Job trouble? Wave of rehiring after economy reopened to fade in July after viral spiral


The engine of the U.S. economy may have gotten clogged again — no thanks to the recent acceleration in coronavirus cases. That’s bad news for Americans hoping to return to their old jobs.

Just how much damage has been done will become more evident this week, especially from the U.S. employment report for July due next Friday. The number of jobs regained last month is unlikely to match the huge increases in May and June that totaled a combined 7.5 million.

Wall Street
DJIA,
+0.43%

economists predict the U.S. added about 1.5 million jobs in July.

Even that estimate may be inflated though by seasonal changes in educational employment at the state and local level, Morgan Stanley contends. Private-sector jobs could increase by less than one million, the investment bank calculated.

See: MarketWatch Economic Calendar

Whatever the case, a much smaller increase in hiring or rehiring in July would bode ill for the U.S. recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The government last week reported that gross domestic product sank a whopping 32.9% in the second quarter on an annualized basis, the biggest decline since World War Two.

Read: Economy suffers titanic 32.9% plunge in 2nd quarter, points to drawn-out recovery

Also:‘A massive welfare economy’ – federal aid prevents even steeper GDP collapse

“The big question hovering over next week’s employment report is whether the two-month surge in job gains stopped in July,” says David Donabedian, chief investment officer of CIBC Private Wealth Management. He thinks that’s exactly what happened.

It will be hard for the economy to make up a lot of lost ground in the third quarter unless hiring snaps back even faster.

See:MarketWatch Coronavirus Recovery Tracker

The U.S. lost a record 22 million jobs in March and April, according to Labor Department data. So far the economy has recovered less than one-third of those jobs.

The weekly tally of jobless claims, meanwhile, showed an even higher 30 million unemployed people were collecting benefits as of mid-July, representing about one in five Americans who said they were working before the pandemic, according to a Labor Department survey of households.

Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, said many people who expect to return to work are going to find they have no jobs or businesses to which they can return, a “grim reminder” of how much long-term damage the pandemic has caused.

“In the long run we are going to see a sobering slowdown in job growth,” he said.

The still-high level of unemployment, the viral spiral, and the uncertainty over whether Washington will provide more financial aid has understandably made Americans feel less confidence. On Friday Congressional lawmakers were still at odds on the next relief package with many benefits set to expire at the end of July.

A variety of measures that monitor consumer attitudes show a clear deterioration in July that’s likely to bleed over into August. That will make a recovery even harder.

Read:Consumer confidence wanes in July and points to rockier economic recovery

And:Consumer sentiment falls as coronavirus cases rise and federal aid set to expire

The news might not all be negative next week, however.

Manufacturers — auto makers in particular — have shown more resilience than the service side of the economy. The closely followed ISM manufacturing survey could show improvement for the third straight month.

The housing industry has also snapped back faster than expected amid a surge in home sales. Prospective buyers with secure jobs are taking advantage of record-low interest rates to buy new homes, a trend that may have been fueled by people fleeing the closed spaces of cities with a high number of coronavirus cases.

Even that potential bit of good news, however, has been overshadowed by the broader damage to the economy from the latest spike in coronavirus cases in many American states.

A full recovery can’t take root and blossom, economists say, until the disease is brought under control.

See: Pandemic will continue for some time, experts tell Congress as U.S. case tally nears 4.5 million



Original source link

Oil ends higher to log July gain, but traders brace for added supply


Oil futures ended higher Friday, logging a monthly gain, as investors weighed an uncertain demand outlook and an expected rise in supplies as major producers relax output curbs.

West Texas Intermediate crude for September delivery
CL.1,
+0.95%

CLU20,
+0.95%

rose 35 cents, or 0.9%, to close at $40.27 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while October Brent crude
BRN00,
+0.02%
,
the global benchmark, added 27 cents, or 0.6%, to finish at $43.52 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe. WTI logged a monthly rise of around 2.6%, while Brent rose more than 5% for July.

Some analysts see scope for the rebound in oil prices off recent lows to bring back sufficient production to cap the potential for further price rises.

“Prices have rebounded, and they are currently near break-even levels for many producers — we believe this will encourage producers to bring back shut-in supply and even drill more, wrote analysts led by John LaForge at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, in a Friday note.

“The capacity to increase oil supply is significant both in the U.S. and abroad. Any price increase from current levels is likely to be met with an overeager deluge of supply,” they said. “This should keep a lid on oil prices moving meaningfully higher from current levels.”

Some analysts see the market potentially struggling with an expected uptick in production as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, a group collectively known as OPEC+, prepare to relax output curbs by 2 million barrels a day beginning Saturday.

“Despite the resilient and rangebound nature of oil pricing over recent weeks, plateauing global demand and increasing OPEC+ output raises the question of whether the market can absorb additional barrels,” said Michael Tran, commodity analyst at RBC Capital Markets, in a note.

“Marginal barrels continue to find buyers but the outlook appears increasingly challenged and indication of upside potential to Norway’s Johan Sverdrup field beyond 470,000 barrels a day is yet another headwind,” Tran said.

Oil maintained gains after oil-field services company Baker Hughes said the number of U.S. oil rigs dropped by 1 to 180 this week.

Analysts said oil has been buoyed by a slump in the dollar, with the ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
+0.37%
,
a measure of the currency against six major rivals, dropping to a more-than-two-year low this week and tumbling more than 4% in July, on track for its biggest monthly decline since September 2010, according to FactSet. The index caught a bounce Friday, however, rising 0.3%. A weaker dollar can support commodities priced in the unit, making them cheaper to users of other currencies.

September gasoline futures
RBU20,
-1.70%

fell 1.6% to $1.1711 a gallon, while September heating oil rose 1% to $1.224 a gallon.

September natural-gas futures
NGU20,
-1.42%

dropped 3 cents, or 1.6%, to finish at $1.799 per million British thermal units.



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Graphite Miners News For The Month Of July 2020


Welcome to the July edition of the graphite miners news. July saw graphite prices flat and some interesting news from some graphite miners. The Magnis Energy technologies news has resulted in an over 100% gain for the stock.

Graphite price news

During July China graphite flake-195 EXW spot prices were flat, and are up 7.5% over the past year. Note that 94-97% is considered best suited for use in batteries; it is then upgraded to 99.9% purity to make “spherical” graphite used in Li-ion batteries.

Graphite price chart – Large flake graphite price is ~USD 830/t (slightly out of date now, but an ok rough guide still)

Source: Northern Graphite

A reminder of a 2016 Elon Musk quote:

Our cells should be called Nickel-Graphite, because primarily the cathode is nickel and the anode side is graphite with silicon oxide.

In my January 30, 2018 Trend Investing Interview with Benchmark Minerals Simon Moores said about graphite:

Spherical graphite anode plants, predominately based in China, were traditionally 5-10,000 tpa but now we are tacking four megafactories are looking to produce 60,000 to 100,000 tpa from 2020 onwards.

Battery and EV battery metals are set to take off

2019 to 2030 demand increase forecast for EV metals as the EV boom takes off – ‘Battery’ graphite demand forecast to grow 10x.

Source: Courtesy BloombergNEF

The impact of the proposed megafactories on raw material demand (graphite in red)

Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence – Simon Moores’s – forecasts (total demand)

Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Twitter

Graphite market news

On July 16 Fastmarkets reported: “Weak demand weighs on 194 fob China market.”

