SP Angel . Morning View . Monday 06 04 20
Markets climb as COVID-19 cases slow in major EU economies
Chesterfield Resources (LON:CHF) – Cyprus lock-down forces suspension of drilling
Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) 29.4p, Mkt Cap £39.6m – Further diamond sales
SolGold* (S\LON:OLG) 17.7p, Mkt cap £334m – SolGold honey
SP Angel Healthcare team
Izana Bioscience initiating compassionate use study in COVID-19 patients
Novacyt* (LON:NCYT): COVID-19 test update
Futura Medical (LON:FUT): Confirmation of FDA minutes
Momentum increases for US and other nations to sue China for coronavirus compensation
News flow is increasing on the concept of the US and other Western nations suing China over the cost of the Wuhan Coronavirus.
We are wary of fake news and also wary that Chinese data and media comments are censured by the Peoples Republic of China.
We will continue to look out for the facts and not the fiction.
Queens speech reminds nation to be proud of its actions through the crisis
South Africa – Lockdown causes prices for ores to rise
Vanadium and Manganese ore prices rose last week as Chinese and European smelters rushed to secure material (FastmarketsMB)
Primary production of vanadium and manganese is on hold in South Africa along with almost all mineral production.
Glencore and Bushveld Minerals* vanadium production is on care and maintenance in the South African lockdown.
Largo in Brazil is the world’s only other primary vanadium producer and Chinese secondary production appears disrupted.
Samancor has invoked force majeure on its chrome production locking in capacity of 3mtpa of chrome ore and 2mtpa of ferro-chrome production.
Afarak also closed most of its ferro-chrome production.
Tshipi e Ntle (Jupiter Mines) declared force majeure on manganese shipments last week, capacity 3.5mtpa.
Tharisa declared force majeure on contracted chrome concentrate sales agreements on Thursday, capacity ~1.4mtpa.
United Manganese and Assmang also declared force majeure
Transnet, the South African freight rail company has also closed bulk rail terminals for minerals.
The Transnet closure also disrupts trucks and other shipments from Zambia, Zimbabwe and the DRC which use the terminals
The DRC closed its border last week causing a massive >40km jam of lorries to the border crossing disrupting copper, cobalt and other commodities.
Stimulus funding pledged
$2tn US fiscal package approved by Congress. US may add $0.6t state aid for mortgage markets and travel industries
$2tn US – Trump looking at $2tn infrastructure fund
$700bn – US + Fed rate cut to 0-0.25% last night. The $700bn QE is to buy Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities. The program in two parts $500bn + $200bn
$963bn (€750bn) ECB scraps limits on sovereign bond purchases. ECB PEPP buying running at around €250bn
$825bn (€756bn) Germany – Bundestag approved €156bn in extra borrowing and ~€600bn in emergency funds
$344bn - China stimulus + $127.2bn. China stimulus was $586bn in 2009
$544bn (¥60tn) – Japan fiscal stimulus package equiv. ~10% of GDP $17.4bn Japan + Y300bn of inflation-linked bonds,
$400bn (£330bn) UK + $242bn (£200bn) UK QE from BoE & no business rates plus £25,000 cash grants for hospitality sector
$387bn (€304bn), France, $200bn (€200bn), Spain, $214bn (A$320bn) Australia, $78bn (C$107bn) Canada, $32bn Saudi Arabia, US$38.6bn Singapore, $22.6bn India, $15.4bn HK, $13.7bn South Korea, $10bn Switzerland, $8.4bn Italy, $7bn NZ, $3.5bn Ireland, $2bn Taiwan, $0.75bn Indonesia,
$1,000bn - IMF available + $12bn World Bank,
121 London Mining Investment Online Conference - 19-21 May 2020 – Lockdown special
The 121 Group are holding their London conference Online in may
Companies and investors will simply login from their place of ‘Self-isolation’ for online meetings managed by 121’s system
The event has the added benefit of broadening the field of participating investors and companies while reducing everyone’s travel costs
Companies can show slides online to investors within the system and present opportunities via video link
Company slots are limited to maintain quality levels and enable better management
Click here to register your interest if attending as a corporate
Click link to see how it works: https://www.weare121.com/121mininginvestment-london/
Dow Jones Industrials
HK Hang Seng
BMW Group posted a 20.6%yoy drop in auto deliveries in Q1 of the year.
All three major regions recorded declines with Europe (-18.3%), Asia (-25.0%) including China (-30.9%) and Americas (-17.6%) including USA (-17.4%) all down.
Around 80% of retail outlets in Europe and 70% in the US remain closed.
Sales in China are reported to have been recovering in March with a strong intake of orders.
