SP Angel . Morning View . Wednesday 19 08 20
SP Angel
SP Angel . Morning View
14:13, 19th August 2020

SP Angel . Morning View . Wednesday 19 08 20

Copper hits two year high as refined production falls in China

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MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below 

BHP (BHP LN) – BHP defers decision on Jansen potash mine

Hochschild (HOC LN) – Interims highlight coronavirus related operational challenges with dividends remaining suspended

Hummingbird Resources (HUM LN) – Mali update

KEFI Gold and Copper* (KEFI LN) – Maiden Hawiah resource delivers 19.3mt at 1.9% CuEq

Kenmare Resources (KMR LN) – Interim results

IronRidge Resources* (IRR LN) – Further drilling results at Zaranou Gold Project, Cote d’Ivoire 

Polymetal International (POLY LN) – Underground electric vehicle partnership signed with SMT Scharf AG

Resolute Mining (RSG LN) – Mali update

Rio Tinto (RIO LN) – Rio Tinto report delays to the restart of the Kennecott smelter in Utah, USA

 

Copper prices hit two-year high

  • Copper prices rose on Wednesday, as China’s refined copper output in July fell 5.3% from the month prior to 810,000t, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
  • A weak US dollar was also supportive of the copper price, as the dollar index fell for the fifth straight day to 92.12 (SMM News).
  • LME metals prices are priced in USD, so a weak dollar means that metals are cheaper for holders of other currencies.
  • Copper inventories on the LME have experienced significant drawdowns compared to other base metals this week, and stocks are currently at a 13-year low- further supporting prices (Fastmarkets MB)
  • Three-month copper on the LME jumped 1.8% earlier this morning to $6,686/t- its highest since June 2018 whilst the most traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 2.2% at 52,150 yuan ($7,536)/t (Reuters).

 

Mali Coup – Hummingbird, Resolute and Barrick Gold could all be affected by Coup in Mali

  • A coup in Mali has the potential to disrupt significant gold mining in the region.
  • So far gold mining in the south of Mali has been unaffected but Islamic insurgents in the north and now a coup may change the dynamics of this previously stable nation.
  • President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced his resignation late on Tuesday after military detained him, PM Boubou Cisse and a number of other high ranking officials.
  • Parliament has also been dissolved by the President.
  • The mutiny started at the Kati military base nine miles outside Bamako on Tuesday morning, the same base from which a coup was launched in 2012 that saw the toppling of the then-president Amadou Toumani Toure.
  • The Mali government has been criticised for poor handling the economy, corruption and inability control the growing jihadist insurgency.
  • It was not immediately clear who was leading the revolt.
  • However, a spokesman for a group of opposition leaders called the M5-RFP that led recent protests in Mali supported the move saying it was “not a military coup but a popular insurrection”.
  • President Keita was held by soldiers according to Sky News and resigned at around midnight last night (NY Times)
  • Gunfire was heard in an army base just outside the capital.
  • Mali continues to fight Islamic militants in the north with the support of French special forces and US advisers.
  • Mining projects to the north of the capital, Bamako are a no go due to the risk. The Inata gold mine to the East in Burkina Faso has been targeted by militants with two key personnel captured and held hostage. The plant manager died in captivity.
  • Mali produced some 71.1t of gold last year with 65.7t expected in 20202

Conclusion: Mali has been one of the more stable nations in Africa over the years. It has a supportive and pragmatic approach to mining which has helped the nation to grow. Increasing Islamic insurgency has strained the military. Protests over the last election and government corruption appears to have destabilised the government but it is better for the military to be in control in preference to a group of Islamic insurgents.  

 

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Economics

Japan – June machinery orders fall -7.6% MoM

  • Total machinery orders also fell -22.6% YoY.
  • Interesting figures when comparing machinery orders by sector in June compared to the month prior include: Manufacturing +5.6%, Chemicals +21.8%, Nonferrous metals -64.2%, Mining +10.2%.

