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Today’s Market View – Empire Metals, Capital Limited, Alba Mineral Resources and more…


SP Angel . Morning View . Friday 08 01 21


Alba Mineral Resources (LON:ALBA) – Resumption of drilling at the Clogau mine

Capital Limited (LON:CAPD) / Centamin (LON:CEY) – Progress on Sukari contract

Empire Metals* (LON:EEE) – ​Phase-2 drilling commenced at Eclipse Gold Project

Rambler Metals and Mining* (LON:RMM) – Appointment of new CFO


Copper up over 5% this week on 2021 demand optimism

Copper prices are set for its biggest weekly gain since July last year, as demand optimism continues to grow that a global economic recovery in the first half of this year will fuel demand for industrial metals.

Copper and nickel prices have rallied this week on bets that government stimulus will lead to a green infrastructure boom.

LME copper inventories fell 1,900t yesterday to 102,425t.

Prices on the LME climbed as much as 0.7% on Friday morning, and are currently up 5.3% for the week.


UK – carmakers get three years to source EV batteries and their raw materials from within the UK or EU under Brexit deal

UK carmakers are under extreme pressure to source the batteries and the contained raw materials for their new EVs from within the UK or EU

New batteries will need to will be allowed to contain up to 70% of their raw materials from outside the EU or UK till 2024 to avoid tariffs on sales into the EU

The requirement for local raw material content then tightens to 50% to avoid the punitive tariffs.

EV batteries are almost entirely Li-ion NCM with two variants NMC 622 and the increasingly popular NMC 811

These batteries contain Lithium, Graphite, Nickel, Manganese, Cobalt and tin for their connections

Improvements to the manufacturing, performance and capacity of new Li-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt batteries are likely to ensure this type of battery chemistry remains dominant for some time, though there will be tweaks to cathode and anode compositions for further improvement.

We suspect the ‘holy grail’ of solid state batteries is some way off in terms of its accreditation and use in automotive manufacturing..

The new rules require the sourcing of local raw materials within the UK and EU which will help from a supply security perspective.

For UK/European content Investors should consider:

Lithium: Savannah Resources* (LON:SAV) has the Mina do Barrisi mine in Portugal. We believe the EU may help fund a lithium smelter in Portugal.

Rio Tinto recently announced the future development of the Jadar lithium mine in Slovakia though the mine may not produce lithium till 2024.

Graphite: Beowulf Mining* (LON:BEM) hold graphite projects in Finland. Talga Resources have a trial mining permit for their graphite mine in Sweden

Nickel: Boliden (STO:BOL) mine nickel at Kevitsa in Finland. Eramet (EPA:ERA) mine nickel in New Caledonia – technically in France.

Manganese: Euro Manganese Inc. (CVE:EMN) have the historic Chvaletice manganese mine and tailings in Czechoslovakia

Tin: Cornish Metals* (CVE:CUSN) may develop their new high-grade tin and copper discovery at United Downes in Cornwall due to its close proximity to underground infrastructure and the nearby South Crofty tin mine.

Strategic Minerals PLC* (LON:SML) are exploring the Redmoor tin, copper and tungsten project in Cornwall

*SP Angel act as Nomad and broker or are associated in some way with these companies


Recent Interviews:

IGTV:   Is 2021 the start of the new COVID-Supercycle or will Lockdowns delay the recovery?

As traders continue to bid up Tesla, is the EV sector approaching a bubble?

Copper price rise:

08/01/20 :


US Election, China growth policies Solgold*, Mkango*, Rainbow Rare Earths*:

EV revolution, gold and other ideas (Interactive Investor):

Metals Markets: Are they totally dependent on stimulus? (IG TV):

iiTV:     The mining stock to own in 2021:

Small Cap Mining Share tips for 2021 –

Miners for a green industrial revolution –

A Mining megatrend and three solid dividend stocks –

*SP Angel almost invariably acts as nomad or broker or nomad and broker to companies mentioned in the above videos and podcasts.

We speak more about these companies as we have a good understanding of their business and can talk with a greater degree of confidence. As ever, however, it should be noted that our views do not take into account the circumstances and needs of any particular investor or investor type. So enjoy the talks, one and all, but please do your own research, including other companies not mentioned by us but operating in the same areas, and get professional advice where appropriate.


