🤿 Deep Dive 🤿 - Bushveld Minerals (BMN)

Bushveld, Batteries and Betamax.

At first glance, it would be easy to write Bushveld Minerals (ticker: BMN) as just another junior miner. Hell, even the Freetrade about section is a little uninspiring:

Also, looking at the last year doesn’t exactly fill you with glee:

So, what if I told you that this South African junior miner is one of the most exciting energy storage/battery hedge play you could make? And one that I think could be a major player in the worlds’ energy storage markets over the next few decades…

At a glance:

  • 300 million market cap with good cash flow generation.
  • Owns 2 processing plants Vametco and Vanchem.
  • Producing circa 5% (just over 4 thousand tonnes) of the world’s Vanadium with plans to double this within three years.
  • Average selling price of just under $40 per kilo, aisc (remember that term from the other piece?) circa $19 per kilo.
  • Mining license in progress for Mokopane which looks to be the largest high-grade Vanadium mine in the world.
  • Demand currently outstrips supply for Vanadium.

Indeed, they do primarily at least mine vanadium, which has a variety of uses. One of which is strengthening steel. Real-world applications (in just the UK): think HS2 and Crossrail, both of which will use plenty of Vanadium. If you’re that way inclined, the science behind the strengthening is here:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250159463_Strengthening_Mechanisms_in_Vanadium_Microalloyed_Steels_Intended_for_Long_Products

But that’s not why you’re here, so here is the juicy bit: Vanadium is also used in a breaking electrolyte technology that is used in small and large scale energy storage batteries - (seriously what a twist!).

VRFB (Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries)


That’s the marketing sorted.

So here’s how they work:

And here’s why they’re better than lithium-ion batteries:

Now I mentioned the uses for Vanadium in the UK transport (physical) infrastructure earlier, but we can now add, especially as we continue to move to new renewable energy resources such as wind turbines and solar farms, battery backups. All energy-generating renewable sources could use VRFB technology to continue delivery of energy to the grid, especially when the sun isn’t out or the wind speed is too low.

Did I mention these batteries need a lot of Vanadium? In fact, when I say a lot, they use a lot of valuable vanadium. In a market that is already oversubscribed, prices can only go up as demand outpaces supply, Bushveld is well-positioned to capitalise on this - especially if they double their production at the existing plants and get Mokopane open in good time.

Fortune Mojapelo - CEO

"The Group’s EBITDA of US$41million and free cash flow generation of US$23 million achieved in the period highlights the mine’s robust nature as a low-cost, highly cash generative operation, and was achieved in a period of weaker vanadium prices, which averaged 14 per cent less than a year earlier. Even with this strong result, we will be focusing our efforts at Vametco on further refining processes to maintain cost control.

(from https://polaris.brighterir.com/public/bushveld_minerals/news/rns/story/xj0117w)

Now imagine what will happen if Vanadium prices increase. If only Bushveld were producing the batteries…

Introducing Avalon Battery

  • Bushveld Minerals Ltd is to provide a convertible loan of US $5mln to Avalon Battery Corp. to help it complete its merger with redT Energy PLC.
  • The investment will also kick-start the miner’s own vanadium battery technology investment platform.

“The interim funding creates an investment in a prominent VRFB/energy storage entity with the potential to become a leading, global battery energy storage systems supplier,”

From: https://www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/news/906126/bushveld-to-invest-us5mln-into-avalonredt-as-it-launches-vanadium-battery-platform-906126.html

Introducing Enerox

  • Enerox is one of the world’s largest researchers, developers, manufacturers and distributors of vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB), headquartered in Wiener Neudorf, Austria.
  • It has installed VRFBs at over 130 sites globally.
  • Right of first refusal agreement also concluded with Enerox, whereby Bushveld will have the right to match commercial terms for the provision of vanadium products.

Introducing Vanchem

“The acquisition places the company in an advantageous position to offer an attractive and diverse suite of vanadium products capable of servicing the steel and chemical sectors and the burgeoning energy storage market.

We are now able to fine-tune the plan for these assets and then provide, in due course, a comprehensive strategy to our stakeholders.

As we come towards the end of 2019, we have laid the groundwork for a strong 2020, which will see us strengthening its competitive position as the leading vertically integrated primary vanadium producer.”


I….have no idea what I’m doing anymore.

Other Investments

Plenty more going on, see:

https://www.bushveldminerals.com/other-investments/

More? Here’s Bushveld Energy

Bushveld has created a new division called Bushveld Energy which works in partnership with Avalon, REDt and Enerox GmbH.

https://www.bushveldenergy.com/index.php

  • Bushveld Energy has installed a VRFB which has been operational just over a year. The battery is being used for evaluation purposes at the Eskom Battery Test facility. (Eskom is SA’s biggest energy supplier and has a history riddled with regular power outages and cuts).
  • Bushveld Energy is in the process of building a Vanadium Electrolyte plant in East London (SA).
  • The Electrolyte plant will eventually have the capacity for 1000MWh of electrolyte.
  • Bushveld Energy is working with multiple partners around the world through Vanitec to build a strong business case for VRFB.
  • As the Vanadium in VRFBs is fully recyclable Bushveld are working on a system to loan vanadium to VRFB buyers when the vanadium price is cost-prohibitive.

