SP Angel . Morning View . Tuesday 30 08 22

Metals fall on stronger US dollar and China lockdown fears

 

MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below 

Mkango Resources Ltd (AIM:MKA, TSX-V:MKA, OTC:MKNGF)* – Results outline progress at Songwe Hill and the broader integrated rare-earths strategy

GoldStone Resources (AIM:GRL)* – TP – Under Review – Drill programme commences at Akrokeri

Kavango Resources PLC (LSE:KAV, OTC:KVGOF) – Gold mineralisation encountered at Ditau project

Power Metal Resources PLC (AIM:POW)* – Drill contract signed with for Molopo Farms

Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG, LSE:RSG) – Mineral Resource increases to 2moz at Syama North, Mali

Sunstone Metals Ltd (ASX:STM) – Best drillhole intersection so far at Branaderos project, Ecuador

 

Sweden’s H2 Green Steel raises $190m in equity financing

  • H2 Green Steel has raised cash to finance orders for equipment and help begin construction at its project site in Boden, northern Sweden.
  • Green steel utilises reactions in an electric arc furnace (EAF) to create fossil-fuel free steel.
  • Last month, the company reported that Hitachi Energy had taken a stake in the company.
  • H2 aim to start production in the second half of 2025 and have a target of producing 5mtpa by 2030.
  • For the EAF process to work at an optimum level, a high-quality iron ore concentrate feedstock is required with low levels of impurities.
  • CEO Henrik Henriksson commented: “Northern Sweden is among the right places in Europe to do the green iron part of the steelmaking process. Here you have access to infrastructure grids and renewable energy at favourable long term costs.
  • Beowulf Mining* is currently developing its Kallak magnetite project in northern Sweden – which hosts a particularly clean concentrate that should enable steel makers to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and reduce waste leading to cleaner and greener steel production.
  • The project is also ~120km southwest of the giant Kiruna iron ore mine which LKAB claims to be the first source of green iron in the Europe.
  • We see Beowulf as perfectly positioned to service the Swedish Green steel industry given the high-quality magnetite product and close location to H2’s facilities which reduces the overall scope 3 emissions for H2.

*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Beowulf Mining

 

Iron ore – prices continue to fall in China as covid and lower than expected construction activity hits steel demand

  • Spot iron ore prices fell to $102/t today from $103/t on Friday with futures prices falling below $100/t in Dalian and Singapore.
  • Futures prices in Dalian fell 4.1% to $99.5/t
  • Chinese steel prices fell to US$607.7/t for 25mm rebar vs US$612.5/t on Friday
  • Tangshan city authorities are meeting with steel mills to discuss reducing capacity (Engineeringnews.co.za)
  • Coking coal prices fell 5.5% in Dalian with coke also falling 4.4%.
  • But Chinese steel mills are signalling that production should rise in September on higher profits and low inventory levels

     

Gold – Stronger US dollar drawing funds out of gold and silver as the Fed signals pain of further interest rate hikes to come

  • Do the Fed have no heart when it comes to looking after young people with large mortgages.

 

Dow Jones Industrials -0.57% at 33,099

Nikkei 225 +1.14% at 28,196

HK Hang Seng -0.51% at 19,920

Shanghai Composite -0.42% at 3,227

  

Economics

China – Sporadic covid lockdowns and fears of further lockdowns are hitting the Chinese economy hard

  • Shenzhen shut commuter train stations and erected barricades yesterday as part of its ‘Neighbourhood’ covid restrictions on just 35 infections.
  • Huaqiangbei, the world’s largest electronic market, in Futian, Shenzhen, was also shut for four days as part of the covid restrictions
  • The districts of Luohu and Longgang have also closed all entertainment, public parks, and banned gatherings from conferences to performances (CNN).
  • Chengdu, the provincial capital of 20m people in Sichuan, identified 205 infections today.
  • Chinese property sales collapsed 46% to CNY969bn ($143bn) in July vs CNY1.8tn ($266bn) in June
  • Just 92.6m sqm of residential property was sold in July vs 182m sqm in the previous month.
  • Foreign direct investment into China fell 28.6% yoy to $1,239m in July following a very similar 28.6% fall yoy to $1,123m in June
  • China has long relied on the follow of low-cost US dollars for new investment.
  • Lower Chinese returns combined with higher US interest rates look likely to continue to reduce dollar flows into the region.
  • Employment – Urban youth unemployment rose to 20% in July
  • Retail sales pulled back to 2.7% in August vs 3.1% in July
  • Local stimulus is trying to offset the worst effects of lockdowns and property market problems
  • China continues to subtly add minor stimulus measures such as modest interest rate cuts and encouraging bank lending
  • Banking and commodity fraud continue to challenge policymakers.
  • Power shortages caused by a drought of hydropower are straining the recovery and threaten manufacturing output
  • Concerns are also growing over food supplies as lack of rain hits the planting of new crops
  • Reduced consumption in the west is also threatening demand for Chinese products
  • Inventories: we expect Chinese manufacturers to overproduce into Western markets that are slowing fast for Chinese imports.
  • So many consumers bought new laptops and screens for working from home and the post-covid euphoria is been spoilt by the threat of crushing energy bills.
  • We think also reckon western government are happy to scare consumers and businesses into recession, not just to reduce inflation but to cut imports.