Dow Jones Industrials +0.69% at 31,041

Nikkei 225 +2.36% at 28,139

HK Hang Seng +1.20% at 27,878

Shanghai Composite -0.17% at 3,570



Chinese doctor calls the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine ‘the most unsafe in the world’ with ’73 side effects’ (Taiwan News)

Dr Tao Lina claimed in comments to his 4.8m followers that Sinopharm’s vaccine had 73 side effects

The doctor later denied the reports and denounced the media for twisting and exploiting his words though his Weibo account is reported to say otherwise

Chinese health authorities have given conditional approval to Sinopharm’s two-dose vaccine which claims a 79% success rate


Pfizer / BioNTech report their vaccine could be just as effective against the super-transmissible strain with the N501Y mutation

UK – transport secretary warns the current wave of vaccines may not protect against the South African strain


UN FAO food price index +3.1%yoy to 107.5

The index highlights a 7th straight monthly rise for the index which is based on a basket of cereals, (vegetable) oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar.

Flooding in China which destroyed crops and ruined much farmland is causing China to quietly import additional foodstuffs


Euro Area – economic sentiment 90.4 in December vs 87.6 in November

industrial confidence -7.2 in December vs -10.1,

service confidence -17.4 in December vs -17.3,

consumer confidence -13.9 in December vs -17.6,

flash CPI 0.3% in December vs -0.3%

retail sales -6.1% in November vs 1.4% in October and

retail sales -2.9% yoy in November vs 4.2% in October


US – weekly jobless claims 787k vs 790k

ISM nonmanufacturing index 59.4 in December vs 58.0

Total vehicle sales 16.3m in December vs 15.55m


India – Economy expected to shrink 7.7% in financial year

India’s government expect the economy to shrink at the largest rate in 70 years in the year to the end of March.

Fitch expects India’s economy to shrink -9.4% over the period, while Moody’s predicts -10.6% decline.


Canada Ivey PMI 46.7 in December vs 52.7


Iran – US and UK vaccines banned on instruction of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader has banned imports of any coronavirus vaccines from American and British companies, due to his suspicions that the countries are testing their remedies on other countries.

Ali Khamenei commented: “Imports of British and American vaccines are prohibited. I have said this officials and now I announce it publicly,” “I genuinely do not trust them. Sometimes they want to test their vaccines on other nations to see the impacts,”

Iran has confirmed 55,933 deaths, giving it the highest number of official fatalities in the Middle East.



US$1.2226/eur vs 1.2306eur yesterday.  Yen 103.96/$ vs 103.37/$.  SAr 15.366/$ vs 15.098/$.  $1.357/gbp vs $1.361/gbp.  0.777/aud vs 0.778/aud.  CNY 6.472/$ vs 6.457/$.


Commodity News

Precious metals:  

Gold US$1,892/oz vs US$1,921/oz yesterday

Gold ETFs 107.3moz vs US$107.4moz yesterday

Platinum US$1,109/oz vs US$1,105/oz yesterday

Palladium US$2,405/oz vs US$2,429/oz yesterday

Silver US$26.51/oz vs US$27.19/oz yesterday

Base metals:  

Copper US$ 8,171/t vs US$8,085/t yesterday

Aluminium US$ 2,022/t vs US$2,036/t yesterday

Nickel US$ 17,930/t vs US$17,960/t yesterday

Zinc US$ 2,854/t vs US$2,873/t yesterday

Lead US$ 2,026/t vs US$2,044/t yesterday

Tin US$ 21,095/t vs US$21,100/t yesterday


Oil US$54.8/bbl vs US$54.5/bbl yesterday

The annual five-day rebalancing of portfolios beginning on Friday could attract as much as US$9bn buying into crude oil contracts, putting upward pressure on oil prices

The rebalancing of indices to adjust the weighting of assets in portfolios is being done every year so that target allocations or risk levels are restored

However, the rebalancing this year could attract more than usual buyers into crude oil contracts because of the 20-percent decline of oil prices during 2020

The next five days could see a buying spree in oil futures that could be as high as US$9bn to adjust the weighting of the major commodity-linked indices

The market will likely see long positions into another 80 to 100MMbbls oil futures contracts, which could drive oil prices by US$2-US$3/bbl

It’s not a given that the market will see US$9bn of new buying into oil futures because some investors and traders may have already done it ahead of the rebalancing period

Even if the buying spree is not so high, the rebalancing will likely to continue to support oil prices