 

UK - House Prices rise 2.6% in April yoy vs 3.5% in March

 

Eurozone - CPI 0.4% yoy in July, 

  • CPI -0.4% mom in July
  • Core CPI 1.2% yoy in July

 

Currencies

US$1.1930/eur vs 1.1901/eur yesterday.  Yen 105.52/$ vs 105.49/$.  SAr 17.229/$ vs 17.436/$.  $1.324/gbp vs $1.317/gbp.  0.725/aud vs 0.723/aud.  CNY 6.920/$ vs 6.925/$.

 

Commodity News

Precious metals:          

Gold US$1,985/oz vs US$2,009/oz yesterday

   Gold ETFs 108.5moz vs US$108.4moz yesterday

Platinum US$950/oz vs US$969/oz yesterday

Palladium US$2,178/oz vs US$2,210/oz yesterday

Silver US$27.45/oz vs US$28.24/oz yesterday

 

Base metals:   

Copper US$ 6,645/t vs US$6,453/t yesterday

Aluminium US$ 1,783/t vs US$1,764/t yesterday

  • Nickel US$ 14,715/t vs US$14,680/t yesterday - Philippines H1 nickel ore output fell 28% to 102,000t

Zinc US$ 2,487/t vs US$2,458/t yesterday

Lead US$ 2,002/t vs US$1,974/t yesterday

Tin US$ 17,645/t vs US$17,280/t yesterday

            

Energy:            

Oil US$45.1/bbl vs US$45.4/bbl yesterday

Natural Gas US$2.423/mmbtu vs US$2.327/mmbtu yesterday

Uranium US$31.20/lb vs US$31.45/lb yesterday

            

Bulk:    

Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$122.1/t vs US$117.3/t

Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$547.1/t vs US$546.6/t - Japan June steel products exports down 16.7% YoY

  • Steel product exports stood at 2.42mt in June, also down 3.1% compared to the month prior.
  • Japan delivered the largest amount of steel products to China with 629,300 tonnes, surging 53.9% YoY whilst South Korea imported 371,000 tonnes of Japanese steel products- a YoY drop of 26.5%.
  • Japan exported 17.07mt of steel products in the first half of 2020, up 4.8% compared to the previous year (China Coal).

Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$56.1/t vs US$55.7/t

Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$116.5/t vs US$118.0/t

            

Other:  

Cobalt LME 3m US$33,200/t vs US$33,200/t

NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$49,061/t vs US$48,664/t - China July REE exports down 69% YoY

  • China exported 1,620 tonnes of rare earths last month, 69% lower compared to a year earlier and 44% lower than in June, according to customs data.
  • Exports to the US dropped 35% in H1 2020 compared to the same period, and the US imported around 80% of its REEs from China between 2015-2018.
  • The sharp decline in exports has led to speculation that Beijing is weaponizing rare earths due to China dominating supply, however the China Rare Earth Industry Association say this is not the case.
  • Instead, the industry body cite the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for falling exports, as the virus had led to weak external demand (South China Morning Post).
  • Tensions between the US and China flared up again last month as President Trump heavily criticised the way that Beijing dealt with the initial outbreak of the coronavirus.

Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,015/t vs US$5,011/t

Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$30.3/kg vs US$30.3/kg

Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5.2/kg vs US$5.2/kg

Tungsten APT European US$205-210/mtu vs US$205-210/mtu 

Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$430/t vs US$430/t

Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,275/t vs US$2,275/t

 

