GMF Top10 2021 closing summary

Final position of approx 5.5% decline if investing equally in each stock. Some highs and some lows and a few unfinished stories. Sets things up for the coming year maybe….

The Highs

#PIP, #BLU, #SAL were perhaps 3 of the least popular picks at the time, but all have shown a great return over 2021. #PIP and #SAL both hit targets and I retain them in my long term holdings as feel both businesses have a long way to travel, along a positive path as UK Manufacturing and UK Retail advertising both recover from Covid related hits. I don’t see them doing another 50-100% growth in 2022 so won’t be putting them into my new Top10 but they have done me proud so far and happy to keep a significant chunk of each company in my real life investment strategy.

#BLU is a fascinating boutique of investments, with Satoshipay and Dynasty leading the way. I picked a target of 0.8p for fair value and believe it has every chance of continuing the 2021 growth shown since November as the market wakes up to the potential within. This means it will stay in my Top10 for 2022.

Also staying in the Top10 for 2022 will be #EUA as the journey continues with them now having 3 different businesses within 1, PGM, battery metals and hydrogen production (as discussed elsewhere).

The Lows

#POW, #VDTK, #NCYT, #TWD, #ZOE (now #CHLL)

Not everything will be a success, but I see a route back to breakeven point from 2.1.21 on #POW, #NCYT and #TWD given time. Whilst each had a nice rise above starting point, each suffered from problems, either unloved by the market or not achieving the progress anticipated in a timeframe that seems ever shorter as investors/traders jump from stock to stock. Holding them in real life but won’t be including them in Top10 for 2022 as unsure as to timeframes and don’t feel a need to put a target on their performance yet.

#CHLL – disaster, what else can be said. Lack of revenue, severely punished by the markets and now in the bottom drawer. A profit was available for those calling the top of the hill, that is perhaps the best sentiment I can muster for this stock at present.

#VDTK – a great product and it would seem a complete inability to tell the story so far. Perhaps my fault for not following events closely enough, which is a downside of any investor with a large number of holdings. Was never in profit during the year so definitely a failure, so far. Believe in the product though so won’t be selling my holding for the foreseeable future. At time of writing it could head back to 8p or stay where it is, coin toss seems as accurate as anything I can suggest so won’t be including it in a Top10 list this coming year.

#Hi55 – hard to measure progress on private companies, several investors exited at 70p which was also the price at start of year, so a score draw on the portfolio

2022 thoughts

Will post separately on the Top10, to see what stocks join #EUA, #BLU and $PRTG in my Top10 for 2022. As the intention is to hold stocks for the full year and not change every 5 minutes, I might seek to discuss some steadier investments that offer growth potential without being as high risk as others.

Comparisons

Of little relevance to anything, nobody I tracked has shown a profit across the whole 12 months, but Myles and Zak got off to a strong start before market conditions caught up with their picks. Maybe I should track a few more in 2022!


#NCYT – guest post from fellow investor Nov 2021

GMF78 – I’ve kept fairly quiet on Novacyt last few months, not because I don’t believe in the company (still invested) but because I am utterly convinced the DHSC dispute resolution is undermining the share price and investor sentiment. When that gets resolved it makes sense to see more activity from the company. That said, the following article was sent to me for review and I asked permission to publish, so a wider audience can see it too. There are a few ideas within this piece that the company would do well to consider.

Novacyt Critical Assessment of Investor Relations

I’m taking the time to write this as although I am a continued supportive long-term holder of Novacyt, and intend to keep it that way, I feel a critical assessment of the current scenario is due in order for constructive feedback to (hopefully) make it’s way to the management.

There’s no sugar coating that the company has faced a fair few issues this year:

  • Dispute with the DHSC
  • Delays to LFT approvals
  • Write down of inventory
  • CDTA delays (industry wide issue)

Although these issues obviously have a justified negative influence on the share price, the hit to the company valuation in my opinion has been disproportionate to the news, especially when weighed against the positives that are known from e.g. the interims:

  • £77m cash position, negatives factored in
  • £100m FY revenue guidance for 2021 excluding DHSC
  • New £4.7m contract for Promate with DHSC
  • Expansion in US underway
  • Including Tax rebates + H2 revenue, potentially over £100m cash by year end (less any investments made before then)
  • Genesig is the second most used manual PCR test used by UNICEF

Also, although unfortunately not a positive for global healthcare, the fact that the pandemic is still very much in full swing and testing is still a very large part of every day life also means the company is still able to take advantage with it’s portfolio of Covid testing products which has yielded the revenue to date.

To paint a picture of how badly the company valuation has been hit, if you bought Novacyt just 1 week into the first UK lockdown (30th March 2020) as a long-term investors (buy and hold, no trading) you would only be up 13.3%.

At that date though, the financial position as per the 2019 results:

  • Company had €1.8m cash
  • EBITDA €0.2m
  • Revenue €13m
  • Borrowings of €11m

Kind of feels like the developments over the 18 months since then are perhaps worth a little for than a mere 13%? That is just £19m added to the MCap.

In relative terms, going off expected FY21 results:

  • Cash position increased by 6500%
  • EBITDA increased by 21000%
  • Revenue increased by 900%
  • Borrowings erased fully

And this is ignoring DHSC revenue for the year, and that cash position will get a significant boost on positive outcome of the dispute.

So what is the issue that is amplifying the poor sentiment in the company? My verdict is the way the company deals with Investor relations and communications.

I was at first critical of those that said the communication was poor. I used to argue for the side of “They have told us how great the financials are, what more should the market need?”

Well, more.

What initially led me to change my viewpoint was playing around with some graphs and made the following. It is neither volume or price, but rather the product of the two – the monetary value of Novacyt shares traded daily (combined NCYT and ALNOV). I have however applied a 10D moving average to smooth it out a little.

As you can see, the interest in Novacyt is at all-time lows throughout the pandemic. A couple of bumps on the way down but the cash flow around Novacyt is just not there.

There is an argument that “the share price is lower so of course total value is lower, duh”, and although I feel that is applicable to certain cases – to Novacyt I believe it isn’t. In shares forming part of an index, weighting plays a heavy part in the trades IIs make and as such I expect the total value traded to be influenced by the share price heavily. But we know the overwhelming majority of Novacyt holders are PIs, who generally have a set sum of cash to invest rather than a set weighting to hit. If the share price halves? That just means they get more shares for their money.

Also when we were last at an equivalent share price, the traded volume was 5 times higher than it is today.

So to me, the above graph kind of tells me Novacyt isn’t so much the beaten up share – it’s either the forgotten share, or the share people simply don’t want to touch.

“But surely this can also mean that it’s just because everyone is holding and not selling, waiting for dispute outcome” I hear you say. And you’d be right, but it also shows there are no buyers. If there were lots of buyers and no one was willing to sell, the natural unfolding of events would be the price keeps rising to a point where the two are matched. Also, it’s not hard to see why no one is selling as no one that bought and held since April 2020 is in profit, and no one that bought even as a trade since the end of January 2021 is in profit.

In terms of “creating shareholder value”, we are now at the point where absolutely none has been created throughout the entire pandemic as it’s all been reversed. Let me be clear though, the company itself has created an astounding amount of value hence they’ll soon be breaking a £100m cash figure, but this is failing to translate into shareholder value.

Looking at the Investor Relations

Here is a chronological look at how news releases have unfolded YTD:

29th Jan – 2020 trading update, company states they are in active discussions to extend the DHSC contract

2nd Feb – Launch of SNPsig

24th Feb – R&D update, announces Covid HT, and next gen Antibody LFT due to launch in Q2

17th March – Launch of Versalab

24th March – Expansion of SNPsig

9th April – Trading Update, DHSC are disputing H2 revenue but on a positive note lots of new DHSC revenue from Q1 and the company are confident they will win the dispute. But also, the DHSC likely doesn’t need any more PROmate

23rd April – R&D update, Antigen LFT expected end of Q2. Genesig, Promate, SNPsig all levelled up and the company announces it’s inclusion in Microbiology Framework. But also the Next gen Antibody LFT previously announced has been kicked to Q3

4th May – UNICEF 1m test Donation.

