Iron ore climbs to $131/t as China revives construction industry
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below
There will be no Morning View from us on Monday and Tuesday as we will be at the 121-mining conference in London
- Our team of four mining analysts will be busy talking to investors and sifting through a delight of mining companies.
- We will be in Booth S3.
Bushveld Minerals* (BMN LN) – Resignation of Finance Director
Generation Mining (GENM CN) – Sale of Davidson Molybdenum Property
Managem SA (MNG MO) – Managem rejects claims of hazardous levels of arsenic at Bou Azzer cobalt mine
Caledonia Mining (CMCL LN) – Departure of COO after a ‘job well done’
Empire Metals* (EEE LN) – Geologists see Pitfield as potentially developing into one of the world’s great epithermal ‘districts’
Copper rally cools as slowing global growth weighs on demand
- Copper prices have cooled from recent highs of $8325/t to current levels c.$8,200/t.
- We note that the copper spread has hit $100/t, the largest discount since 1990s. A higher discount points to ample supply and weakening demand.
- Asia Copper Week is coming to an end after a week of mixed sentiment.
- Optimism over lower interest rates is being hit by concerns over slowing global growth, weighing on the metal long seen as a gauge of economic health.
- Codelco notes strong demand from China’s renewable energy and EV sectors though Codelco dropped its premium for copper cathode in Asia by 29% to US$85/t and by 36% in China to US$89/t.
- This is not surprising given China’s focus on smelting its own copper from imported copper concentrates.
- If China can’t mine its own copper it will buy it in concentrate form and acquire as much of the value chain as possible. Its half-way to self-sufficiency.
- Plus the smelters also get to keep much if not all of the byproducts including some specialist critical metals. So that’s even more of an incentive for China Inc.
- Antofagasta also expects its TC/RCs to fall 16% to US$75/t & $0.075/lb as competition hots up for copper concentrates.
Lithium prices move lower as SQM stock slides on weak outlook
- Spodumene prices have moved below $1,700/t and carbonate prices are hovering around $18,000/t.
- Sentiment in the sector was hit yesterday after SQM reported yoy revenue down 38% and 10% on a quarterly basis.
- The Company reported lithium sales prices down 47% yoy.
- SQM noted in its earnings call that the current downward price trend ‘could continue for the remainder of 2023.’
- The Company noted an excess of battery material supply chain inventories and additional supply entering the market.
- Management is committed to maintaining production at full capacity, in prepearation for ‘when inventories return to the normal level and customer purchases are reactivated.’
Gold pushes higher as soft labour data brings forward rate cut hopes
- Gold climbed to $1,985/oz yesterday after US Treasuries slid lower on labour market data.
- The 10-year has cooled to 4.39%, down 60bp since the highs hit in October.
- Gold has climbed 2% this week following a 3% decline last week.
- Focus today will be on the Atlanta Fed GDP Now data, forecasting 2.2% Q4 growth.
|Dow Jones Industrials||-0.13%||at||34,945|
|HK Hang Seng||-2.12%||at||17,454|
US – Sovereign bond yields dialled back as weekly jobless claims climbed more than expected pointing to a cooling labour market.
- A less volatile four week moving average is now at the highest since mid September while continuing claims climbed for eight weeks hitting 1.87m, the highest in almost two years.
- A separate report showed industrial production dropped the most in four months in October reflecting a 10% drop in autos production on labour protest at Big Three Detroit automakers.
- Weekly Jobless Claims (‘000): 231 v 218 (revised from 217) the previous week and 220 est.
- PPI -0.5% for October vs 0.4% in September and 1.3% yoy in October vs 2.2% yoy in September
- Retail sales fell -0.1% in October vs 0.9% in September 2.5% yoy in October vs 4.1% yoy in September
- Industrial production fell 0.6% October vs 0.1% in September yoy -0.7% yoy in October vs -0.2% yoy in September
- Manufacturing output fell 1.7% October vs -0.8% in September yoy -1.7% yoy in October vs -0.8% yoy in September
- Capacity utilisation 78.9% also fell in October vs 79.5% in September
- NY Empire State manufacturing index climbed to 9.1 in November vs -4.6 in October
- Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index improved to -5.9 vs -9
- NAHB housing market index fell to 34 vs 40
- Atlanta Fed NOW GDP Q3 hit 2.2% on seasonal adjustment vs 2.1% last week
Asia has fastest growth of wind and solar capacity globally
- Investments in renewable energy in Asia are growing 23% annually, with $345bn invested in wind, solar and clean energy projects across the region in 2022.