On July 21 Investing News reported:

Lomiko Metals optimistic regarding the future of battery metals investment. According to Gill, the average Tesla vehicle is made of approximately 90 kilograms of graphite. Moving forward, he is hopeful Tesla and other electric vehicle manufactures will continue to drive demand in related commodities including lithium and graphite. “Lithium, graphite, manganese, cobalt and nickel are all the main elements. They are all susceptible to quick commodity moves that can then affect the juniors in the area,” said Gill.

Graphite demand versus supply forecast

Source: Triton Minerals courtesy Roskill

Graphite miner news

Graphite producers

I have not covered the following graphite producers as they are not typically accessible to most Western investors. They include – Aoyu Graphite Group, BTR New Energy Materials, Qingdao Black Dragon, National de Grafite, Shanshan Technology, and LuiMao Graphite.

Note: Imerys Graphite and Carbon (OTC:IMYSF) and AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV [NA:AMG] [GR:ADG] (OTCPK:AMVMF) are also “diversified producers”, producing graphite. SGL Carbon (ETR:SGL) is a synthetic graphite producer.

Syrah Resources Limited [ASX:SYR][GR:3S7]( OTCPK:SYAAF)(OTC:SRHYY)

Syrah Resources Limited owns the Balama graphite mine in Mozambique.

On July 15, Syrah Resources announced: “Production of battery specification anode precursor material.” Highlights include:

  • “Anode precursor material to battery specification has been produced at Vidalia and will be dispatched to potential customers and supply chain partners for testing and qualification.
  • China currently produces 100% of the natural graphite anode precursor material used for production of lithium-ion batteries in Electric Vehicles (“EV”), as well as other applications. Syrah believes the Vidalia operation is the farthest progressed alternate source of natural graphite anode precursor material ex-China.
  • Anode precursor from Vidalia will be further processed to AAM via toll treatment and from a furnace to be installed at Vidalia over the coming quarters, which will further facilitate ongoing strategic, financial partnership, and end-customer interactions…..
  • Current installed plant at Vidalia is capable of 5kt per annum milling and commercial qualification scale of 200t per annum purification. An in-progress Bankable Feasibility Study (“BFS”) is assessing the economics of expanding the capacity of the existing facility to 10kt per annum of AAM production capability initially, and then scale up to 40kt per annum.”

On July 23, Syrah Resources announced: “Quarterly activities report – period ended 30 June 2020.” Highlights include:

  • “….No cases of COVID 19 have been identified at any of Syrah’s global operations to date…..
  • Production of battery specification anode precursor material has been demonstrated at commercial scale at Vidalia (achieved post quarter end), uniquely positioning Syrah as a credible and advanced potential supplier of battery anode material ex-Asia.
  • Natural graphite sales from Balama during the quarter was 9kt (prior quarter: 7kt).
  • No natural graphite production at Balama during Q2 2020 (prior quarter: 12kt) due to ongoing impacts of COVID 19, specifically……Weak end user demand due to lockdowns, mobility restrictions and economic uncertainty negatively impacting year-to-date EV sales.
  • Immediate-term market conditions remain weak and timing of re-commencement of production at Balama is uncertain. Although, Syrah believes strong medium to long-term growth in natural graphite demand, driven by growth in EV sales, is supported by: ongoing investments by supply chain participants (auto manufacturers and cell makers); economic stimulus packages designed to accelerate EV adoption and charging infrastructure buildout; and, the relative strength of EV sales versus Internal Combustion Engine (“ICE”) passenger vehicles year-to-date.
  • A labour restructure at Balama (65% headcount reduction) and other actions are being implemented to further preserve cash during the current period of suspended production, whilst also retaining operating and marketing capability to restart production once travel restrictions are lifted and improvement in end user demand is observed – restart lead time is expected to be 2 to 3 months post implementation of planned cash preservation measures.
  • Cost reduction measures are expected to reduce Balama cash outflows to US$7m per quarter, with one-off implementation cost of ~ US$1m to be incurred in Q3 2020.
  • Commitment maintained to all in-progress sustainable development and community activities.
  • Cash of US$53m at end Q2 2020. Available liquidity and measures taken to minimise fixed costs positions the company to manage an extended period of market uncertainty.”

You can view the latest investor presentation here, and the Chairman’s May 2020 AGM address here.

Bass Metals [ASX:BSM] [GR:R2F] (OTC:BSSMF)

No news for the month.

Ceylon Graphite [TSXV:CYL] [GR:CCY] (OTC:CYLYF)

Ceylon Graphite has ‘Vein graphite’ production out of one mine in Sri Lanka with 121 square kilometers of tenements.

No news for the month.

Mineral Commodities Ltd. (“MRC”) [ASX:MRC]

Skaland Graphite is 90% owned by MRC. Skaland is the highest grade flake graphite operation in the world and largest producing mine in Europe; with immediate European graphite production of up to 10,000 tonnes per annum with regulatory approval to increase to 16,000. MRC owns 90%.

On July 2, Mineral Commodities Ltd. announced: “MRC granted approvals to expand mining and processing at Tormin.”

On July 7, Mineral Commodities Ltd. announced: “High-grade mineralisation continues at Tormin Inland Strand.”

On July 15, Mineral Commodities Ltd. announced: “Highly prospective graphite project 20km from Skaland.” Highlights include:

  • “Signed landowner agreement over Bukken Graphite Prospect, largest known graphite anomaly in Norway.
  • Geophysical surveys show large extent of graphite hosting schists and gneiss.
  • Initial surface mapping and sampling suggest carbon content of up to 14.1%.
  • Located only 20km from MRC’s existing Skaland Graphite Operations.”

On July 23, Mineral Commodities Ltd. announced: “Quarterly activities report.”

Graphite developers

Magnis Energy Technologies Ltd [ASX:MNS] (OTC:URNXF) (formerly Magnis Resources)

Magnis is an Australian based company that has rapidly moved into battery technology and is planning to become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium-ion battery cells. Magnis has a world class graphite deposit in Tanzania known as the Nachu Graphite Project.

On June 29, Magnis Energy Technologies Ltd. announced: “Nachu Graphite significant for lithium-ion battery industry.” Highlights include:

  • “Nachu project +99% purity flake graphite from the proposed mine processing plant deemed a high value product, only matched in the graphite industry through high cost downstream purification.
  • Once in production, graphite from the Nachu Project is forecasted to demand a premium price, demonstrating the financial viability of the Project, whilst minimising environmental impact without the use of chemical or thermal processes.
  • The low cost and sustainable processes for extracting graphite from the Nachu Project, align with the use of LIBs in new emerging sustainable industries.
  • Recent cell testing results using Nachu graphite exceeds those of current suppliers.”

On June 30, Magnis Energy Technologies Ltd. announced: “New York lithium-ion battery plant transaction complete.”

On July 24 News.com.au reported:

Electric vehicle battery could charge 85 per cent in six minutes…..Magnis Energy Technologies and its US partner Charge CCCV [C4V] announced to the ASX on Friday morning its Extra Fast Charge technology managed to get a battery up to 85 per cent in just six minutes.

