazilian government
The idea is for the OXIS battery packs to support Mercedes’ next generation of electric busses.
Conclusion: OXIS continue to find new areas of interest and application for its high-capacity battery packs. Shipping is under pressure to reduce its emissions with strict targets with the International Maratime Organisation setting a target of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gasses by 2030 with a target of a 70% reduction by 2050.
*SP Angel acts for OXIS Energy. We advise potential investors to reply to this email or OXIS Energy direct.
Thor Mining (AIM:THR) 1.23p, Mkt Cap £17.2m – Increasing its holding in EnviroCopper
Thor Mining has announced that that it is increasing its interest in EnviroCopper by 5% to 30% after paying the final A$185,000 tranche of its agreed A$400,000 investment.
EnviroCopper “has earned its initial farm-in interest in 50% of the Kapunda project, [in South Australia]and has provided notice that it will now proceed to a 75% interest” and holds “rights to 75% of the Alford West copper project comprising the northern portion of exploration licence EL5984, held by Andromeda Metals Limited” which together contain an estimated 233,000t of contained copper which is being investigated as a potential in-situ leach project.
Forthcoming work includes additional hydrogeological testing to follow up on the results obtained in 2019.
In-situ copper leaching is relatively unusual, although it is currently underway at Taseko’s Florence operation in Arizona and work is underway on another in-situ leach project at Excelsior Mines’ Gunnison project, also in Arizona produced copper this year although operations were placed on care and maintenance in response to Covid19.
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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, Antimony
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