SP Angel . Morning View . Monday 26 10 20
No US stimulus agreement and increasing COVID cases hurt sentiment
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below
AfriTin (AIM:ATM) – On track to ramp-up concentrate production at the Uis mine to 60tpm by end of 2020
Alien Metals (LON:UFO) – Alien moves to explore Greenland as it works to offload Mexican projects
Beowulf Mining* (AIM:BEM) – Q3 results highlight progress in Kosovo and Sweden
Empire Metals* (AIM:EEE) – Empire to sell Bolnisi copper and gold project in Georgia for C$7m
Ferro Alloy Resources (LON:FAR) – Impact on sales and earnings expected due to production interruptions
Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) – Q3/20 operations update
Galantas Gold (AIM:GAL) – Exploration review of the Omagh mine is underway
Kenmare Resources (LON:KMR) – Production underway at Pilivili
Vast Resources* (AIM:VAST) – £1.8m placing and Baita Plai update
SP Angel commodity forecasts rank 2nd in Gold and Copper in APEX survey for Q3 2020. Rankings are:
2nd in Gold
2nd in Copper
2nd in Nickel
1st in Tin
5th in Iron ore
China – PBOC renminbi against the US dollar at 6.6725
China Foreign Ministry also set to impose sanctions on companies selling arms to Taiwan
US – House Democrats and White House are unable to reach a compromise over the fiscal stimulus package accusing each other of “moving goalposts”.
Separately, latest Markit PMI data showed growth regained momentum in October with business activity climbing at the fastest pace in 20 months and business sentiment improving markedly.
Both manufacturing and services sectors reported better performance.
A bit of a concern slower expansions in new business orders, although, some of that has been attributed to firms holding back on some of orders ahead of presidential elections.
Employment growth has also slowed down when compared to September.
Markit Manufacturing PMI: 53.3 v 53.2 in September and 53.5 est.
Markit Services PMI: 56.0 v 54.6 in September and 54.6 est.
Markit Composite PMI: 55.5 v 54.3 in September.
ECB – The policy meeting this Thursday is expected to offer little in the way of new stimulus, although, risks of a double-dip recession are on the rise as more countries re-introduce restrictions to battle an increase in COVID-19 infections.
Rates are expected to kept at 0.0% while the emergency bond-buying programme size to remain unchanged at €1.35tn for now, with around half of the fund still remaining available.
The expectations are that the programme may bet additional €500bn and can be extended until the end of 2021 at some point, Bloomberg reports.
UK – Matt Hancock, the UK health secretary, expects an expedited launch of a COVID-19 vaccine in H1/21.
Azerbaijan/Armenia – Two countries agreed to a cease-fire brokered by the US late Sunday, according to a joint-statement of two countries.
Regrettably, both sides are reported to have accused each other of violating the agreement within minutes of it coming into force at 8am local time Monday, Bloomberg writes.
Azerbaijan claimed Armenian forces fired with artillery at tis military positions and residential areas, while Armenia reported artillery attacks by Azerbaijani troops.
That marks the third failed international mediation attempt in the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Germany – Business morale falls in October on rising virus numbers
Germany’s business climate index fell to 92.7 from a downwardly revised 93.2 in September, according to the Ifo institute.
The fall followed five months of rises, which the Ifo president attributes to rising infection numbers causing German businesses to become increasingly worried.
COVID-19 news – President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuelan says his scientists have isolated a molecule that inhibits the Covid-19 virus
We have to wonder what drugs the Venezuelan government are already on?
US$1.1820/eur vs 1.1807/eur last week. Yen 104.88/$ vs 104.76/$. SAr 16.321/$ vs 16.220/$. $1.302/gbp vs $1.308/gbp. 0.712/aud vs 0.713/aud. CNY 6.698/$ vs 6.673/$.
Gold US$1,897/oz vs US$1,907/oz last week – Gold slips below $1,900/oz level on Monday during Asian trade
Gold slipped below $1,900/oz on Monday morning to its lowest level in over a week, as the US dollar firmed, and stimulus talks stalled.
Spot gold fell 0.25% earlier this morning, whilst silver is down nearly 2% (Kitco).