 

US – Fed is fighting inflation as energy prices react to higher international levels

  • Personal income rose 0.2% in July vs 0.7% in June
  • Personal spending rose 0.1% in July vs 1% in June
  • wholesale inventories 0.8% in July vs 1.9% in June
  • trade deficit US$89.06billion in July vs US$98.59bn in June due to increased buying power with a stronger US dollar
  • Uni of Michigan consumer sentiment 58.2 in August vs 55.5 in July due to US self sufficiency

 

Germany – GfK consumer confidence was -36.5 for September vs -30.9 in August – at last a figure reflecting the catastrophe heading their way

  • Low water levels in the Rhine have raising the cost of transport for fuel by five times over the past seven weeks while also reducing production capacity around Cologne.

 

France – Consumer confidence 82 in August vs 80

 

EU / UK – look to decouple European energy prices from sky-high gas prices

  • Policymakers are looking at ways to change UK and European energy price mechanisms so as to decouple relatively expensive power generation from gas pricing.

 

UK – Recession to last till 2024 – Goldman

  • Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has reduced its economic forecasts for the UK economy highlighting expected contraction through next year.
  • The bank reckons the UK will contract by 0.6% through 2023 as the cost of living combines with higher household taxes.
  • Goldman see inflation rising to 13% vs other economists at 15-19% post the October energy price cap rise.

     

Currencies

US$0.9996/eur vs 0.9962/eur last week. Yen 138.61/$ vs 137.10/$.  SAr 16.829/$ vs 16.823/$.  $1.171/gbp vs $1.179/gbp. 0.692/aud vs 0.696/aud.  CNY 6.917/$ vs 6.862/$.

US Dollar index – 108.79 / -0.04% on week

Commodity News

 

Precious metals:         

Gold US$1,733/oz vs US$1,755/oz last week

Gold ETFs 100.1moz vs US$100.2moz last week

Platinum US$858/oz vs US$886/oz last week

Palladium US$2,149/oz vs US$2,149/oz last week

Silver US$18.75/oz vs US$19.26/oz last week

Rhodium US$14,100/oz vs US$13,950/oz last week

 

Base metals:   

Copper US$7,934/t vs US$8,182/t last week

Aluminium US$ 2,432/t vs US$2,433/t last week

Nickel US$ 21,275/t vs US$21,667/t last week

Zinc US$ 3,504/t vs US$3,575/t last week

Lead US$ 1,987/t vs US$1,964/t last week

Tin US$ 24,235/t vs US$24,190/t last week

 

Energy:

Oil US$104.7/bbl vs US$100.5/bbl last week

  • Crude oil prices moved higher on fears that political clashes in Libya and Iraq could spiral out of control and impact oil production and exports.
  • European energy prices plummeted after Germany’s Economy Minister revealed that the country’s gas stores are filling up fast (83%) and are on target to meet the October target of 85% full one month ahead of schedule.
  • Natural gas storage in the EU was filled up to 79.4% as of Aug. 27 compared with a target of 80% by Nov. 1, placing the bloc almost two months ahead of target.
  • The average LNG price for October delivery into South Korean and Japan was estimated up 23.7% w/w to a record $70.50/mmBtu, according to industry sources.

Natural Gas US$9.267/mmbtu vs US$9.546/mmbtu last week

Uranium UXC US$49.70/lb vs US$49.30/lb last week – Uranium prices continue to rise as Germany looks likely to extend the life of its nukes.

