Copper prices climb as falling smelting charges indicate tight supply
MiFID II exempt information – see disclaimer below
Anglo Asian Mining* (AAZ LN) BUY, 201p – Strategic plan to become mid-tier copper/gold producer
Centamin (CEY LN) – Targeting a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
Great Western Mining* (GWMO LN) – Progress report on Nevada exploration and mill development
Power Metal Resources* (POW LN) – CEO underlines focus on progressing the Botswana projects and on uranium exploration
Rambler Metals and Mining* (RMM LN) Suspended – Operations cease as Transamine declines due payments
Scotgold Resources (SGZ LN) – Six months of challenges at Cononish squeeze working capital
|Dow Jones Industrials||+1.00%||at||32,718|
|HK Hang Seng||+0.58%||at||20,309|
Copper prices on course for the 10th daily gain in 11 trading sessions on signs of tighter concentrate supply, Bloomberg writes.
- Signs of tighter market include falling smelter charges with TCs currently standing at $81/t, down from $87/t hit in H/22.
- Supply has been affected by a series of recent mining disruptions in major producers’ nations including Peru and Indonesia.
Germany – Regional inflation data for March showed the pace of consumer price increases proved to be sticker than envisaged.
- A number of regions reported a slight increase in monthly rate of CPI growth.
- Nationwide numbers are due later this afternoon with estimates for a 08%mom/7.5%yoy headline reading from 0.8%mom/8.7%yoy in February.
Spain – Headline inflation halved in March to 3.1%yoy, although, core measure that adjusts for volatile fuel and food was little changed at 7.5%yoy.
- Persistent core inflation suggests the ECB is likely to press on with further tightening at the next May 04 meeting.
South Africa – The central bank is expected to hike rates by 25bp to 7.50%, the highest rate since mid-2009, later today.
- Inflation came in at 7.0% in February on the back of loadshedding driving prices for food and non alcoholic beverages.
- Further power tariff hikes planned for April is likely to add to challenges.
- Power outages saw the IMF cut its 2023 economic growth forecast to 0.1% from 1.2%.
US$1.0867/eur vs 1.0834/eur yesterday. Yen 132.45/$ vs 131.89/$. SAr 18.070/$ vs 18.161/$. $1.236/gbp vs $1.233/gbp. 0.671/aud vs 0.668/aud. CNY 6.879/$ vs 6.889/$.
Dollar Index 102.47 vs 102.65 yesterday.
Gold US$1,968/oz vs S$1,964/oz yesterday
Gold ETFs 93.1moz vs US$93.1moz yesterday
Platinum US$971/oz vs US$965/oz yesterday
Palladium US$1,438/oz vs US$1,419/oz yesterday
Silver US$23.64/oz vs US$23.18/oz yesterday
Rhodium US$8,200/oz vs US$8,350/oz yesterday
Copper US$ 9,048/t vs US$8,940/t yesterday
Aluminium US$ 2,391/t vs US$2,387/t yesterday
Nickel US$ 23,720/t vs US$23,800/t yesterday
Zinc US$ 2,970/t vs US$2,926/t yesterday
Lead US$ 2,151/t vs US$2,137/t yesterday
Tin US$ 25,745/t vs US$25,770/t yesterday
Oil US$78.8/bbl vs US$79.2/bbl yesterday
- Crude oil prices were broadly unchanged as the EIA reported a 7.5mb US crude inventory draw last week adding to a 3mb gasoline stock draw, with refinery utilisation up strongly by 1.7% to 90.3%.
- European gas prices were stable with EU natural gas storage levels flat w/w at 55.7% full (vs 34% 5-year average), with draws in Poland being offset by builds in Italy and Germany.
- US HH natural gas prices recovered somewhat as pipeline gas deliveries to US LNG export plants hit an all-time high of 14.24bcf/d (from zero in 2015), after the Freeport facility in Texas continues ramped-up volumes.