17th May – SNPsig included in a framework

21st May – Dispute update. No progress but it now inexplicably includes Q1 revenues

22nd June – 2020 results + update on strategy

29th June – Antigen LFT launched, self test version stated as coming “shortly”

6th July – Guillermo buys shares

29th July – New CEO announced

18th August – Half year update, new £4.7m Promate contract awarded, deal with Excalibur announced, £100m rev guidance, 2 year WHO deal, 1 year UNICEF deal extension

18th August – Investor presentation, reiterates strategy given in June (but no additional action discussed)

16th Sept – DHSC dispute update, will now not recognise revenue and writing down significant amounts inventory

27th Sept – Unaudited HY results, poor EBITDA and Revenue numbers due to 16th September implementations

30th Sept – R&D update, New Winterplex launched and new Co prep machine launching in 1 month. But also, the LFTs are now super late

2nd Nov – Industry wide CDTA issues

Some of the trends I see

  • Overwhelmingly large RNSs sometimes, full of info more suited in lab sales brochures
  • The good news is often paired with bad news which completely distracts from any positives
  • Many of the bad news examples are from the company themselves over promising and under delivering on timelines. First the DHSC extension, then the next gen LFT, then the Antigen LFT for self test, and now Co-Prep. Co-prep is particularly bad as it was claimed it would be launched with a one-month outlook, yet now appears delayed. Surely that close to launch, more precise time scales should be known
  • When negative news is released, there is never an attempt to look for silver linings or spend a few words explaining how the impact in the company isn’t necessarily concerning.

Example 1: Non recognition of H1 DHSC revenue massively hurts the image of the company on investor stock comparison sites such as Morningstar making the company look like it’s fallen off a cliff and is loss making when it’s not. Why not explain the benefits of this to shareholders?

Example 2: When announcing the CDTA issues the company could have mentioned that government contracts are exempt from CDTA and as such £4.7m contract is unaffected. Also if the view is that this will be a very short term issue, why mention the impact for a 2 month outlook?

  • Inconsistency in what is released. Many R&D updates, but then some arguably more important products not even mentioned (e.g. new multigene HT tests)
  • Strategy first laid out nearly 5 months ago, and reiterated word for word in August and then at AGM. How long till strategy is actioned though?
  • David? Sorry never heard of him.

One thing I hope the company realise is the only additional media coverage that the company gets is from publications that just scrape daily released RNS and rewrite for a short story. The latest articles are all headlined “Novacyt issues profit warning and pulls product” as a direct consequence of the choice of wording.

Perhaps better worded RNS would lead to better articles. And then on RNSs where its a mixed bag of good and bad news, it’s of course not the good news that gives any headlines:

“Novacyt announces delays to LFTs”

And when exclusively good news is announced? Nothing. And that’s when the companies in house press team should be getting in touch with publications through issuing of Press releases. And they should also be contacting the publication’s picking up bad news. Just additions along the following could have huge impacts:

“Novacyt Press officer comments to Reuters on the CDTA matter, that the whole industry is affected and they together with commercial partners are working to resolve the bottlenecks encountered at the UKHSA”

Conclusion

The company needs to understand that when trading as a public company, they need to not only market their products to their clients but also market themselves as a good investment to potential buyers and they are failing at this.

If anything, the AGM should have shown just how supportive and active current shareholders are. To get 21% voter turnout on AIM/Euronext from pretty much exclusively PIs is quite impressive despite what some may think (have a look at some other AIM companies that don’t have large II/Director holdings)

Yes, they have tried to improve communications with for example the Investor Presentation but it’s not existing investors that need to be convinced, it’s new ones both private and institutional that need to be targeted.

As a current holder, it appears the company is doing nothing to market themselves as a good investment.

A new CEO joining the company would have been a perfect opportunity to get some press rounds in, get on the usual AIM investor podcasts and Youtube channels just by way of introduction of David Allmond. The best thing is he’s done them before for Amryt so knows exactly what they’re looking for in terms of answers and how to present himself. And it’s not like it’s not all pre-scripted and he has to know the companies articles of association off by heart, the Marketing team will have prepared the answers for him to deliver it’s PR 101.

But instead, it’s more silence, the same silence that I believe is a strong factor behind the fall to this early pandemic level. Again to reiterate, it is not RNS’s count in general that is the issue. The kind of communication required should perhaps not even be coming by way of RNS, however the tone of those that do come does need to be evaluated.

The directors can hide behind a certain justification of “the share price doesn’t influence daily business and we don’t control the market”, but when they appeal for shareholder support for the level of dilutive powers they asked for at the EGM, citing its requirement to grow the business, this becomes a direct contradiction. For the company to maximise the value of these resolutions, they need to to improve the performance of the underlying asset – their own share price.

They are correct in that they don’t control the market, but it’s time the Directors start a proper campaign to show why Novacyt is a good investment both now and in its post covid strategy. Currently, I can’t even be sure they feel it is themselves.

#EUA – NPV calculator

First draft at an NPV Calculator for mining projects, 15 years.

Zero production in Yr1, 10% in Yr2, 50% in Yr3, 100% Yr4 onwards

Note – LOM is more than 15 years at Monchetundra so this tool provides very conservative calculations for the Kola Projects.

Summary of Calculations

Eurasia Mining

NameOutput KozAISC $/ozWACC %FCF $mNPV $m
Sinosteel – ready to produce12540081866895.5
Tsnigri – Nyud Report300400846882343.7
GMF – Turbo beast mode100040017159784531.6

Kommersant Interview – translated highlights only

For the full text click the following link – it is worth a read.

“For many years there has been a trend towards a general decrease in the volume of geological exploration” – Kommersant Newspaper No. 192 (7154) of 21.10.2021

21.10.2021, 00:00

Key Sections highlighted in Orange.

Really Key Section in Blue

English Translation

“For many years there has been a trend towards a general decrease in the volume of geological exploration”

Acting head of Rosnedra Evgeny Petrov on reserves, licenses and conflicts

Since the summer, intrigue has been developing around the approval of the head of Rosnedra. Then the acting head of the agency was appointed Evgeny Petrov, but the permanent candidacy of the head was not approved. During this time, various options for reforms in the management of the geological industry were proposed. In an interview with Kommersant, the acting head of Rosnedra, Yevgeny Petrov, told whether he wanted to get rid of the prefix “acting”, about approaches to managing the industry and about whether Rosgeologia could be competitive in the open market.

Evgeny Petrov
Evgeny Petrov
Photo: Alexander Miridonov, Kommersant

— The Soviet reserve for the discovery of large traditional deposits has been exhausted. What prospects do you see for new discoveries?

– Indeed, the backlog of deposits discovered in the Soviet period is ending, but I would like to note that a significant part of the fields that were not put into operation in the 70-80s were considered unprofitable at that time. In today’s terminology, their reserves could be called hard-to-recover. In the 1990-2000s, with the development of technology, they were put into operation. But even today there are fields discovered in the Soviet period, which are still unprofitable to put into development.

Regarding major discoveries, the potential of our country is enormous. First of all, I will say that only recently a number of major discoveries have been made both on the shelf and on land, but this has not been given much attention in the press.

For oil, these are fields in the Sea of Okhotsk – Triton and Neptune, in the Kara Sea – Victory, in the Krasnoyarsk Territory – West Irkinskoye. Gas fields were also discovered in the Kara Sea: Marshal Zhukov, Marshal Rokossovsky, 75 years of Victory. There are also great prospects in the old producing provinces – this is drilling for deep horizons. With the development of technologies, their development has become cost-effective and opens up opportunities of such a scale that they are already called the “second Western Siberia”.