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that there is still hope for a stimulus deal before the US election, although nothing has been agreed as of yet.
The US dollar firmed on Monday, with the dollar index firming 0.3% against its rivals to 93.02, making gold more expensive to holder of other currencies (FX Street).
Gold ETFs 110.9moz vs US$110.9moz last week
Platinum US$890/oz vs US$889/oz last week – Hydrogen boom to benefit Platinum market
Reduced demand in the diesel industry has led to a fall in platinum demand. The automotive industry the largest consumer of platinum, with 44% of the world’s supply going towards catalytic converters. This fall in demand and Covid-19 has made the future for platinum bulls seem unpromising.
However, it may not be as bleak as it seems. Platinum may be losing its important diesel customer, but it is about to gain another one – green hydrogen. The hydrogen boom could greatly benefit platinum.
Platinum is used for fuel cells for fuel cell electric vehicles and in the production of green hydrogen.
Green hydrogen is a 100% clean fuel because it is produced when. Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are used in the electrolysis of water. It is estimated by the IEA that green hydrogen could save 830 million tonnes of CO2 emitted during the production of grey hydrogen from fossil fuels.
Platinum is used as a catalyst in the electrolysis process to improve performance and durability for commercial scale systems. The potential to decarbonise the sector is large because currently less than 1% of the hydrogen supply in the world is green. If it was to replace fossil fuels in these sectors by 2050, it is estimated that demand would be between 133 million and 158 million tonnes a year.
BP, Siemens Energy, Repsol and Orsted have planned their green hydrogen strategies. The EU also recently outlined its new hydrogen strategy as part of its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 which was great news for the hydrogen sector.
Palladium US$2,370/oz vs US$2,396/oz last week
Silver US$24.16/oz vs US$24.68/oz last week
Copper US$ 6,819/t vs US$6,873/t last week
Aluminium US$ 1,837/t vs US$1,838/t last week
Nickel US$ 15,510/t vs US$15,785/t last week
Zinc US$ 2,539/t vs US$2,565/t last week
Lead US$ 1,764/t vs US$1,796/t last week
Tin US$ 18,080/t vs US$18,595/t last week
Oil US$40.5/bbl vs US$42.2/bbl last week
US futures extended their downward trajectory from Friday in early trading today as New York futures have fallen to US$39/bbl
The chances of a deal on fiscal stimulus in the US looks slim as both sides accuse the other of moving the goalposts
Caseloads in the US were at record highs for the second day running
In Europe both Italy and Spain have moved to tighten restrictions while France continues to report record infections numbers
Traders viewing increasing caseloads as major determinant of weak gas demand, particularly in Western Europe and the US
Suggestions Brent Crude could remain around US$40/barrel until a COVID-19 vaccine is ready
Traders looking to OPEC+ next move, it is suggested the cartel will cut production by 5.7MMbopd in January, down from the initially agreed 7.7MMbopd
Putin’s pledged to support crude oil prices if the need arises restoring some confidence in the market
Libya’s National Oil Corp ended its forced majeure on exports from two key ports Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports on Friday, the country expects production to return to 1m bpd in the next 4 weeks, far quicker than analysts expectations
Global coronavirus cases have now passed 40m, and a number of European countries have re-entered stricter lockdowns in a bid to slow the growing number of cases as we move into the Northern Hemisphere winter
The White House announced it is ‘cautiously optimistic’ that Speaker Pelosi may be edging closer to agreeing a deal on the new coronavirus bill
China’s Q3 economic GDP Growth came in below expectations at 4.9% YoY and 2.7% QoQ
The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) met on Sunday under the Chairmanship of the Saudi Minister of Energy
Production data for September 2020 showed overall conformity was 102% across OPEC and non-OPEC countries, the highest level since May 2020
The committee reiterated the commitments of all participating countries to achieve full conformity and to make up for shortfall under compensation plans
There was also emphasis on the ongoing positive contribution of the DoC in supporting rebalancing of the global oil market
Looking to out to next year the IMF said on Monday that they expect oil prices to stay in the US$40-50/bbl into next year, putting pressure on oil exporters in the Middle East
The IMF projects GDP in the region will fall 4.1% in 2020, with oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa expected to suffer a 6.6% decline this year
Oversupply and an inventory glut remain concerns in the short to medium term with reduced air traffic volumes negatively effecting demand