Natural Gas US$2.118/mmbtu vs US$2.008/mmbtu yesterday
Uranium UXC US$50.35/lb vs US$50.35/lb yesterday
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$124.5/t vs US$123.3/t
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$615.1/t vs US$612.0/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$134.5/t vs US$134.5/t
Thermal coal swap Australia FOB US$197.0/t vs US$192.4/t
Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$340.0/t vs US$340.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$34,930/t vs US$34,430/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$77,793/t vs US$78,753/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$29,736/t vs US$30,558/t
China Spodumene Li2O 5%min CIF US$4,610/t vs US$4,660/t
Ferro-Manganese European Mn78% min US$1,343/t vs US$1,338/t
China Tungsten APT 88.5% FOB US$325/mtu vs US$325/mtu
China Graphite Flake -194 FOB US$790/t vs US$790/t
Europe Vanadium Pentoxide 98% 9.4/lb vs US$9.4/lb
Europe Ferro-Vanadium 80% 38.25/kg vs US$38.75/kg
China Ilmenite Concentrate TiO2 US$345/t vs US$345/t
Spot CO2 Emissions EUA Price US$95.6/t vs US$94.3/t
Brazil Potash CFR Granular Spot US$450.0/t vs US$450.0/t
Anglo Asian Mining* (AAZ LN) 121p, Mkt Cap £138m – Strategic plan to become mid-tier copper/gold producer
BUY – 201p
- The Company released its strategic plan for more than doubling annual production over the next five years and becoming a multi asset and mid-tier copper/gold producer by 2028.
- The plan involves commissioning of four new mines in Azerbaijan gradually expanding production to >36ktpa CuEq (~90% Cu), equivalent to 175koz AuEq, in 2028, up from current 50-54koz AuEq (~30% Cu).
- 2023 guidance is for c. 50-54koz AuEq (c. 10.3-11.2kt CuEq) comprised of 30-32koz gold and 4.1-4.3kt copper (2022: 43koz and 2.5kt).
- A change in the AuEq composition reflects lower agitational leaching plant throughput and doubling of the capacity at the flotation circuit.
- 2024-25 period guided to run at c. 70-75kozpa AuEq (c. 15.0-15.5kt CuEq) on the back of the high grade feed from the Gilar underground operation.
- 2026-27 period guided to run at c. 115-125kozpa AuEq (c. 24.0-26.0kt CuEq) reflecting contribution from the recently secured Xarxar copper deposit (extra ~9kt CuEq).
- 2028 guidance is for c. 175koz (c. 36.0kt CuEq), implying a ~3x increase in annual output rate, as the team is planning to develop and bring into production the Garadag copper deposit (extra >20ktpa CuEq).
- Gold and copper equivalent factors were calculated using $1,650/oz and $8,000/t prices, respectively.
- The composition of the Group production will gradually move towards predominantly copper from current ~20-30% to ~90% by 2028 after two copper projects are up and running (Xarxar and Garadag).
- The strategy involves two phases of growth including:
- Phase 1 or Transition Phase delivers first growth leg with three new mines being commissioned at Zafar (Gedabek CA), Gilar (Gedabek CA) and Xarxar (Xaxar CA) complementing Gedabek and Gadir mines that approach their end of respective mine lives.
- Additionally, the Company is doubling the flotation plant processing capacity (650ktpa to 1,300ktpa) accommodating the circuit for an increase in copper rich feed as well as allowing to reprocess agitation leaching plant tailings to recover copper from Gilar high grade ores.
- Phase 2 or Transformation Phase builds on the first phase and takes Group production to >36ktpa CuEq on development and commissioning of Garadag (Garadag CA), where preliminary estimates indicate the potential to the largest copper inventory in the Group (~325kt Cu at 0.49% Cu).
- Indicative mine commissioning schedule includes:
- Zafar (Cu/Au/Zn) in 2023/24;
- Gilar (Cu/Au) in 2023/24;
- Xarxar (Cu only) in 2026
- Garadag (Cu only) in 2027/28.
- The team expects positive cash flows from existing operations at Gedabek, current cash balance (~$20m as of YE22), local bank and equipment vendor funding to fund the near to medium term expansion plan.
- The team is planning to complete a series of metallurgical tests to choose the optimal processing route for treatment of Xarxar and Garadag ores with options currently considered including bioleaching, flotation and/or in-situ leaching.