The same applies to the study of the flanks of already developed fields: not all companies pay due attention to the flanks, but we are already actively engaged in this issue, and this will definitely increase production in traditional mining regions with very developed infrastructure.

We also recently discussed with Gazprom Neft a joint programme to study the Paleozoic complex and to develop criteria and methods by which these promising objects of the Paleozoic interval of Western Siberia can be distinguished. And this list of promising areas for both hydrocarbon raw materials (hydrocarbons) and solid minerals (TPI), which will give new discoveries, can be continued for a long time. It is important, of course, to note the Arctic – this is the groundwork that we will leave to future generations. We are actively working to increase the Russian sector of the Arctic shelf. I have been doing this work at the UN for many years and I can say unequivocally that this will give our country huge resources.

— How are the funds allocated within the framework of the subprogram “Reproduction of the Mineral Resource Base” (VMSB) used?

– If you answer briefly, then all budget funds within the framework of the VMSB are used rationally and extremely effectively. But, unfortunately, not so simple. For many years, there has been a trend towards a general decrease in the volume of geological exploration (exploration), especially at the early regional stages, for which the state is responsible in our person.

A lot of time has passed since the approval of the VMSB program, and the cost of work at the same level of funding is definitely growing.

In the same Yakutia, the cost of helicopter maintenance is growing annually by 20-30%, and this, of course, significantly affects the cost of our exploration projects. As a result, as a result, the volume of exploration is reduced. The obvious question is: what to do? One of the solutions we found is to reduce the cost of work, increase their efficiency and the ability to scale solutions. This requires us, first of all, more modern technologies – more mobile, energy-efficient, scalable. For example, we are now moving to the use of drones for geophysical work, because it is much cheaper to scale. We are actively introducing “green seismic survey” with non-blasting sources – this is more profitable than dragging the same large heavy vibration sources, and, in addition, causes minimal harm to the environment. But, unfortunately, some technologies, such as deep seismic exploration, deep drilling, require complex solutions that will never be cheap, and here we are trying to find financing. We managed to reverse the trend towards reducing exploration costs. So, in August, the defense of our part of the frontal strategy of socio-economic development was held, the project was approved. The strategic initiative “Geology: Revival of the Legend” involves the allocation over the next three years of 12 billion rubles. for geological exploration for all minerals, 15 billion rubles. for the rearmament of geological exploration enterprises of the public sector and 4 billion rubles. for three years. for the implementation of geopolitical interests of the Russian Federation in the Arctic, Antarctic and the Ocean. This is a big qualitative step forward for domestic geology.

 If funding is maintained at today’s level, will reproduction stagnate even more?

– You can’t say that about all kinds of minerals. For some types of mineral raw materials, yes, but this is due to the fact that production has increased dramatically at the same level of discovery and commissioning of new deposits. This is due to high market prices for a number of minerals of the noble group of metals, coal, which in the short term caused a sharp increase in production. Today, realizing that the energy transition is inevitable and the conjuncture of mineral consumption is changing, we are trying to reformat part of our internal processes. In particular, we are considering PPP mechanisms, including to allow subsoil users and service companies in general to work. Thus, we expect to expand reproduction in the second group of minerals, for which the achieved production levels are insufficiently provided with reserves of developed deposits for the period up to 2035 (oil, lead, gold, diamonds, zinc, especially pure quartz raw materials), and the third group, which includes scarce minerals, the domestic consumption of which is largely provided by forced imports and stored reserves. These are minerals, the mineral resource base of which in Russia is characterized mainly by low quality, such as uranium, manganese, chromium, titanium, bauxite, zirconium, beryllium, lithium, rhenium, rare lands of the yttrium group, bentonites for foundry production, etc. Today we are working with subsoil users on the question at what stage of regional work it would be economically profitable for them to enter. But here the state will strictly regulate the methods of study and the necessary amounts of work so that we can freely sew these results into the work on the state geological study of our country.

 Which of the subsoil users has an interest in regional works?

— The demand is unexpectedly high. These are oil and gas companies and companies in the TPI sector, especially those engaged in ore gold.

— Are we talking about partnerships with Rosgeolologia?

— Including with Rosgeolologia. This will be a market mechanism, a separate type of licensing, which will allow large-scale work (scale 20,000 and 50,000). The licensee will finance the work or use its production facilities to perform it. In the event of an opening, it will receive preferences when obtaining a license for additional exploration and further development of the field.

– But according to the results of regional work, no deposits are being discovered…

— Due to limited financial and technical resources, we mainly prepare promising areas, and then the subsoil user brings it to the field for its own or borrowed funds. Many companies have a need to expand the base, especially if we are talking about gold. Now many companies want to expand the resource base, but there are a very limited number of prepared objects on the market, and in prepared areas with high categories of resources, one-time payments at auctions are quite high and can amount to hundreds of millions and billions of rubles. By the end of the year, we hope to submit an initiative to allow business to enter the regional stage of exploration in the government. Thus, we are opening a new stage of reproduction of SMEs in terms of both state financing and attraction of extrabudgetary funds. It will be a qualitative leap.

— Which regions are oil and gas companies interested in?

– Today it is mainly Yamal, Taimyr and Yakutia. There are areas where the regional stage is not completed, and such licensing will allow you to force the passage of this stage. As for exploration, we want to reach a new round, to involve subsoil users, military-industrial complex companies, the scientific sector, and development institutions in the work. Our task is to reduce the cost of the chain of geological exploration. In particular, we have created a fleet of technologies – a kind of designer of the most effective technological chain. This tool gives subsoil users access to all the technologies that are on the market, and with specific results and examples of work, so that everyone can assemble the most effective set of solutions based on geological conditions. Today, many companies, such as Gazprom Neft and Rosneft, are ready to provide their solutions on market terms to other subsoil user companies. At the same time, it is also an opportunity for small technology companies to present their developments to the market so that their solutions are seen by large subsoil users. Another important initiative is the national program “30 technological polygons”, which is focused not only on hard-to-recover reserves, but also on poorly studied intervals – as, for example, the pre-Jurassic foundation of Western Siberia. The future of subsoil use lies in new technologies that will make working with hard-to-recover reserves profitable, and we have introduced a new type of licensing – technological polygons that are needed in order to test and test such technologies in real geological conditions. In the future, this will allow them to be introduced into operation and increase the marginality of deposits throughout the country. This, in turn, will give new life to the old mining regions, and in the future will allow to establish the export of Russian technologies. Such landfills will be in all major oil and gas provinces. In the future, we plan to expand this to the TPI, but here it is a little more complicated, because there is much more variability in solid minerals. Therefore, follow the announcements, we invite everyone to participate, especially technology companies.

 The government will allocate 15 billion rubles for the rearmament of Rosgeologia. for three years. Where will the funds go?

— The holding really has a noticeable deterioration of fixed assets in a number of areas of activity. But we are talking about the entire sector of state-owned exploration enterprises. The funds are allocated within the framework of the frontal strategy and will be directed directly to the technical re-equipment of field parties so that they meet all the modern requirements of subsoil users and can be competitive in the open market of services.

— How will the position of Rosgeologia change after rearmament?

— The holding will definitely become more competitive in the open market. In addition, our initiatives in terms of attracting additional investments in geological exploration will increase the volume of geological exploration, and the updated Rosgeologia will find its place in them not only within the framework of the state order.

— How do you assess the financial situation of the holding?

— As the example of the improvement of Geotek shows, state-owned companies can be successful, but it is necessary to take a more flexible approach to working with retrospective accounts payable formed for various reasons. As for the financial statements of Rosgeologia, starting from this year there is definitely a positive trend, it should be noted the positive work of the holding’s management. But in general, I agree: the picture with the financial situation is still not easy, and it is aggravated by the general decline in the exploration market and sharp competition in the market, in particular price dumping in competitions – not only our state order, but also in the market as a whole. At the level of both the board of directors and the management board of the holding, work is now underway to identify and strengthen growth points in order to stimulate its development.

