SP Angel . Morning View . Norwegian startup plans more Gigafactories
Paul Kettle
SP Angel Research Note -4 min read
13:27, 19th August 2019

SP Angel – Morning View – Monday 19 08 19

Norwegian startup plans more Gigafactories

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MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below

 

AfriTin Mining* (ATM LN) – First concentrate from Uis tin project and offtake agreement

Atalaya Mining (ATYM LN) – Mechanical completion of expansion to 15mtpa at Proyecto Riotinto

BlueRock Diamonds* (BRD LN) – BlueRock sells another diamond for more than US$50,000

Cora Gold* (CORA LN) – Drilling results from Sanankoro

Mkango Resources* (MKA LN) – Songwe Hill and Thambani project updates

Rambler Metals & Mining* (RMM LN) – H1 2019 results, operational update and US$5m convertible loan

Tri-Star Resources* (TSTR LN) – Operational update

 

Norwegian startup optimistic about Nordic “battery belt”

  • Freyr AS, A Norwegian startup planning to build one of Europe’s first battery gigafactories claims it wants to build as many as ten more manufacturing sites in northern Scandinavia (Bloomberg).
  • The trend for battery ‘gigafactories’ started by Tesla is spreading globally. This is good news for lithium-ion, with economies of scale helping push costs down.
  • Price parity with the internal combustion engine is seen as a major milestone for lithium-ion, being the point where electric vehicles can match ICE powered vehicles and potentially take the lead in overall market share.

 

Trump optimistic over US economy, but “not ready” to make a deal with China

  • The Trump administration has dismissed recession fears, citing recent tax cuts and consumer spending (Reuters).
  • White House trade adviser Peter Navarro talked down the dangers of market volatility in a recent interview, claiming that investors were coming to the US to “chase yield” in bond markets.
  • A recent surge towards the relative safety of government bonds drove yields to record lows, with the US 30-year Treasury yield falling below 2% for the first time.
  • The comments also come on the back of stronger-than-expected retail sales in July.
  • Uncertainty persists, however, with Trump adding that he is “not ready” to make a deal with China, and indicating that a peaceful resolution to unrest in Hong Kong would be “very good” for any trade deal.

 

Greenland – Trump does want to buy Greenland

  • President Trump does want to buy Greenland according to Larry Kudlow, Economic Advisor to the White House (MailOnline).
  • Trump is looking at buying the world’s largest island from Denmark which has been struggling to financially support Greenland and granted automony to Greenland in the self-rule law of 2009.
  • Greenland may declare full independence if approved by a referendum among the Greenlandic people which could be easily swayed by a offer of support by the US government to help support many of the communities in Greenland.
  • Given that the population of Greenland is just 57,000 in a nation a few billion dollars of assistance will go a long way then a reasonably generous offer may go along way to securing the Island as the 51st state.
  • Denmark has provided some two thirds of Greenland’s budget indicating that Greenland needs ongoing financial support to maintain a number of its communities.
  • Bluejay’s mine camp at Pituffik, Dundas is a prime example of a settlement that was abandoned after financial support was reduced.
  • The US is interested in Greenland for its strategic importance and will also be keen to keep potential Chinese bases off the island given its proximity to the US.
  • We suspect the Greenlanders may also be keen for US assistance as it is likely to be more beneficial to Greenlanders in the longer term than that of some other more distant nations.
  • While the US may also be interested in exploiting Greenland for its mineral resources, the opportunities presented by US companies for Greenland nationals will inevitably outweigh the prospect of working for Chinese due to higher salaries, health and safety and workers rights.

 

Dow Jones Industrials

 

+1.20%

at

25,886

Nikkei 225

 

+0.71%

at

20,563

HK Hang Seng

 

+2.32%

at

26,332

Shanghai Composite

 

+2.10%

at

2,883

FTSE 350 Mining

 

+1.47%

at

17,584

AIM Basic Resources

 

+0.01%

at

2,090

 