- Both Xarxar and Garadag are likely to be developed using shared infrastructure (deposits are 4km apart) offering potential for operational synergies.
- Final funding requirements are contingent on the treatment circuit selected given significant difference in development capital costs between various scenarios.
- In the meantime, the Company reiterated its commitment to maintaining the established dividend policy as it delivers on the growth strategy.
- The strategy does not include potential upside from extensive exploration portfolio as well as a potential restart of the Demirli Cu/Mo porphyry mine located in the northern part of the Karabakh economic region that may deliver extra >6ktpa Cu.
- The team also holds a strategic ~20% interest in Libero Copper & Gold, a TSX listed copper explorer with an extensive portfolio of prospective ground across Americas hosting a number of porphyry copper deposits including Mocoa (Colombia), Big Red (BC, Canada) and Esperanza (Argentina) among others, that may further add to attributable production should one of Libero portfolio assets come into development/production.
- The Company will hold an online investor presentation on 31 March 2023 at 12.00 BST via Investor Meets Company: https://www.investormeetcompany.com/anglo-asian-mining-plc/register-investor
Conclusion: The team delivers a strategic roadmap for potentially trebling the production rate to become a multi-asset and mid-tier copper/gold producer from 2028. The plan is based on a gradual ramp up in production through sequential commissioning of four new mining operations, expansion of the existing flotation plant and delivering new processing facility to support development of Xarxar and Garadag copper deposits. The sequential nature of expansion optimises upfront capital commitments and reduces commissioning/operational risks. The PSA framework allows for accelerated permitting and development of new operations at new contract areas. Existing cash generative operations at Gedabek provide expansion capital for future exploration and economic studies related work as well as allow the team to leverage off expected earnings for potential project bank funding in the future. The management has a track record of fast tracking projects into production in the past.
This is exciting period for the Company as the team sets out clear growth targets while significantly diversifying the asset base and growing its exposure to copper, the commodity behind the much needed infrastructure to support the energy transition.
In the light of the new strategic plan we have updated our earnings estimates and Group valuation. We used the guided mine plan for our production estimates in arriving to an updated risked NAV of ~$300m or 201p and reiterating our BUY recommendation. Further upside to our target valuation stems from de-risking development projects (ie reducing risk discounting), potential exploration related success as well as Libero investment, currently valued at market spot price. We will be releasing a note outlining production and cost forecasts in more detail shortly.
|(Dec year end)||FY20||FY21||FY22E||FY23E||FY24E|
|AISC (incl PSA, co product)||US$/oz||840||970||1,129||1,150||902|
|AISC estimation changed from by-product to co-product for estimates and historical periods to reflect higher Cu contribution|
|Please, note our production estimates are broadly in line with Company guidance with the difference attributed to different commodity price assumptions|
|Source: SPA, Company|
*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Anglo Asian Mining
Centamin (CEY LN) 101.25p, Mkt Cap £1,172m – Targeting a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
- Centamin has disclosed its decarbonisation plans aimed at achieving a 30% reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030.
- The planned reduction strategy rests on a three-pronged approach comprising:
- Sourcing clean power “through the procurement or development of renewable energy supply”;
- “Switching to lower carbon fuels, together with electrification as an alternative to diesel use applications”; and
- “Continuous work to optimise and improve the energy efficiency of all our processes”
- Discussing renewable energy, Centamin describes the successful commissioning of 30MW of solar capacity at Sukari in 2022 and says that “extension to the existing solar infrastructure (totalling 50MWAC) would fully meet the baseload power demand of the mine during peak daylight hours”.
- Centamin says that its “execution strategy involves installing 5MWAC each year over four years from 2024. The estimated total capital cost for the 20MWAC solar power expansion is between US$25 million and US$35 million”.
- The company also describes recent improvements in Egypt’s power distribution grid and says that “Establishing a 50MWAC connection to the national grid, combined with the existing onsite solar plant, would fully meet the electricity needs of the mine without the requirement for onsite thermal power generation using diesel fuel”.
- Centamin aims to displace the need for diesel through electrification of its mining fleet which currently “represents approximately 50% of our GHG emissions at Sukari” through the replacement of existing face shovels with hybrid diesel electric equipment, the introduction of similarly powered loaders in underground operations and the use of “In-pit crushing and conveyors to replace open pit haul trucks for delivery of ore to the mill”.