Eagle Graphite [TSXV:EGA] (OTC:APMFF)

The Black Crystal Project is located in the Slocan Valley area of British Columbia, Canada, 35km West of the city of Nelson, and 70km North of the border to the USA. The quarry and plant areas are the project’s two main centers of activity.

No news for the month.

Battery Minerals [ASX:BAT] [GR:0FS]

Battery Minerals core commodity targets are graphite, zinc/lead and copper. BAT is maintaining a focus on its two graphite development assets Montepuez and Balama which are located in Mozambique.

On July 17, Battery Minerals announced: “June 2020 quarterly activities report.” Highlights include:

  • “Battery Minerals shareholders approve acquisition of 100% of Gippsland Prospecting, the owner of a copper-gold project next to Stavely in Victoria.
  • Battery Minerals continues to pursue project finance options for the Montepuez graphite project.
  • Cash on hand of $3.95M at 30 June 2020.”

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Mason Graphite [TSXV:LLG] [GR:M01] ( OTCQX:MGPHF)

Mason Graphite is a Canadian graphite mining and processing company focused on the development of the Lac Guéret project located in northeastern Quebec, where the graphite grade is believed by management to be among the highest in the world.

No news for the month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Triton Minerals [ASX:TON][GR:1TG]

Triton Minerals Ltd. engages in the acquisition, exploration and development of areas that are highly prospective for gold, graphite and other minerals. The company was founded on March 28, 2006 and is headquartered in West Perth, Australia. Triton has three large graphite projects in Mozambique, not far from Syrah Resources Balama project.

No news for the month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here and an excellent video here.

NextSource Materials Inc. [TSX:NEXT] [GR:1JW] (OTCQB:NSRCF)

NextSource Materials Inc. is a mine development company based in Toronto, Canada, that’s developing its 100%-owned, Feasibility-Stage Molo Graphite Project in Madagascar. The Company also has the Green Giant Vanadium Project on the same property.

On July 2, NextSource Materials Inc. announced: “NextSource Materials completes $2 million private placement.”

Investors can view the latest company presentation here. You can watch the company’s Senior Vice President Brent Nykoliation video interview here.

Northern Graphite [TSXV:NGC][GR:ONG] (OTCQX:NGPHF)

Northern’s principal asset is the Bissett Creek graphite project located 100km east of North Bay, Ontario, Canada and close to major roads and infrastructure. The Company has completed an NI 43-101 Bankable final Feasibility Study and received its major environmental permit.

On July 16, Northern Graphite announced:

Northern Graphite closes royalty financing. Northern Graphite Corporation has closed the previously announced sale of a one per cent gross revenue royalty (“GRR”) on its Bissett Creek Project to Electric Royalties Ltd. (“ELEC”) for $500,000 in cash and two million common shares of ELEC (the “Consideration Shares”). Half of the Consideration Shares are subject to a 12 month hold period and half to an 18 month hold period. Under the terms of the agreement ELEC also has a two-year option to acquire an additional half of one per cent GRR by paying $750,000, of which up to 25 per cent can be paid in ELEC shares. Northern has the option to buy back half of one per cent of the initial GRR at any time after 12 months by returning the Consideration Shares or paying $1.5 million in cash.

On July 23, Northern Graphite announced:

Metallurgical testing confirms process plant cost savings. Northern Graphite Corporation announces that comprehensive metallurgical testing carried out at SGS Lakefield has validated changes designed to simplify the flow sheet for the Bissett Creek Project and to reduce capital and operating costs. Testing indicated that the new flowsheet will increase average concentrate purities from 94.5 to 97.2 per cent with a small decline in recoveries (from 94.7 to 92.4 per cent) and large flake yields. Due to the premium paid for higher purity concentrates, the net effect will be an increase of approximately US$100/tonne in estimated concentrate sales prices.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Talga Resources [ASX:TLG] [GR:TGX] (OTCPK:TLGRF)

Talga Resources Ltd is a technology minerals company enabling stronger, lighter and more functional materials for the multi-billion dollar global coatings, battery, construction and carbon composites markets using graphene and graphite. Talga 100% owned graphite deposits are in Sweden, proprietary process test facility is in Germany.

On July 16, Talga Resources announced: “Quarterly activities review for the period ending 30 June 2020.” Highlights include:

Commercial & Product Development

  • “Battery anode agreement with Farasis Energy.
  • Ta l n o d e®-C customer interest exceed 300% of planned annual production.
  • Forecast demand drive consideration of significant anode capacity expansion in Niska Scoping Study.
  • Talga in Bentley Motors electric drive project.”

Managing Director, Mr Mark Thompson: “We are delighted to advance our commercial relationship with Li-ion battery manufacturer Farasis, who are in a strategic partnership as supplier to Mercedes-Benz, and continue to deepen Talga’s engagement with battery producers and end users attracted to our EU-local and low CO2 anode production potential.”

Mineral Project Development & Exploration

  • “Swedish National Interest supports Vittangi Graphite Project development.
  • Full scale (Stage 2) mining applications submitted for Vittangi Anode Project.
  • Stage 1 feasibility studies set for completion.”

Corporate & Investor Relations

  • “Talga graphene and battery anode webinar participation.
  • COVID-19 measures continue.
  • Cash balance of A$5.1 million as at 30 June 2020.”

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

SRG Mining Inc. [TSXV:SRG] [GR:18Y] [Formerly SRG Graphite Inc.]

SRG is focused on developing the Lola graphite deposit, which is located in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. The Lola Graphite occurrence has a prospective surface outline of 3.22 km2 of continuous graphitic gneiss, one of the largest graphitic surface areas in the world. SRG owns 100% of the Lola Graphite Project.

On July 2, SRG Mining Inc. announced: “SRG Mining Inc. announces closing of fully subscribed Cad$1,000,000 equity financing.”

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Leading Edge Materials [TSXV:LEM] (OTCQB:LEMIF)

Leading Edge Materials Corp. is a Canadian company focused on becoming a sustainable supplier of a range of critical materials. Leading Edge Materials’ flagship asset is the Woxna Graphite production facility in central Sweden. The company also owns the Bergby lithium project, the Norra Karr REE project, and the Kontio cobalt project all located in Scandanavia .

On June 30, Leading Edge Materials announced:

Leading Edge Materials to participate in graphite and graphene anode research project. Filip Kozlowski, CEO states “Being part of this project is a great opportunity for Woxna Graphite to contribute to the long-term vision of the Batteries Sweden alliance. Being able to supply natural graphite from Sweden could enable sustainable high-performance battery materials of the future. One of the focus areas, surface modification of spherical purified natural graphite is a key area of innovation to enable improved performance and cycle life for lithium-ion battery anodes.”

Investors can view the latest company presentation here.

Nouveau Monde Graphite [TSXV:NOU] (OTCQX:NMGRF)

Nouveau Monde Graphite own the Matawinie graphite project, located in the municipality of Saint-Michel-des-Saints, approximately 150 km north of Montreal, Canada.

On June 26, Nouveau Monde Graphite announced: “The BAPE releases its assessment of Nouveau Monde Graphite Project.” Highlights include:

  • “The Commission recognizes the economic justification, environmental innovations, integration measures and social spinoffs associated with the mining project, and identifies avenues for improvement
  • The government’s environmental assessment is continuing with the process for a ministerial decree to authorize the project.”