(From http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/bushveld-energy-progresses-with-electrolyte-production-facility-eskom-vrfb-project-2018-04-11/rep_id:4136)

The Bears Case

The Energy Storage market is looking to be one of the most exciting sectors of the next decade, especially as the world changes from fossil fuels to renewables. VRFB is clearly a better product than its lithium counterpart in industrial applications, but as students of history will tell you, the best tech product doesn’t always win out.

We only have to pop back to the late 70’s to find a recent example when two competing products entered the home video entertainment market, the VHS by JVC and the Betamax by Sony. The Betamax had better recording and sound quality, better picture quality and stability, the tapes were lighter and smaller but ultimately lost out to its rival the VHS, if you want to read why check out:

(Seriously, what more do you want from a bloody tape!)

Kodak has a somewhat similar story with the digital camera:

Bushveld could be spreading themselves a little too thin, becoming jack of all trades master of none.

Also, it’s hard to write off Tesla and their battery tech - sometimes the cooler company wins.

What’s Next?

  • Mokopane license news is imminent
  • Eskom (SA’s largest energy supplier) energy storage license tender news
  • Bushveld Energy Electrolyte Plant update
  • Further Bushveld Energy developments and updates
  • Admission into the full FTSE 250 and JSE Exchanges.

Conclusion

As a product portfolio, Bushveld Minerals is very current and diverse. When the vanadium price is high, the mines will generate lots of cash, when the vanadium price is low the VRFBs will drop in price and become more attractive. To hedge yourself in this way is breathtakingly obvious and yet…I can’t name many mining companies that have done it.

I also have never seen this, essentially an investor fansite set up to provide reporting on Bushveld, track deliveries and generally make BMN incredibly easy to research, especially for people new to the stock. Seriously, if you’re intrigued, spend a few hours consuming all of the content on this site, they are a real credit to the stock and show off Bushveld in the very best light.

https://www.thebushveldperspective.com/

If VFRB becomes the worlds premier battery storage, well, I think we’ll be looking at a very different share price. Brokers targets range between 45 and 85p - but realistically the sky is the limit if it takes off.

Also worth mentioning Bushveld are looking to progress to the FTSE 250 and a listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, where they’ll start to get picked up by ETFs.

I’ll admit, I find the story of BMN incredibly compelling and as could find no better finishing sentence to my notes then the one line CEO Fortune Mojepelo regularly states in interviews;

‘Our story is only half told!’.


So here are my notes, I’ve obviously tried to keep it light and interesting so errors and omissions are expected. Please don’t make decisions solely on the above information, make sure you do your own research and always fully understand the implications of investing in such a small, speculative business.

Let me know your thoughts

Edited inaccurate total mining amount.

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Great report! thanks for the info :smile: :+1:

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Great read,very interesting thanks!

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Another great article - goes well with a Seedrs company I just invested in who make storage batteries for Solar. Bushveld is now on my watchlist for when I’m next in a buying mood.

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Superb article. Been sniffing around Bushveld for some time now but hadn’t taken the leap. You may just have swayed me, or at least to do some more digging on them.

Edit: screw that, £500 into it. Will research later and put more in perhaps. FOMO! :joy:

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I’m trying to buy £200 but the order keeps failing - must be the @anon810895 factor :slight_smile:

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Fabulous continuation of your researched articles and the share price likes it too :wink::point_up_2:

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A great read once again, @anon810895 :raised_hands:

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https://simplywall.st/stocks/gb/materials/aim-bmn/bushveld-minerals-shares
Simply Wall St has a great analysis of the fundamentals. It does look like a great stock.

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:eyes:

“Trading at 85.9% bellow it’s fair value”

What criteria Simply Wall St uses to reach what they believe to be “fair value”?

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Might get smushed, but here’s how they do it.

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SWS use DCF models based on analyst earning estimates to calculate intrinsic value. They have a couple of different models that are used depending on the type of stock. The valuations are usually quite good as long as there is enough sensible analyst data.

The actual production of Bushveld Vanadium is 4,000 tonnes per year not 4 million but you are right this corresponds to 5% of annual worldwide Vanadium production.

Actually it is about 15% of the primary Vanadium production (i.e. the stuff actually dug out of the ground specifically for its Vanadium content) - around 70% of the worlds production comes as a by-product of Steel smelting, and then only from the lower quality TitanoVanadium Magnetite ores rather than the haemetite which is considered higher quality and is used in the lowest cost production. Hence if steel prices are low the production from VTM ores is cut back and the co-production of Vanadium from the slag is reduced.

Thus any new application for Vanadium, such as VRFB batteries, is going to need to be supplied by the primary producers such as Bushveld, as you’re not going to start smelting iron just to get the Vanadium out.