- Commenting on energy efficiency, the company explains that “71% of stationary energy consumption is associated with comminution: the grinding and crushing of rock … [and says that it beleives] … there is opportunity to fragment particles using less energy than has conventionally been the case”.
- The company also describes plans to reduce the impact of the “The majority of Scope 3 emissions (98%) … [which] … are upstream to the Sukari operation and relate to purchased goods, services and capital expenditure … [by] … collaboration with the suppliers to first understand the sources of Scope 3 GHG emissions, then identify how these can be most effectively abated”.
- CEO, Martin Horgan, described Centamin having a “vision for a low carbon future is a mining business with sources of onsite and imported renewable energy, reductions in absolute energy consumption through operational efficiencies and creative new technological solutions, staged electrification of our mobile fleet and increased recycling in our supply chain”.
Great Western Mining* (GWMO LN) 0.1p, Mkt Cap £4.4m – Progress report on Nevada exploration and mill development
- Great Western Mining has described its work programme for 2023 in Nevada, where it is awaiting improved weather conditions to pour concrete at its 50% owned (with Western Milling) project where it plans to use gravity separation to recover precious metals from the waste of former mining activity.
- The company confirms that it has filed all the required permitting applications and that as “Virtually all equipment needed for the assembly of the plant is now available and there are unlikely to be significant delays in the overall programme as a consequence of the extended winter”.
- Initial drilling, supported by a recently recruited, locally-based geologist, is expected to start at the “OMCO Mine prospect at the Olympic Gold project, to follow up the 2022 discovery of an extension to the previously mined OMCO vein … [during] … April when weather and ground conditions permit”.
- The company is also reviewing the exploration potential of its M2 copper projects in the Black Mountains group of claims where a 2018 JORC compliant estimate identified “a copper resource, partly inferred/partly indicated, of 4.28 million tonnes at a grade of 0.45% Cu.. This is a large resource at a significant grade but falls short of the tonnage required for commercial development”.
- Commenting on the exploration potential at M2, Great Western Mining says that the mineral resource report in 2018 described a central part of the M2 area, extending over 300m had “only been tested by two drillholes … [and] … is given a high probability of containing additional resources”.
- Executive Chairman, Brian Hall, confirmed that “Great Western’s near, medium and longer term objectives remain (1) completing the mill facility and bringing it on to production (2) continuing the search for precious metals and pinning down a discovery for development and (3) ensuring that the potential upside of the Company’s copper prospects is maximised”.
- He emphasised the importance of the mill development saying that “once the mill is producing we will become a revenue and cash generating business”.
Conclusion: When weather conditions improve Great Western Mining will be able to progress mill construction and start drilling at the Olympic Gold project. The full potential of the company’s M2 copper project may ultimately prove to be larger than the 4.3mt JORC resource at 0.45% copper defined in 2018. We await further news with interest.
*SP Angel act as Broker to Great Western Mining
Power Metal Resources* (POW LN) 0.85p, Mkt cap £14.8m – CEO underlines focus on progressing the Botswana projects and on uranium exploration
- In his AGM statement later today, Power Metal Resources’ recently appointed CEO, Sean Wade will provide a progress report on its project portfolio and provide guidance on expectations for the future of the main projects.
- Diamond drilling programmes have been completed at the Molopo Farms and Tati Gold projects in Botswana as well as at the Berringa project in Australia’s Victoria Goldfields.
- Assay results from the drilling are expected soon.
- Plans for the listing of Golden Metal Resources, which holds the Pilot Mountain tungsten project in the US are expected to “complete … shortly”.
- Mr. Wade confirms that “we have experienced considerable interest … [in] … Uranium Energy Exploration, and our wider uranium portfolio … [and we] … are working, not only on exploration preparations for 2023, but also reviewing various corporate initiatives to accelerate progress and value generation in the portfolio”.
- He confirmed that “We are focused on completing as many disposals in 2023 as possible, both to unlock value and to focus the Company on uranium exploration and the development of its key interests in Botswana”.