Economics

Sluggish economic growth across Asia; stocks gain on stimulus expectations

  • Sluggish economic growth appears to be spreading across Asia, with Thailand reporting the worst slowdown in GDP growth in Q2 since 2014 (FT).
  • New information released by Japan’s Ministry of Finance show exports slipping for an eighth consecutive month in July, though the rate of slowdown is easing.
  • A disagreement over compensation for South Korean victims of Japanese occupation in WW2 has triggered a mini-trade war between the countries, with exports to South Korea falling 6.9% in July.
  • Asian stocks are gaining, however, on the back of expectations over new stimulus measures and easing tension in Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has climbed by as much as 2%, on track for its best day in two months after an anti-government protest this weekend involving nearly a quarter of Hong Kong’s population ended peacefully.
  • Mainland China’s CSI 300 climbed 1.6% after China’s central bank signalled it would implement market-driven lending rates on the back of companies suffering a record number of defaults.
  • Central bankers will gather at their annual Jackson Hole meeting in Wyoming on Thursday, and are expected to announce a fresh wave of stimulus in the face of economic uncertainty, including an inversion in the US yield curve last week.

 

FTSE 100 on track for best session in 10 days following oil field drone attack

  • A spike in oil prices following a drone attack on a Saudi oil field by Yemeni separatists is driving the FTSE 100 higher today (Reuters).
  • The drone attack on a remote Saudi oil and gas field was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The attack sparked a fire, but no casualties or major disruption according to Saudi energy company Aramco.
  • The news contributed to gains on the FTSE 100, which saw an increase of nearly 1% earlier this morning: the biggest one-day rise in more than 10 days.
  • The gains represent at least a temporary reprieve to the ongoing downturn fears, however uncertainty over trade and unrest continues.

 

Currencies

US$1.1101/eur vs 1.1096/eur last week. Yen 106.38/$ vs 106.18/$. SAr 15.270/$ vs 15.208/$. $1.214/gbp vs $1.212/gbp. 0.678/aud vs 0.678/aud. CNY 7.046/$ vs 7.044/$.

 

Commodity News

Precious metals:         

Gold US$1,508/oz vs US$1,514/oz yesterday

   Gold ETFs 77.6moz vs US$77.5moz yesterday

Platinum US$850/oz vs US$836/oz yesterday

Palladium US$1,460/oz vs US$1,449/oz yesterday

Silver US$17.03/oz vs US$17.17/oz yesterday

           

Base metals:   

Copper US$ 5,775/t vs US$5,764/t yesterday

Aluminium US$ 1,803/t vs US$1,783/t yesterday

Nickel US$ 16,100/t vs US$16,195/t yesterday

Zinc US$ 2,259/t vs US$2,271/t yesterday

Lead US$ 2,035/t vs US$2,049/t yesterday

Tin US$ 16,385/t vs US$16,890/t yesterday

           

Energy:           

Oil US$59.6/bbl vs US$58.9/bbl yesterday

Natural Gas US$2.187/mmbtu vs US$2.208/mmbtu yesterday

Uranium US$25.15/lb vs US$25.15/lb yesterday

           

Bulk:   

Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$87.1/t vs US$86.3/t

Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$561.4/t vs US$561.0/t

Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$63.6/t vs US$64.3/t

Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$200.2/t vs US$200.1/t

           

Other:  

Cobalt LME 3m US$32,600/t vs US$32,600/t - Cobalt price spikes as Glencore plans closure of Mutanda mine

  • The price of cobalt has climbed more than 30% following Glencore’s announcement that it would close the world’s largest cobalt mine earlier this month (FT).
  • The closure of the Mutanda mine in the DRC comes as Glencore considers cobalt no longer economically viable on the back of a surge in supply and stockpiling.
  • The closure is expected to shift global markets from surplus to deficit next week, driving the cobalt price higher and encouraging long-term investment in cobalt supply.

NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$42,951/t vs US$42,235/t

Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$8,022/t vs US$8,092/t

Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$39.2/kg vs US$39.3/kg – ferro-vanadium prices pullback in China (FastmarketsMB)

  • Ferro-vanadium prices fell 6.1% in China to $37-40/kgV last week
  • Prices rose in the US by 0.3% to $14-75-15.25/lb
  • Prices in Europe remained at $31-32.15/kgV .

Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5.3/kg vs US$5.3/kg

Tungsten APT European US$210-225/mtu vs US$210-225/mtu

 

Company News

AfriTin Mining* (ATM LNFOLLOW – 3.7p, Mkt cap £23.8m – First concentrate from Uis tin project and offtake agreement

(AfriTin hold the Uis project in Namibia) (Bushveld Minerals* holds 9.5% of AfriTin)

  • Afritin, has announced that it has produced its first tin concentrate from its  Uis tin project in the Erongo district of Namibia
  • The company also reports that it has “has entered into an offtake agreement with Thailand Smelting and Refining Co., Limited ("Thaisarco")”.
  • The agreement with Thaisarco provides a 12-months offtake commitment with transshipment of concentrates through the port of Walvis Bay and with the option to extend the arrangement further.
  • Commenting on the offtake agreement, Andrew Davies, Managing Director of Thaisarco, said that “These concentrates will be smelted and processed into quality tin ingots, granules, solder, high purity products and powders. It's been a pleasure to work with the professional and focused team at AfriTin and we are looking forward to a long business relationship, helping them develop the Uis mine in Namibia.”
  • Having successfully produced its initial tin concentrates, Afritin now intends to build up plant throughput to the design rate of 500,000tpa leading to the production of “approximately 60 tonnes of tin concentrate per month by the end of Q4 2019”.

Conclusion: The production of an initial tin concentrate marks the start up of the ramp up of the phase 1 plant to produce 60t per month by the end of the year. The securing of the offtake agreement, initially for 12 months is seen as the precursor of a longer term relationship with Thaisarco.

*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Bushveld Minerals which listed AfriTin on AIM and still holds a meaningful stake in AfriTin.

 

Atalaya Mining (ATYM LN)  FOLLOW 197.5 pence, Mkt Cap £271.2m – Mechanical completion of expansion to 15mtpa at Proyecto Riotinto

  • Atalaya Mining has announced that it has reached mechanical completion of its 15mtpa expansion project at the Riotinto mine in southern Spain.
  • The company confirms that the “new SAG mill, new primary crusher and all associated equipment have now been running continuously and are ready to start receiving ore and ramp up production during wet commissioning. The additional electricity supply for the expansion is expected to come on stream during Q3 2019”.
  • The company has previously announced the completion of the new flotation and concentrate handling capacity and today’s announcement confirms that these are “operating normally”.
  • CEO, Alberto Lavandiera, described the completion of the work as a milestone and said “It will increase copper production, improve operational efficiencies, reduce maintenance requirements and lower operating cash costs for the Company”.

Conclusion: We agree with Atalaya Mining that the completion of the expansion “demonstrates once again the Company's ability to achieve low capital intensity projects in a timely and cost effective manner”.

 

BlueRock Diamonds* (BRD LN)  FOLLOW 61.5p, Mkt Cap £2.0m – BlueRock sells another diamond for more than US$50,000

  • BlueRock Diamonds confirms the sale of a 7.63carat diamond recovered from its Kareevlei mine for US$52,000 or US$6,815/carat.
  • The company points out that this is the fifth diamond that it has sold for more than US$50,000 so far this year.
  • Executive Chairman, Mike Houston, commented that “The continued and improving regularity of discovery of high-quality stones underpins the potential value of the Project and the effectiveness of our recent improvements in operational practices”.

Conclusion: The improved increasing frequency of recovering high-value diamonds from Kareevlei provides encouragement that the company’s plan to operate Kareevlei profitability in the latter part of 2019 is on track.

*SP Angel acts as Nomad & Broker to BlueRock Diamonds

 

Cora Gold* (CORA LN)  FOLLOW 9.4p, Mkt Cap £9.5m –Drilling results from Sanankoro

  • Cora Gold has reported the results from three diamond core holes drilled at the Sanankoro project in Mali. Results of a fourth hole remain outstanding.
  • The company highlights the results of hole SD008 in particular which is “the first hole at Selin to investigate the sulphide mineralisation at significant depth”  encountered 13m at an average grade of 1.84g/t gold from a depth of 172m and a second intersection of 17.5m at an average grade of 2.7g/t gold from 195m depth.
  • The results were described by Jonathon Forster, CEO, as having “provided strong encouragement for the continuity of gold sulphide mineralisation at considerable depth”.
  • Mr. Forster also remarks that the drilling has “also demonstrated continuity of the gold mineralisation over some 2.2km of the Selin structure with potential for extension at depth”.
  • The company is intending to publish “an initial Mineral Resource and delivering a Scoping Study on the Project before the end of this year.”