 Why “Rosgeologia” lost the status of the only executor of the state order for geological study, is there any idea to restore it?

— The past few years have shown that in such a role the holding has not shown significant results. This was confirmed by the reports of inspections of the Accounts Chamber. I believe that geological exploration is a market, competitive history. If there is no market, then there is no development.

 Who is the holding the most competition? How much state contracts did they take this year?

– On the shelf, MAGE and Sovcomflot are closely competing with it. In fact, these are three whales that have ships and competences left. If we talk about land, including drilling, then both in hard and PVS there is very high competition, five or six participants enter the state order objects, the whole market participates: both small companies and large subsoil users who have their own geological exploration enterprises.

— But do you think it is right that Rosgeologia began to participate in tenders, and not to receive them without bidding?

– Now we see competition and, as a result, a significant reduction in cost – at the end of last year, budget savings amounted to more than 20%. In addition, previously there was a constant violation of the deadlines for the performance of work, which led to the formation of significant amounts of balances due to non-performance. For example, last year they amounted to 4.2 billion rubles.

— Is Rosgeologia able to perform the tasks that it now faces?

— The holding is a monopolist in a number of areas of work. Some of its enterprises are indispensable for us – we are talking about unique competencies, such as, for example, engineering drilling on the shelf, exploration in the Oceans. The rearmament program will give a second wind to the holding, but within its framework we need to make exactly those accents that will be in demand by the market and the state so that the company remains stable regardless of market conditions. In addition, Rosgeologia has a huge potential in foreign markets, which also needs to be used. We hope that the rearmament will give some start for participation in large international projects.

 What projects can we talk about?

— These are primarily African and Asian countries, where there is a demand for the participation of Russian companies at different stages of geological study. We can occupy this niche: we need competencies, and we have them in our country, we need easily scalable technological solutions, which in varying degrees of development also exist in the country. This is not only geological exploration technologies, but also an IT unit.

Separately, we can distinguish a block of countries that have a significant national debt to the Russian Federation. In these countries, there is enormous potential for Russian exploration companies and subsoil users.

– That is, the scheme is as follows: Rosgeologia conducts exploration, and in the case of opening in exchange for the national debt, Russian players will be able to obtain the right to develop?

– In general, if simplified, then yes, the scheme is. Under this mechanism, countries with a national debt to Russia will be able to provide Russian companies at the first stage with the right to search for and explore minerals at their own expense and on the second stage to develop open mineral resources to repay the national debt. This will create a mining industry in these countries, part of the revenues will go to repay the national debt, expand the international field of activity of Russian companies and will be an effective tool of Russian “soft power”. All sides win.

— What do you think about the idea of creating a state corporation on the basis of Rosgeologia?

– This idea was already discussed at the government site a few years ago, the reaction of the departments was negative, and it was abandoned at that time. In fact, it is proposed to make the company both a regulator and a market participant. Here, a priori, there is an insoluble conflict of interest. This would lead to direct competition with Rosneft, Gazprom and other subsoil users, including TPI. I have already said that geological exploration is a market history. As for such state corporations as Roscosmos, Rosatom, they have their own niches, where there is no competition, they perform monopoly, purely state functions.

 According to our information, the head of the Ministry of Natural Resources Alexander Kozlov sees Rosnedra as part of the department of the ministry…

– This is all at the level of rumors, it is difficult to comment on the reform of the industry. I can say that in connection with the growing environmental agenda and the energy transition, the reform of the industry is necessary, and it has already been gradually launched, including through digital transformation. Our state has a significant part of its income formed by subsoil use, and, as a result, we should have our own strong geological service that determines the trends in the development of the world market of mineral raw materials. Today, significant changes are taking place in the world that open up new opportunities for us, and the industry needs a single strategic management body, the headquarters of the industry, which will be able to comprehensively program its development in the interests of the country. The center, which professionally works with geological data, coordinates subsoil users, oversees the development of technologies. These are key state functions that are quite difficult to transfer to someone. Here you can rely on historical experience: in our country, it was the work of a separate, independent body responsible for subsoil use that showed its effectiveness, which corresponded to the strategic importance of the industry. From the Petrovsky Berg Collegium to the Soviet Ministry of Geology, it was this model that ensured rapid transformations and intensive development of the industry. And today the state should focus its attention on its problems and tasks.

– There were alternative proposals for reform…

— The main direction of reform today is the digital transformation of the industry. What we’re doing now is a change of era, we’re moving to managing the industry from data. As for administrative changes, any administrative reform is a comprehensive measure that requires, among other things, a broad change in the regulatory framework.

— What innovations are proposed in the framework of digital transformation?

—We are aimed at reducing the time frame and maximum transparency. From next year, we are moving to a registry model, the licenses will be in electronic form, with integral documents that are an integral part of the license, such as documentation for assessing reserves, technical documentation for the development of the field. All auctions will be held electronically through state trading platforms. Our federal information systems are becoming key for regional authorities and will permeate through the federal and regional levels. This is a very big step forward. Procedures related to the assessment of reserves, field development projects are also moving to electronic form. This will largely change the work, including within Rosnedra and our territorial bodies.

— What part of the documentation has already been translated into electronic format?

— For hydrocarbon raw materials — 70%. But the task is not just to digitize the data, but to make it work, that is, to move to the management of the industry based on data, including using artificial intelligence. First, we are working to create a single array of all geological information coming from different sources. Secondly, we are not engaged in the mechanical digitization of all available geological data, but in the digitization of relevant geological information with its verification by primary data. As a result, we will have a permanent digital geological model for all fields, we will see changes in reserves and production levels. Finally, it is a question of creating an infrastructure for the storage and circulation of geological information. Here it is necessary to pay attention to the fact that geological information is the property of the state and increased requirements are applied to its storage and circulation (we work in the system of the State Archives). Therefore, we are working on creating our own infrastructure. Today, we simply do not have enough disk space to receive and store geological information in electronic form. We appealed to the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications, we are working with them on the issue of building a separate data center for Rosgeolfond for 50 petabytes. The terms of use have already been agreed. We are also discussing with subsoil users and other investors the construction of a hybrid data center, which will allow us to work more quickly with information.

— Does the declarative principle of licensing justify itself? There were many scandals and controversies around him.

– It cannot be said that the declarative principle did not justify itself: at one time its introduction was a big step forward and contributed to the development of the industry. But of course, the regulatory apparatus must develop, and this work is underway, and in a close dialogue with subsoil users, in order to understand that it is necessary to improve or, conversely, close the existing gaps in the legislation. In particular, we are working to close loopholes in the mechanism based on the declarative principle, because, unfortunately, a lot of the licenses taken, especially for TPI, are speculative in nature, and not all companies really invest in geological exploration. In particular, now we are introducing an important restriction: the territories where exploration is carried out at the expense of the budget will be closed for licensing on the declarative principle, which will exclude the use of insider information. If we look more broadly, then in general we transfer the center of activities from the declarative principle to auctions. It will be a transparent mechanism – and without speculation. The first application was submitted, it hung off, received a license for geolearning. If there are still those who wish, they automatically go to the auction.

– Since last year, the declarative principle began to apply in respect of sites in the territorial sea and in inland sea waters. Are you afraid that companies will gain licenses and will not invest enough?

– We are not afraid. This is a market of qualified investors, companies with great competencies, and they clearly understand all the risks.

— Polyus has an idea to legalize the free circulation of search licenses. Did they make specific proposals?

– The turnover of licenses exists de facto – in the form of resale of legal entities. Within the framework of the WEF, the free circulation of licenses for geological exploration was discussed. It is necessary to translate this process into an orderly plane. This meets the objectives of the transformation of the industry and will contribute to the development of market activity. All financial institutions will be against the turnover of mining licenses, since now, in fact, the field is an object of pledge. As for licenses for geological exploration, companies take them on a declarative basis and conduct research, but face a lack of funds with very large geological prospects of the site. At the same time, they have not yet put reserves on the balance sheet, they do not yet have the object itself, under which you can take money, that is, the lack of the possibility of attracting investments does not allow them to finish the work.