The upward pressure on oil is set to build on the rally at the start of 2021 following the OPEC+ decision to hold off on another 500,000bopd increase in production from February and the surprise announcement from Saudi Arabia which unilaterally pledged to cut an additional 1MMbopdfrom its ts production in February and March

Natural Gas US$2.662/mmbtu vs US$2.681/mmbtu yesterday

Natural gas prices moved lower on Thursday, reversing a four-day rally

This came despite a larger than expected draw in natural gas inventories released yesterday by the Department of Energy

Natural gas in storage was 3,330Bcf as of 1 January according to EIA estimates

This represents a net decrease of 130Bcf from the previous week

Expectations were for a 110Bcf draw

Stocks were 138Bcf higher than last year at this time and 201Bcf above the five-year average of 3,129Bcf

At 3,330Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range

The weather is expected to be cooler than normal in the south of the US and warmer than normal in the north



Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$168.1/t vs US$164.6/t – Port Hedland iron ore shipments to China up 16% in December

Shipments rose 16% in December compared to a month prior, rising to 40.0mt.

Strong shipments came despite the port being closed for 26 hours from the 10th of December due to adverse weather (Reuters).

Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$675.6/t vs US$675.1/t

Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$71.0/t vs US$69.6/t

Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$134.0/t vs US$136.0/t



Cobalt LME 3m US$36,500/t vs US$35,500/t

NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$64,126/t vs US$63,882/t

Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$8,112/t vs US$7,976/t

Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$30.0/kg vs US$30.0/kg

Ferro-Manganese high carbon 78% Mn US$1,370/t vs US$1,330/t

Tungsten APT European US$230-235/mtu vs US$230-235/mtu

Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$520/t vs US$520/t                

Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,475/t vs US$2,475/t

Spodumene 6% Li2O min, cif (China) US$395/t vs US$380/t


Battery News

Explosion at CATL battery factory in China causes one fatality

One person sadly lost their life and a further six were seriously injured due to an explosion at a factory belonging to CATL in the city of Ningxiang, Hunan.

While it was not immediately clear what caused the blast, the incident will cause anxiety among EV makers after a string of fires at South Korean battery-making operations.


Apple and Hyundai in talks about electric vehicles 

Hyundai’s shares have surged after they confirmed they were in talks with Apple about building an electric vehicle. 

Current carmakers have inherently low valuations however analysts predict massive opportunities as the market shifts to EVs and driverless ride-hailing services.  

Apple could pose a massive threat to Tesla, the industry leader, if its cash, engineering talent and global brand recognition is channelled towards EV development.  


Company News

Alba Mineral Resources (LON:ALBA) 0.51p, Mkt cap £29.1m – Resumption of drilling at the Clogau mine

Alba Minerals reports that it has resumed its surface drilling programme at the historic Clogau St David’s gold mine in North Wales.

The company reports that “While drill hole LL004 encountered difficult ground, this is part and parcel of exploration drilling.  As announced on 21 December 2020, we now move onto the planned deeper holes, LL005 and LL006, to test the depth extent of the new vein system which we believe we have identified in holes LL001-003, each of which intersected significant quartz veins some 30 metres below the deepest previously worked zone at the Llechfraith mine area”.

The company confirms that hole LL004 failed to reach the expected depth of the targeted quartz zone due to difficult ground conditions with the having only advanced from the pre-Christmas depth of 54.6m to 62.4m when it was terminated.

The company also confirms that, following “minor adjustments … [it expects] … to be able to commence processing the ~36 tonne bulk sample collected in September-October 2020 in the week commencing 11 January 2021”. Testing is likely to continue through most of Q1 2021.

Alba also confirms that a small amount of the bulk sample material was tested at bench-scale by an independent laboratory achieving 78% recovery and producing a gold concentrate grading 20.7g/t.

Conclusion: The abandonment of hole LL004 due to difficult ground conditions before reaching the planned target depth is disappointing. The new, deeper holes LLo05 and 006 may fare better, however the news of initial bench scale testing producing recoveries of 78% to a gold concentrate bode well for the larger sacle bulk testing programme which is expected to get underway next week. We await results, expected towards thee end of the quarter, with interest.


Capital Limited (LON:CAPD) 65p, Mkt Cap £122.7m – Progress on Sukari contract

Centamin (LON:CEY) 117.9p, Mkt Cap £1,383m

Capital Limited reports that following receipt of the proceeds of its December equity raising it has been able to make payments for long-lead-time equipment required for its new contact at the Sukari Gold mine of Centamin in Egypt.