On June 30, Nouveau Monde Graphite announced:

Nouveau Monde receives $1.5m in funding to develop spherical graphite. Nouveau Monde will use this financial support to acquire, adapt and install state-of-the-art equipment to micronize and spheronize natural flake graphite. The transformation of graphite concentrate into value-added products is a key step for its use as anode material in lithium-ion batteries–a booming market given the growing adoption of electric vehicles–, as a heat-sink foil for electronic devices, and in expandable composites for industrial applications.

On July 15, Nouveau Monde Graphite announced:

Nouveau Monde announces successful C$20 million financing transactions with Pallinghurst.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Volt Resources [ASX:VRC] [GR:R8L]

Volt Resources Ltd is a graphite exploration company. The Company is focused on the exploration and development of its existing wholly owned Bunyu Graphite Project in Tanzania and the identification of further assets globally which have the potential to add value to shareholders.

On July 1, Volt Resources announced:

Update on Mauritian Note Offer. African focussed gold and graphite explorer and developer Volt Resources wishes to advise that the closing date of the Company’s Mauritian Note Offer (“Note Offer”) has been extended.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Renascor Resources [ASX:RNU]

Renascor Resources Ltd. is an Australian exploration company, which focuses on the discovery and development of economically viable deposits containing uranium, gold, copper, and associated minerals. Its projects include graphite, copper, precious metals, and uranium.

On June 24, Renascor Resources announced: “Siviour integrated graphite concentrate and spherical graphite project financing update.” Highlights include:

  • Renascor has engaged a European investment bank to assist in the proposed debt financing for the vertically integrated Siviour Graphite Concentrate and Purified Spherical Graphite developments.
  • Letter of Support previously received for the provision of finance from Export Finance Australia [EFA], the official export credit agency of the Australian Government (see Renascor ASX announcement dated 3 March 2020).
  • Renascor also continues to have the support of the Dutch Government export credit agency, having previously received a Letter of Interest for ECA cover from Atradius Dutch State Business (Atradius) the official ECA of the Government of the Netherlands, for up to approximately 60% of the Siviour Graphite Concentrate Project capital expenditure (see Renascor ASX announcement dated 10 April 2019).”

On July 1, Renascor Resources announced: “Renascor announces battery anode material manufacturing operation.” Highlights include:

  • World-class, low-OPEX project: By leveraging off the comparatively low-cost of Siviour Graphite Concentrates as feedstock for PSG production, and co-locating the downstream operation in Australia, the Battery Anode Material Study shows a globally competitive gross operating cost of US$1,989 per tonne of PSG.
  • Robust economics: The results confirm the compelling economics of a combined mine and battery anode materials operation, including: Post-tax unleveraged NPV10 of A$713 million. Post-tax unleveraged IRR of 33%. Total start-up capital cost of A$213 million, consisting of A$114 million for the mine and concentrator and A$90 million for the battery anode operation. Average annual EBITDA of A$156 million.
  • Alignment with offtakers: Planned PSG production averaging 28,000 tonnes per annum aligns with positive feedback from potential offtake and finance partners seeking to diversify supply chain from China, which currently controls 100% of downstream processing capacity for converting Graphite Concentrates to PSG.
  • High growth graphite market: The PSG market provides direct exposure to the high growth lithium-ion battery sector, with PSG demand growth projected at 29% per year through 20302.
  • Eco-friendly: Renascor to produce PSG through more environmentally friendly chemical purification that avoids the use of hydrofluoric acid and satisfies sustainability requirements of end-users and prospective financiers.
  • Funding: Renascor has received strong support for debt financing for the integrated mine and battery anode material operation, including in-principle finance support from Export Finance Australia and the recent appointment of a leading a leading European investment bank. Renascor has also received in-principle support from Atradius, the official Dutch Export Credit Agency, for the mine and concentrate operation.
  • Next steps: Renascor intends to use the results of the Battery Anode Material Study to advance ongoing finance and offtake discussions. In parallel, Renascor continues optimisation, engineering and regulatory programs for the integrated mine and battery anode material operation.”

On July 14, Renascor Resources announced:

Independent purification tests confirm low-cost battery-grade purified spherical graphite from Siviour Graphite…..Tests undertaken by German graphite specialist ProGraphite GmbH (ProGraphite) have successfully upgraded Siviour spheronised graphite into lithium-ion battery-grade, 99.97% carbon PSG using caustic roast purification technique…..

On July 21, Renascor Resources announced: “Siviour now the largest reported reserve of graphite outside of Africa.” Highlights include:

  • “Updated Mineral Ore Reserve estimate for Renascor’s 100%-owned Siviour Graphite Project in South Australia confirms it as the largest reported total Ore Reserve of graphite outside of Africa, and the second largest reported Proven Reserve of graphite in the world.
  • Updated Ore Reserve estimate for the Siviour Project includes: Proven Reserves of 15.8Mt at 8.4% total graphitic carbon [TGC] for 1.3Mt of contained graphite. Probable Reserves of 35.8Mt at 6.9% TGC for 2.5Mt of contained graphite. Total Reserves of 51.5Mt at 7.4% TGC for 3.8Mt of contained graphite.
  • The upgraded Ore Reserve provides additional confidence in the size and quality of the Siviour deposit as a consistent source of high-quality graphite supporting a mine life of 40+years.
  • The results further support ongoing offtake and finance discussions for Renascor’s integrated mine and battery anode material project.”

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

EcoGraf Limited [ASX:EGR]

On July 1, EcoGraf Limited announced:

Battery electrochemical results. Results demonstrates opportunity to increase product sales into the Lithium-ion battery market. EcoGraf Limited is pleased to announce the battery electrochemical results for its preferred feed materials from the recently completed benchmarking programme for the proposed EcoGraf™ battery graphite facility in Kwinana, Western Australia. The electrochemical testwork was undertaken to determine the electrochemical performance of each feed materialto provide increased product intelligence and performance. The testwork was carried out at a leading German Research Institute which specialises and supports the major battery and electric vehicle manufacturers. Each battery spherical graphite [SpG15] product sample was configured and developed under identical conditions which included the same electrode composition, cell configuration and electrolyte…..

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. [TSXV:ZEN] (OTCPK:ZENYF) (formerly Zenyatta Ventures)

ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. is a mineral development company based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. ZEN Graphene is currently developing the Albany Graphite Deposit (“Albany”), as well as developing graphene and graphene applications.

On July 9, ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. announced:

ZEN Graphene Solutions partners with Evercloak and NGen for graphene in Cleantech Manufacturing Project. ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. is pleased to announce that Evercloak Inc. [Evercloak] and ZEN have been awarded $125,000 each as part of a Next Generation Manufacturing Canada [NGEN] Project. The project entitled “Advancing Large-Scale Graphene and Thin-Film Membrane Manufacturing” will support the scale up of graphene oxide [GO] production by ZEN to supply GO to Evercloak for their scale up and optimizing activities. NGen supports collaborative technology projects that enable the development of world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada.”

Sovereign Metals [ASX:SVM] [GR:SVM]

Sovereign Metals Ltd. is an exploration company, which engages in the explorations of graphite, copper and gold resources. It operates through the Queensland, Australia and Malawi geographical segments. Sovereign Metals has world’s biggest graphite saprolith resource of 65m tonnes at 7.1% TGC at their Maligunde project in Malawi.

