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December 29th, 2023 | 07:40 CET

Manuka Resources, Plug Power, Amazon: Precious Metals, Energy, E-Commerce - Which global future trends investors are betting on now

  • Mining
  • Vanadium
  • renewableenergies
  • Energy
  • Gold
  • Silver
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Renewable energy and digital transformation bring companies like Manuka Resources, Plug Power, and Amazon Web Services into focus. While Manuka Resources serves the rising demand for precious metals in the energy transition through mining activities for gold and silver, Plug Power, a pioneer in hydrogen technologies, faces challenges and seeks ways to overcome them. This time, the US government appears to be more of an opponent than an ally for Plug. In North America, Amazon Web Services, as a leader in cloud technology, is advancing Canadian infrastructure with an investment of over USD 17.9 billion. Meanwhile, the AI startup Anthropic, supported by giants like Google and Amazon, is betting on the future of artificial intelligence with ambitious revenue goals by 2024, from which AWS could also benefit. For more detailed insights into these connections, read here.

time to read: 6 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka
ISIN: Manuka Resources Limited | AU0000090292 , PLUG POWER INC. DL-_01 | US72919P2020 , AMAZON.COM INC. DL-_01 | US0231351067

Table of contents:

    Dennis Karp, Executive Chairman, Manuka Resources
    "[...] Internally we expect the resource to significantly grow the deeper we mine. [...]" Dennis Karp, Executive Chairman, Manuka Resources

    Full interview


    Australia's resource boom: Manuka Resources benefits from increasing demand for gold and silver

    COP28 is over, and now the real work begins. 123 countries have pledged to triple the global capacity of renewable energy and double the annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. This includes sharing technological advancements and connecting power grids across borders. The global transition to low-emission technologies is leading to a significant increase in wind and solar installations, energy storage, and the required infrastructure. To produce these technologies, precious metals such as gold and silver and minerals like aluminum and lithium are necessary, of which Australia has rich deposits.

    The demand for Australian resources is expected to increase significantly. Australian mining and exploration company Manuka Resources (ISIN AU0000090292) is an active producer of gold and silver with exceptional exploration potential in the Cobar Basin, New South Wales. The area has valuable production infrastructure strategically located. The Mt. Boppy Gold Mine project located there has received all necessary permits for production and has started a screening and gold recovery project. The product processing takes place at the Wonawinta plant. Manuka continuously enhances value for its shareholders by optimizing high-quality resources. Also located in the Cobar Basin is the Wonawinta Silver Project. It includes a mine, accommodation for 84 people, a processing plant, and adjacent properties. The mine has immense silver resources. The processing plant in Wonawinta has a capacity of over 850,000 t/year. Now Manuka plans an expansion to over 1.0 million t/year.

    In addition to the gold and silver projects, Manuka Resources also owns an area off the coast of New Zealand that is rich in vanadium. Vanadium is used in steel production, large-scale renewable energy storage, high-performance batteries, catalysts, and chemicals. The vanadium market is expected to grow with an average annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.80% until 2029, reaching an estimated value of USD 2.48 billion. Recently, the New Zealand government expressed support for seabed mining as a legitimate part of the country's regional economy. Good news for Manuka and its investors.

    Manuka Resources currently has a market capitalization of EUR 28.61 million. Precious metals like gold and silver from Manuka Resources' production are crucial for clean energy. They play a central role in innovative technologies, from efficient power transmission to emission reduction and hydrogen purification. These metals shape the landscape of renewable energies and contribute to a more sustainable future.

    Plug Power struggles with strict environmental regulations - share down 63% since the beginning of the year

    The US company Plug Power (ISIN US72919P2020) is currently facing challenges. The Company specializes in developing hydrogen fuel cell systems that replace conventional batteries in electrically powered devices and vehicles. Plug Power's shares have fallen by 63% since the beginning of the year. Analysts predict high revenue growth rates for Plug Power, but the Company is expected to incur a record operating income loss of USD 855 million in the next 12 months.

    Plug Power is fully committed to hydrogen propulsion for vehicles throughout the entire ecosystem: production, transport, and use. Although electric vehicles have taken the lead in environmentally friendly vehicles, hydrogen propulsion continues to play a role in various vehicle types.