New cases in hardest hit countries like Italy and Spain stabilised and were on a falling trend lending optimism hard lockdown measures are paying off.
In Italy, 4,316 new cases were recorded in Sunday, down on 4,805 on Saturday and a high of 6,557 seen at the end of March.
In Spain, 5,478 new cases were registered yesterday, down from 6,969 the previous day and 8,195 earlier in April.
Germany and France have also posted drops in new daily cases.
US – Non farm payrolls recorded the first drop since 2010 as states implemented stay at home guidelines and many businesses suspended operations amid the virus outbreak.
Payrolls dropped 701k compared to a 100k decline forecast.
The unemployment rate increased to 4.4%, the highest since 2017, from a half-century low of 3.5%.
Numbers are set to further weaken as the reference period for the jobs report was based on the 12th of the month and did not capture the most of nearly 10mln people who have filed for unemployment benefits in the last two weeks, Bloomberg reports.
Bloomberg estimates unemployment to hit 15% this quarter while St Louis Fed President James Bullard warned it may increase to as much as 30%.
Japan – Consumer confidence dropped to the lowest since the global financial crisis in March.
Declines in consumers’ views on jobs and living standards were the steepest.
The drop comes on the back of COVID-19 related businesses shutdown, postponement of the Olympics as well as a call from Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike for people to stay home in the evenings and weekends, and to work from home.
The sentiment is likely to worsen should PM enact a state of emergency, as is expected.
Germany – Construction sector drops at the fastest pace in seven years in March, according to Markit.
New orders dropped at the strongest rate since Feb/10.
Employment in the sector dropped for the first time in almost five years amid a record decline in confidence.
Markit PMI: 42.0 v 55.8 in February.
UK – Consumer confidence dropped on record last month approaching the levels last seen during the financial crisis more than a decade ago.
All components reported declines with a measure of major purchase intentions seeing the steepest drop, Bloomberg reports.
New car registrations nearly halved in March (-44.4%yoy) compared to the previous year.
GfK Consumer Confidence: -34 v -7 in February.
UK keeps major infrastructure projects going as housebuilders shutdown sites
The UK government has told the building industry to carry on and within Public Health England guidelines
HS2 and other major infrastructure projects are still working requiring, steel, concrete and related supplies
Major projects and road building are still supposed to be working with around 60% of builders merchants still operating.
Nearly all builders merchants operate delivery services due to the weight of the loads to be delivered and to speed up construction
Certain mayors are disrupting urban projects probably more for political reasons
Housebuilding activity has slowed substantially as housebuilders almost exclusively employ contractors.
Singapore – The government announced a third stimulus package to the tune of S$5.1bn (US$3.6bn)with the budget expected to hit a 8.9% deficit this year.
S$4bn will be allocated for the support to businesses and workers.
S$1.1bn will be set for the “solidarity payment of S$600 in cash for all adult Singaporeans above age 21.
Argentina – The government proposed to default on up to $10bn of dollar debt issued under local law postponing payments until the end of the year according to the decree issued on Sunday.
The proposal does no affect the just under $70bn in foreign currency debt issued under international law that Argentina is currently in talks to restructure with creditors, Reuters reports.
69,498 - Coronavirus
128,259 - Seasonal flu
258,728 - Malaria
282,854 - Suicides
356,064 - Road accidents
443,418 - HIV/AIDS
659,720 - Alcohol
1,271,071 - Smoking
2,166,349 - Cancer
3,424,238 - Communicable diseases
*Stats from Worldometers.info
US$1.0818/eur vs 1.0804/eur last week. Yen 109.34/$ vs 108.07/$. SAr 18.999/$ vs 18.755/$. $1.229/gbp vs $1.234/gbp. 0.605/aud vs 0.604/aud. CNY 7.092/$ vs 7.090/$.
Gold US$1,628/oz vs US$1,610/oz last week - Indian gold imports hit 6 year low in March
Indian gold imports fell more than 73% year-on-year in March.
Record domestic prices and a lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus caused retail demand to sharply fall, according to government sources.
India imported 25 tonnes of gold in March vs 93.2 tonnes in March 2019 (Reuters).
Swiss gold refiners to partially reopen
Three of the world's largest gold refineries will resume production after a two week closure that disrupted global supply of the metal.
The three refineries were shut by a local government order on the 20th of March as the government tried to contain the spread of the coronavirus by closing all non-essential industry.
The refineries process about 1,500 tonnes of gold a year, equivalent to a third of global supply, and a key point that moves the metal between markets to satisfy global demand.
Two of the refineries intend to operate at less than 50% capacity, and one announced it will have a 'reduced work regime' (Reuters).