  • Nuclear power made up 13% of power supplies in Germany last year from six plants of which three were switched off at end of last year and
  • German authorities now plan to keep the last three nukes running.
  • Japan is also restarting, mothballed nuclear reactors and is also looking to build a new generation of nukes to combat the future impact of energy imports.
  • The Japanese government is also now to use nukes to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 as public opinion shifts back in favour of using nuclear power.

 

Bulk:   

Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$102.3/t vs US$103.3/t

Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$607.7/t vs US$612.5/t

Thermal coal (1st year forward cif A RA) US$306.0/t vs US$312.0/t

Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$315.0/t vs US$315.0/t

 

Other:  

Cobalt LME 3m US$51,955/t vs US$51,955/t  – Li-ion battery manufacturers cut cobalt use

  • Chinese battery manufacturers are focussing on LFP battery chemistries to reduce costs and cut expensive metal consumption.
  • Western manufacturers are li-ion buyers remain focussed on NCM ‘Nickel Cobalt Manganese’ batteries, though new NCM 622, 811 and 955 chemistries use much less cobalt than the current NCM 111 formulae.
  • Cobalt demand is expected to rise to 110,218t in 2026 from 63,167t this year despite thrifting of the metal (S&P Global Market Intelligence).

 

NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$91,092/t vs US$92,535/t

Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$68,753/t vs US$69,292/t

China Spodumene Li2O 5%min CIF US$4,940/t vs US$4,940/t

Ferro-Manganese European Mn78% min US$1,225/t vs US$1,221/t

China Tungsten APT 88.5% FOB US$333/t vs US$333/t

China Graphite Flake -194 FOB US$815/t vs US$815/t

Europe Vanadium Pentoxide 98% 7.3/lb vs US$7.3/lb

Europe Ferro-Vanadium 80% 31.75/kg vs US$31.75/kg

China Ilmenite Concentrate TiO2 US$336/t vs US$340/t

Spot CO2 Emissions EUA Price US$89.5/t vs US$88.6/t

Brazil Potash CFR Granular Spot US$900.0/t vs US$900.0/t

 

Battery News

Honda to build US$4.4b, 40GWh Li-ion EV battery plant with LG Energy  

  • The jv is to focus in supplying Honda manufacturing in North American
  • Construction is planned to start early next year with mass production due in 2025

     

Sharp starts development of zinc-air flow batteries for grid storage

  • Sharp sees ZAFB ‘Zinc-Air Flow Batteries’ as safer than Li-ion and as offering high energy densities.
  • The research project has the support of Japan’s ministry of environment.

     

Company News

Mkango Resources Ltd (AIM:MKA, TSX-V:MKA, OTC:MKNGF)* 15.5p, Mkt Cap £37m – Results outline progress at Songwe Hill and the broader integrated rare-earths strategy

  • Mkango Resources’ financial statements for the period to 30th June 2022 report an attributable loss of US$5.3m for the six months period (six months to 30th June 2021 – US$3.5m loss) and a cash balance of approximately US$1.4m at 30th June.
  • The accompanying ‘Management Discussion & Analysis’ highlights the release, after the end of the reporting period of the results of the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) for the Songwe Hills Rare Earths Project in south-east Malawi where an initial capital investment of US$389m is expected to generate an after-tax NPV10% of US$559m and IRR of 31.5% “and post-tax life-of-operations nominal cash flow of $2.1 billion”.
  • Mkango Resources confirms that Songwe Hill is “one of the very few rare earths projects globally to have reached the DFS stage, with a full Environmental, Social, Health Impact Assessment (“ESHIA”) completed in compliance with IFC Performance Standards and The Global Industry Standard for Tailings Management (2020) (“GISTM”) adopted for design and management of the tailings storage facility”.
  • The mine is expected to have an “operating life of 18 years, with mining assumed to commence in February 2025 … [and] … production ramping up from July 2025 and averaging 5,954 tonnes per year total rare earth oxides (“TREO”) for the first five years of full production (September 2025 – August 2030), including 1,953 tonnes per year of neodymium and praseodymium oxides, and 56 tonnes per year of dysprosium and terbium oxides, in a mixed rare earth carbonate (“MREC”) grading 55% TREO, generating nominal EBITDA of US$215 million per year”.
  • The company makes it clear that the DFS relates solely to the Songwe Hill project and “excludes any value attributable to the proposed Pulawy Rare Earth Separation Project (“Pulawy”) in Poland, which is expected to process MREC from Songwe, enabling Mkango to capture additional value via growing its integrated downstream business with a captive source of primary raw material feed from Songwe” as well as excluding “any value attributable to Mkango’s interests in rare earth magnet recycling”.
  • Mkango Resources also points out that “its integrated ‘Mine, Refine, Recycle’ strategy to produce both primary and recycled rare earths, … differentiates Mkango from its peers, uniquely positioning the Company in the rare earths sector”.
  • The company explains that its collaboration with Grupa Azoty Pulawy to develop a rare-earths separation plant in Poland is expected to produce value-added rare-earths products including “2,000 tonnes per year of separated neodymium (Nd)/praseodymium (Pr) oxides, and 50 tonnes per year dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb) oxides in a heavy rare earth enriched carbonate … [and provide a] … Catalyst for regional growth and the green transition … creating additional jobs in the region”.
  • Commenting on its recycling plans Mkango Resources says that they include the development of “a pilot plant in the UK to chemically process recycled HPMS … [Hydrogen Processing of Magnet Scrap] … NdFeB powder and magnet swarf (i.e. the powder produced from grinding and finishing magnets) from a range of scrap sources including electronic waste, electric motors and wind turbines, complementing the short loop magnet recycling routes being developed by … [its 41.6% owned] … HyProMag”.