    In the third quarter, Plug highlighted in the management discussion that there is a significant hydrogen shortage in the US, exacerbated by the failure of Plug Power's production facility in Tennessee. This facility typically supplies about 20% of the hydrogen needed for Plug Power and is particularly crucial for hydrogen cars on the East Coast. If the infrastructure for future technology is still very prone to failure, it could be an opportunity for investors to enter at a low share price. But what about the Company itself? Plug Power's ongoing high expenses and dwindling liquidity increase the likelihood of a dilutive event in the near future. The historically unsustainable losses of the Company and the currently low valuation make the issuance of new equity securities more expensive and less feasible.

    With a negative gross profit margin, significant losses, and extremely high free cash outflows, investors should carefully consider whether "buying the dip" really makes sense here. Unlike Manuka Resources, where the New Zealand government tolerates seabed drilling in the vanadium area, Plug CEO faces increasing challenges for his ventures in light of US laws because green energies are not necessarily environmentally friendly in their creation.

    According to Bloomberg, the US Department of the Treasury has proposed draft regulations stipulating strict environmental requirements for hydrogen projects to avoid harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In order to qualify for a tax credit of up to USD 3 per kg, hydrogen projects must use electricity from new renewable energy sources and ensure that production occurs at the same times as these clean sources from 2028.

    Plug Power Inc. refers to the new US rules for the qualification of hydrogen projects for tax credits as "disappointing". However, the Company expects President Joe Biden's climate law restrictions to be loosened once the Treasury finalizes them. Hope dies last.

    Amazon Web Services invests in forward-looking cloud infrastructure in Canada

    A new Amazon (ISIN US0231351067) Web Services (AWS) economic study estimates that AWS will invest more than USD 17.9 billion in its infrastructure in Canada by 2037, supporting an average of more than 9,300 full-time jobs per year. AWS will be the first major cloud service provider to have an infrastructure region in Western Canada. The AWS Canada West (Calgary) Region provides customers with more options to run workloads with greater resilience and availability, store data securely in Canada, and serve end-users with even lower latency.

    Among the active customers in Canada are, among others, Bell Canada, BlackBerry, Calgary Sports and Entertainment, CI Financial, Keyera, Kidoodle.TV, KOHO Financial, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the National Hockey League (NHL), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Neo Financial, Nutrien, RBC, SECURE, Sun Life, TELUS, University of Calgary.

    According to insider information, the AI startup Anthropic plans to achieve an annual revenue of over USD 850 million by the end of 2024. Three months ago, the Company informed investors that it already had an annual revenue of USD 100 million and expects it to increase to USD 500 million by the end of 2024. In recent months, Google and Amazon have agreed to invest up to USD 2 billion and USD 4 billion, respectively, in the Company.

    Anthropic, supported by and Alphabet's Google, is among the companies developing generative AI systems to create human-like interactions. Looking at this information and the customer list of Amazon Web Services in Western Canada, one can anticipate where Amazon's future profit maximization will take place: AI-supported in the cloud - and not just in Canada.

    The global transition to renewable energies is driving demand for precious metals such as gold, silver, and minerals like aluminum and lithium. The Australian mining company Manuka Resources, active in the Cobar Basin, New South Wales, consistently enhances shareholder value. With projects like the Mt Boppy Gold Mine and the Wonawinta Silver Project, Manuka successfully positions itself in a growing market. Additionally, it owns rich vanadium deposits off the coast of New Zealand, with government approval for extraction, further improving prospects for lucrative growth. Plug Power, a pioneer in hydrogen fuel cell systems, is grappling with challenges. Since the beginning of the year, the stock has fallen by 63%. Environmental regulations in the US are exacerbating the situation. Persistent losses, high expenses, and diminishing liquidity increase the risk for investors. Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest over USD 17.9 billion in Canadian infrastructure by 2037. AWS will be the first major cloud service provider with an infrastructure region in Western Canada. This enhances resilience, availability, and data security for customers. The AI startup Anthropic, financed by Google and Amazon, plans to achieve revenue of over USD 850 million by the end of 2024. AWS and Anthropic could be a combination with explosive profits. All these innovative technologies are united by one factor: the necessity of raw materials.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Juliane Zielonka

    Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

    About the author

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