The Aire Travel Association expects the global passenger traffic to return to pre-COVID levels by 2024, 12 months further out than initially thought
Short haul travel is expected to come back online faster, returning to levels resembling pre-pandemic footfall by 2023
Natural Gas US$2.984/mmbtu vs US$2.945/mmbtu last week
Natural gas futures prices retreated on Friday despite lower natural gas production and stronger export demand
These two factors are likely to be the forces that drive prices higher throughout the winter heating season, but not until the weather starts to cooperate
Increasing export demand and supportive government storage data should’ve underpinned prices, but a warmer turn in the latest weather forecast capped gains, encouraging bullish traders to trim their lofty long positions
Multiple reports were showing hints of warmer weather creeping up in some models, and on Friday, both the American and European datasets trimmed demand from the back of the 11-to-15-day outlook
Bespoke Weather Services said the models moved toward strong upper-level ridging anchored over the Midwest, suggesting that risks to the current forecast still were to the warmer side after the first couple of days of November
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$113.1/t vs US$116.8/t – Chinese iron ore futures hit four-week low on Monday
China’s iron ore futures fell on Monday, as stocks at major ports rose for the fifth straight week to 127.8mt on Friday, the highest since February (SteelHome).
The most traded iron ore contract for expiry January 2021 on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell as much as 3.1% to 762 yuan ($114)/t- its lowest since the 28th of September (Reuters).
Iron ore has been the best performing commodity year-to-date, amid supply disruptions in Brazil and Australia, along with robust Chinese demand as a result of vast amounts of government stimulus.
China’s crude steel output is expected to rise 3-5% compared to last year to more than 1 billion tonnes, according to the China Iron and Steel Association.
Steel – Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$565.4/t vs US$567.2/t – Global steel production rises 2.9% YoY in September
Global steel output edged higher in September, boosted by a strong recovery in China, which saw a 10.9% jump to 92.6mt- according to the World Steel Association.
September’s rise year-on-year marks the second consecutive month of gains after five months of declines as the coronavirus pandemic depressed industrial activity, data showed.
Comparing China’s steel output vs the rest of the world shows how all of the growth was as a result of China’s improved output.
Steel production fell -18.5% in the US, -19.3% in Japan and -9.7% in Germany in September compared to the same period last year.
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$59.4/t vs US$59.7/t
Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$129.5/t vs US$131.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$33,305/t vs US$33,305/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$48,750/t vs US$48,849/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,256/t vs US$5,245/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$28.5/kg vs US$29./kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5.3/kg vs US$5.3/kg
Tungsten APT European US$220-225/mtu vs US$212-220/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$440/t vs US$440/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,275/t vs US$2,275/t
Hyundai extends Kona EV recall to New Zealand
Hyundai Motor is recalling 700 Kona EV vehicles from New Zealand, an extension of recall of vehicles from South Korea, Europe and the US. The recall affects vehicles made between September 29, 2017 and March 20, 2020.
The recall is expected to affect around 700 vehicles in new Zealand.
The recall is due to safety concerns around the lithium batteries installed in the vehicles. A number of Kona vehicles have caught fire in recent weeks with blame being directed towards defects in the lithium batteries supplied by LG Chem.
The Kona EV is equipped with a battery pack manufactured by HL Green Power, a JV between Hyundai and LG Chem and the cells are assembled using Hyundai Mobis battery management system.
The National Forensic Service in Korea has concluded on investigation that “electrical problems in the battery pack assembly” are the likely cause of the fires following 13 separate incidents of fires in KONA EVs.
LG Chem has refuted claims that the batteries it supplies for the Kona vehicle are the issue. It has been suggested the recall could be the end of the relationship between LG and Hyundai which has grown thin as the latter has diversified its battery supply network.
If it is found that LG Chem’s battery are found to have glitches it is anticipated Hyundai will expect LG chem to indemnify losses suffered as a result of the recall.