*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker to Mkango Resources

 

GoldStone Resources (AIM:GRL)* 7.1p, Mkt Cap £35m – Drill programme commences at Akrokeri

TP – Under Review

  • GoldStone reports that it has begun drilling a 1,500m diamond drill programme at the Akrokeri underground mine.
  • The programme will be comprised of 15 holes testing the previous workings and along strike, with Akrokeri previously producing 75,000oz at 24g/t, according to the Ghanaian Minerals Commission.
  • Drilling at the site follows previous work undertaken by Gloldstone which saw the company re-log and assay 5,200m of core which encountered unknown narrow high-grade quartz veins within the granite, with samples up to 24.8g/t and 51g/t.
  • The Akrokeri Mine is approximately 12km NNE and along strike from the Obuasi Mine which was mined continuously for over 100 years.

*SP Angel acts as broker to GoldStone Resources (AIM:GRL)

 

Kavango Resources PLC (LSE:KAV, OTC:KVGOF) 1.8p, Mkt cap £8m – Gold mineralisation encountered at Ditau project

  • Kavango reports that is has received analytical results including gold fire assays from Hole DITDD004 on Target i10 at the Ditau Camp Project.
  • Results demonstrate the presence of gold associated with hydrothermally altered rocks and the presence of anomalous levels of gold (to 0.18ppm) and copper (to 0.10%), in a magnetite and haematite (iron oxides) rich breccia that continues to the end of the hole.
  • Eleven values >0.05ppm Au were found, typically each of 1m intervals, between 304.00m and 345.50m, covering 12.50m over the area.
  • Kavango also detail that the “zone of interest”, characterised by a typically high iron content, has been expanded from 292.60m to 393.29m downhole.
  • Additional assays are pending for holes DITDD003, DITDD005, and DITDD006, while petrological work is also underway, with both datasets important for planning the next exploration phase.

 

Power Metal Resources PLC (AIM:POW)* 1.65p, Mkt Cap £25m – Drill contract signed with for Molopo Farms

  • Power Metal reports that it has signed a deal with Mindea Exploration and Drilling Services for 2,600m of diamond drilling across an expected 6 drillholes.
  • The drilling will be paid for on a part-cash, part-equity basis, with over 50% of the expected contract cost to be satisfied through the issue of up to 10,000,000 new ordinary shares of 0.1p each in the Company at an issue price of 2.25p per share.
  • Drilling will focus on testing the newly identified conductor within the T1-6 target area, while survey work is currently underway at targets T1-14, T1-3 and T2-3.

*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Power Metal Resources

 

Resolute Mining Limited (ASX:RSG, LSE:RSG) 16.5p, Mkt Cap £193m – Mineral Resource increases to 2moz at Syama North, Mali

