Market Update

General - Sandfire - Burkina

Good afternoon

Chinese growth for the 4th Quarter has been 6,4% YoY, as expected. Not great and a small reduction in growth, but still pretty good…Retail Sales in December +8.2% vs November 8.1% - also in line with expectations.

Metals mixed today - some small profit-taking around from a strong close on Friday, but except for copper, everything is slightly green now. Equities slightly weaker today. Not much happening in the currencies, aside from a weaker A$ against the US at 0,7145 US$. The US-market is closed today.

Copper stocks on the LME rising by an unusual 9000t - the others seeing small falls.

VW seems to concentrate it´s effort on solid state batteries…probably a good idea, as there is little chance for the Germans to make up lost ground and to gain market leadership in the current generation of lithium-ion batteries.

Burkina Faso government resigns amid continuing truble with Islamists close the Malian and Niger-borders. The new man, Christophe Dabire, is an economist and has been Minister of Commerce and Mining in the past. Those were days of proper support from government for new mining ventures - so I presume, that he is at least halfway mining-friendly. All the google-news are in French…so I understand very little! In any case, the country is not getting any better! While nothing has ever happened in teh area, where my friends from West African Resources are active, this is certainly not much encouragement for anyone to take them over. The Essakane Gold Mine of Iamgold is close to Mali- as well as Niger borders - I guess I would feel a little bit uncomfortable in that area. Looking at share prices of Avocet and Semafo, who are operating mines closer to the Mali border, or closer to the Niger border than WAF, have not seen adverse share price movements so far.

Sandfire - confirmed newspaper reports that they are exploring a bid for MOD Resources, who are developing a copper project in Botswana. Market cap is 55 mill A$. The company immediately used the rumour to do a 15 mill A$ placement, and is probably very grateful for Sandfire´s interest! Not 100% sure, whether this bid really helps Sandfire to replace their existing mine in a few years time - but it´s a first move by SFR and has been long awaited.

Have a nice evening


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