There’s a lot more on the subject of Bushveld on the shareholders independent website https://www.thebushveldperspective.com/blog/public-articles-1

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I’ve edited that section so it’s now correct, thanks for pointing it out. I can’t even find a reference for that figure. I must have been tired when I wrote it!

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An interesting read. This company has great potential and is best suited to those with patience to allow planned developments to come to fruition.

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Hello to the Freetrade community, I have been investing in Bushveld Minerals since March 2017 and I have followed this companies every move since and have built up a serious holding. I will tell you all, that the progress the business has made, has been incredibly smart and that Fortune Mojepelo the CEO is one very straight and ethically minded business man. The growth that the business has planned for the years ahead, is going to ensure investors are going to be very pleased with long term growth. This really is still a long term investment which is very much likely to reach full potential in the time frame of 2022 to 2030. The energy storage market globally is huge and the Vanadium Redox Flow Battery will make a significant contribution to the global market. The energy storage market is unlikely to peak until well into the 2030’s. But this company has some very smart tools to ensure that there returns will come from the supply of Vanadium into the steel market, the supply of vanadium electrolyte into the VRFB world and the leasing of vanadium electrolyte of the 20 to 30 year life of the VRFB assets. This means long term dividends and a very high potential company valuation. I will continue to buy many more shares in this company because they have the right commodity, the right market vision and a highly motivated board of directors as well as their workforce. I also believe that buying more will give long term capital growth and a strong income return. I would completely recommend investor watch the Crux Investor interviews and especially the ‘two for one interview’ on Youtube. The broker SP Angel has a current target price of 82p. I hope this is helpful to the community here.
Cheers, RK

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The Crux interview that RichKen is referring to is here:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3QUjIL1rJQ

There is also no mention of the 1.44GWh Battery Energy Storage project for Eskom, funded by the worldbank. Bushveld with its production of Vanadium AND V-electrolyte in South Africa are incredibly well positioned to pick up a significant part of this.

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Just for information 800MWh requires around 4000 tonnes of Vanadium.

A very interesting insight to one of the most well known VRFB companies Cellcube, when you look at this just consider that Bushveld Energy is completing a due diligence in the purchase as part of a consortium this business -https://vsunenergy.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Enerox-Company-Presentation.pdf

VSUN Energy is based in Australia and they are selling VRFB systems over there.

Cheers, RK

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Thanks @RichKen and welcome aboard. :wave:

I really do think Bushveld is a solid bet on the future and was astounded to find out what I did. I pretty much wrote the piece in a couple of hours, there’s so much info out there and they are so transparent.

Now normally when I write the deep dives I might pick up a few shares if I like what I read but with Bushveld I went whole hog. They’re going to be one of my biggest holdings and I’m prepared to accumulate quite a few at their current price!

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A very quick summary on Bushveld Minerals!

  • Bushveld Minerals are a mining business mining vanadium which is used to strengthen steel from its Vametco Mine
  • Vanadium is also used in a breaking electrolyte technology used in large energy storage batteries
  • Bushveld Have two processing plants Vametco 3200 mtV and Vanchem 1100 mtV - currently producing a combination of 4200 mtV, in the last year with an average selling price of circa US$40 per kilo with an operation coast of circa US$19 – but operation costs are lower in 2020 - down to nearly US$15
  • Bushveld has plans to more than double the capacity of these two plants to 8400 mtV pa within 3 to 4 years
  • Bushveld has 3 mines Vametco in operation, Brits and extension to Vametco and Mokopane which has the licence for mining fully approved and this happens to be the largest high-grade Vanadium mine in the world – DFS later this year and expect the mine to be opened in 2021
  • Bushveld has built up a new division called Bushveld Energy which has partnerships with Avalon, REDt and Enerox GmbH
  • Bushveld Energy has installed at the Eskom Battery Test facility a VRFB which has been operational over a year which is being used for evaluation purposes
  • Bushveld Energy is in the process of building a Vanadium Electrolyte 200MWh plant in East London (SA)
  • The Electrolyte plant will eventually have the capacity for 1000MWh of electrolyte
  • 1000MWh of electrolyte needs approximately 5000 mtV per year
  • Bushveld Energy is working with multiple partners around the world through Vanitec to build the strongest business case for VRFB
  • Bushveld Energy plan to build an assembly plant for VRFB is SA – a Enerox subsidiary is possible?
  • The world supply chain for vanadium remains in deficit and although other projects around the world are in planning, Bushveld Minerals is so far ahead of the other players in every respect

Vanadium prices are rising with the average price today at US$30 per kilo and our cost is around US$15 per kilo and we will be producing 4,200,000 kilos of vanadium in 2020!

The current limited supply puts Bushveld in one of the strongest positions as a primary Vanadium supplier!

These are the key aspects and are all facts!

If you are not sure - then read this:

Latest broker report following 2019 Q4 from SP Angel:

Latest company presentation – February 2020:

Target broker price 82 pence! This year, 2020 looks very strong indeed!

This is the basis for a clear illustration of the strength of Bushveld Minerals as a business!

Cheers, RK

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