Conclusion: The new CEO is describing giving priority to the projects in Botswana and on uranium exploration with disposals of other assets to improve the focus on those objectives.
*SP Angel acts as Nomad and Broker for Power Metal Resources
Rambler Metals and Mining* (RMM LN) Suspended – Operations cease as Transamine declines due payments
- Rambler Metals and Mining has announced the cessation of “operations at the Ming Mine, the Nugget Pond Mill and Goodyears Cove effective as of 19.00pm Newfoundland Time 29 March 2023”.
- The operations had been running, with the sanction of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador “under the protection of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act … since 27 February 2023”.
- The company’s announcement says that the “cessation of operations was the direct result of a dispute … with Transamine Trading S.A. (“Transamine”) regarding the payment of approximately US$880,000 that was due from Transamine on 24 March 2023 and an additional payment of approximately US$1.78 million that is due from Transamine on or around 30 March 2023”.
- Rambler Metals confirms that “Transamine has advised Rambler that it does not intend to make those required payments … [and Rambler says that] … It is not expected that operations will resume for the balance of the SISP”.
- The company says that “All employees, suppliers and other stakeholders have been, or are in the process of being informed, and … [that it] … will be carrying out essential care and maintenance going forward”.
*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Rambler Metals & Mining. An SP Angel analyst holds shares in Rambler Metals & Mining
Scotgold Resources (SGZ LN) 15p, Mkt Cap £9.1m – Six months of challenges at Cononish squeeze working capital
- Scotgold reports a pre-tax loss of A$9.5m from the production of 3,809oz of gold from its Cononish mine in Scotland over the six months to 31st December 2021.
- While describing the period as “challenging”, Chairman Peter Hetherington, said that they had achieved “important milestones … [including] … initiatives for the underground mining operation and processing plant to enable our operation to run more efficiently”.
- Mr. Hetherington said that “Production for the three months ended 31 September 2022, totalled 2,004 ounces of gold, however this was lower than the 2,600 to 3,200 ounces targeted for the quarter, as a result of the successful, but delayed power and ventilation upgrades in the underground mine, which stalled mine development on the waste ramp in September 2022”.
- He said in the second three months up to 31st December, “operational difficulties continued in the underground mine … [with] … changes in the short-term mine schedule to expedite continuous long hole stoping in the western areas of the mine in 2023 … [and] … harsher than expected weather conditions”.
- As a result, gold production of 1,805oz in the three months to 31st December was below the forecast 3-3,500oz although “an additional 324 ounces was mined in December but stored underground as weather conditions didn’t allow for the mining trucks to move the ore to the ROM pad safely”.
- Since then development in January has focussed on “430 West ore drive, 415 East ore drive and the incline ramp accessing the 445 level and achieved record development rates with 3,003 tonnes of ore mined, and 2,620 tonnes of ore fed to the process plant. However, average grade of the ore processed was lower than predicted (5.65g/t actual vs 7.35g/t planned of gold)”
- Mining difficulties continued into March when “gold grades began to decline significantly, and the 430 West ore drive turned to waste, contradicting the grade control model. Total ore production in February was negatively impacted, with actual 977 tonnes mined and 1,441 tonnes processed”.
- Given the operational challenges and resulting cash constraints, “the Directors have determined to take steps to strengthen the Company’s cash position. The Company is in advanced discussions with its gold offtake partner, and is reviewing final documentation, to secure a US$500,000 advance to assist with short-term working capital. The Directors of the Company have also discussed, if the need arises, the provision of additional working capital, in the form of equity or a short-term convertible loan.”
Conclusion: Mining challenges at the Cononish mine are putting working capital under pressure and triggering discussions with the offtake partner to secure an advance and consideration of additional equity or short-term convertible loan finance
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
John Meyer – [email protected] – 0203 470 0490
Simon Beardsmore – [email protected] – 0203 470 0484
Sergey Raevskiy –[email protected] – 0203 470 0474
Richard Parlons –[email protected] – 0203 470 0472
Abigail Wayne – [email protected] – 0203 470 0534
Rob Rees – [email protected] – 0203 470 0535
Grant Barker – Grant.Barker@spangel.co.uk – 0203 470 0471
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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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