And such a turnover of licenses can really cause additional interest from investors, which will contribute to an increase in the volume of exploration.

Rosnedra as a regulator is now working to develop an effective mechanism and legislative framework for such an innovation. State regulation, of course, will play a key role in this mechanism: strict control over compliance with license obligations and the procedure for the geological study process is necessary.

— How, in your opinion, is it possible to increase the rate of reproduction of SMEs?

— The fundamental problem of the industry is that the assessment of mineral reserves does not take into account the economic realities of their extraction and processing. The state has data on geological and technologically recoverable reserves, but there is no up-to-date data on the volume of economically viable reserves. Today, it is critically important to expand the methodology of geological and economic assessment of the efficiency of reserves. On a national scale, this will make it possible to identify a number of key technologies that could reduce the cost of production chains in many fields and involve previously economically unprofitable reserves in the development. We must work to improve the efficiency of technologies and reduce costs, and not just give economic benefits or tax incentives for the development of the field.

 Is tax incentives an ineffective tool?

“The tax incentives that we have now are an extremely important tool, but tactical. If tax incentives become the only tool for adapting to changed economic conditions, they begin to play a negative role: they do not just preserve the resulting disparity in cost and price – it reduces the stability of the entire economic system. And this is not a one-time decrease, it is a constant factor. Tax incentives are a kind of ambulance, the task of which is to take the patient to the hospital. And it’s an important tool because it’s often a matter of life and death. But then it needs to be treated. Only technological re-equipment can really turn the page in Russian subsoil use, move on to the development of our richest TRIZ. That is why we consider it necessary to introduce an additional tool – technological incentives. Its mechanism assumes that the state invests in the development of technologies critical for the industry (and subsoil users themselves can participate in these developments through their STC), then, together with subsoil users, tests them at technological landfills (we have already implemented this tool), and then provides them to all interested subsoil users. Since we are talking here about the development and testing of critical technologies, this will reduce the cost of technological chains throughout the country and change the situation in the industry as a whole, opening a new chapter in the life of entire regions. In the future, this will allow to establish the export of Russian technologies. This is a game of increase for both the industry and the country.

 Due to the restrictions of OPEC+ in some fields, wells were frozen, is it possible to fully restore production at them?

– Rosnedra agreed on the reduction only where it was possible without damage to the field itself, so that then the wells could be put into operation again painlessly with minimal losses. So we provided conditions for the functioning of the industry during the transaction period. It is thanks to this that the situation is now returning to normal.

Do you plan to return to the inventory of oil reserves? Incentive measures have not been developed?

— As part of the inventory of reserves, we carried out work on fields with reserves of more than 5 million tons. This was the first big step towards developing incentive measures. We have already seen the bottlenecks that need to be worked on not only by the state, but also by the entire market as a whole. The Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Finance conducted a differentiation on taxes to determine specific measures and the level of efficiency. Again, in terms of state planning, we should use the concept of profitable reserves: this will give a deeper understanding of reserves as a dynamic quantity linked to a wide range of socio-economic issues. Thus, the real assessment of reserves depends not only on geology, but also on market prices, the availability of certain technologies or on the situation with the infrastructure around the field. The construction of one road or pipeline can dramatically increase the figure of profitable reserves and thus affect the socio-economic development of the whole area. Therefore, when we say that the availability of profitable reserves for oil is 21 years, then this figure should be considered in dynamics – depending on current prices and available technologies, it can change both in a large and in a smaller direction. We did not stop the work on inventory – it moved to a new level as part of digital transformation, this step should have been done earlier. In addition, we have begun work on gas inventory. For gas on the state balance, the figures are large, but we need to understand how much gas, in what volumes, with what profitability we have, what infrastructure we have. Our infrastructure is still more sharpened for dry gas, and subsoil users have fatty gas, which, of course, imposes its own restrictions.

– On gas, this work will definitely begin. And on TPI?

— The dialogue has begun, and companies also understand that this issue is important. On the TPI, we are still working on a new classification of reserves. In order to start an inventory, you need to go through a lot of work in terms of the classification itself and approve approaches to economic valuation. Under the current TPI classification, there is no concept of profitable reserves. There is an economics of projects, but we want to harmonize approaches to economic valuation with the international one by analogy with hydrocarbons, including using both positive and negative experience in changing the classification of reserves.

— As part of the oil inventory, is a downsquaging assessment planned this time?

– The previous assessment was carried out on the objects as a whole, and now we want to carry out work on down-to-well accounting. This is a very large amount of information, the work is very complex, requires a serious load on the State Commission on Reserves (GKZ), operational information, including from subsoil users, on the current well stock… Such work is underway.

— Don’t you think that subsoil users will deliberately manipulate data on wells? And how will their reliability be verified?

— I talked about the creation of big data mechanisms — it will be difficult to manipulate. We move on to working with permanent geological models, that is, not just a set of maps and reports, but a digital geological model with all the initial geological data is handed over to the same reserve calculation. Any modern software for working with geological models allows you to very effectively compare interpretation methods, and we clearly see who has what deviations. In the presence of primary data, statistics on neighboring fields will be difficult to manipulate. And it should be noted that subsoil users for the most part are not interested in misleading the state.

— What major auctions are planned this year, what is the budget plan for the sale of licenses?

– Today, the plan has already been exceeded: with a plan of 47 billion rubles. already held bidding for 65.8 billion rubles. of which 34.8 billion rubles have already been credited to the budget, the rest will arrive before the end of the year. Recently, a major auction was held for the Vostochnoye Malyginskoye field: it was a very competitive auction, the price increased from 487 million to 12 billion rubles. There were 114 steps, Gazprom won. Prior to this, there were major auctions for the Arctic and Neutinskoye fields (13 billion rubles were collected), Severo-Shrubmovoye (17 billion rubles), Kuchyus (7.7 billion rubles). Ahead of several auctions in Yamal, Volgograd region.

— A few years ago, the idea of creating a national auditor of mineral reserves was voiced, now it is being considered?

– In our country, all reserves belong to the state, so the body for their assessment and accounting should also be state-owned. And such a body exists – this is the GKZ. Another thing is that audit is a trust mechanism, so we need to seek recognition of our assessments by Russian and foreign financial institutions. Therefore, the transition to a geological and economic model for assessing profitable reserves is so important. At the same time, we must not forget that the audit of reserves is both a matter of national security: it is access to sensitive data, and additional sanctions risks when working with Western auditors (the risk of revocation of ratings). Therefore, Russia, as a sovereign state, must ensure its sovereignty in the field of auditing reserves. The current situation, in which several Anglo-Saxon companies control the global market for the audit of reserves, is a vestige of the colonial era, unacceptable in the modern world. But, as I have already said, audit is primarily a mechanism of trust, so the issue of national audit cannot be solved by purely administrative measures.

 Who owns the proposals for the creation of auditors?

— These are business communities that are not directly related to subsoil use. They have competences in assessing reserves, in creating economic models. Such companies are generally few, as large subsoil users develop this competence within themselves.

— Is there now a moratorium on the issuance of offshore licenses?

— Most of the Russian shelf has already been licensed. Based on geological prerequisites, it is these areas that have the greatest potential in terms of the discovery of large gas or oil fields. Geological exploration works are carried out on them – both seismic and drilling. The remaining part of the undistributed subsoil fund located in the Russian jurisdiction is unprospective from a geological point of view.

— In what perspective can full-scale development of the shelf begin?

– First you need to deal with geology. Now the stage of geological study is actively underway. The work is carried out by the forces of subsoil users, and the institutes of Rosnedra. Our task as a regulator is to coordinate these works in such a way that they give the greatest effect. This is how we harmonized the state program of stratigraphic drilling on the Arctic shelf with a similar program of Rosneft. After receiving the first drilling results, it will be possible to talk about detailed geological models, about what the scenario will be, gas or oil, for sedimentary basins. Financial models and plans will already follow from this – this is the prospect of five years for sure, after which we can talk about the timing of the commissioning of deposits. At the same time, I omit the issue of technologies for the development of fields on the shelf. There is a huge gap here, the Russian Arctic, especially the East Arctic seas, has no analogues in complexity. It will be a serious challenge.