The Hyundai Kona is equipped with NCM 811 batteries produced by LG Chem. High nickel batteries are prone to thermal runway which increases the risk of the battery catching fire.
AfriTin (AIM:ATM) – 2.3p, Mkt cap £17.5m – On track to ramp-up concentrate production at the Uis mine to 60tpm by end of 2020
Afritin reports that with September tin concentrate production of 39t, a high for the year, it is on course to achieve the 60tpm nameplate capacity of its Phase 1 plant by the end of 2020.
Plant availability of 74% is also the highest monthly rate achieved so far in 2020.
Afritin “is targeting the processing of 45,000 tonnes of ore per month, for the production of 60 tonnes of tin concentrate containing 36 tonnes of tin metal per month. The current production level represents approximately 75% of the Stage I target on the basis of tin contained in concentrate”.
The company explains that when it has reached “steady state production of the Phase 1 pilot plant, the Company intends to enhance the profitability of the plant by increasing the production capacity of the Phase 1 processing plant beyond the current Stage I, in three further stages … AfriTin is progressing study work towards the Stage II expansion of the current processing facility”.
Although production of a tantalum by-product concentrate was part of the original Stage 1 plan, “further metallurgical test work has been commissioned to increase the confidence level related to optimum liberation of tantalum-bearing minerals and magnetic separation parameters. Following encouraging results from the initial test phases, a final phase of definitive test work is currently underway”.
CEO, Anthony Viljoen, said that the company was encouraged by the steadily increasing performance of the plant and that “Once we achieve the nameplate capacity planned for the year, it will provide us with a platform for expanding tin production towards Stage II and the exciting addition of a tantalum by-product”.
Afritin emphasises that “there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the Uis Tin Mine”.
Conclusion: Afritin’s Uis mine Phase1 Pilot Plant is ramping up and the company expects to achieve steady state tin concentrate production of 60tpm by the end of the year. Plans for a by-product tantalum concentrate are deferred for the completion of further metallurgical testing which is currently underway.
Alien Metals (LON:UFO) – 1.93p, Mkt cap £52.5m – Alien moves to explore Greenland as it works to offload Mexican projects
Alien Metals report they have been awarded a 208sqkm exploration license in northern Greenland surrounding the large, but undeveloped, Citronen zinc-lead project operated by Ironbark Zinc Limited.
The company are also working on the sale of their Mexican assets.
Management recently also reported on the completion of mapping and sampling at their Hamersley Iron Ore projects in Western Australia.
Conclusion: Alien management will be flying from their cold Artic licenses to the heat of the Pilbara in Western Australia. It’s going to feel like landing on another planet but without the help of a UFO to get there.
Beowulf Mining* (AIM:BEM) 6.5p, Mkt cap £39.2m – Q3 results highlight progress in Kosovo and Sweden
Beowulf report a loss of (£311,899) for the quarter, largely unchanged compared to the quarter ended 30 September 2019 which amounted to (£312,986).
Administrative expenses over the period amounted to £252,520 vs £286,952 compared to Q3 2019.
The cash position of the company held at period end amounted to £1,207,384 vs £907,257 at Q3 2019 period end.
Vardar (Kosovo): The Company announced results from grab sampling at Maidan Peak, with 42 samples assayed in excess of 1g/t gold out of 96 samples collected.
Sample results over 1 g/t gold include: 7.2 g/t; 4.6 g/t; 2.8 g/t; 2.0 g/t; 1.5 g/t; 1.3 g/t; 1.3 g/t; and 1.1 g/t.
In addition to the primary gold target, a new multi-element anomaly has been delineated to the south of the main peak, which correlates well with anomalous rock grab samples and is of potential further interest to the Company.
Beowulf invested a further £300,000 in Vardar during the quarter, increasing its ownership from 42.2% to 46.1%.
Beowulf secured loan financing from Nordic investors of SEK 12 million (approx £1.0m) before expenses on the 13th of August.
Funds have been used to restart exploration works in Kosovo, with geophysical surveys across the Mitrovica and Viti licences, with the objective of defining drill targets.