No graphite news for the month.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

New Energy Metals Corp. [ASX:NXE] (formerly Mustang Resources)

New Energy Minerals are pioneering Vanadium and Graphite mining, exploration, and technology. With the unique Caula Project in Mozambique nearing production they are set to supply the high quality resources critical to the rapidly expanding new energy market.

On July 14, New Energy Metals Corp. announced:

Variation of Balama Transaction and closing date. New Energy Minerals Limited announces the execution of a third deed of variation of the Share Sale and Purchase Agreement dated 8 February 2018, as varied on 26 September 2019 and 28 January 2020 (“SSPA” or “Balama Transaction”) with Auspicious Virtue Investment Holding Limited (“Auspicious”). In accordance with the third variation deed New Energy and Auspicious have agreed to include New Energy’s Mozambican subsidiary (New Energy Minerals Lda) as part of the sale, as well as Auspicious withholding the amount of AU$100,000 as security for the safe return of the drill core samples removed from the Caula project site by the former project manager.

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Westwater Resources (WWR) (formerly Alabama Graphite)

Westwater Resources Inc. is developing an advanced battery graphite business in Alabama, holds dominant mineral rights positions in the Western United States and the Republic of Turkey for both lithium and uranium deposits, as well as licensed production facilities for uranium in Texas.

On July 9, Westwater Resources Inc. announced:

Westwater Resources announces test results on coated spherical purified graphite……ULTRA-CSPGTM is Westwater’s anode material which is utilized in lithium ion batteries, which are used in the fast-growing electric vehicle market. Christopher M. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “The positive test results on spherical purified graphite, which follow the positive independent test results on our first lab-produced graphite, ULTRA-PMG™, demonstrates that we are progressing with the commercialization of these American-made battery-grade graphite materials…..

You can view the latest investor presentation here.

Black Rock Mining [ASX:BKT]

On July 13 Fastmarkets reported:

Black Rock’s graphite project is poised for market recovery, EV boom. Australia-based Black Rock Mining is moving ahead on its graphite flake project in Tanzania with its Mahenge project, supported from a strategic alliance with South Korea’s Posco.

Other graphite juniors

Berkwood Resources [TSXV:BKR] [GR:BR2N] (OTC:CZSVF), BlackEarth Minerals [ASX:BEM], Black Rock Mining [ASX:BKT], DNI Metals [CSE:DNI] (OTCPK:DMNKF), Eagle Graphite [TSXV:EGA] [GR:NJGP] (OTC:APMFF), Elcora Advanced Materials Corp. [TSXV:ERA](OTCPK:ECORF), First Graphene [ASX:FGR] (OTCPK:FGPHF), Focus Graphite [TSXV:FMS][GR:FKC] (OTCQB:FCSMF), Graphite One Resources Inc. [TSXV:GPH] [GR:2JC] (OTCQB:GPHOF), Gratomic Inc. (TSXV:GRAT), Graphite Energy Corp. [CSE:GRE] [GR:GOA] (OTC:GRXXF), Lomiko Metals Inc. [TSXV:LMR] (OTCQB:LMRMF), NovoCarbon Corp. (formerly Great Lakes Graphite [TSXV:GLK] [GR:8GL] (OTC:GLKIF)), Walkabout Resources Ltd [ASX:WKT].

Conclusion

July saw graphite prices flat.

Highlights for the month were:

  • Weak graphite demand is currently being met with weak supply.
  • Syrah Resources succeeds in production of battery specification anode precursor material. No natural graphite production at Balama during Q2 2020 due to weak demand.
  • Mineral Commodities Limited – Signs landowner agreement over Bukken Graphite Prospect, largest known graphite anomaly in Norway.
  • Magnis Energy Technologies and its US partner Charge CCCV (C4V) announced Extra Fast Charge technology that managed to get a battery up to 85 per cent in just six minutes. New York lithium-ion battery plant transaction complete.
  • Northern Graphite closes royalty financing.
  • Renascor Resources announces battery anode material manufacturing operation economics. Post-tax unleveraged NPV10 of A$713 million. Post-tax unleveraged IRR of 33%. Total start-up capital cost of A$213 million. Siviour now the largest reported reserve of graphite outside of Africa.
  • ZEN Graphene Solutions partners with Evercloak and NGen for graphene in Cleantech Manufacturing Project.

As usual all comments are welcome.

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Disclosure: I am/we are long Syrah Resources [ASX:SYR], Triton Minerals [ASX:TON], AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV [AMS:AMG]. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.

Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.





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Lithium Miners News For The Month Of July 2020


Welcome to the July 2020 edition of the lithium miner news. July saw lithium prices only slightly lower and further significant moves by companies (BMW) and countries [UK] to secure lithium supply and invest in lithium-ion battery megafactories. Depressed lithium prices continue to subdue the lithium miners sector despite the tsunami of lithium demand (6x increase) set to hit this decade, and the EV and battery manufacturers strong price rally.

Lithium spot and contract price news

During July, 99.5% lithium carbonate China spot prices were down 0.36%. Lithium hydroxide prices were down 1.31%. Spodumene (5% min) prices were down 0.93%.

Fastmarkets (formerly Metal Bulletin) reports 99.5% lithium carbonate battery grade spot midpoint prices cif China, Japan & Korea of US$7.25/kg (US$7,250/t), and min 56.5% lithium hydroxide battery grade spot midpoint prices cif China, Japan & Korea of US$9.50/kg (US$9,500/t).

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has June prices at US$6,552 for Li carbonate, US$8,772 for Li hydroxide, and US$393 for spodumene (6%).

Lithium hydroxide, battery grade, cif China, Japan & Korea

Lithium carbonate, battery grade, cif China, Japan & Korea

Source: Fastmarkets

Lithium demand versus supply outlook

On June 24 Investing News reported:

Simon Moores: US domestic supply chain build out “far too slow”. “It is not too late for the US, but action is needed now,” Simon Moores of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence told the US Senate on Tuesday. “A new global lithium-ion economy is being created,” Moores said. “Yet any US ambitions to be a leader in this lithium-ion economy continue to only creep forward and be outstripped by China and Europe.” Looking at the raw materials needed to supply that lithium-ion economy, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts that by 2029, demand for nickel will double, while demand for cobalt will grow by three times, flake graphite by four times and lithium by more than six times.

On June 30 Benchmark Mineral Intelligence reported:

UK earmarks £1bn to attract EV battery gigafactory and kick start lithium ion economy. The UK Government stated: “We are making additional funding available this year to attract investment in ‘gigafactories’……

BNEF updated Li-ion battery demand outlook (June 2020)

Source: Bloomberg New Energy Finance [BNEF]

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence lithium demand v supply forecast 2020

Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

2019 to 2030 ‘battery’ demand increase forecast for EV metals as the EV boom takes off

Source: Courtesy BloombergNEF

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence – Simon Moores’s – forecasts

Source: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Twitter

Lithium market and battery news

On July 6 Investing News reported:

Australia’s lithium producers could benefit from vertical integration……Harry Fisher of CRU Group…..“On the lithium side, that’s really favouring lithium hydroxide, which is a good story for Australia and those spodumene producers. We’re seeing lithium hydroxide demand really start to pick up over the long term, and actually overtake the traditional carbonate demand from South America and the like.” “From the work that we’ve done looking in detail at lithium chemical costs globally, the Australian projects that are out there will be really competitive at a global level and they could really benefit from vertical integration,” Fisher said.

