Start of the world Jukebox: Some feelgood vibes from a 25 piece rock orchestra, I was lucky enough to catch them live a few times in the UK, stunning music from The Polyphonic Spree: Light and Day
A wonderful afternoon to you all!
I'd like to start with heartfelt thanks to those who replied, shared and retweeted my rant this week about Women in Mining. It seems I've found good friends in this industry who share my hopes.
One correction, raised by our friend Mike in Canada: I suggested we need to bury sexism back in the 1970s and, exposing some ignorance on my part, Mike pointed out the 1950s were really the age to push back to, the 1970s had already seen some opening of opportunity for women in industry so... Apologies to the 1970s!
Slovakia has fast-tracked opening shops and businesses after a strict 2 month quarantine and significant kerbing of the Corona virus. Official figures attribute only 24 deaths to the virus here, with some 1200 cases confirmed.
What this says to me, is that with a sensible, respectful population, who are strong enough as people to fight through tough times, corona is not a major issue. Slovakia obviously has a recent history of oppression and restriction and the enforced lockdowns and military patrols has scared some of the older generations, but now they’re being lifted, an immense calm, understanding and happiness has spread across Bratislava.
Yesterday was Slovak independence day (VE day in the UK) and a long train of cars circled the city waving flags and beeping, celebrating the country’s response to corona as a community, as well as swishing around plenty of anti-Trump/Putin banners. I cycled up into the mountains with them (I was heading to a quarry to fly the drone and film some scenes for a new piece anyhow!) and felt such a strong, unified community spirit, which the UK never quite managed.
It’s this opening of Slovakia which has softened the initial fears I had about market recovery. With shops, cafés and bars instantly packed with people (still wearing masks, even though it is not a requirement anymore). Queues for clothes and kitchenware, stacked up laptops being repaired in tech shops and business booming…. The economy of Slovakia is not just restarting, it’s exploding.
Borders are set to open with Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria soon and Slovakia will be in an immense position to export manufactured goods across Europe, while the UK haven’t even started their formal lockdowns yet. My hometown in Buckinghamshire had a large gathering of 100+ people yesterday along with others. Cases are slowing, but let’s be honest, nobody is going to be allowed to leave the UK for a long time. It’s the fascist/closed-bordered/nationalist dream they voted for, coming to fruition!
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MINING?
The power shift across Europe means industrial producers like Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria will be clawing each other for raw materials. These currently can’t be sourced from their normal Chinese/South American supply routes so, either regional resources will be ramped up or new dedicated supply routes will be formed.
Major aluminium production in Turkey, copper in Serbia/Portugal/Spain and across the continent should see new markets buying at higher prices to sustain their boom. These countries will have (without even meaning to) forced a new mineral security network in Europe, the kind academics (and voters) have been crying out for, but majors have been warding off for decades.
Projects like Cukaru Peki in Serbia, already fast-tracked to production, are going to see immediate demand, explorers with historic production on their licences (like Avrupa Minerals, Strategic Resources or Mundoro) should be a solid investment for their respectable deposits in Iberia and in Eastern Europe.
On the whole, the better, more sensible humans will finally win a small battle against the noise and mess of those who normally shout the loudest. The US and UK are going to be battling, whining, and losing jobs for months to come… The strong community, industry and culture of Eastern Europe has it’s time to shine in the sun.
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Thanks everybody and have a great weekend.
E-Conference replay: This week we hosted Eric Jensen (EMX) James Anderson (Vangold) and Trevor Hall (Mining Stock daily) to discuss 'Hard Rocks to Hard Cash'. Catch the replay here if you missed it. Registration for our event on 14th May is now open HERE.
Spotlight Mining share and produce articles of interest for companies in the junior mining and tech sectors. While we're keen observers, we are not financial advisors, in fact we're not even very good investors ourselves. We encourage you to do your own due diligence and seek professional advice on the risks, before investing any funds. Only ever invest what you can afford to lose.