Kallak (Sweden): Beowulf announced the findings of an expert market assessment by Dr. Bo Arvidson during the quarter, which investigated the market potential of future products from the Kallak North deposit, based on lab results and pilot plant testwork.
Testwork on Kallak ore has produced an exceptionally high-grade magnetite concentrate at 71.5% Fe with minimal detrimental components – making Kallak the market leading high-grade product among known current and planned future producers.
Kallak magnetite concentrate would reduce the carbon footprint of traditional steel manufacturing, improve energy efficiency in any downstream process and reduce waste.
Kurk Budge, CEO of Beowulf commented: “In Sweden, the Company has engaged new advisors in Stockholm to support our efforts in seeking approval of our application for an Exploitation Concession for Kallak North and I am pleased with the effective work that’s been done to date.”
“The Company continues to assess the possible resource upside at Kallak. While disappointed that we were forced to postpone drilling this Autumn, as we were unable to get personnel to site under COVID-19 travel restrictions, we have been reviewing historic exploration data, as we evaluate the potential ‘life of mine’. A continuation from Kallak North to Kallak South could see a mine in production for 25 years, or more if additional resource at Parkijaure nr 6 is defined.”
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Beowulf Minerals
Empire Metals* (AIM:EEE) 4.1p, Mkt cap £10.38m – Empire to sell Bolnisi copper and gold project in Georgia for C$7m
Empire Metals report agreement to sell GMC Investments which holds the Bolnisi copper and gold projects in Georgia to Candelaria Mining Corporation.
The all-equity deal gives Empire Metals an initial C$2m with the following C$5m conditional on achieving key milestones.
Empire will continue to advance work on the Eclipse gold project.
Mike Struthers and Neil O’Brien will both remain as NED and Non-Exec Chairman.
Struthers will join Candelaria as CEO and O’Brien will also join Candelaria as an NED. He will also remain as a consultant to Empire.
The asset sale is subject to a right of first refusal by Caucasian Mining Group ‘CMG’, Georgian’s Russian partners.
*SP Angel act as nomad and broker to Empire Metals
Ferro Alloy Resources (LON:FAR) 10p, Mkt cap £39m – Impact on sales and earnings expected due to production interruptions
Ferro Alloy Resources report they expect ‘some interruptions to production in the next few months are expected due to on-going Covid-19 restrictions and until the new connection to the adjacent high-voltage power line is made, expected in Spring of 2021’.
The negative ‘impact on revenues and earnings will be significant in the context of the current processing operation’.
Management also report their first commercial production and sale of calcium molybdate from Kazakhstan.
The team expect to produce up to 14t of calcium molybdate, containing ~10t molybdic oxide a month.
Molybdenum drummed molybdic oxide 57% Mo min, in-whs Rotterdam sells for around $8.6/lb Mo (Fastmarkets MB)
Conclusion: Management have to cope with low vanadium prices alongside expected production interruptions due to local Covid-19 restrictions. The sale of calcium molybdate will help but may only bring in around $1-1.2m of additional revenue next year.
Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) 38p, Mkt Cap £134m – Q3/20 operations update
Q3 production totalled 24.7koz with AISC averaging $1,283/oz (Q2/20: 24.1koz at $983/oz).
Gold sales came in at 23.8koz at an average realised gold price of $1,919/oz (Q220: 31.5koz at $1,663/oz).
Higher unit costs were attributed to extreme rainfall, the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic and the temporary closure of the Mali border (now reopened) following the coup causing logistical issues.
The team reports that recorded COVID-19 cases were mild or asymptomatic and all previous case individuals have now fully recovered.
The Company ordered and is awaiting delivery of new medical COVID-19 testing machine that should accelerate testing and make virus spread management more efficient.
At Kouroussa in Guinea, the team is awaiting the mining license before kickstarting development works that are expected to commence in early 2021.
At Dugbe in Liberia, JV partner Pasofino Gold (VEIN CN, Mkt Cap C$57m) raised funding in Q3/20 (C$10m) and has started FS targeted for completion in Q/21 and is mobilising drilling rigs to the site for step out and infill drilling.
FY20 production has been reiterated at 110-125koz with operations set to have a stronger last quarter with dry season set in; although, the Company highlights production is likely to come in at the lower end of guidance.