On July 9 New Atlas reported:

Lifetime of lithium-ion batteries boosted by new cathode coating……The new coating was able to boost the operating voltage of the battery to 4.6 V, up from 4.2 V on existing lithium-ion batteries….The team says that this would reduce the cost of battery packs, and extend the battery life of devices.

On July 15 Yahoo Finance reported:

Lex Letter from Seoul: LG Chem — the proxy Tesla bet. In Asia, those who missed out on the Tesla rally are shifting their attention towards the batteries that go into the vehicles, and the stocks of maker LG Chem. Shares have rallied….. LG Chem — which also counts Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Volvo Cars as clients — accounts for about a quarter of the global market. Orders have increased to the point of creating a backlog while the company boosts capacity. Sales rose more than two-thirds in the first five months of this year in spite of global lockdowns. Shares are up 140 per cent from a March low.

On July 16 Yahoo Finance reported:

BMW agrees €2bn battery cell contract with Northvolt. BMW has signed a €2bn contract with the Swedish battery cell manufacturer Northvolt, to secure supplies for its upcoming electric models as competition for core components heats up. The premium carmaker, which has already spent €10bn on battery cell contracts with China’s CATL and Korea’s Samsung SDI, said the order would be fulfilled from 2024 when Northvolt’s Skelleftea plant is scheduled to have expanded its capacity. BMW added that it would work with Northvolt to source the raw materials for cell production, including cobalt and lithium, “from mines that fulfil the high sustainability standards of both companies”.

Lithium miner news

Albemarle (NYSE:ALB)

On July 14, Albemarle announced:

Albemarle Corporation announces dividend. The Board of Directors of Albemarle Corporation announces that it has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.385 per share. The dividend, which has an annualized rate of $1.54, is payable Oct. 1, 2020, to shareholders of record at the close of business as of Sept. 18, 2020.

Sociedad Quimica y Minera S.A. (NYSE:SQM)

No news for the month.

Investors can read the company’s latest presentation here.

Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium [SHE:002460] [HK: 1772], Mineral Resources [ASX:MIN], International Lithium Corp. [TSXV:ILC] (OTCPK:ILHMF)

On July 20, Mineral Resources announced:

Mineral Resources Limited 2020, financial year results – release date. Mineral Resources Limited will release its 2020 Financial Year [FY20] full year results on Wednesday, 19 August 2020.

(Chengdu) Tianqi Lithium Industries Inc. [SHE:002466]

On July 2, Tianqi Lithium Industries Inc. announced:

Tianqi Lithium donated 60 tons of disinfectant and goggles to contribute to prevention and control of Novel Coronavirus pneumonia.

Livent Corp. (LTHM)[GR:8LV] – Spun out from FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC)

On June 23, Livent Corp. announced:

Livent announces pricing of private offering of $225 million of convertible senior note of the International Capital Market Association Green Bond Principles 2018. Livent Corporation today announced the pricing of $225 million aggregate principal amount of 4.125% Convertible Senior Notes due 2025 (the “Green Notes”) in a private offering (the “Offering”) to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). Livent also granted the initial purchasers of the Green Notes a 13-day option to purchase up to an additional $33.75 million aggregate principal amount of the Green Notes. The sale of the Green Notes to the initial purchasers is expected to close on June 25, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions, and is expected to result in approximately $217.8 million (or approximately $250.6 million if the initial purchasers exercise their option to purchase additional Green Notes in full) in net proceeds to Livent after deducting the initial purchasers’ discount and estimated offering expenses payable by Livent.

On July 13, Livent Corp. announced:

Livent second quarter 2020 earnings release and Webcast Conference Call.…..on Thursday, August 6, 2020, after stock market close via PR Newswire and the company’s website.

Orocobre [ASX:ORE] [TSX:ORL] (OTCPK:OROCF)

On June 25, Orocobre announced:

Olaroz June quarter sales. Orocobre Limited advises that following a review of completed and planned sales for the June quarter the total sales volume is expected to be approximately 1,600 tonnes of lithium carbonate. Product pricing is expected to be approximately US$4,015/tonne FOB. COVID-19 restrictions have limited the ability of both Olaroz and its customers to complete sales during the quarter. While most logistical issues have now been addressed, delivery of product is yet to return to normal as customers delay shipments due to lower production and excess inventory.

Upcoming catalysts include:

  • H2 2020 or H1 2021 – Olaroz Stage 2 (42.5ktpa) commissioning.
  • H1 2021 – Naraha lithium hydroxide plant (10ktpa) commissioning (ORE share is 75%).

You can read the latest investor presentation here.

Galaxy Resources [ASX:GXY] (OTCPK:GALXF)

On July 7, Galaxy Resources announced:

Sal de Vida advances to design phase………Galaxy remains in a strong position to execute its growth strategy countercyclically and meet the forecast lithium demand surge.

On July 13, Galaxy Resources announced: “Multi year offtake extension with long term major customer Sichuan Yahua Industrial Group.” Highlights include:

  • “Three-year extension agreement from January 2023 signed with current long term major customer Yahua International Investment and Development Co Ltd for minimum 120,000dmt per annum of high quality spodumene concentrate from Galaxy’s Mt Cattlin Operation.
  • Yahua to purchase another 30,000dmt during the remainder of 2020.
  • Yahua officially launched its new plant capable of 20,000 tonnes per year of lithium hydroxide, located in the city of Ya’an in southwest China’s Sichuan province on Monday, 18 May 2020.
  • Agreement extension underpins Galaxy’s Mt Cattlin Operation as a reliable, high quality product that is qualified in major lithium supply chains throughout China and Japan.”

On July 23, Galaxy Resources announced: “June 2020 quarterly activities report.” Highlights include:

Covid-19

  • “COVID-19 health and safety practices implemented organisation wide without incident.
  • Sal de Vida’s development schedule has been impacted but Stage One production in 2022 remains the target.
  • Mt Cattlin operations continued without major disruption and James Bay’s site based geotechnical program rescheduled for Q3.”

Production & Operations

Mt Cattlin, Australia

  • “Operational performance under the new campaign mode of operations improved throughout the quarter.
  • Production volume of 30,942 dry metric tonnes (“dmt”) achieved at a grade of 5.93% Li2O, in line with annual guidance.
  • Ore sorter circuit approaching nameplate performance at 1,000 t/ day of stockpiled, low grade ore processed through the plant.
  • 26,030dmt of spodumene concentrate was shipped in June, bringing total H1 shipments to 58,542 dmt.
  • Post-quarter,a multi-year offtake extension was executed with along-term major customer.”

Feasibility

James Bay, Canada

  • “Value engineering work completed with results showing reduced capital intensity and operating costs.”

Financial & Corporate

  • “As at 30 June 2020, Galaxy was debt free with cash and financial assets of US$108.6 million.
  • Proceeds from the June shipment were received post quarter and final product inventory of 49,463 dmt was held at quarter end.
  • Cost reduction initiatives yielded annual group savings of ~US$7 million.”

