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Chile state copper commission Cochilco forecasted on Wednesday an average global copper price of $2.95 per pound in 2018, a sharp upward revision from its mid-year estimate of $2.68, due to greater demand in China, a key market.
For 2017, it predicted an average copper price of $2.77 per pound, markedly higher than its previous estimate of $2.64.
Cochilco also forecasted Chile's copper output to fall 4 percent from 2016, to 5.27 million tonnes, due primarily to a 43-day strike at BHP Billiton Ltd's Escondida mine in Chile, the largest copper mine in the world, earlier this year.
In 2018, however, with Escondida operating at full capacity, the state commission predicted output will rise 7.8 percent, to 5.74 million tonnes.
Cochilco Vice President Sergio Hernandez attributed higher near-term copper prices to a surge in Chinese demand, a result of higher-than-predicted growth of 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, but warned there were signs that growth was unsustainable.
"There is a high degree of consensus that this trajectory of growth is unsustainable in the medium term … which could lead to adjustments in the future," Hernandez said at a news conference.
China is by far the most important market for Chilean copper. Fluctuations in demand there, particularly in copper-intensive areas such as real estate, have a strong impact on the Chilean economy, where copper-related activity can account for up to 15 percent of gross domestic product.
For every one cent increase in the average annual price of copper, Chilean exports grow nearly $125 million and tax revenues increase by $60 million, according to official estimates.
On October 18, 2017, 242,455 shares of 31 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 11 firms’ shares increased in price, 13 decreased and 7 remained unchanged. Ikh Barilha JSC /IBA/ was the top performer, increasing 14.98 percent, whereas Hermes center JSC /HRM/ was the worst performer, decreasing 8.35 percent.
On the secondary market for government securities, 240 bonds worth MNT22.6 million were traded.
The MSE ALL Index rose 0.86 percent to stand at 1161.07 . The MSE market cap stands at MNT 2,288,721,547,472.
Cashed-up Kincora Copper now raring to dish up major discoveries in Mongolia www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk
Exploration activity in Mongolia is hotting up and with recent funding, Kincora Copper Limited (CVE:KCC) is now catching up.
Oyu Tolgoi, the giant copper-gold porphyry mine run by Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), remains among the biggest. The mine has been in production for the last four years and will account for a third of the landlocked country’s GDP. Its underground development is the largest expansion project globally in the metals and mining sector for any commodity.
Focus on Southern Gobi copper belt
But the mining and exploration orbit in the Southern Gobi copper belt is getting busy. There is now Codelco, the major Chilean copper producer, Xanadu Mines (ASX:XAM), which has just raised A$15.4mln for exploration, Ikh Shankh, a private vehicle run out of New York and a recent Society of Economic Geologists (SEG) tour of the belt attracting the likes of Anglo American, Teck Resources and JOGMEC to name just a few.
This copper belt was the global hotspot back in 2011/12, much as Ecuador is today. There is renewed interest in the area as illustrated by Xanadu’s share price rallying over 50% to a market capitalisation A$180mln Rio Tinto has resumed drilling in the Southern Gobi for the first time since 2012.
Given the scale of Oyu Tolgoi, one has to wonder what else Rio might be looking for, but it adds further to the view that other Tier 1 discoveries are waiting to be found in this belt and just having one isn’t enough for Rio.
The largest landholder of them all, however, is Kincora Copper Limited (CVE:KCC), a company with a market capitalisation of only C$23mln, including its recent C$5.9mln fund raising. In the last week, Kincora has secured the support of one of the biggest investors in Mongolia, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and, also recently, the mining private equity specialist and heavy weight, Denver-based Resource Capital Funds (RCF). The EBRD and RCF have invested C$1.4mln each.
The EBRD was the largest individual member of last year’s project financing of Oyu Tolgoi, the largest project financing in the history of the metals and mining sector, and sole project financier of the privately owned Tsagaan Suvarga copper mine, these being the two economic copper mines in the Southern Gobi with capex of over US$14bln and over US$1bn respectively.