FY20 costs are likely to come in higher than previously guided $995/oz in AISC.
The Company had $19 in bank debt as of Q3/20m, down $7m on Q2/20, with $9m in cash and 4.6koz in gold inventory on hand.
Galantas Gold (AIM:GAL) 18.25p, Mkt Cap £6.4m –Exploration review of the Omagh mine is underway
Galantas Gold reports that it is reviewing its exploration in and around its Omagh gold mine in Northern Ireland in the light of recent work examining the control to mineralisation.
The review is examining a proposed core drilling programme and “the results of chip channel samples taken during recent mine development on-vein”.
The company says that work “conducted in 2015 included cores drilled on the Joshua vein. Core 155, which …included a 13 metre (true width) intersect with a Gold grade of 9.9g/t, 30.3g/t Silver and 0.6% Lead, at an estimated depth of 117.2 metres. This is the widest high-grade gold intersect yet drilled on the Omagh property and represents the largest accumulation of Gold discovered here so far. Core 154, included in the 2015 program, encountered a new vein (Kestrel) of high grade gold mineralization, approximately 70 metres to the west of the Joshua vein. The drill results assayed 35.8 g/t Gold, 85.8 g/t Silver and 4.9% Lead over 0.7 metres true width at an approximate depth of 42.4 metres. Core 153, approximately 156 metres to the north presented potential for a continuation of the Kestrel vein”.
Galantas Gold confirms that “Details of the potential drilling program, which will mainly concentrate on Kearney, Kerr, Joshua and Elkins veins, will mostly be conducted underground and be announced when the review is complete”.
In the meantime the company says that “the Technical Report, detailing resources and economics, published in 2014, is now out-dated in detail and will be replaced by the new Technical Report. Following review by staff at the Ontario Securities Commission, the company clarifies that the Exploration Report of May 6, 2020 is not the current Technical Report as defined NI. 43-101”.
Conclusion: It appears that Galantas Gold is taking a fresh look at its geological interpretation of the Omagh deposit drawing upon both historic information from 2015 and recent underground chip sampling. We await the outcome of their review.
Kenmare Resources (LON:KMR) 266p, Mkt cap £292m – Production underway at Pilivili
Kenmare Resources reports that, following the successful completion of its relocation of the 7,100 tonne Wet Concentrator Plant (WCP) from the previous site at Namalope to its new location at Pililili, production is now underway.
Production has come in ahead of the scheduled mid-quarter date and positions Kenmare Resources to achieve 1.2mt of ilmenite production in 2021 which is in turn “expected to deliver expanded margins and increased free cash flow generation”.
Michael Carvill, Managing Director described the move saying that-.
Conclusion: The relocation of the dredge and wet concentrator plant some 23km to Pilivili was a major operational task which appears to have gone very well with the resumption of production occurring ahead of the previously indicated mid-quarter date.
Phoenix Copper* (LON:PXC) 47p, Mkt Cap £30.3m – 19% increase in resources at the Empire open-pit site in Idaho
Phoenix holds 80% of the Empire mining property in Idaho
Phoenix Copper has announced an increased mineral resources estimate for its Empire open-pit in Idaho with the measured and indicated resource, on an NI43-101 compliant basis increasing by 19% to 22.9mt at an average grade of 0.38% copper 0.19% zinc, 10.3g/t silver and 0.324g/t silver (0.75% copper equivalent).
In addition, the company reports an inferred resource of 10.6mt at an average grade of 0.40% copper, 0.14% zinc, 7.4 g/t silver and 0.343g/t gold (also 0.75% CuEq).
The new estimate includes results from a recent $300,000 (32 holes drilling) programme and now includes results from “a total of 445 drill holes in the current resource model”.