Conclusion: We look forward to the mineral resource estimate and scoping study for the Sanankoro project.

*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Cora Gold

 

Mkango Resources* (MKA LN) FOLLOW  7.1p, Mkt Cap £9.4m – Songwe Hill and Thambani project updates

  • Mkango Resource has provided a progress report on its Songwe Hill rare-earths project in Malawi and also on its Thambani uranium/tantalum/niobium project, also in Malawi.
  • The company confirms that a 60tonne bulk sample from Songwe Hoill has now arrived in Australia for metallurgical pilot test work which should aid flowsheet design work where optimisation studies are reported to be progressing well.
  • On August 7th, the Songwe Hill site was visited by Malawi’s Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining and other senior Government officials. The Minister, Binto, Kutsaira, welcomed the progress achieved by Mkango Resources and commended “Mkango for being exemplary in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility and for being transparent with all stakeholders regarding its operations, as it continues to fast track its Rare Earth mineral exploration and bankable feasibility studies. The advancement of the Songwe Hill project offers real hope to the nation of Malawi that it will have a producing rare earths mine in the near future.”
  • The Minister confirmed the support of the Government for mining which he described as “a priority on the government's agenda of transforming the economy of the Malawi.”
  • Providing a report on progress at the Thambani project, the company confirms that “a team of 5 geologists with logistical support are currently carrying out a detailed exploration work programme in the Thambani exclusive prospecting license, which features multiple zones of nepheline-syenite-hosted uranium, tantalum and niobium mineralization, with a number of extensive uranium radiometric anomalies”.
  • Work at Thambani is following up earlier exploration and the current work includes further verification of radiometric anomalies, collection of additional samples and the excavation of new trenches.

Conclusion: The support of Malawi’s Government for the development of Songwe Hill and its confirmation of the quality of Mkango’s management of the project establishes important relationships for the future project progression.

*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Mkango Resources. The analyst has visited the Songwe Hill exploration site.

 

Rambler Metals & Mining* (RMM LN)  FOLLOW 1.05p, mkt cap £13.6m – H1 2019 results, operational update and US$5m convertible loan

  • Rambler Metals reports increased revenue of US$17.5m (H1 2018 – US$13.6m) as a result of increased mill throughput and concentrate production, offset to an extent by lower received metal prices, leading to reduced first half losses of US$6.8m  (H1 2018 – loss of US$7.6m.
  • Lower EBITDA losses of US$1.8m (H1 2018 – US$5.6m) reflect operational improvements which are “focussed on producing safely and exceeding production targets”.
  • Operating cashflow remained negative at US$3.15m (H1 2018 – US$1.29m) reflecting increased working capital of US$1m compared to the release of US$2.1m of working capital during H! 2018. In our view, the higher working capital requirement is a reflection of the improving production profile at the Ming Mine and the Nugget Pond mill as the operation positions itself for sustained levels of higher production and throughput.
  • Commenting on the results of the operational focus on building up production and reducing costs, President and CEO, Andre Booyzen, said that “we see that the financial performance is beginning to turn around as well. Revenue is up by US$3.9M while incremental cash operating expenses have only increased by US$2.6M, leading to an improvement in  overall financial performance. What is encouraging to see is a 24% reduction in cash operating cost per pound of copper and an EBITDA improvement of 68%."
  • During H1 2019, the company has produced 2,624t of copper in concentrates keeping it on track to achieve its full year guidance target of 5-6,000t of copper; gold output of 2,450oz remains behind the guidance level of 4-7,000oz at the interim stage.  
  • In a separate announcement this morning, reports that it has “entered into a definitive subscription agreement (the "Subscription Agreement") with CE Mining III Rambler Limited ("CEIII") and Lombard Odier Asset Management (Europe) Limited ("Lombard Odier"), together the "Investors." The Subscription Agreement provides for a total investment of US$5 million (the "Convertible Loan"), the proceeds of which will be used to provide capital for the move to improved tonnage and grades, reduce debt and strengthen the working capital position”.
  • Each of the investors is subscribing US$2.5m for Loan Notes, bearing interest at 7% pa. The Notes mature over a year and “are convertible , in whole or in part, at the election of the Investors at a price per Ordinary Share equal to GBP£0.014”.
  • The company says that “Assuming conversion at maturity by the Investors of all of the principal amount and accrued interest in respect of the Loan Notes at the Conversion Price, CEIII would acquire ownership and control over a total of 151,643,990 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 9.2% of the issued and outstanding Ordinary Shares.  Immediately following such a conversion, together with the Ordinary Shares of the Company already owned by CEII, CEIII and CEII would together have ownership and control over 1,035,667,346 Ordinary Shares of the Company, representing approximately 62.5% of the issued and outstanding Ordinary Shares.”
  • On conversion, “Lombard Odier would acquire ownership and control over a total of 151,643,990 Ordinary Shares, representing approximately 9.2% of the issued and outstanding Ordinary Shares.  Immediately following such a conversion, Lombard Odier would have ownership and control over 336,888,590 Ordinary Shares of the Company, representing approximately 20.3% of the issued and outstanding Ordinary Shares.”
  • Mr. Booyzen explained that “This funding demonstrates the confidence our major shareholders have in the board and new executive management of Rambler.  It is the start of an exciting era for Rambler as the funding will aid us in starting a process of critical fleet replacement and allow us to repay some important debt, whilst buffering our working capital.  Management believe that this will eventually enable us to increase our production to our target of over 1,350 tonnes per day milled at 2% copper grade.”