 Did the JV of NOVATEK and Gazprom Neft provide their assessment of the resource base for the Severo-Wrangelevsky area?

– A large-scale exploration program is currently being implemented in this area, and with each kilometer of seismic exploration, the estimates can fundamentally change. Let’s wait for the completion of the work, I can say that the prospects there are great.

— For the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, what are the terms of commissioning?

— Today it is one of the most prepared for commercial development of offshore fields. A technical development scheme has already been agreed on the main contour of the field. In accordance with the license obligations, commissioning should take place in 2024, the planned capacity is 21 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

— In 2020, as a result of exploration, the increase in recoverable coal reserves amounted to 394 million tons, although 500 million tons were planned under the coal industry development program. What is the reason for this lag?

– Today, the main factor contributing to this in traditional coal mining regions is the limitations of infrastructure and the ability to deliver raw materials to ports. In addition, the need to comply with environmental requirements imposes high costs on subsoil users. And, unfortunately, the pandemic has also been a deterrent for all subsoil users, including the coal industry. This year and next year, it is planned to transfer to the use of a number of promising areas with the Usinskoye fields in Komi, Iberian in Khakassia, Krasnochiyskoye in the Trans-Baikal Territory, Erkovetskoye in the Amur Region.

— Has the potential for the discovery of large coal deposits been exhausted? And which regions, in your opinion, are promising?

— As the most promising areas for new discoveries, we consider the main little-studied giant basins, such as the Tunguska and Lena, as well as traditional coal mining centers – Kuznetsk, South Yakutsk, Kansk-Achinsk.

— The idea of raising the threshold of strategic gold reserves from 50 to 200 tons was discussed, which would simplify the attraction of foreign investment in the industry. Is it relevant now?

– A few years ago, Rosnedra together with the Ministry of Natural Resources prepared the relevant draft law, in 2019 it was submitted to the government, but there were negative conclusions of the departments on it. Discussion of the draft is now suspended.

– The Ministry of Finance wants to increase the tax burden on mining. Do you expect a decrease in investment in this regard?

— First of all, we are talking about industries for which in recent years there has been a particularly favorable market environment. In any case, we are talking about a balanced, differentiated, multivariate approach agreed with market participants. I would also like to emphasize that the raw material base is a condition for the functioning of the industry, so reducing investment in its reproduction is not beneficial to anyone and, above all, to the mining companies themselves. We will stand for the fact that geological exploration and new projects, which are partly financed from the profits of mining companies, will not suffer. In the field of TPI, each deposit is literally unique: different percentage concentrations of useful components, different composition of ore, different design solutions, extremely different cost of production…

— What compromise do you see in the dialogue on raising the mineral extraction tax with the Ministry of Finance?

— Just the transition to an economic model. Based on the profitability of developments, from the economics of projects, so as not to take everyone under one comb. Our proposal is based on the use of technical development projects to assess the mineral extraction tax, these are economically justified figures.

— Would you like to take the post of head of Rosnedra?

– Good question. Today, not me, but Rosnedra as a team is doing a great job. The measures to transform the industry that we are implementing today are necessary objectively. They meet the challenges that face today not only the industry, but also the country. Of course, for me, these tasks are more than just interesting work. My whole life is connected with geology: I was born in the village of geologists, graduated from the geological faculty of Moscow University, worked in the industry all my life and always just did my job. Good or bad, time will tell, but I can say that I do not regret anything in my work in different positions. Therefore, if the Government entrusts me to continue my work, I, for my part, will make all necessary efforts. It is my duty to finish what I and my colleagues have started for the good of our country.

 Are there other candidates?

– I don’t have such information, but I’ll be happy to meet you personally.

– According to some reports, the Ministry of Natural Resources discussed the candidacy of the director of the department of the ministry Sergey Khovrat for the post of head of Rosnedra …

– As for the approval of the candidacy of the head of the agency, this is entirely the prerogative of the government, there is nothing to comment on here.


#EUA from Russia with love

Plenty of decent research on Telegram today, a summary with links provided below :

1. Russia Govt have created a load of financial incentives to get investment into Arctic Circle – Kola region included (need to pinpoint exact incentives)

Keynote speech from Russian Deputy PM Trutnev

  1. http://council.gov.ru/events/news/130312/
  2. https://news.rambler.ru/ecology/47334560-v-arktike-realizuyut-investproekty-bolee-chem-na-1-trln-rubley-soobschil-trutnev

Over 1.1 trillion rubles invested since 2020

A little dig at NN perhaps ?!

2. Rosgeo are showcasing Poaz as an example of how amazing they are whilst raising finance via bonds (document on Moscow Stock Exchange)

https://fs.moex.com/f/15249/rosgeologija.pdf

Good explanation of how JV work with Rosgeo. Note they only work on promising projects with a high level of research.

3. Looks like Eurasia are bolting the flanks and other areas into the original mining licence area which is a shortcut to a higher valuation as reduces uncertainty. Great summary from Duggy as per his tweets, more in the telegram group on this aspect.

https://twitter.com/richarddugdale3/status/1445804734028427265?s=21

Summary

Awaiting Nyud licence, flanks mining plan, Wardell JORC to knit all this together into one master plan, which a buyer could find very atttactive especially if it is revealed that taxes are lower than the 20% we expected. State support and lower taxes means a higher NPV calculation if the assets are as good as expected. All down to Wardell to validate the assumptions and then which potential buyer is going to get the keys to the treasure… find out shortly perhaps !

(Published on my phone away from laptop so apologies in advance if links are wrong )

#EUA – why the silence ?

Why I think it means multiple offers are being considered

So we know we have a credible party that the Board is progressing with (12.5.21)

This also means that every single other company that was interested knew they were no longer in pole position and had to withdraw or come back with a better proposal. I’ve said this before it isn’t much more than a simple statement of fact.

You don’t want to lose the credible party but equally you don’t want to lose better proposals if they did arrive.

The latest RNS about West Kytlim was a little hint towards this being the case – strategic options on the table.

So how do you handle it ? Two options as I see it.

1. Announce you have multiple interested parties again and update shareholders (what I wanted to see as proof of my theory but hasn’t happened)

2. Stay silent

If you announce it, does the credible party get the hump and lose interest feeling they are being played ?

If you stay silent shareholders bear the brunt but it keeps the process alive inside the loop. Perhaps you do what you can to appease but essentially it is focus on the deal. All forgiven when it concludes etc. I believe the line about options was the hint.

This sounds to me like where we find ourselves. If you trust the Board then it’s easier to believe in a decent outcome, they have delivered so far in abundance.

The amount of negativity and worrying springing up is two fold. Genuine worry I get it, investing is never a smooth path. The larger holders remain intact. If the former adviser hadn’t had his cash call we would be higher priced, Churakov did buy back most of his shares though. Obviously the Board haven’t sold any shares throughout this process

But for those attacking and spreading false rumours, I get it as well. Enjoy your moment, it won’t last forever. One RNS will spoil your fun permanently.