Following their investment in Kincora, EBRD have now invested in all the three Devonian age copper projects identified to date in this belt. The EBRD funds are to be solely used by Kincora to support an extensive drilling programme at its two most advanced Devonian-age prospects, East Tsagaan Suvarga (East TS) and Bayan Tal, the first Devonian targets in this belt since Oyu Tolgoi and both analogues to the two respective mines in the belt – big prizes.
What’s more, the original progenitors of the Oyu Tolgoi project, Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe, are also shareholders in Kincora, via a private vehicle called High Power Exploration (HPX) and last year vended to Kincora in the best parts available of the Devonian copper belt. On a contained metal basis, Oyu Tolgoi is still the biggest discovery of Mr Friedland’s and drove the original Ivanhoe Mines from a similar market capitalization to Kincora now to a peak of over US$30bn.
HPX, EBRD and RCF are a bit of a club, now all holding about 6% each of Kincora. When added to the Kincora board representing a total of 37% of the register and other natural resource specialist institutions and high net worth individuals, this supports a unique and sophisticated register for such a small market capitalisation.
Attention on Kincora
Serious investors who know mining and who know Mongolia are into Kincora in a big way, and with multiple targets and work streams now funded it is likely the retail market will soon start to follow this smart money and what is still effectively a new story to the public markets.
When we last caught up with chief executive Sam Spring in February, Kincora’s share price was up to C$0.65 a share and the aim was to be drilling these two high priority drill targets within 6 months having just done the deal with HPX to consolidate the dominant position in the Devonian belt and having attracted an industry leading technical team with multiple Tier 1 copper discoveries (who incidentally are majority remunerated in Kincora shares).
However, capital market conditions remained challenging and as Kincora secured this “smart money”, which entailed extensive technical and legal due diligence, its share price drifted with the recent raising completed at C$0.33.The funds now raised supports the first modern Tier 1 drill testing and district scale reconnaissance exploration programme in this highly mineralised but vastly under-explored belt with two rigs having been operational for the last month. With the EBRD fund raising now complete, the “black out period” for on-going exploration activities is now lifted with a pipeline of news flow to come.
Now it’s up to Spring and his team to deliver the goods. While “small beer” relative to the Devonian targets and providing an analogue to the two mines in the belt, one work programme moving forward is looking to define a resource (geological or NI 43-101 inferred) around the company’s historic flagship asset, Bronze Fox, which has a large lower grade porphyry system and before a dispute with the government (now resolved) returned a hit of over 800 metres at over 0.4% copper equivalent including over 37 metres of over 1% copper equivalent.
This asset has been forgotten about. However, being the same age, similar size (albeit lower grade) and having had about a third of the drilling of Xanadu Mines’ flagship Kharmagtai, a maiden resource of some kind is expected to highlight Kincora’s favourable valuation, Xanadu’s valuation is 10 times Kincora, particularly as Xanadu looks to dual list on the TSX Venture market. In the previous commodity cycle, Kincora attracted 14 NDAs, a period of exclusivity and separate offer for the Company based just on Bronze Fox.
The land package Spring now has at his disposal certainly offers plenty of further scale potential. Helped along by funds recently raised, Kincora is drilling East TS target and Bayan Tal targets, part of a wider 20,000 metre two-phase programme that will also work up other targets.
Overall, Kincora holds 1400 square kilometres of ground, which gives it what Spring describes as the “dominant position” in the geological belt.
But it’s not just the size of the ground that’s impressive. It’s the geological setting and the context in the best parts of the Devonian copper belt, between and on strike, from the two existing mines in the Southern Gobi.
Spring describes Mongolia in mining and commercial terms as comparable to Chile in the 1970/80s: the potential was well known but just how good it would turn out to be wasn’t clear to anyone.
Such a scenario is also supported Codelco's recent interest in the Southern Gobi, when chief executive Nelson Pizarro said the company had “a lot of interest” in Mongolia and that his people were “learning to milk camels.”
