01.08.14 - 11:54 Uhr
 
[cid:image001.png@01CFAD60.57789660] Friday, 01 August 2014

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Snapshot

Company news highlights: Glencore concludes Las Bambas sale, BHP cuts more jobs at Mt Arthur, Sibanye seeks PGM assets, Kenmare restructures debt, Sirius Minerals permitting update

Commodity review highlights: Aluminium to move to deficit, ArcelorMittal cuts earnings forecast on weak iron ore, Codelco names new CEO, new scams to avoid gold import restrictions in India

Other economic news: strong factory data from China and India, Queensland releases uranium mining framework

African resources update: South African trade deficit narrows, Mali cancels 130 mining permits, Pan African Minerals signs MOU on US$895m rail line for manganese project, giraffe fatality in South Africa, Todays African Proverb

Company news

Glencore (GLEN LN) has received US$7bn for Las Bambas. The project has been sold a consortium of Chinese companies led by MMG. The agreed sales price was US$5.85bn plus costs incurred since the 31st December 2013. The proceeds will materially de-gear the company (US$52.8bn debt at end Dec), potentially fund opportunities and reinvestment in the asset base with any surplus capital subject to maintaining an efficient balance sheet (BBB/Baa credit rating) returned to shareholders. Source: Company

Investec View: This is a positive development albeit well flagged. It could support a special dividend or rebasing of the dividend as early as the interim but we would expect the company to hold off on any major changes to dividends until after the year end, so perhaps some increase from the 5.4cps at last years interim. Full year dividend was 16.5cps.

BHP Billiton (BLT LN) to cut 95 jobs at Mt Arthur coal mine in the upper Hunter Valley of New South Wales reducing the workforce to 1650. The mine is expected to produce 20mt of its 35mtpa capacity has cut 358 jobs since June as Australian coal mines struggle in the current pricing environment. Source: MiningNewsPremium

Sibanye Gold (SGL SJ) continues to seek platinum assets to add to its portfolio and is widely perceived as a front runner to take on Amplats Rustenburg and Union Mines. The company saw H1 earnings fall 27%, but provided for a 50cps interim dividend. Source: Thomson Reuters

Kenmare Resources (KMR LN) agreed amendment to project financing terms on Moma Mine as well as an extension to the corporate loan. A requirement for principal repayments of senior debts and interest on subordinated debt due in August, Feb 15 and Aug 15 has been removed. Lenders will instead receive payments under a cash sweep dependent on the cash generation from the mine. Absa has also extended the corporate loan that had been scheduled to mature on 31st March 16. Payments will only be made subject to the group cash balance exceeding US$80m. One of the conditions is that Kenmare provide more regular and greater detail on progress to its lenders. At the half year KMR had cash of US$37.3m and debt of US$349.6m. Source: Company

Investec View: Positive for the company that continues to struggle to achieve targets at this major project.

Sirius Minerals (SXX LN) another permitting update leading to yet another revision. The materials handling facility previously outlined will now not form part of the planning application for the mine and will be submitted separately. The company does not anticipate any impact on the previously outlined submissions that are on course for end September. Source: Company

Investec View: Developing a major asset in the UK in a national park was always going to be challenging, we remain cautious over progress for the permitting that could allow a development to proceed

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Commodities news

Aluminium widely expected to move into deficit in 2015 following output cuts and an Indonesian ore export ban. This will be the first deficit in 9 years with a Reuters consensus forecast of 44kt shortfall. However, high inventories look set to limit price upside with close to 5mt in LME warehouses and estimates of as much as 12mt held globally outside of China. The deficit could well be prolonged but needs to be. Demand looks likely to benefit from a growing trend to use more of the metal in autos in an effort to cut weight. Source: Thomson Reuters

Investec View: We would also expect that price rallies could prompt a more rapid supply side response than for other LME metals as the cuts in capacity are more processing orientated and could rapidly resume if prices were sufficiently strong.

ArcelorMittal (MT NA) cut earnings forecasts following lower than expected iron ore prices undermining profits from its mining business. Core profit forecast has been reduced from US$8bn to over US$7bn. It estimated that global steel consumption would rise 3-3.5%. Its assumed iron ore prices have been cut from US$120/t to US$105/t for the year with H2 to average US$100/t. Source: Thomson Reuters

Copper major Codelco names 72 year old Nelson Pizarro as new CEO from 1st September. The company faces major challenges with a US$20+bn investment programme ahead that needs to be financed. Source: Thomson Reuters

Indian government struggles to crack down on gold smuggling with new tactic prompting fears of an acceleration in illegal imports. Most recently a gold exporting firm tried to us a tax-free special economic zone to by-pass restrictions, but was found out when police stopped a car carrying around US$1m of gold. The World Gold Council put last years smuggled gold imports at 200-250t versus government figures of 2.34t. Source: Thomson Reuters

Other economic news

Factory data from China shows expansion at fastest pace in 27 months in July with PMI at 51.7, from 51 in June. The data adds evidence that stimulus measures are gaining traction. India also saw factory expansion most recently at fastest pace in 17 months with the HSBC PMI for the country estimated at 53.0 in July up from 51.5 in June. Source: Thomson Reuters

Australian state of Queensland releases frame work for the resumption of uranium mining following a two year review period. Known resources in the state are estimated to have a value of A$18bn according to the state. The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies have welcomed the governments push to restart uranium mining but said that a proposed cash tendering process would undermine the sectors development. Source: MiningNewsPremium.

African resources update

South African trade deficit narrowed more than expected to US$18m (ZAR190m) in June, from a figure of ZAR7.44bn shortfall in May. Source: Thomson Reuters

Mali cancels 130 mining permits, or 30% of existing permits in an effort to clean up its mining industry. The government is to carry out a complete inventory of existing mining contracts, titles and licenses. Gold production from the country reached 67.4t in 2013 due to a growth in artisanal mining. Companies including Randgold (RRS LN), Anglogold Ashanti (ANG SJ) and Resolute Mining (RSG AU) have operations in country. Source: Thomson Reuters

Pan-African Minerals and Bollore sign MOU on an US$895m rail project to link Abijan in Ivory Coast to a manganese deposit in Burkina at Tambao. The asset is expected to cost US$1bn and produce 3mtpa of manganese. The construction of the line will be over the next three years. Pan-African Minerals is a private company controlled by Frank Timmis, executive chairman of UK listed African Minerals (AMI LN). Source: Thomson Reuters

Giraffe fatality in South Africa as one of two giraffes being transported by truck hit its head on a bridge. The code for wildlife transport indicates that open transport with giraffe heads sticking out is not acceptable. Apparently the animals were blindfolded so couldnt even see approaching bridges. Source: News 24

Todays African proverb: "When you see a frog climb a fence, you know that the ground is hot" Source: BBC

Investec Global Natural Resources Research Team:

UK

South Africa

Hunter Hillcoat
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7597 5182

Albert Minassian
Tel: +27 (0) 21 416 1454

Marc Elliott
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7597 5189

Investec Global Natural Resources Sales Team:

UK

Hong Kong

South Africa

Adam Bidwell
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7597 5089

Will Robbins
Tel: +852 3187 5098

Hayden Smith
Tel: +27 (0) 21 416 1401

USA
Thomas Lawrence
Tel: +1 212 2595604

Alistair Roberts
Tel: +852 3187 5097

Investec Commodity Hedging Team:

UK

Callum Macpherson
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7597 5070

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