Sometimes silence is golden, well platinum…

#EUA – Sibanye Updates

Sibanye Stillwater have issued a few updates lately that are worth noting :

1. Increase in profits H1 2021 to $1.7bn (up 162%)

https://thevault.exchange/?get_group_doc=245/1628167650-sibanye-stillwate-trading-statement-operating-update-H12021-5aug2021.pdf

Generating profit generates options, with debt finance at record lows they now have the firepower to make an acquisition larger than Stillwater in 2017

2. Sibanye-Stillwater progresses battery metals strategy with the exclusive put option to acquire Eramet’s Sandouville nickel processing facilities

https://thevault.exchange/?get_group_doc=245/1627623615-Sibanye-Stillwater-progresses-battery-metals-strategy-exclusive-put-option-sandouville-nickel-30Jul2021.pdf

“The Sandouville facility is situated in the industrial heart of Europe at Le Havre, France’s second largest industrial port, with strategic access to extensive logistical infrastructure including shipping, rail and key motorways, supporting any future supply into the European end user markets. The current Sandouville facilities include a hydrometallurgical nickel refinery with a production capacity of 12,000 tonnes per annum of high-purity nickel metal, 4,000 tonnes per annum of high-purity nickel salts and solutions and around 600 tonnes per annum of cobalt chloride. For more information on the transaction, please refer to https://www.sibanyestillwater.com/news-investors/news/transactions/sandouville/.
Investment rationale
The transaction is the second step in Sibanye-Stillwater’s battery metals strategy, building on the investment in the Keliber lithium hydroxide project, in partnership with the State of Finland and the Finnish Minerals Group, announced in February 2021. The Sandouville site is a polyvalent facility which is already zoned for heavy industrial purposes. The site is scaleable for nickel, cobalt and lithium battery grade products, and will enable Sibanye-Stillwater to further advance its battery metals strategy and recycling activities.”

Thoughts

So why are these relevant ? Well for one it shows the increasing firepower and appetite to diversify away from South African assets. Stillwater acquisition showed Froneman is prepared to be brave and make big decisions and now they are building a battery metals business – but a nickel processing plant needs some nickel…

Also, they call it their ‘second step’ – not the final step. Crucial signal of more activity to follow as they build a European presence. If for example they shipped nickel from Murmansk area, they would not be reliant on NorNickel processing plant in Monchegorsk.

I think it was a huge clue as to the scale of Froneman’s ambitions and intrigued to see where it goes next. Very much on my shortlist of companies in talks with Eurasia, could even be the preferred bidder as announced on May 12th.

#EUA – @em_investor

Just a quick post to acknowledge the increasing activity of this prominent twitter account. Many believe it to be run by Dmitry Suschov, the largest shareholder of Eurasia Mining. I don’t wish to speculate too much but he clearly got a thing for hydrogen now!

Question is – is this his next project after EUA ?

Which leads to another question – does it mean the long awaited asset sale is about to conclude ?

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

So he has an interest in Japan and HFC’s – along with an uncanny ability to predict future demand before the markets cotton on, as displayed with his recently updated bio on the EUA website.

I don’t believe in coincidences, but equally unsure what it all means. Adds to the mystery and gives a whole new research topic to get stuck into. I’ll definitely be following his next investment closely and looking to join in if possible…

#EUA – Kola Subsidiaries CEO

So we knew he was appointed a couple of weeks ago now. An excellent appointment as well, allowing Alexei Boucher to continue his exploration work whilst a true mining professional ties up loose ends at TGK and helps create the mining plan for the JV alongside the work Rosgeo have already done – the work he did for Rosgeo !!

Another smart move from Eurasia in my eyes – best person to help bring the JV into production is the person who explored with Rosgeo and knows the area so well. Doesn’t hurt having solid connections to Rusal who own a chunk of NN of course.

So what has changed in that time ? He is interim CEO of TGK (MT + Flanks) and CEO of YGK (first licence in Rosgeo JV)

* Opinion only – shows plans are fluid. On appointment he was listed as Acting CEO of both TGK and YGK, could be wording or could be someone has now taken pole position on a bid to buy Monchetundra + Flanks and not any of Rosgeo JV for time being. I am convinced we have people coming back to the table for another nibble, said this before and this cements my belief.

Could be nothing more than doing due diligence took some time though. I try to flag opinion vs fact to help those who are hard of understanding.

James goes out of his way to mention WK and Rosgeo JV but not MT – it’s definitely what is being sold.

Note the wording though, ‘on the sites’ – so WK is mining concurrent areas now and making use of the washplants referred to previously

Having a break from the world of investments at moment, but really pleased to see the RNS I was expecting after we found out about Konstantin Firstov appointment. As briefly explained, we have a couple of breadcrumbs in here for the trained eye to spot 👍

They’ve brought another top pro into the team, they got this. Amused me seeing people proclaim this will be months and months away from a divi sale, there is nothing in this to suggest that – they don’t give timelines, just PIs doing that regularly without understanding the complexity of selling the last unconsolidated palladium play…

Will post more thoughts when I assign more time to this kind of activity. In the meantime enjoy the sunshine and the company of good people, life far too short to stress over minutiae and timelines.

#EUA – video interview with Rosgeo

https://otr-online.ru/programmy/specproekt-otr-professionalnye-prazdniki/geolog-vladimir-ivanchenko-50071.html (opens in new tab)

This interview was found by the top researcher Michael not Mr P from the telegram group. Feel free to join https://t.me/eua_palladium

Interview Summary

Vladimir Ivanchenko is a very reputable geologist in Russia and a senior geologist at Rosgeo (the head geologist at Rosgeo for North West including Kola). He makes the following statements in his interview to OTR, the mainstream TV channel in Russia on 4 April 2021:

1. PAS [GMF78 : is in fact POAZ, it is a typo in the Russian script of the interview, the voice interview clearly says POAZ] is the largest in Europe deposit of PGMs. Palladium resources are 325 tons of palladium, we have estimated platinum – 37 tons, besides platinum and palladium, there is also nickel, copper, cobalt and gold. Nickel – 570 thousand tons, copper – 320 thousand tons, plus a rather large ore occurrence, which, in general, gives the right to work for about 60 years. If in dollars, then this is about 41 billion dollars

[GMF78 : this is now around $42.3bn on current prices]

2. Moreover, Nittis-Kumuzhya-Travyanaya and Poaz, or rather, Nyud-Morshkovoye, all this gives out about 60 billion dollars.

[GMF78 : he means NKT (Eurasia’s MT flanks license) and Nyud (announced by Eurasia as the first project within Rosgeo JV) in total give $60bn.]

3. In addition to this, even before that, large deposits had already been found – these are Plast 330 and Monchetundrovskoe [GMF78: this is our MT production license].

4. Norilsk, there is also ore, in general, there is not so much rich ore, do you understand? Poor ores, they are poorer than we have in Monchegorsk

5. That is, if we compare with Norilsk, ore is mined there at great depths, then in Monchegorsk it is practically on top and its cost is lower than in Norilsk

Opinion

So we have an area of the Rosgeo JV that their lead geologist is clearly excited about, with a rough value of $60bn assigned to this. The full JV will contain more areas, but it seems the first area Nyud is round $19bn extra in situ value and Eurasia will soon have 75% ownership of the licence for this deposit.