Upcoming catalysts include:

2020 – Construction progress at SDV. James Bay FS.

2022 – SDV Stage 1 production commencement target.

Investors can read my recent article “Galaxy Resources Plan To Be A 100,000tpa Lithium Producer By 2025″, and my CEO interview here, and the latest company presentation here.

Pilbara Minerals [ASX:PLS] (OTC:PILBF)

No news for the month.

Upcoming catalysts:

2021 – Stage 2 commissioning timing to depend on market demand.

Investors can read my article “An Update On Pilbara Minerals“, and an interview here.

Altura Mining [ASX:AJM] (OTC:ALTAF)

On June 29, Altura Mining announced: “Sales and shipping update” Highlights include:

  • “Record quarter for sales with shipments of 60,950 wet metric tonnes [WMT].
  • Quarterly production on track to achieve approximately 45,000 wmt.
  • Further shipment scheduled to commence loading in early July 2020.
  • Continued supply to existing off-take partners”

On July 20, Altura Mining announced:

Altura Mining Limited notes the announcement by Civmec Limited on 17 July 2020 regarding a legal claim against Altura subsidiary Altura Lithium Operations Pty Ltd in relation to process plant construction and installation work at Altura’s Pilgangoora Lithium Project. Civmec was awarded the civil, construction, fabrication and commissioning work in 2017. The fabrication and construction works had a combined contract value of approximately $64 million. To date, Altura has paid Civmec $61.55 million for these works. As a result of the delay in reaching practical completion, Altura’s position is that liquidated damages of at least $2.35 million are payable by Civmec in accordance with the contract. Altura exercised its rights to offset the liquidated damages payable by Civmec against the certified outstanding amount payable and retention monies ($2.4 million in total) and has paid Civmec the balance including interest.

Altura Mining delivers a record quarter of sales

Source

Investors can read a company presentation here.

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group NV [NA:AMG] [GR:ADG] (OTCPK:AMVMF)

On June 21, AMG Advance Metallurgical Group NV announced:

AMG Advanced Metallurgical Group N.V. schedule for second quarter 2020 earnings release…..on Tuesday, July 28, 2020….

Upcoming catalysts:

2020 – Lithium projects in Zeitz, Germany and in Zanesville, Ohio in planning stage.

2021–> – Stage 2 production at Mibra Lithium-Tantalum mine (additional 90ktpa) planned.

Neometals (OTC:RRSSF) (Nasdaq:RDRUY) [ASX:NMT]

On June 30 Neometals announced:

Lithium-ion battery recycling joint venture update. Project developer Neometals Ltd confirms an extension to the exclusivity period to allow finalisation of definitive legal agreements for the incorporation of the proposed lithium-ion battery (“LIB”) recycling joint venture (“JV”) with German company, SMS Group GmbH (“SMS”). Pursuant to a binding memorandum of understanding (“MoU”), Neometals granted SMS an exclusive due diligence period to evaluate and negotiate incorporation of a 50:50 JV to commercialise the Neometals technology…….The JV formation decision date of 30 June 2020 has now been extended by one month, with JV shareholder agreement execution scheduled on or before Friday 31st July 2020. Neometals has accepted the Comminution section equipment section of the Demonstration Plant from manufacturers in the US. The equipment has been certified it as EU compliant and is in the process of being shipped to Germany.

Lithium Americas [TSX:LAC] (LAC)

On July 6, Lithium Americas announced:

Lithium Americas confirms positive COVID-19 cases at Caucharí-Olaroz and temporarily suspends construction. On the afternoon of July 3rd, two workers tested positive for COVID-19. These workers are asymptomatic, in good health and have been provided with safe and preventative quarantine. In response, disinfection activities, quarantine and testing of first and second contact workers on site was implemented using polymerase chain reaction (“PCR”) tests as well as all other required actions in accordance with the COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol.

Upcoming catalysts:

  • 2020 – Cauchari-Olaroz plant construction.
  • Mid 2020 – Thacker Pass DFS.
  • Early-Mid 2021 – Cauchari-Olaroz lithium production to commence and ramp to 40ktpa.
  • 2023 – Possible lithium clay producer from Thacker Pass Nevada (full ramp by 2026). Also any possible JV announcements prior.

NB: LAC owns 49% of the Cauchari-Olaroz project and partners with Ganfeng Lithium (51%).

Investors can read my article “An Update On Lithium Americas.”

Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (NYSEARCA:LIT) – Price = US$36.50.

The LIT fund was up strongly in July, boosted by Tesla (TSLA), some battery manufacturers, and some lithium miners smaller price recovery. The current PE is 38. My model forecast is for lithium demand to increase 2.9 fold between 2020 and end 2025 to ~1m tpa, and 6.5x this decade to reach ~2m tpa.

Source: Seeking Alpha

Conclusion

July saw lithium prices only slightly lower.

Highlights for the month were:

  • Benchmark Mineral Intelligence forecasts that by 2029, demand for nickel will double, while demand for cobalt will grow by three times, flake graphite by four times and lithium by more than six times.
  • Simon Moores: US domestic supply chain build out “far too slow”. “It is not too late for the US, but action is needed now,
  • CRU Group – “On the lithium side, that’s really favouring lithium hydroxide, which is a good story for Australia and those spodumene producers.”
  • Lifetime of lithium-ion batteries boosted by new cathode polymer coating.
  • UK earmarks £1bn to attract EV battery gigafactory and kick start lithium ion economy.
  • BMW agrees €2bn battery cell contract with Northvolt. BMW added that it would work with Northvolt to source the raw materials for cell production, including cobalt and lithium, “from mines that fulfill the high sustainability standards of both companies”.
  • Orocobre June quarter sales forecast to be down (only 1,600 tonnes lithium carbonate) due to COVID-19 and product pricing is expected to be ~US$4,015/tonne.
  • Galaxy Resources announces a 3-year extension agreement from January 2023 signed with current long term major customer Yahua International Investment and Development Co Ltd for minimum 120,000dmt pa.
  • Altura Mining achieves a record quarter for sales with shipments of 60,950 tonnes.
  • Lithium Americas confirms positive COVID-19 cases at Caucharí-Olaroz and temporarily suspends construction.

As usual all comments are welcome.

Trend Investing

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Disclosure: I am/we are long Global X Lithium ETF (LIT), NYSE:ALB, JIANGXI GANFENG LITHIUM [SHE: 2460], JIANGXI GANFENG LITHIUM [HK: 1772], SQM (NYSE:SQM), ASX:ORE, ASX:GXY, ASX:PLS, ASX:AJM, AMS:AMG, TSX:LAC, TSXV:NLC, ASX:AVZ, ASX:CXO, ASX:NMT, TSLA. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: The information in this article is general in nature and should not be relied upon as personal financial advice.

Editor’s Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.





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Dividend Champion And Contender Highlights: Week Of July 26


Introduction

The Dividend Champions list is a monthly compilation of companies which have consistently increased their annual dividend payouts, and the latest edition may be found here. However, since this list is only produced once per month, the data in it can quickly get out of date. Furthermore, with close to 800 companies on the list, the sheer amount of data can quickly become overwhelming. In this weekly series, I highlight recent and upcoming dividend related activity for companies holding Champion (25+ years) and Contender (10-24 years) status.