Battery News

EV start-up Canoo announces intention to IPO

  • Los Angeles based EV start up Canoo intends to go public later this year in a reverse merger according to Reuters. The Company is expected to IPO at a valuation of $2.4bn.
  • The Company will merge with special purpose acquisition company Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. A deal is expected to be concluded in Q4. The new entity will called Canoo Inc.
  • The deal is expected to raise $607m to fund Canoo’s commercial development and growth plans.  
  • Canoo has developed a low profile skateboard technology that enables different vehicle configurations. The Company partnered with Hyundai to co-develop the electric car platform based on the scalable design of the skateboard.
  • The Company plans to offer its B2C electric vehicle on subscription with deliveries planned to begin in 2022. The vehicle will have a 250 mile range on a single charge and a fast charge time of 28 mins to 80%. The car has a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor and an 80 kWh  lithium ion battery pack.
  • In 2023 the Company plans to release a B2B delivery vehicle and has a B2C sport vehicle planned for 2025.
  • Canoo joins a growing list of EV start-ups which have had IPOs this year including Xpeng Motors, Li Auto, Fisker, Hyliion and Nikola.  Signs of investors appetite for EV players.

 

Green King and Drive Energi to provide rapid charging network

  • Pub operator Green King have announced a deal with EV charge point operator Drive Energi. The deal will see Drive Energi install chargers at Green King sites across the UK.
  • Drive Energi will build, own and operate the rapid charging network. The charging points will be deployed first in the North West and are expected to be operational by 2021. The network will be rolled out across the rest of the UK over the following 3yrs.
  • Drive Energi will provide Tritium 50kW DC charge points which will enable contactless payments via a ‘Pay as you go’ tariff.
  • Department of transport figures show UK EV public charge points up 11% YTD to 18,265. The number of rapid chargers has increased 363% in the last 5yrs up to 3,399 devices.
  • The UK now average 27 public charge points per 100,000 population, with London leading the way with 57 per 100,000.
  • Zap Map figures show the UK now has more than 33,000 connectors nationwide (public and private) across 12,041 locations.  
  • According to Zap Map Polar network operates the most public charging devices in the UK with a 12% share of the market.

 

Victorian government invest in charge points as it looks to restart the state economy 

  • The Victorian government is investing $664,000 into 15 new charging stations across towns in the northwest of the state.
  • The cash injection is part of the state government’s $2.7bn ‘Building Works’ package designed to create jobs in the area and support the local economy.
  • Australia is playing catch-up in the shift to new energy vehicles. 6,718 EVs were sold in the county in 2019 but NEV sales only represent 0.6% of the total market. The global average in 3.5% of sales.  
  • The country potentially faces an uphill struggle to build out its infrastructure as the lack of EVs on the roads makes building a charging infrastructure not commercially viable according to Evie Networks CEO Chris Mills.
  • The Company suggest installation costs are high, around AUS$750,000 for a single two headed charging station and a lack of site volume means ROI is low.

 

Company News

BHP (BHP LN) – 1,784p, Mkt cap £100bn - BHP defers decision on Jansen potash mine

  • BHP has deferred a decision to invest further in their Jansen potash mine in Canada.
  • The company has already spent more than $2bn on infrastructure for the mine but delays in completing the shaft have pushed back the decision on the major part of the capital expenditure.
  • BHP see demand for potash potentially doubling by 2050 to a potential $50bn market
  • The Jansen mine is reported to be 86% complete but still needs another $2.7bn to finish

Conclusion: This is a massive investment made all the easier by the huge cash flow from BHP’s iron ore business. Having said that this is still a major project with significant risk for a single company. Anglo American made the decision to buy Sirius for its polyhalite phosphate but recently cancelled the shaft sinking contractor.

We would not be surprised to see Anglo pop up as a jv partner at Jansen as part of its move into the fertiliser business.