As refineries resume production, the supply shortages in the gold market will likely ease in the coming week (Bloomberg).
Gold ETFs 91.2moz vs US$90.8moz last week
Platinum US$737/oz vs US$723/oz last week
Palladium US$2,184/oz vs US$2,224/oz last week
Silver US$14.55/oz vs US$14.46/oz last week - Silver – suspension of mines in Mexico till end-April hits silver production
Mining is not seen as an essential service in Mexico with all mines ordered to shut down
Copper US$ 4,904/t vs US$4,910/t last week - LME copper rises on Chilean production cuts
Potential supply disruptions from Chile contributed to copper prices rising this morning.
Antofagasta has suspended its Los Pelambres project in Chile, which accounts for nearly half of its total copper output.
The production cut extends beyond Antofagasta, as the Chilean mining trade union Sonami said 'a decrease in production is already being contemplated in some companies' (Financial Post).
Three-month copper on the LME rose 1.1% earlier this morning to $4,892/t (Reuters).
Continued declines in the daily Covid-19 death tolls reported in Italy and France have lifted hopes that the virus can be brought under control, which is also supporting the copper price (Fastmarkets MB).
Freeport reports the killing of a New Zealand national at its office in Kuala Kencana district of Timika in Indonesia, south of the Grasberg copper-gold mine.
Aluminium US$ 1,478/t vs US$1,493/t last week
Nickel US$ 11,260/t vs US$11,300/t last week - Philippines nickel miners to resume ore shipments
The country's largest nickel ore miner and exporter, Nickel Asia Corp, said on Monday that it will resume ore shipments as mining operations resume after a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The company announced that foreign vessels chartered to deliver ores will strictly observe quarantine guidelines to prevent the coronavirus spreading.
Zinc US$ 1,892/t vs US$1,887/t last week
Lead US$ 1,671/t vs US$1,696/t last week
Tin US$ 14,290/t vs US$14,335/t last week
Oil US$33.6/bbl vs US$30.0/bbl last week
Natural Gas US$1.690/mmbtu vs US$1.568/mmbtu last week
Uranium US$27.45/lb vs US$27.35/lb last week - Chernobyl – forest fires close to Chernobyl are raising radiation levels
Smoke from forest fires near Chernobyl may lift radioactive dust into the atmosphere.
Radiation levels have risen to 2.3 microroentgen/Hour versus a normal reading of 0.14
Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$79.6/t vs US$79.3/t - Brazil iron ore exports fall 2% in March
Iron ore exports fell 2.1% last month compared to March last year as bad weather hit exports and Covid-19 caused countries to halt steel production.
Brazil exported 21.71mt of iron ore last month vs 22.18mt the year before according to the Brazilian Ministry of Economics.
Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$519.8/t vs US$519.9/t
Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$54.2/t vs US$54.5/t
Coking coal futures Dalian Exchange US$142.0/t vs US$144.0/t
Cobalt LME 3m US$30,000/t vs US$30,000/t
NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$37,157/t vs US$37,379/t
Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$5,570/t vs US$5,572/t
Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$26.5/kg vs US$26.5/kg
Antimony Trioxide 99.5% EU (China) US$5./kg vs US$5./kg
Tungsten APT European US$240-245/mtu vs US$240-245/mtu
Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$540/t vs US$540/t
Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,550/t vs US$2,550/t
Tesla unveils ventilator prototype built from Model 3 parts
The Californian EV giant released a video via YouTube on Sunday showing their new ventilator prototype, based heavily on components from their Model 3 vehicle. (Cnet)
The ventilator prototype featured in the video is built primarily on the Model 3 infotainment system.
The design includes a touch screen and computer and control system from a Model 3 electric car. (Bloomberg)
The machine makes use of hospital grade parts originally designed and built for Tesla’s EVs. The components work to push oxygen and air through the device.
Tesla did not reveal a timeline for design completion or production. (Electrek)
Tesla has been praised by Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak for “getting it done” with regards to securing supplies and scaling production of breathing machines. (Teslarati)
SpaceX will be supplying a valve that will be an important component to enable them to scale their ventilator operations.
Hyundai forms partnership to deliver EV charging network in South Korea (Electrek)
Hyundai formed a partnership with Korea Expressway Corp. in December to establish a network of 11 fast-charging stations by the end of 2020.
Hyundai is converting large gas stations into EV charging stations as Korea moves towards an EV future, the country already has 76 gas stations equipped for EV fast charging.
Hyundai could not confirm whether they would manage the charging network as Tesla manages its Supercharger network.