Equipment includes 17 CAT 785 dump trucks, seven blast-hole drill rigs, three excavators and ancillary equipment. The company confirms that “Additional trucks have recently arrived in Egypt, supplementing the initial truck fleet that arrived during Q4 2020”.

In addition to the equity, Capital reports that it has progressed debt finance discussions including a US$2.6m facility with Epiroc, “Fully drawing down on the remaining tranches of the US$10 million Macquarie facility following finalisation of the Sukari contracts … [and on a] … vendor finance facility with Sandvik for US$8.5 million … [which] … is expected to be utilised over the course of the first quarter against the purchase of four new blast hole rigs”.

Executive Chairman, Jamie Boyton, explained that the financing has “enabled the payments for all major equipment purchases to be finalised. Together with the proceeds from the recent successful equity raise, the crystallisation of these debt facilities positions us strongly for this contract. It is also pleasing that site activity is also progressing well with the continued expansion of our extensive on-site facilities, further asset arrivals and the recruitment of key personnel to prepare for the commencement of preliminary mining activity in late Q1 as planned.”

Capital has previously announced that it expects the 120mt waste removal contract at Sukari to deliver incremental revenues of $235-260m over a four-year period.

Empire Metals* (LON:EEE) 4.25p, Mkt cap £10.8m – ​Phase-2 drilling commenced at Eclipse Gold Project

(Empire has acquired 75% of the Eclipse project)

Empire has commenced the second phase of RC drilling and other field exploration at its Eclipse project in Western Australia.

The Phase-1 drill programme saw Empire intersect relatively high-grade gold over good intersections, including:14m grading 3.78 g/t gold from 22m downhole depth, Inc. 1m @ 21.4 g/t and 1m @ 16.65 g/t

including three different clusters of quartz veining mainly associated with the higher grades

8m grading 2.27 g/t from 32m inc.

3m @ 5.27 g/t

5m @ 6.50 g/t from 26m,

Inc. 3m @ 9.29 g/t

3m @ 3.18 g/t gold (‘Au’) from 49m

Inc. 1m @ 6.49 g/t Au

The Phase-2 programme comprises of 4,000m of drilling over 40 holes, designed to infill the first phase drilling as well as test extensions to the mineralisation at Eclipse both along strike and at depth.

Drilling is also designed to test known mineralised structures parallel to the main Eclipse vein, which have historically yielded attractive intersections – with the confirmation of additional parallel mineralised veins likely to significantly enhance the surface open pit potential.

Mike Struthers, CEO, said: “We’re very pleased to have started the second phase of our drilling campaign at Eclipse following the highly encouraging results received from our 2020 work programme, which highlighted the potential for Eclipse to host a profitable open pit gold mine.

*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker with Empire Metals


Rambler Metals and Mining* (LON:RMM) 0.35p, Mkt Cap £27.7m – Appointment of CFO

(Rambler owns 100% of the Ming Copper-Gold Mine)


Rambler Metals and Mining has announced the appointment of Mr. Eason Chen as Chief Financial Officer with immediate effect.

Mr. Chen replaces Sanjay Swarup, who “has resigned as CFO to pursue other interests” in the role although he has been a non-executive board member for the past eight years which should ease his transition to an executive role at Rambler. Mr. Swarup will, however, “will remain available to the Company for at least the next four months to assist with the transition of the function.”

The company confirms that its Compensation, Governance and Nomination Committee has started “a search for new independent directors to fill the posts recently vacated by Glenn Poulter and Eason Chen”.

CEO, Toby Bradbury thanked Mr. Swarup for his service and welcomed the appointment of Mr. Chen “at an exciting time in Rambler’s redevelopment”.

Conclusion: The appointment of a long-serving non-executive director to the post of CFO should minimise any disruption during the handover period while the previous incumbent also remains available to help facilitate the transition.

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



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] – 0203 470 0472

Abigail Wayne – [email protected] – 0203 470 0534

Rob Rees – [email protected] – 0203 470 0535

Grant Barker – [email protected] – 0203 470 0471



SP Angel                                                            

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


Oil Brent


Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore


Thermal Coal

Bloomberg OTC Composite

Coking Coal




Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Antimony

Asian Metal


Metal Bulletin



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