  • Resolute Resources reports a 40% increase, to 2moz of gold, in the mineral resources estimate for its Syama North deposit located around 300km southeast of the Malian capital, Bamako.
  • The new estimate, reported using a 1g/t cut-off, consists of 20.04mt at an average grade of 3.1g/t gold with approximately 9.5mt at an average grade of 3.0g/t (917,000oz) classed as measured and indicated with the balance of 10.6mt grading 3.2g/t (1.09moz) currently within the ‘inferred’ category.
  • Approximately 3.3mt at an average grade of 3g/t gold (315,000oz) is described as oxide and transition mineralisation with 16.7mt averaging 3.2g/t gold (1.7moz) hosted as primary sulphide mineralisation.
  • The Syama North area is “located within 4-8 km of the main Syama mining and processing complex … [and] … extends for approximately 6,000 metres in strike and the west dipping gold mineralised zone is between 200-500 metres in horizontal width. The Mineral Resource is limited in depth by drilling, which extends from surface to a maximum depth of approximately 350 metres vertically”.
  • Drilling is continuing and the company says that the “results confirm the potential for a new open pit operation adjacent to the Syama processing complex” and that the “sulphide mineralisation remains open at depth and appears to be contiguous along the entire strike length of the … [previously mined] … Beta and A21 deposits”.
  • Resolute Mining says that among recent drilling results a 46m wide intersection averaging 1.83g/t gold from depth of 143m with a second mineralised interval of 30m averaging 3.84g/t gold from 202m depth in hole QVRD538 is of “particular interest … [as it] … appears to be a zone of coalesced mineralised shears producing … [an overall] … mineralised interval including internal dilution … [of] … 89m @ 2.41g/t over the entire zone”.
  • The company says that “Subsequently an up-dip hole was completed and this hole QVRD566, confirmed and expanded the wide mineralised zone with intersections of 30m @ 3.84g/t and 9m @ 3.67g/t Au”.
  • CEO, Terry Holohan, explained that “Given the strong performance of the Sulphide processing circuit post the planned major shutdown, we are now confident with our ability to process sulphides. The focus has thus shifted to exploring for more sulphide close to the processing complex. Assuming significant amounts of this convert to ore reserves, this will give us a huge amount of flexibility for our present expansion plans, processing options and debottlenecking initiatives in place”.
  • He confirmed that “we have recently commenced a pre-feasibility study into low capital expansion options to further expand the sulphide operations with the results expected in early 2023”.

Conclusion: The successful expansion of the Syama North resource base follows the announcement earlier this year, in February, that Resolute Mining had expanded resources at its Tabakoroni project, also in Mali, to over 4m oz, including 1.3moz of ‘measured and indicated’ resources. 

 

Sunstone Metals Ltd (ASX:STM)  A$0.045, Mkt cap A$112m – Best drillhole intersection so far at Branaderos project, Ecuador

  • Sunstone Metals reports what it describes as its best drilling intersection to date in hole BMDD034 at its Bramaderos project in southern Ecuador.
  • Today’s announcement describes an intersection of the Brama Alba porphyry over 202m at an average grade of 0.65g/t gold and 0.13% copper (reported as 0.88g/t gold equivalent) from 148m depth.
  • The company says that the intersection includes a higher grade portion of 42m averaging 0.74g/t gold and 0.14% copper from 252m depth and is “within a broader interval of 363m at 0.71g/t AuEq* from 124m in BMDD034”.
  • Borehole BMDD-034 was drilled at a relatively shallow angle of 30⁰ and “therefore this strong intersection is within 150m of surface”.
  • The mineralisation remains open and drilling is continuing with four rigs operating around the clock to ensure “to that we have adequate drill coverage to deliver the initial Mineral Resource Estimate in the coming quarter”.
  • Managing Director, Malcolm Norris, explained the company’s view that “we have a large gold-copper porphyry system at the Alba end of the 1.2km long Brama-Alba porphyry deposit, which remains open in several directions”.
  • The company also confirms that exploration is also continuing “at nearby porphyry targets Playas, Sandia, Melonal, and Limon in preparation for drilling in 2022”.

Conclusion: We look forward to the forthcoming mineral resource estimate to provide more technical information on the scale and potential of the Bramaderos project.

 

No.1 in Copper:  “The winner of the 2020 Fastmarkets Apex contest for copper was the team at SP Angel comprising John Meyer, Sergey Raevskiy and Simon Beardsmore, with an accuracy score of 93.8%”

No1. In Gold:  “SP Angel’s trio took the top spot for the gold price prediction throughout the year, with an accuracy score of 97.59%”

The SP Angel team also ranked 1st in Palladium, 3rd in Tin and 5th in Silver in the fourth quarter of 2020

 

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

Joe Rowbottom – Joe.Rowbottom@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0486

 

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

Grant Barker – Grant.Barker@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0471

 

 

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 – SSY

RRE – Steelhome

Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Tungsten, Spodumene, Ferro-Manganese, Graphite – Asian Metal

 

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