The new estimate was prepared by Hard Rock Consulting and represents a 19% increase in the measured and indicated resource estimate announced in May 2020 of 19.3mt at an average grade of 0.42% copper, 0.2% zinc, 11.0g/t silver and 0.351g/t gold (0.81% CuEq) with an additional inferred resource at that time of 10.5mt at an average grade of 0.46% copper, 0.12% zinc, 7.9g/t silver and 0.368g/t gold (0.81% CuEq). We point out that the May 2020 estimate was in itself a 27% increase on the 15.2mt pre-existing estimate reported in May 2019
As well as including the additional drilling, the estimate announced today uses separate cut-off grades of 0.292% copper equivalent for oxide mineralisation and 0.497% copper equivalent for sulphide mineralisation compared to the assessment in May which used a single cut-off of 0.36% copper equivalent for both types of mineralisation.
Phoenix Copper comments that “In May 2020, an NI 43-101 compliant resource for the Empire polymetallic open pit was generated for an agitation tank leach plant to recover gold and silver using ammonium thiosulfate (“ATS”) leach, followed by copper and zinc tank leach in the same circuit. The current gold and silver price performance, coupled with the more environmentally friendly sodium cyanide alternative ATS, has provided an opportunity to expand the Empire resource base to include all metals”.
CEO, Ryan McDermott, explained that the new mineral resources estimate “modelled the various mineralised trends separately so that substantial gold and silver grades could stand on their own and not be subjected solely to the surrounding copper values. This resulted in a larger overall pit shell that is inclusive of significantly more metal. The Phoenix team continues with the metallurgical evaluation of process designs for the polymetallic ore with the objective of maximising the recovery of copper, zinc, gold and silver, versus the alternative of processing oxide-copper ore and taking the other metals simply as by-products from the oxide copper processing”.
Mr. McDermott also confirmed that a Preliminary Economic Assessment PEA) for the Empire pit is currently underway using this upgraded resource estimate.
Conclusion: An updated mineral resource estimate for the Empire open-pit increases the overall measured and indicated tonnage by 19% from the estimate reported in May 2020 and by around 50% compared to the estimate in May 2019. The recent work applies different cut-off grades to the oxide and sulphide portions of the orebody which should assist the more detailed metallurgical assessments currently underway to evaluate the application of environmentally benign ammonium thiosulphate extraction technology. We look forward to the forthcoming PEA for further technical information on both the ore reserves estimates and metallurgical approach and for an insight into their economic impact.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad to Phoenix Copper
Vast Resources* (AIM:VAST) 0.17p, Mkt Cap £22m – £1.8m placing and Baita Plai update
The Company raised £1.75m at 0.16p to cover working capital requirements ahead of the first sales proceeds from copper concentrate shipment to Mercuria as well as to allow for cash settlement of convertible loan repayments.
350-400t copper concentrate port delivery from Baita Plain polymetallic mine is expected in early November.
Baita JORC-compliant mineral resources and reserves statement is expected to be released by the end of the week.
On bank refinancing discussions, the independent technical consultants completed the required site visit while environmental due diligence site visit is planned for Monday this week.
Finalisation of a Binding Term Sheet is targeted for the end of November 2020 with final approvals in December 2020.
Conclusion: The Company raises working capital funding ahead of the maiden copper concentrate shipment to Mercuria from Baita that is targeted in the few weeks, while bank refinancing discussions are ongoing with the deal completion aimed for December 2020 allowing to improve the current capital structure.
*SP Angel acts as Broker to Vast Resources
John Meyer – [email protected] – 0203 470 0490
Simon Beardsmore – [email protected] – 0203 470 0484
Sergey Raevskiy –[email protected] – 0203 470 0474
Joe Rowbottom – [email protected] – 0203 470 0486
Richard Parlons –[email protected]co.uk – 0203 470 0472
Abigail Wayne – [email protected] – 0203 470 0534
Rob Rees – [email protected] – 0203 470 0535
Grant Barker – [email protected] – 0203 470 0471
Prince Frederick House
35-39 Maddox Street London
*SP Angel are the No1 integrated nomad and broker by number of mining brokerage clients on AIM according to the AIM Advisers Ranking Guide (joint brokerships excluded)
+SP Angel employees may have previously held, or currently hold, shares in the companies mentioned in this note.
Sources of commodity prices
Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver
BGNL (Bloomberg Generic Composite rate, London)
Gold ETFs, Steel
Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Tin, Cobalt
Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore
Bloomberg OTC Composite
Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Antimony
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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%