Full transcript

Angelina Grokholskaya: We continue the program dedicated to the Day of the Geologist. Ishaq, please tell me, how many minerals are discovered on earth now? In general, is there any exact figure?
Iskhak Farkhutdinov: At the moment, about 6,000 minerals are already known to geologists and every year more and more minerals are discovered.
Angelina Grokholskaya: How interesting! These are minerals, but are there any new deposits? Because we often hear that the field is closed and depleted.
Iskhak Farkhutdinov: Of course, the deposits are being depleted and therefore it is very important that new geologists appear and look for new deposits, because in fact there are a lot of deposits that have not yet been discovered.
Angelina Grokholskaya: By the way, I also know about one deposit that was recently discovered: a new deposit of nickel and platinum was discovered in the Murmansk region and this is a unique discovery. And we asked Vladimir Ivanchenko, the Honorary Exploration of Subsoil, the leading geologist of the North-West Production and Geological Association, to tell us more about him.
PROFILE
Angelina Grokholskaya: Vladimir Ivanchenko came to geology at the peak of the romanticization of the profession and never regretted his youthful choice. He traveled all over the country: he washed gold in the Magadan region, saw diamond mining in Yakutia, worked in prospecting for antimony, mercury, gold in the Fan Mountains, looked for nickel, palladium, and now platinum on the Kola Peninsula. He believes that it is impossible without luck in the work of a geologist, but this luck is based on knowledge and experience.
Hello Vladimir Nikolaevich!
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Hello!
Iskhak Farkhutdinov: Hello!
Angelina Grokholskaya: Happy Holidays!
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Thank you!
Angelina Grokholskaya: Since we are talking about discoveries, about deposits, about platinum, you know, I want money right away, because platinum is associated with the fact that it is very expensive. How much is platinum now?
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Now the most expensive metal is palladium, it is also made of platinoids, platinum costs $ 38 per gram, and palladium costs $ 84 per gram, and I think it will only go up further, of course.
Angelina Grokholskaya: Everyone is talking about this that minerals will increase in price anyway, so we can say that you have made the whole city richer, or will you do it if everything goes well?
Vladimir Ivanchenko: In principle, yes, I think that Monchegorsk has a great future, and I am a fan of Monchegorsk, I really like Monchegorsk – it is a beautiful city, probably the best on the Kola Peninsula, bright, so joyful, and I want and all the young people stayed in Monchegorsk, did not leave anywhere, had a high-paying job due to the fact that a new combine would work, as well as mines. There were mines at one time, which were closed in the 71st year, and now we are reviving the ore base of Monchegorsk.
Angelina Grokholskaya: Oh, this is a balm for the soul right now, because I already said that I was born on the Kola Peninsula and Monchegorsk is my hometown, so for me your discovery is, of course, a personal story. I suggest now, if you do not mind, do not mind our viewers, take a little walk around Monchegorsk.
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Let’s take a walk together, yes.
Angelina Grokholskaya: Let’s watch a short video.
PLOT
Angelina Grokholskaya: At the entrance to Monchegorsk there is a monument to pioneering geologists, conquerors of Monche-tundra. 101 years ago, they came to the Kola North, in May 1920, a special train brought a special commission, which included Alexander Fersman. This is what he wrote in his book “A Journey for the Stone”: “Huge ridges were spreading before us, a whole unfamiliar new mountain world was opening up.” A little later Fersman will say: “Here the city will be founded, and the beautiful Monchegorsk will grow among three lakes and three peaks.

” Thanks to the reserves of nickel ore, it received the status of a “city of metallurgists”, but in the 21st century it may become the “platinum capital of the Arctic”.
What’s with this project now? How is it developing?
Vladimir Ivanchenko: We have been working in Monchegorsk for 6 years already. Our first project was – Nittis, remember, there is such a mountain in Monchegorsk?
Angelina Grokholskaya: Yes.
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Nittis and Nyud-Morshkovoye, “Cloudberry Lake”, is also such a pleasant lake – this was our first project, we worked it out, in general, we got a positive result, there is also a large occurrence of platinum-metal ores, then in the 17th year we completed the first project, in the 18th year they started the second project – Poaz, this is where the TV tower in Monchegorsk is. The largest in Europe manifestation of platinoids, which is also associated with the marginal zone, was discovered at Poaz. Palladium resources are 325 tons of palladium, we have estimated platinum – 37 tons, besides platinum and palladium, there is also nickel, copper, cobalt and gold. Nickel – 570 thousand tons, copper – 320 thousand tons, plus a rather large ore occurrence, which, in general, gives the right to work for about 60 years. If in dollars, then this is about 41 billion dollars from this ore, which is in the bowels, a fairly large object. Moreover, Nittis-Kumuzhya-Travyanaya and PAS, or rather, Nyud-Morshkovoye, all this gives out about 60 billion dollars, that is, there is no end to work in Monchegorsk. In addition to this, even before that, large deposits had already been found – these are Plast 330, Monchetundrovskoe, that is, Monchegorsk is slowly gaining, overgrowing with deposits that in the near future, I think, will earn very quickly, because platinum and palladium are in demand , nickel is also in demand. The fact is that Pechenga is already suffocating, because there is not enough ore, the same is with Norilsk, there is also ore, in general, there is not so much rich ore, do you understand? Poor ores, they are poorer than we have in Monchegorsk, that is, if we compare with Norilsk, ore is mined there at great depths, then in Monchegorsk it is practically on top and its cost is lower than in Norilsk, and I think,
Angelina Grokholskaya: Oh, how I would like! Of course, because there were projects, Iskhak, I will say that the city will have to be closed, either work there on a rotational basis …
Vladimir Ivanchenko: It was like that, yes.
Angelina Grokholskaya: Because there were no deposits and all the mines were closed. This is really very good news and straight, you know, I want to give a standing ovation to the geologists for your work, thank you very much!
Iskhak Farkhutdinov: Yes, now it is important that young people go to geology and come to Monchegorsk.
Angelina Grokholskaya: Yes, and of course there are more investors. Vladimir Nikolaevich, you have been in the industry for almost 50 years – this is a huge period, please tell me, but there were some moments, a day, an event, maybe when you wanted to leave?
Vladimir Ivanchenko: You know, there was one moment, I will say frankly, this was my first practice in Yakutia, it was the Markha and Morkoka rivers, we had such an area, we had a 200,000th rent, and the first route was very difficult: the heat was terrible, 35 degrees somewhere, and somewhere late mosquito repellents, and here we go, and there is an overgrown plain and dwarf birches with bushes somewhere around the waist and it was necessary to stomp 30 kilometers, but I have not yet entered the rhythm, very it’s hard, sweat, not to undress, because mosquitoes are horrible – 3 centimeters on the body, everywhere they cover 3 centimeters of mosquitoes, it’s still hot, it’s generally impossible. At the end I think: “Where have I got to? Probably, I need to leave, leave this profession. ” But then heroically we reached, the next day they did not find us with the deer, we had a rest for a day and then the work went like this, and now I remember Yakutia better, than seen at all.

It was very difficult to pass the first route.
Angelina Grokholskaya: Mosquitoes scared me. We walked a lot in the fields, were there any other interesting cases, so curious?
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Once we, when I was still working in Central Asia, I worked for 7 years in Central Asia, and now we worked in the Fan Mountains, carried samples, samples from the stone-ore manifestation were taken, and there the fact is that the bridges were built: 2 sticks were laid , twigs, covered with earth, you go, it all trembles, and we crossed the stream, but the fact is that there are streams – in the morning there is barely water running, and in the evening it all spills when the glaciers begin to melt in the mountains, it turns out such a stormy mudflow a stream that drags stones and all that jazz. And we walk, and the horse that was carrying the furrow samples was loaded with 100 kilograms, probably, we were already finishing work, and the horse falls through and falls into this stormy stream. I had to jump and pull her out of there, because a horse, if it picks up water in its ears, it can drown right away, you know? And so that she does not drown
Angelina Grokholskaya: Yeah, I don’t know how funny he is, you probably remember it with a laugh. Vladimir Nikolaevich, do you have some kind of tradition – how do you celebrate the Day of the Geologist?
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Traditionally, we meet here in a team, we celebrate, as it should be for geologists, we wish those who are in the field, the first toast, the second toast to women, of course, this is how we celebrate, in general, all the friendly good guys in the team, especially now young people came up, which makes us happy, they also want to become good geologists.
Angelina Grokholskaya: Maybe now then, you know, not even congratulations to colleagues, but parting words to your young colleagues, those who are just entering the profession, is that what you always say to them?
Vladimir Ivanchenko: What to say? First, to wish them goals in life, in order to find a deposit, one must believe in this, you know, because without this faith, without knowledge, nothing can be found. I wish them persistence, good luck and congratulate all fellow geologists on the upcoming Day of the Geologist, this year is 55 years of the Day of the Geologist, so I congratulate everyone, I wish everyone great health, good luck, success and good field seasons!
Angelina Grokholskaya: Vladimir Nikolaevich, thank you very much, happy holiday, goodbye!
Vladimir Ivanchenko: Thank you, goodbye!