If the parallels are clear enough to the Chileans given what’s happened there in the past half a century or so, then imagine the excitement in the Kincora camp, given that so much of the ground is under Kincora’s control.
A project like Oyu Tolgoi rarely occurs in isolation, explains Spring. Indeed, projects like that occur in clusters more often, as they do in Chile.
It’s the nature of that opportunity that explains in part why a company such as Kincora has been able to secure significant backing from significant players and is now just starting what should be an interesting and fully funded 9-12 month exploration and expansion journey. .
All concerned are betting that Kincora won’t be a pre-discovery company for much longer and they do seem to be systematically setting the foundations for success, both exploration wise but also corporately with the shareholders on its register.
With the price of copper still strong and the mining sector beginning to come back into favour more generally, the good times for Kincora might come pretty quick. It's a story worth keeping on your watch list....
On October 17, 2017, 219,506 shares of 23 firms listed as Tier I, II, and III were traded. 13 firms’ shares increased in price, 9 decreased and 1 remained unchanged. Lux Zanadu Group JSC /BAZ/ was the top performer, increasing 15.00 percent, whereas Telecom Mongolia JSC /MCH/ was the worst performer, decreasing 4.51 percent.
On the primary market for government securities, 66,551 bonds worth MNT6.5 billion were traded.
On the secondary market for government securities, 4,021 bonds worth MNT397.2 million were traded.
The MSE ALL Index rose 0.86 percent to stand at 1167.78 . The MSE market cap stands at MNT 2,289,696,852,535
China's outbound direct investment from non-financial sectors dropped 41.9 percent year-on-year to $78.03 billion between January and September, the Ministry of Commerce announced on Tuesday.
The drop in the country's ODI during this period narrowed 3.9 percentage points from the first half of this year, indicating that China kept deploying more investment in manufacturing and modern service-related businesses in global markets.
China's non-financial sector outbound investment declines
Investment in leasing and commercial services, manufacturing, and retail and information-related businesses took 32 percent, 17.3 percent, 12.2 percent and 10.5 percent of the country's total ODI, respectively, during the nine-month period, said the ministry.
Companies from China invested in 5,159 companies in 154 countries and regions from January to September and signed $168.2 billion in new contracts for overseas projects, a rise of 13.8 percent year-on-year.
The ministry said China would continue to tighten its review of the authenticity of overseas investment and its compliance with regulations, and guide more investment into the real economy and reduce investment in sectors in which Chinese companies are not proficient at managing.
Meanwhile, outbound investment in 57 economies related to the Belt and Road Initiative stood at $9.6 billion, accounting for 12.3 percent of total ODI, up 4 percentage points year-on-year.
China's ODI in Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Russia jumped 82.9 percent, 68.8 percent, 68.2 percent and 34.1 percent year-on-year, respectively, during the first three quarters of this year.
Commerce Ministry Spokesman Gao Feng said late last month the government would encourage ODI activities that can assist the development of the Belt and Road Initiative and resolve overcapacity issues in global markets.
"The infrastructure development involved in the initiative will require a high degree of coordination between and among states, the private sector and civil society, as well as vast investments of capital and material resources," said Zhang Yansheng, deputy director of the expert committee of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade.
"Therefore it is necessary for governments and companies engaged in the initiative to have a clear understanding of the key factors in driving success."
Meanwhile, foreign direct investment in China rose 1.6 percent year-on-year between January and September to 618.57 billion yuan ($93.47 billion), the Ministry of Commerce announced last Friday.
Mongolia plans to add 8GW to its wind power capacity after the successful launch of a 50MW wind farm last week.
Clean Energy Asia’s Tsetsii windfarm in Umnugobi province in the Gobi Desert came online on 6 October.
The country is focusing on its wind power development in anticipation of the so-called Asian super-grid, which is planned to connect Russia, India, China, South Korea and Japan and holds huge export potential for Mongolia.