 

Hochschild (HOC LN) 255p, Mkt Cap £1,312m – Interims highlight coronavirus related operational challenges with dividends remaining suspended

  • Revenues dropped 35%yoy to $232m (H1/19: $354m) reflecting weaker sivler/gold sales on COVID-19 related stoppages at all its mines from mid-March until rthe end of May.
  • Attributable silver production was down 53%yoy at 4,108koz (H1/19: 8,687koz).
  • Attributable gold production was down 43%yoy at 79koz (H1/19: 138koz).
  • Adjusted EBITDA down 48%yoy to $81m (H1/19: $154m)
  • At Inmaculada, production was down 40%yoy at 79.6koz GE on the back of a 11 weeks temporary suspension. Operations were suspended on 6 July due to new coronavirus cases again with production having restarted on 28 July and full capacity expected to be reached by the end of August.
  • At Pallancata, production was down 63%yoy at 1.8moz AgEq having been similarly affected.
  • At San Jose, production was down 40% at 4.4moz AgEq reflecting a shorter stoppage with operations restarting on 27 April, while restrictions on the movement of people in the coutry currently in place led to a slow and difficutl remobilisation and ramp up process that is now expected to be complete by the end of Q3/20.
  • Basic loss per share (pre-exceptional in the form of COVID-19 related response costs) of $(0.01) (H1 2019: $0.04 earnings)
  • Basic loss per share (post-exceptional) of $(0.02) (H1 2019: $0.03 earnings)
  • FCF (post tax) came in at -$28m (H1/19: $29m) as a drop in operating cash flows more than outpaced a reduction in capex spend.
  • Cash and cash equivalent balance of $162m as at 30 June 2020 (31 December 2019: $166m)
  • Net debt of $58m as at 30 June 2020 (31 December 2019: $33m).
  • Dividends remain suspended with the Board highlighting COVID-19 related challenges and Inmaculada still in a ramp-up phase.

 

Hummingbird Resources (HUM LN) 32p, Mkt Cap £112m – Mali update

  • The Company reports no current impact on operations and production at the Yanfolila mine, located some 280km south west of the capital, Bamako.
  • The announcement follows the news of a military mutiny leading to a detention of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and PM Boubou Cisse yesterday.
  • President Keita announced he is resigning from the post around midnight yesterday.

 

KEFI Gold and Copper* (KEFI LN) 1.9p, Mkt Cap £36m – Maiden Hawiah resource delivers 19.3mt at 1.9% CuEq

  • The Company released maiden Mineral Resource Estimate for the copper/gold Hawiah VMS Project, located in Saudi Arabia.
  • The estimated resource is for 19.3mt at 0.9% copper, 0.8% zinc, 0.6g/t gold and 10.3g/t silver for 168kt Cu, 157kt Zn, 349koz Au and 6,373koz Ag.
  • In terms of the breakdown of the resource between open pit/underground domains see the table below:

Type

Tons, mt

Cu (%)

Zn (%)

Au (g/t)

Ag (g/t)

Cu (kt)

Zn (kt)

Au (koz)

Ag (koz)

Oxide, Open Pit

0.1

0.1

0.03

1.7

3.9

0.1

0.04

7

16

Transition, Underground

2

1.1

0.8

0.7

12

21

16

45

763

Fresh, Underground

17.2

0.9

0.8

0.5

10.1

147

141

297

5,595

Total

19.3

0.9

0.8

0.6

10.3

168

157

349

6,373

  • The MRE is based on 12,027m of diamond drilling completed since Sep/19 and uses the following metal price assumptions: gold (USD1,650/oz), silver (USD24.8/oz), copper (USD8,450/t), zinc (USD3,000/t).
  • The mineralisation is open at depth with the management aiming to test high grade deeper extensions in due course.
  • In particular, the team is planning to test extensions at the 1.2km long Camp Lode where drilling returned 1.27% Cu over 9m (true width, HWD_005) and 1.55% over 8.7m (trued width, HWD_059) within the deepest two holes.
  • PEA on Hawiah is being completed and expected to be released in Sep/20.
  • KEFI holds 34% in the project through a JV where the Company is also an operating partner.

Conclusion: The Company delivered maiden Hawiah mineral resource of 19.3mt at 1.9% CuEq (using current close to spot commodity price for conversion) less than a year after drilling commenced at the project. The Company highlights the potential to grow tonnages and grades with further drilling and testing of higher grade zones at depth underway. PEA is due to come out shortly (Sep/20) highlighting economic potential of the project.