Altus Strategies* (LON:ALS) 25.0p, Mkt Cap £17.5m – CEO of La Mancha joins the Board
Following the C$11.2m (£6.5m) La Mancha investment, Karim Nasr, CEO of the Group, is joining Altus Board as a Non-Executive Director.
Under the terms of the deal, La Mancha has an option to appoint up to NEDs to the Board of the Company.
Karim also acts a director of another La Mancha investee, TSX-listed Golden Star Resources, where the fund holds a 34.4% interest.
Karim joined La Mancha as its CFO in 2018 and before that worked as CEO and CIO of Digital World Capital, an investment manager focused on Telecom and Media companies, as well as Head of Corporate Finance at Wind Telecom, one of the largest mobile operators.
“Karim is a highly respected finance professional… he brings with him considerable business acumen, from an outstanding career in corporate finance and asset management… his strategic insights and expertise will be of material benefit,” Altus welcomed new NED.
*SP Angel acts as nomad and broker to Altus Strategies
Atalaya Mining (LON:ATYM) 94.5p, Mkt Cap £123.6m –Operations resume at Proyecto Riotinto
Atalaya Mining has announced that the status of its Proyecto Riotinto copper mine in Andalucia has been reviewed in terms of the Royal Decree in force in Spain to protect against the Covid19 virus.
The mining authorities of the Junta de Andalucía have determined that ʺthe definition of essential industry is extended to mining as it is a required supplier to other essential industries included in the Royal Decree. Accordingly, operations at Proyecto Riotinto have now recommenced.ʺ
The company confirms that it is enforcing strict anti-virus protection measures on site in compliance with Spanish Government regulations and that ʺAssociated to these measures, Atalaya will maximize the stockpiles available on site, defer all non-essential activities and focus on the production of concentrates to fulfill national and international commitments to supply other industriesʺ.
Conclusion: The reclassification of mining as a supplier to essential industries has enabled the resumption of production at Proyecto Riotinto with stringent measures in force to contain the spread of the Covid19 virus.
Chesterfield Resources (LON:CHF) 2p, Mkt cap £1.2m – Cyprus lock-down forces suspension of drilling
Chesterfield Resources report the suspension of percussion drilling at its projects in Cyprus.
The nation still maintains military conscription and is well disciplined.
Management are hopeful that Cyprus will start to lift restrictions in May
The company retains a number of geologists on day rates to oversee drilling and core logging
Conclusion: It should be relatively easy for Chesterfield to adapt its exploration program to work around the lock-down in Cyprus over the next few months.
Gem Diamonds (LON:GEMD) 29.4p, Mkt Cap £39.6m – Further diamond sales
Gem Diamonds reports that it has raised a further US$6.7m in addition to the previously announced US$12.1m from the sale of large, high-quality diamonds using the same ʺflexible tender sales processʺ.
The sale means that Gem Diamonds has realised an average sales price of US$1,615/carat during Q1 2020 compared with US$1,713/carat during Q4 2020.
Summarising the results of the sales, CEO, Clifford Elphick, explained that ʺThe second round of the recently introduced flexible tender sales process again demonstrates the ongoing demand for Letšeng's large, high quality diamonds. This is further reflected in the Q1 2020 average value of US$1 615 per carat."
On 13th February, the company reported that sales for Q4 2019 amounted to 29,945 carats at an average sale price of US$1,713/carat. We estimate that realisations totalling US$18.8m announced on 1st April and today at an average price of US$1,615/carat implies sales of around 11,640 carats suggesting that although the impact on prices is a fall of only around 6%, volumes have declined by around 60% and these are likely to comprise the best quality diamonds.
Conclusion: Gem Diamonds has successfully sold a further US$6.7m of diamonds using its flexible tender process. The revenues are an important financial buffer during this troubled period but we believe that, with production at the Letseng mine suspended, they represent the most valuable portion of the stockpile.
Kore Potash (LON:KP2) 0.62p, mkt cap £9.5m – EIA approval for 25 years
(Kore Potash hold 97% of the Sintoukiola Potash Project in the Repiblic of Congo)
Kore Potash reports the Ministry of Tourism and Environment in the Republic of Congo has granted 25 years Certificates of Environmental Compliance covering the company’s Dougou and Kola project areas.
The company points out that the licences previously in place required reapproval on an annual or three yearly basis and that the new 25 years validity ʺbetter aligns with the initial term of the mining licences and the Mining Conventionʺ.
The company says that it anticipates ʺcompletion of the Preliminary Feasibility Study … on the Dougou Extension (ʺDXʺ) Project this Quarterʺ
Chief Executive, Brad Sampson, welcomed the support of the Government and said that the new terms offer ʺimproved certainty for all parties and stakeholdersʺ.