- The region was responsible for 52.5% of new capacity in 2022, driven by India, China and Vietnam.
- The study from Zero Carbon Analytics titled ‘A driving force: Asia’s Energy Transition’ shares several key findings:
- Asia has fastest growth rate for wind and solar capacity at 35% per year.
- The $532bn that was spent on renewables in 2022 was 65% of the global spend.
- China’s solar and wind capacity is expected to top 1200GW by 2030.
China – Industrial production rose 4.6% yoy in October vs 4.5% yoy in September
- Fixed asset investment (nonrural) slipped to 2.9% yoy in October vs 3.1% for the year-to-date
- Retails sales climbed to 7.6% yoy in October vs 5.5% yoy in September
- Unemployment held steady at 5% – there is no youth unemployment figure due to the extraordinarily high unemployment of the lay-flat generation
- Housing prices fell -0.1% yoy in October vs -0.1% in September
- Feels like China seems to have so many more levers than Western central banks
- Rising retail sales at 7.6% surprised many this week vs 5.5% previously
- The PBoC is improving liquidity with a further CNY600bn and may cut reserve ratios to help inspire new lending + $137bn for construction and property aimed at low cost rural development
- This is on top of the planned CNY1tn sovereign bond issue
Japan – Q3 GDP -0.5% qoq vs 1.1% in Q2 and -2.1% yoy in Q3 vs 4.5% yoy in Q2
Germany – ZEW economic sentiment jumps to 9.8 in November vs
- Current Situation Index remains static at -79.8 vs -79.9
France – Inflation 0.1% in October vs 0.5% in September vs 4.0% yoy in October vs 4.9% yoy in September
UK – Consumer spending continued to slide in October with retails sales underperforming expectations amid high borrowing costs and strong inflation.
- The pound dipped sub 1.24 on the back of the news with market raising chances of an earlier rate cut in 2024.
- Retail Sales (%mom): -0.3 v -1.1 September (revised from -0.9) and 0.4 est.
- Retail Sales (%yoy): -2.7 v -1.3 September (revised from -1.0) and -1.6 est.
- Retail Sales ex Fuel (%mom): -0.1 v -1.3 September (revised from -1.0) and 0.5 est.
- Retail Sales ex Fuel (%yoy): -2.4 v -1.5 September (revised from -1.2) and -1.5 est.
- PPI input 0.4% in October vs 0.6% in September -2.6% yoy in October vs -2.1% yoy in September
- PPI output 0.1% in October vs 0.6% in September -0.6% yoy in October 0.2% yoy in September
US$1.0842/eur vs 1.0847/eur previous. Yen 150.11/$ vs 151.39/$. SAr 18.396/$ vs 18.185/$. $1.239/gbp vs $1.238/gbp. 0.648/aud vs 0.648/aud. CNY 7.244/$ vs 7.254/$.
Dollar Index 104.44 vs 104.47 previous.
Gold US$1,988/oz vs US$1,966/oz previous
Gold ETFs 87.0moz vs 87.0moz previous
Platinum US$900/oz vs US$901/oz previous
Palladium US$1,042/oz vs US$1,044/oz previous
Silver US$23.93/oz vs US$24/oz previous
Rhodium US$4,500/oz vs US$4,350/oz previous
Copper US$ 8,213/t vs US$8,252/t previous
Aluminium US$ 2,204/t vs US$2,224/t previous
Nickel US$ 16,950/t vs US$17,210/t previous
Zinc US$ 2,547/t vs US$2,608/t previous
Lead US$ 2,280/t vs US$2,245/t previous
Tin US$ 25,120/t v US$25,220/t previous
Oil US$77.7/bbl vs US$80.4/bbl previous
- Crude oil prices tumbled below $80/bbl yesterday on global demand concerns, with the market now looking towards a rollover of Saudi’s 1mb/d supply cut into 2024 to help erase the expected 1Q24 surplus.
- US natural gas prices fell as the EIA storage report detailed a larger w/w 60bcf build to 3,833bcf last week, with storage levels broadly flat w/w at 5.4% above last year and 5.6% above the 5-year average.