*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to KEFI Gold and Copper

 

Kenmare Resources (KMR LN) 206p, Mkt cap £223m – Interim results

  • Ilmenite production fell 19% to 368,900t in H1 from 458,200t.
  • Rutile production fell 34% in H1 to 2,900t from 4,400t
  • Zircon production fell 8% to 21,200t from 23,100t
  • Revenue fell 5% to $116.8m from $122.7m yoy though some of this was offset by lower freight costs which fell by 23%.
  • Operating costs remained stable at $96.9m highlighting the marginal nature of the mining operation despite higher ilmenite prices.
  • Cash costs per tonne rose 20% to $183/t vs $152/t yoy
  • Cash operating costs of ilmenite net of by-products rose 53% to $119/t vs just $78/t previously highlighting the value of rutile and zircon sales.
  • EBITDA fell 13% to $37.2m from $42.8m
  • Post tax profit fell 42% to $12.7m from 21.9m .
  • Kenmare saw ilmenite prices rise by 28% to US$217/t.
  • Agreements for the majority of our H2 2020 ilmenite production, although market conditions are expected to become more subdued in the second half of the year..
  • Kenmare remains on track to start mining at Pilivili in Q4.
  • Cash: Kenmare held cash and cash equivalents of $98.6m and gross debt of $151.3m
  • Net debt: US$52.7 million vs $13.7m at end December due mainly to scheduled capital expenditure
  • Ilmenite: Strong market conditions drove ilmenite prices higher and enabled Kenmare to strike offtake agreements for the majority of its planned ilmenite production in H2 2020
  • The ilmenite concentrate feedstock market was tight before the coronavirus hit.
  • We believe the market has continued to tighten as converters ramped up production ahead of the mines which are now struggling to keep pace with demand.
  • Paint and pigment demand classically follows global GDP, so they say, but demand appears to remain strong with potential for a shortage of feedstock.
  • We expect prices to continue to press higher in this environment.
  • Zircon: Oversupply in the zircon market continued in H1 2020, however the medium-term outlook continues to be positive due to reducing production from major zircon producers.

Conclusion:  Kenmare should enjoy a better second half with the Piluvili project coming back and hopefully higher ilmenite, rutile and zircon prices.

 

IronRidge Resources* (IRR LN) 18p, Mkt Cap £72m – Further drilling results at Zaranou Gold Project, Cote d’Ivoire 

  • The Company released additional drilling restuls from the 2nd phase programme at the Ehuasso and Ebilassokro targets, both located at the Zaranou Gold Project area.
  • Higher resolution assays received for 1m primary samples at previously announced 4m composite results over the Ehuasso target including: 
    • 4m at 9.79g/t gold from 4m in hole ZAAC0227
    • 8m at 1.48g/t gold from 32m in hole ZAAC0282
    • 1m at 9.11g/t gold from 23m in hole ZAAC0382
    • 5m at 1.79g/t gold from 49m in hole ZAAC0230
    • 2m at 3.19g/t gold from 30m in hole ZAAC0288
    • The new 4m composite sample results received for additional RC holes completed at the Ehuasso Main target confirmed the mineralisation continuity along the 1.4km strike and up to 80m width that still remains open to NE and SW as well as depth.
    • Selected intersections included: 
      • 16m at 1.06g/t gold from 68m in hole ZARC0018
      • 28m at 0.45g/t gold from 32m in hole ZARC0016
      • 16m at 0.58g/t gold from 112m in hole ZARC0016
      • 4m at 1.68g/t gold from 184m in hole ZARC0016
      • Assay results for the last four RC drill holes including the one with visible gold reported (ZARC0019) within the Ehuasso Main target as well as AC holes along the second reconnaissance drill line at the Ebilassokro target.
      • The 2nd phase drilling programme including 22,389m over 416 holes (20,312m in 404 AC holes and 2,077m in 12 RC holes) within the Ehuasso and Ebilassokro targets is now completed.
      • The team commenced site access works for a planned 3rd phase of drilling including infill RC programme within the Ehuasso Main target and step out AC programme along the Ebilassokro, Ehuasso and Yakasse targets.
      • 3rd phase is due to start towards the end of Q3/20.