Conclusion: The improving operational and financial performance of the Ming mine/Nugget Pond concentrator is being recognised by the company’s principal shareholders as they invest an additional US$5m to fund the working capital of an expanded level of production.

*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker to Rambler Metals & Mining

 

Tri-Star Resources* (TSTR LN) FOLLOW  40.5p, Mkt Cap £38.1m – Operational update

  • The Company produced first ingot with a gold concentration of 2% (20kg/t), the minimum commercial grade, at its antimony-gold processing facility in Oman.
  • The focus is on ramping up production and building sales volumes.
  • Additionally, the Company reported an improvement in antimony metal purity levels that climbed to 99.11%, up from 98% reached in July this year.
  • The team is confident that commercial purity levels of 99.65% levels to be reached once production levels are increased and after the processing plant is fine-tuned, “although there remain a number of operational challenges to overcome”.
  • The Company is in discussions over the replacement of the existing SPMP mezzanine loan with an interest free shareholder loan and/or equity.

*SP Angel acts as Nomad to Tri-Star Resources. David Facey, a former partner at SP Angel is the CEO & CFO at Tri-Star Resources.

 

 

Analysts

John Meyer – 0203 470 0490

Simon Beardsmore – 0203 470 0484

Sergey Raevskiy – 0203 470 0474

James Mills -0203 470 0486

 

Sales

Richard Parlons – 0203 470 0472

Jonathan Williams – 0203 470 0471

Abigail Wayne – 0203 470 0534

Rob Rees – 0203 470 0535

 

SP Angel                                                            

Prince Frederick House

35-39 Maddox Street London

W1S 2PP

 

*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

Bloomberg

Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Tin, Cobalt

LME

Oil Brent

ICE

Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore

NYMEX

Thermal Coal

Bloomberg OTC Composite

Coking Coal

DCE

RRE

Steelhome

Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Antimony

Asian Metal

Tungsten

Metal Bulletin

 

DISCLAIMER

This note is a marketing communication and comprises non-independent research. This means it has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of its dissemination.

This note is intended only for distribution to Professional Clients and Eligible Counterparties as defined under the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority and is not directed at Retail Clients.

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Where the investment is traded on AIM it should be noted that liquidity may be lower and price movements more volatile.

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SPA research ratings – Based on a time horizon of 12 months: Buy = Expected return of more than 15%, Hold = Expected return between -15% and +15%, Sell = Expected return of less than 15%

Disclaimer & Declaration of Interest

The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product relating to any companies under discussion or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Any opinions or comments are made to the best of the knowledge and belief of the writer but no responsibility is accepted for actions based on such opinions or comments. Vox Markets may receive payment from companies mentioned for enhanced profiling or publication presence. The writer may or may not hold investments in the companies under discussion.

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