November 2nd, 2021 | 12:14 CET
Varta, Valneva, Almonty Industries: It is getting close!
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"[...] While tungsten has always played an important role in the chip industry, it is now being added to batteries for e-cars. [...]" Lewis Black, CEO, Almonty Industries
For more than twenty years, the Cologne native has been intensively involved with the stock market, both professionally and privately. He is particularly passionate about national and international small and micro caps.
Almonty working on the project of the century
Tungsten is essential to today's high-tech industry: from energy and lighting technology to aerospace, telecommunications and medical technology - they all need the rare raw material. Almonty Industries supplies it. The Canadian-based Company specializes in mining, processing and shipping tungsten concentrate. It currently comes from two mines in Portugal and Spain. In addition, Almonty is investing heavily in the development of new mines. These are located in Sangdong in South Korea and the northwest of Spain (Valtreixal). Production at the Sangdong mine is scheduled to start as early as mid-2022, and so far, the Company says it is on schedule. It is currently implementing the road and river diversion project, adhering to strict environmental and sustainability standards. Almonty CEO Lewis Black expressed confidence at the IIF (International Investment Forum) investor conference, saying, "This project is being built according to our ESG program, so it is designed as a 100-year event, not just the usual 30 years."
The Sangdong mine is expected to be the largest tungsten mine outside China when it comes into operation next year. With about 85% of the world's tungsten production currently coming from China, Almonty will likely account for about 30% of non-Chinese tungsten production in a few years. That gives Almonty strategic importance and makes the Company a takeover candidate. But Almonty is also well positioned on its own. Additional capital for the development has already been raised through a capital increase and debt financing. In addition, with the Austrian Plansee Group, both a new major shareholder and a buyer for the tungsten mined in Sangdong have been acquired. The off-take agreement has a term of 15 years and guarantees Almonty an attractive minimum price for a sales volume of at least CAD 750 million. Therefore, with a stock market value of around CAD 192 million, the Canadians appear to be anything but overvalued.
Varta: New details on car batteries within the figures?
More and more car manufacturers are turning their backs on the combustion engine and presenting electric vehicles. That means that the batteries needed are becoming scarce. Varta wants to take advantage of this and stir up the market for batteries for electric cars. However, details are still lacking. Investors are hoping for more information on the expansion when the Q3 figures are published on November 11. However, the specialist for micro batteries is known for its conservative communication. That was evident on the occasion of the half-year figures when investors had speculated on a forecast increase and were left disappointed. At least it is now known that Varta is also on board with Apple's new AirPods. Thus, the Company should continue to earn brilliantly in its core business. And perhaps more than expected, at least there is renewed speculation of a forecast increase. However, given the current global difficulties, one should not be too sure about that. Another disappointment is possible, even if the long-term prospects are right.
Valneva: Fresh capital for scarce vaccine
Last week, Valneva had surprised negatively with the announcement of a capital increase, as the price of USD 17 per share was significantly below the stock market price. The vaccine developer has now almost completely placed the up to 5.5 million shares, and the focus can once again turn to the operational outlook. And this continues to be positive. The COVID-19 vaccine does not seem to come too late, as many unvaccinated people seem to be waiting for the so-called dead vaccine of the French, and the discussion about booster vaccinations is gaining momentum. In Germany, a booster summit is likely to be held soon. At this, the federal and state governments want to discuss how to proceed. "In any case, we must do something to ensure that this third vaccination takes place," emphasized Chancellor Angela Merkel. The first voices are being raised to reopen the vaccination centers. Thus, everything points to further vaccinations, and Valneva should still have considerable potential with its product in industrialized countries and worldwide.
All three stocks benefit from the current shortages. With Valneva, investors are speculating that COVID-19 vaccines will remain in demand. Varta needs to provide details on its strategy regarding its entry into electromobility, and Almonty could emerge as one of the leading tungsten producers.
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