Conclusion: New drilling results confirm the mineralisation continuation at the Ehuasso Main target with final assays from now completed 2nd phase of drilling to be released shortly. The team is now preparing for the start of the 3rd phase exploration programme at the Zaranou Gold Project involving both infill and step out drilling towards the end of Q3/20.

*SP Angel act as Nomad IronRidge Resources

 

Polymetal International (POLY LN) 2016p Mkt Cap £9.48bn – Underground electric vehicle partnership signed with SMT Scharf AG

  • Polymetal has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SMT Scharf AG, a Germany-based company that manufacturers rail-bound transport systems for personnel, equipment and material.
  • The agreement sees both companies cooperating in development, implementation and further testing of zero-emission battery EVs- initially focussing on mid-ranged LHDs and trucks with the potential involvement of drill rigs and utility vehicles in the future.
  • Two pairs of LHDs and trucks are going to be trialled at Polymetal's operations for one year, in which time there is scope for further collaborative re-design, signing of a distribution agreement and establishment of after-sales support centre.
  • Vitaly Savchenko, COO of Polymetal said: "The partnership with SMT grants us an easy access to customisable battery electric vehicles which could positively contribute to our operating costs dynamics, GHG emissions and personnel safety at underground mines" and in relation to the company’s carbon strategy: "It fits well into our strategy to gradually involve EVs across the Group's operations and marks another step towards cutting carbon emissions by 5% in 2023".
  • The strategic cooperation is set to last for 10 years with an opportunity for further extension.

 

Resolute Mining (RSG LN) 61p, Mkt Cap £673m – Mali update

  • The Company reports that operations at the Syama Gold Mine, located in the south of Mali on the border with Cote d’Ivoire, continued as normal with no impact to production or the safety of staff.
  • The announcement follows the resignation of the President and the subsequent dissolution of the government.
  • Syama is guided to contribute 260koz at US$960/oz AISC in FY20 accounting for ~60% of total gold production at Resolute.

 

 Rio Tinto (RIO LN) – 4,793p, Mkt cap £60bn - Rio Tinto report delays to the restart of the Kennecott smelter in Utah, USA

  • Rio Tinto has lowered refined copper production guidance for the group to 135,000-175,000t
  • Production guidance was previously for 165,000-205,000t
  • The delay to the restart is said to be due to unexpected issues following planned maintenance.
  • While this is unusual for Rio Tinto we expect there to be a greater risk of disruption to ongoing copper production this year.
  • This is due to the disruptive effects of the coronavirus and local lockdowns.
  • We have a sense that work has not been done so well through the lockdown and the disruptive effects of social distancing, masks, fewer key staff on site etc.. may all be contributory factors affecting the quality of work done and efficiency of the operations.

Analysts

John Meyer – John.Meyer@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0490

Simon Beardsmore – Simon.Beardsmore@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0484

Sergey Raevskiy –Sergey.Raevskiy@spangel.co.uk - 0203 470 0474

 

Sales

Richard Parlons –Richard.Parlons@spangel.co.uk - 0203 470 0472

Abigail Wayne – Abigail.Wayne@spangel.co.uk - 0203 470 0534

Rob Rees – Rob.Rees@spangel.co.uk - 0203 470 0535

 

SP Angel                                                            

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35-39 Maddox Street London

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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

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

SSY

RRE

Steelhome

Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Antimony

Asian Metal

Tungsten

Metal Bulletin

 

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