In the data presented below, Yield is forward annualized and Years reflects the up-to-date streak, including dividends declared since the last edition of the Dividend Champions list.

Dividend Changes

In the past week, the following companies on the Champion or Contender lists declared dividends which changed from their previous payouts.

Increases:

Company

Symbol

Ex-Div

Pay

Old Rate

New Rate

Increase

Yield

Years

Healthcare Services Group Inc.

(HCSG)

8/20

9/25

0.2025

0.20375

0.62%

3.12%

18

Hershey Company

(HSY)

8/20

9/15

0.773

0.804

4.01%

2.21%

11

Lithia Motors Inc.

(LAD)

8/13

8/28

0.3

0.31

3.33%

0.54%

11

Landstar System Inc.

(LSTR)

8/7

8/28

0.185

0.21

13.51%

0.68%

16

J.M. Smucker Co.

(SJM)

8/13

9/1

0.88

0.9

2.27%

3.33%

23

Decreases:

Company

Symbol

Old Rate

New Rate

Decrease

Years

Wyndham Destinations Inc.

(WYND)

0.5

0.3

-40.00%

11

Last Chance to Buy

These companies have ex-dividend dates approaching. The following tables indicate the last day you can buy these stocks in order to be eligible for the upcoming dividend. Tables are sorted alphabetically by symbol.

Monday, Jul. 27 (Ex-Div 7/28)

Company

Symbol

Pay Date

Payout

Price

Yield

Years

AptarGroup Inc.

(ATR)

8/19

0.36

118.85

1.21%

26

Clorox Company

(CLX)

8/14

1.11

227.04

1.96%

43

West Pharmaceutical Services

(WST)

8/5

0.16

262.66

0.24%

27

Tuesday, Jul. 28 (Ex-Div 7/29)

None

Wednesday, Jul. 29 (Ex-Div 7/30)

Company

Symbol

Pay Date

Payout

Price

Yield

Years

A.O. Smith Corp.

(AOS)

8/17

0.24

51.31

1.87%

26

Ames National Corp.

(ATLO)

8/14

0.25

19.05

5.25%

10

Bank of Marin Bancorp

(BMRC)

8/7

0.23

32.3

2.85%

16

Costco Wholesale

(COST)

8/14

0.7

325.78

0.86%

17

Enterprise Products Partners LP

(EPD)

8/12

0.445

18.14

9.81%

23

Eaton Vance Corp.

(EV)

8/14

0.375

36.97

4.06%

39

Alliant Energy Corp.

(LNT)

8/17

0.38

53.12

2.86%

17

National Retail Properties

(NNN)

8/14

0.52

34.4

6.05%

31

Northwest Natural Holding Co.

(NWN)

8/14

0.4775

53.54

3.57%

64

Omega Healthcare Investors

(OHI)

8/14

0.67

31.2

8.59%

17

PetMed Express Inc.

(PETS)

8/7

0.28

30.89

3.63%

12

Pfizer Inc.

(PFE)

9/1

0.38

37.66

4.04%

10

STAG Industrial Inc.

(STAG)

8/17

0.12

30.99

4.65%

10

Texas Instruments

(TXN)

8/17

0.9

129.63

2.78%

16

Unum Group

(UNM)

8/21

0.285

18.13

6.29%

11

Thursday, Jul. 30 (Ex-Div 7/31)

Company

Symbol

Pay Date

Payout

Price

Yield

Years

Casey’s General Stores Inc.

(CASY)

8/17

0.32

163.67

0.78%

20

Donegal Group Inc. A

(DGICA)

8/17

0.15

13.66

4.39%

18

Donegal Group Inc. B

(DGICB)

8/17

0.1325

11.25

4.71%

18

Hasbro Inc.

(HAS)

8/17

0.68

77.59

3.51%

16

Matthews International

(MATW)

8/17

0.21

19.57

4.29%

25

Realty Income Corp.

(O)

8/14

0.2335

57.42

4.88%

27

ONEOK Inc.

(OKE)

8/14

0.935

28.72

13.02%

18

People’s United Financial

(PBCT)

8/15

0.18

12

6.00%

28

Sensient Technologies Corp.

(SXT)

9/1

0.39

52.9

2.95%

14

Tompkins Financial Corp.

(TMP)

8/14

0.52

64.43

3.23%

33

Westamerica Bancorporation

(WABC)

8/14

0.41

60.75

2.70%

28

Friday, Jul. 31 (Ex-Div 8/3)

Company

Symbol

Pay Date

Payout

Price

Yield

Years

1st Source Corp.

(SRCE)

8/14

0.28

34.65

3.23%

32

Valero Energy Corp.

(VLO)

9/2

0.98

57.98

6.76%

10

Waste Connections Inc.

(WCN)

8/18

0.185

99.43

0.74%

10

Money on the Way

The following companies have dividend pay dates in the upcoming week (Tuesday through the following Monday). Check if you want your DRIPs to reinvest at these yields…or take the cash and go have a steak dinner!

Company

Symbol

Pay Date

Payout

Yield

ABM Industries Inc.

(ABM)

8/3

0.185

2.2%

Brookfield Renewable Partners LP

(BEP)

7/30

0.5425

4.1%

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

(BMY)

8/3

0.45

3.1%

Brady Corp.

(BRC)

7/31

0.2175

1.9%

Edison International

(EIX)

7/31

0.6375

4.6%

Ensign Group Inc.

(ENSG)

7/31

0.05

0.4%

Globe Life Inc.

(GL)

7/31

0.1875

0.9%

Humana Inc.

(HUM)

7/31

0.625

0.6%

IDEX Corp.

(IEX)

7/31

0.5

1.2%

Quaker Chemical Corp.

(KWR)

7/31

0.385

0.8%

Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc.

(MAA)

7/31

1

3.6%

McGrath RentCorp

(MGRC)

7/31

0.42

3.1%

Morningstar Inc.

(MORN)

7/31

0.3

0.7%

MSC Industrial Direct Co. Inc.

(MSM)

7/28

0.75

4.5%

National HealthCare Corp.

(NHC)

8/3

0.52

3.5%

Norwood Financial

(NWFL)

8/3

0.25

4.0%

OGE Energy Corp.

(OGE)

7/30

0.3875

4.7%

Oracle Corp.

(ORCL)

7/28

0.24

1.7%

RPM International Inc.

(RPM)

7/31

0.36

1.8%

Stryker Corp.

(SYK)

7/31

0.575

1.2%

AT&T Inc.

(T)

8/3

0.52

7.0%

Trinity Industries Inc.

(TRN)

7/31

0.19

3.9%

UDR Inc.

(UDR)

7/31

0.36

4.1%

Universal Corp.

(UVV)

8/3

0.77

7.3%

VSE Corp.

(VSEC)

7/29

0.09

1.3%

Verizon Communications

(VZ)

8/3

0.615

4.3%

WD-40 Company

(WDFC)

7/31

0.67

1.4%

Conclusion

I hope you found this article useful. Please let me know if you have any ideas for improving the format or data included in this series.

Looking for more in depth analysis of high quality dividend stocks? Check out the Dividend Kings marketplace service!

Disclosure: I am/we are long BMY, O, PFE, T. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.





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