Natural Gas €46.2/MWh vs €46.4/MWh previous
Uranium UXC US$74/lb vs US$73.65/lb previous
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$131.2/t vs US$129.9/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$552.1/t vs US$549.9/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$107.0/t vs US$110.8/t
Thermal coal swap Australia FOB US$126.2/t vs US$126.5/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$313.0/t vs US$296.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$33,420/t vs US$33,420/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$69,296/t vs US$70,028/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$18,152/t vs US$18,679/t
China Spodumene Li2O 6%min CIF US$1,670/t vs US$1,670/t
Ferro-Manganese European Mn78% min US$1,044/t vs US$1,045/t
China Tungsten APT 88.5% FOB US$295/mtu vs US$295/mtu
China Graphite Flake -194 FOB US$620/t vs US$625/t
Europe Vanadium Pentoxide 98% 6.2/lb vs US$6.2/lb
Europe Ferro-Vanadium 80% 26.25/kg vs US$26.25/kg
China Ilmenite Concentrate TiO2 US$313/t vs US$312/t
Spot CO2 Emissions EUA Price US$85.2/t vs US$85.3/t
Brazil Potash CFR Granular Spot US$337.5/t vs US$337.5/t
EV & Battery news
Toyota signs battery material supply deal with Redwood Materials
- Redwood Materials has signed a long-term agreement with Toyota to supply the automaker with EV battery components.
- The material specialist will remanufacture the EV battery components from materials supplied by Toyota and recycled from end-of-life vehicles, mainly hybrid-electric like the Prius.
- Redwood is one of the leading EV battery recyclers globally and is building a closed-loop battery ecosystem aimed at lowering EV costs by lessening dependence on imported materials while reducing the environmental impact.
- Redwood is aiming for an annual battery production capacity of 100GWh – enough for 1m EVs.
- The exact details of the agreement, such as value and timings, have not yet been disclosed by the companies
BYD to build new EV plant in Hungary
- Chinese automaker BYD is expected to announce plans for a new EV and PHEV manufacturing plant in Hungary.
- The plant would be BYD’s second in Hungary – they have one in Komarom, that produces electric buses for Europe.
- BYD is on target to sell 3m electric and hybrid vehicles worldwide this year with overseas sales of at least 220,000 units.
- Earlier this year, the European Commission announced it was investigating whether Chinese EV manufacturers were benefiting from Chinese state subsidies to gain an unfair advantage in the EU.
Renault EV company, Ampere, to target $10bn+ revenue by 2025
- Ampere is a newly independent EV company that was formed on 1st November 2023 from parent company Renault.
- Ampere has plans to sell around 1m vehicles in 2031 with a sales target of more than €25bn that year, the company said.
- The new EV maker said that it aims for EV prices to match Renault’s conventional cars, powered by internal combustion engines, by 2027 or 2028.
Orange EV delivers 1,000th truck
- Orange who are a leader in zero-emission heavy-duty trucks, recently celebrated the milestone of delivering its 1,000th pure-electric Class 8 terminal truck.
- The milestone signifies a major shift in the logistics industry towards sustainability and eco-friendly practices.
- It reflects the growing demand for sustainable transportation solutions and highlights the feasibility and efficiency of electrifying heavy-duty vehicles in commercial settings.
EV charge point operators reminded to obey competition laws
- The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has reminded motorway service operators and charge point operators not to breach competition laws when planning new infrastructure.
- It comes as the organisation has investigated several suspected breaches of the Competition Act 1998.
- The CMA has also launched a competition law case into long-term exclusive arrangements between supplier Gridserve Holdings and service station operators Moto Holdings, Roadchef and Extra MSA.
- There are concerns that such lengthy exclusivity arrangements would foreclose other chargepoint operators (CPO) from entering the market and thereby impede the effective roll-out of the £950m rapid charging fund (RCF).
Bushveld Minerals* (BMN LN) 2.17p, Mkt Cap £33m – Resignation of Finance Director
- Bushveld reported last night the resignation of Finance Director and Board Member Ms Tanya Chikanza.
- The Board is currently investigating Ms Chikanza over alleged misconduct regarding the failure to disclose a material conflict of interest.
- Her contractual appointment has been suspended with immediate effect.
- An independent disciplinary process will now follow.
- Ms Chikanza’s role will be filled by Ms Janandre Lamprecht on an interim basis whilst the Company seeks a replacement FD.
- Management emphasises that it does not believe the departure of the Finance Director will impact either the financial or operational performance of Bushveld.
*SP Angel act as nomad and broker to Bushveld Minerals
Generation Mining (GENM CN) C$2.35p, Mkt cap C$43m – Sale of Davidson Molybdenum Property
- Generation Mining has completed the sale of its 100% interest in the Davidson Moly-tungsten deposit.
- Moon River bought the asset for $630k in cash and 9m shares in moon river.
- Moon River will look to advance exploration and development of the asset towards a PEA.
- Generation Mining will now focus on the Marathon palladium-copper deposit in Ontario.
- The Marathon FS shows a Post Tax NPV6 of C$1.16bn for an IRR of 26% producing 166koz of palladium and 41mlb of copper pa over a 13yr LOM.