Mr Sampson also explained that ʺAs we progress the development of the DX Project and move towards first potash production we will apply for amendments to the Dougou ESIA as part of the DX permitting process.ʺ
The company outlines a phased development approach where the DX project ʺpresents the quickest pathway to potash production and cash generation for the Company and the larger Kola project is planned for development subsequent to first production from DXʺ.
SolGold (LON:SOLG) 17.7p, Mkt cap £334m – SolGold honey
SolGold have posted a video online of the local community producing honey from an on-site nursery at the Alpala project at Cascabel in Ecuador.
Ecuador has one of the biggest outbreaks of the coronavirus in Latin America after exchange students brought the virus back from China.
The situation makes SolGold’s community projects and employment ever more important to the nation of Ecuador.
SolGold shares have recovered well from the global market collapse
SolGold video: https://twitter.com/SolGold_plc/status/1246111145494282241?cn=ZmxleGlibGVfcmVjc18y&refsrc=email
*SP Angel act as broker and financial advisor to SolGold
SP Angel Healthcare team - Vadim Alexandre, Liam Gascoigne-Cohen
Market Update: Monday, 6 April 2020
Izana Bioscience initiating compassionate use study in COVID-19 patients
Oxford-based drug developer, Izana Bioscience (private), is initiating a clinical study testing its antibody candidate, namilumab, in COVID-19 patients.
Namilumab is a Phase 3-ready antibody therapy for the treatment of inflammatory diseases rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
The drug targets a pro-inflammatory cytokine protein known as granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF). Recent reports have observed a high level of GM-CSF in COVID-19 patients which require intensive care.
The trial is a compassionate use study and will take place in two sites in Northern Italy with AIM-listed Ergomed PLC, a clinical research organisation, assisting in the management of the trial.
Treatments for inflammatory auto-immune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, have been highlighted to have potential benefit to COVID-19 patients. Roche’s Actemra (tocilizumab), an anti-IL6 antibody, has been highlighted as a treatment for COVID-19 with severe lung damage and high IL-6 levels. Regeneron and Sanofi are testing Kevzara, another anti-IL-6 antibody therapy in a Phase 2/3 trial. COVID-19 infection may provoke an aggressive immune reaction which can cause severe lung damage. The use of therapies which modulate pro-inflammatory cytokines such as GM-CSF or IL-6, could be used to reduce the severity of these conditions.
Novacyt* (LON:NCYT): COVID-19 test update
Share price: 193.5p; Market Capitalisation: £130.6m
Diagnostic developer, Novacyt, announced the approval of the Group’s COVID-19 diagnostic test by the Institut Pasteur, with the CE-Mark test available for immediate distribution into the French market.
On Saturday 2nd April 2020, Novacyt received approval for its COVID-19 test from the Ministry of Health in Thailand.
The evaluation and approval by the Institut Pasteur marks the continued interest in the Group’s test and unlocks another market as the coronavirus pandemic increases the demand for effective diagnostics. Novacyt’s COVID-19 test can be used on multiple laboratory instrument platforms to provide results in under two hours and can be shipped at ambient temperatures. The Group is now selling its test to over 80 countries, including the US, and is focused on increasing manufacturing capacity to a production rate of c.4m tests per month.
*SP Angel act as Nomad & Broker to Novacyt plc
Futura Medical (LON:FUT): Confirmation of FDA minutes
Share price: 9.4p; Market Capitalisation: £23.0m
Futura Medical, a developer of sexual health and pain therapies, received official minutes from the US FDA following its pre-submission meeting on 24 February 2020.
The meeting minutes confirmed that the FDA agreed to a De Novo medical device application pathway for MED3000, a topical treatment for Erectile Dysfunction.
The minutes indicate Futura must pursue a further pre-submission meeting to further discuss clinical sufficiency and/or post-marketing requirements.
In December 2019, a Phase 3 trial testing MED2005, which contained GTN, an active pharmaceutical ingredient plus MED300, failed to show a statistically significant and clinically meaningful difference to the placebo control (MED300 only). As a result, Futura intended to progress regulatory approval for MED300 as a medical device. The outcome of the FDA meeting is a positive result for the commercialisation of MED300. The medical device is usually a shorter regulatory timeline than a therapy and Futura is targeting regulatory submissions to the US and EU regulators in the next six months.
John Meyer – 0203 470 0490
Simon Beardsmore – 0203 470 0484
Sergey Raevskiy – 0203 470 0474
Richard Parlons – 0203 470 0472
Abigail Wayne – 0203 470 0534
Rob Rees – 0203 470 0535
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