Engie’s 55MW Sainshand wind farm, located southeast of Ulaanbaatar, is the next project due to come online with commissioning planned for 2018.
Investors have jumped on board Elixir Petroleum on news it will acquire Mongolian-focused coal bed methane company Golden Horde for around $3.6 million.
The stock (ASX:EXR) soared as much as 82 per cent on Tuesday to an intraday high of 8.2c before cooling to 7.2c — still up 60 per cent for the day.
Elixir has an exclusive option to buy Golden Horde for 79 million shares, which prices the deal at around $3.6 million based on yesterday’s closing price of 4.5c.
The prize is Golden Horde’s production sharing contract with the Mongolian government which, if awarded, will grant Golden Horde the right to explore and develop coalbed methane in what is considered one of the most prospective basins in Mongolia.
The contract covers land surrounding one of the world’s largest producing thermal coal deposits Tavan Tolgoi, which had 14 million tonnes of coal in 2016, Elixir said.
Golden Horde is awaiting final approval from the Mongolian government. The final award of the contract is a key condition precedent of the deal.
Elixir cautioned shareholders that there was no guarantee when or if the contract would be awarded given the extensive regulatory approvals required.
In the event approval occurred quicker than anticipated, Elixir secured the exclusive option to purchase Golden Horde for $25,000. The option lasts through to 30 September 2018.
Acquisition was subject to a $1.6 million capital raise by Elixir which was successfully completed today. Shareholders will vote on the acquisition at the 2017 annual general meeting.
Golden Horde managing director Neil Young will join the Elixir board as CEO and executive director once deal has been completed.
In meantime, Elixir will begin planning activities and studies over coming weeks including defining the prospective resource over the PSC area.
Elixir has a market cap of around $12 million.
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, October 17, 2017 - The National Statistical Office (NSO) of Mongolia today presented the outcomes of the poverty estimation outcomes in a seminar entitled “Poverty Situation - 2016” organized jointly with the World Bank. The two institutions have been collaborating in developing methodology for estimating poverty rate through household income and expenditure surveys as well as living standard measurement survey since 2002. This time, the poverty rate has been jointly estimated based on the 2016 Household Socio-Economic Survey.
This year poverty rate has been estimated at an aimag level for the first time in Mongolia, based on the 2016 Household Socio-Economic Survey. The poverty rate shows the changes in the living standards during the period of time and does not reflect the changes occurred since the beginning of 2017.
During the 2014 launch of the poverty estimation outcomes, NSO mentioned that the consumption level of the people who got out of poverty was just above the national poverty line, making many people vulnerable to slipping back into poverty in case of negative effects from economic shocks. The outcome of the current survey shows that the people who were above the poverty line in 2014 have slipped back into poverty due to negative consequences of the socio economic shocks in 2015-2016.
The economic growth has been slowing down since 2012, lowering to 11.6 percent in 2013, 7.9 percent in 2014, 2.4 percent in 2015, and 1.2 percent in 2016. Thus, the economy grew by only 3.6 percent in total between 2015 and 2016, while in 2012-2014 the growth was 20 percent.
Factors behind worsening livelihoods in 2015-2016 included decline in the construction, professional, science and technology sector outputs by 6.3-7.4 percent in 2016, drop in the number of employees in the construction sector by 16,700 people, and zero increase in salary and pension in 2015 and 2016.
According to the estimation, concluded jointly by NSO and the World Bank, the poverty rate in Mongolia reached 29.6 percent in 2016 – an increase by 8.0 percentage points from the poverty rate of 21.6 percent in 2014. This shows that 907.5 thousand people out of the total 3.0 million people in Mongolia were living in the poverty. In 2016, the poverty depth amounted to 7.7 percent representing a growth of 2.5 percentage points from 2014 level, and poverty severity amounted to 2.9 percent, an increase by 1.0 percentage point from 2014 level.