Managem SA (MNG MO) MAD1,630, Mkt cap MADb16.3bn – Managem rejects claims of hazardous levels of arsenic at Bou Azzer cobalt mine
- Moroccan miner Managem, which is controlled by the Country’s royal family, is denying claims made regarding arsenic levels at its Bou Azzer mine.
- The Group released a statement refuting claims made by a German newspaper, stating they ‘are totally unfounded and have no basis in fact.’
- The paper is accusing the Group’s Bou Azzer cobalt mine in the Moroccan desert of containing hazardous levels of arsenic, over 19,000 micrograms per litre.
- The Company suggests its internal monitoring has not detected any evidence of this, although it did note minor residual seepage in water retention basins.
- The underground Bou Azzer mine has been operational since 1928 and produces cobalt as a mono-product.
Caledonia Mining (CMCL LN) 910p, Mkt Cap £174m – Departure of COO after a ‘job well done’
- Caledonia Mining has announced that its long-serving COO and director, Dana Roets, is to step down from these roles at the end of February 2024.
- He joined as COO in 2013, overseeing the rejuvenation of the Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe centred around the construction of the Central Shaft to access deeper levels of mineralisation and extend the mine’s life into the 2030s. He was appointed to the Board in early 2022.
- The record quarterly gold production achieved in the most recent quarter, which follows a series of increasing quarterly production records, is testament to the success of the operational team led by Mr. Roets and to the wider strategy of Caledonia Mining.
- CEO, Mark Learmonth, paid tribute to Dana Roet’s “outstanding contribution to Caledonia over the last ten years … [which]… increased production, reduced costs and … [delivered] … exploration success which we believe will, in due course, extend Blanket’s life of mine … against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment and the COVID-19 pandemic which introduced a new set of unanticipated operational challenges”.
- In our view, the Caledonia Mining team led by Dana Roets accomplished one of underground mining’s more challenging tasks in delivering what is effectively a new mine beneath an existing operating unit while maintaining existing production.
- We join Caledonia Mining in wishing him well in “his future endeavours”.
*SP Angel mining analysts have visited Caledonia’s mining operations in Zimbabwe
Empire Metals* (EEE LN) 5.15p, Mkt Cap £29m – Geologists see Pitfield as potentially developing into one of the world’s great hydrothermal metal ‘districts’
- Empire Metals is exploring for titanium and copper within the newly discovered Pitfield giant hydrothermal mineral system
- Pitfield is in the process of being defined as potentially one of the world’s district-scale sediment-hosted metal deposits.
- Many of the world’s major mining camps are built on giant sediment-hosted hydrothermal metal systems with Pitfield showing similar characteristics.
- Examples are the Central African Copper Belt, Athabasca Basin Uranium in Saskatchewan Canada, Red Dog Zinc-Lead District in Alaska, and the Carlin Gold Belt in Nevada
- Empire Metals is still looking for copper though drilling is currently showing significant scale and grades of titanium mineralization.
- The scale of the potential titanium deposit looks unlike anything we have seen before with a strike extent of 30 km and a 5km deep keel identified by coincident magnetics and gravimetric geophysical surveys.
- Diamond drilling is ongoing, and we are waiting on assays before further analysis. A second phase of RC drilling is also to soon commence across the extent of the core of the geophysical anomaly where high-grade titanium values have been identified by surface sampling and in the recent drilling.
- Neil O’Brien, Non-Executive Chairman, Ph.D. Economic geologist with over 35 years of international experience and former SVP Exploration & New Business Development at Lundin Mining is involved.
- Shaun Bunn, MD, Empire Metals is a metallurgist with >35 years’ experience in exploration, mining, processing, and project development.
- See recent presentation for further details: https://www.empiremetals.co.uk/investors/reports-presentations/
Conclusion: We are not trying to guess the value of the titanium at Pitfield as this is far beyond anyone’s comprehension just now although the scale is impressive. Empire Metals is focussed on finding the higher grade, most valuable parts of this giant titanium deposit.
We are additionally interested in the other metals, such as copper, that the hot mineralised fluids which formed this massive hydrothermal metal system might have carried and deposited across the district.
*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Empire Metals
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The SP Angel team also ranked 1st in Palladium, 3rd in Tin and 5th in Silver in the fourth quarter of 2020
John Meyer – John.Meyer@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0490
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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|
|Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore||NYMEX|
|Thermal Coal||Bloomberg OTC Composite|
|Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Tungsten, Spodumene, Ferro-Manganese, Graphite||Asian Metal|
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