Comparison of the livelihood standards in urban and rural areas showed that the poverty has increased more in rural areas then in urban areas. Although the overall number of people living in rural areas is less than the number of urban residents, the poverty rate in rural areas has increased by 10.1 percentage points. The poverty rate in rural areas declined by 11.7 percentage points in 2014 from the 2012 levels, but resumed back by 10.1 percentage points in 2016, reflecting how the households with consumption level just above the national poverty line, affected by minor socio-economic difficulties and weather conditions, shifted below the poverty line.
Regional poverty rate estimations show the poverty rate increase of 12.5 percentage points in Eastern region, 10.1 percentage points in Western region, 8.4 percentage points in Ulaanbaatar city, 8.3 percentage points in Khangai region, and 4.6 percentage points in Central region - the lesser increase compared to other regions.
Poverty outlook by regions shows the lowest poverty in Uvs aimag among other four Western aimags with the poverty scope of 24.2 percent. Poverty level in Zavkhan is highest with the poverty scope of 47.5 percent. In Khangai region, the poverty scope in Orkhon aimag is 23.5 percent – the lowest compared to five regional aimags, while poverty scope in Uvurkhangai aimag has the highest in the region at 41.5 percent. In the Central region, Umnugovi had less poverty than the other six aimags with the aimag poverty scope at 15.4 percent, while Govisumber aimag had more poverty with the scope of 52.4 percent. In the Eastern region, all three aimags have similar levels of poverty with poverty scope of approximately 41.5-47.0 percent.
Poverty scope was higher than the national average in all aimags except Uvs, Orkhon, Khuvsgul, Dornogobi, Dundgobi, Umnugovi, and Tuv....
Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/ The Bank of Mongolia (BoM) has selected the Khan Bank and the Golomt Bank again as basic dealers of the Interbank Currency Exchange Platform for the fourth quarter of this year.
Basic dealer- banks are responsible for conducting foreign exchange deal actively at the platform and have advantage to use the name of basic dealer and participate in foreign exchange auction with more bids.
The BoM launched interbank exchange platform last April and it activated interbank dollar exchange trade by 2.2 times, compared to the same period of last year.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday charged mining company Rio Tinto Plc (RIO.AX) and two of its former top executives with fraud, saying they inflated the value of coal assets in Mozambique acquired for $3.7 billion and sold a few years later for $50 million.
The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority also said Tuesday it had reached a settlement with Rio Tinto under which the company would pay a fine of £27 million ($35.6 million) to settle claims that it breached accounting rules in connection with the Mozambique assets.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. federal court in Manhattan, the SEC said Rio Tinto, former Chief Executive Officer Thomas Albanese, and former Chief Financial Officer Guy Elliott failed to follow accounting standards and company policies to accurately value and record the assets.
The securities regulator said Rio Tinto concealed the problems with the deal, in part because Rio Tinto had already disclosed huge losses in connection with its 2007 acquisition of Alcan
The lawsuit centers on Rio Tinto’s 2011 acquisition of Mozambique coal explorer Riversdale Mining for $3.7 billion. The SEC said that soon after the deal was completed, Rio Tinto learned that the acquisition would yield less coal, and of a lower quantity, than expected.
The securities regulator said Rio Tinto concealed the problems with the deal, in part because Rio Tinto had already disclosed huge losses in connection with its 2007 acquisition of Alcan. Making public a second failure “would call into question Albanese’s and Elliott’s ability to pursue the core of Rio Tinto’s business model,” the SEC said in its complaint.
By making misleading public statements, Rio Tinto and the executives were able to raise $5.5 billion from U.S. investors, the SEC said. They continued to solicit the investments even after executives of the Mozambique subsidiary told Albanese and Elliott that the unit was likely worth negative $680 million, according to the SEC.
The SEC said the fraud continued until January 2013, when another executive discovered accounting irregularities. Albanese subsequently resigned, and the Mozambique subsidiary was sold for just $50 million, the SEC said.
Rio Tinto said it would defend itself vigorously against the allegations. Lawyers for Albanese and Elliott could not immediately be reached for comment.