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Annual review results in a strong NAV uplift

Baker Steel Resources Trust 21 January 2021 Update
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Baker Steel Resources Trust

Annual review results in a strong NAV uplift

Investment trusts
Metals & mining

21 January 2021

Price

82.00p

Market cap

£87.3m

NAV

£102.3m

NAV per share*

99.5p

Discount to NAV

14.1%

*As at end-December 2020.

Yield

0.0%

Fully diluted shares

106.5m

Code

BSRT

Primary exchange

LSE

AIC sector

Commodities and Natural Resources

52-week high/low

82.3p

43.8p

95.5p

67.3p

Gearing

Net cash at 31 December 2020

0.8%

Fund objective

Baker Steel Resources Trust is a closed-ended investment company aiming to achieve long-term capital growth through investing in equity, loans and related instruments issued by natural resources companies, targeting a global concentrated portfolio of 15–20 investments. BSRT’s objective is to realise attractive investment returns through valuation gains resulting from development progression of investee companies’ projects and through exploiting market inefficiencies and pricing anomalies. It focuses primarily on investing in unlisted companies that the manager deems to have strong fundamentals and attractive growth prospects, offering clear valuation upside.

Analyst

Milosz Papst

+44 (0) 20 3077 5700

Michal Mierzwiak

+44 (0) 20 3077 5700

Baker Steel Resources Trust is a research client of Edison Investment Research Limited

Baker Steel Resources Trust (BSRT) reported an impressive NAV total return (TR) of 29.2% for 2020, visibly ahead of the EMIX Global Mining Index (22.2% TR in sterling). This largely resulted from a yearend valuation review of unlisted portfolio holdings and was driven by a combination of projects moving up the development curve, the rebound in commodity prices (CRB Commodity Index up by 21% in H220) and higher market multiples of listed peers (vs end-June). Key contributors include Cemos reaching full production capacity and Tungsten West being revalued after recent first closing of its £5.0m funding round. Their carrying value almost doubled, adding 8.9pp and 8.0pp to portfolio NAV TR, respectively.

Considering expansion of the Cemos project

With its first production line fully utilised, Cemos (14.6% of NAV at end-2020) started generating considerable operating cashflow (targeting €8–10m pa). Consequently, BSRT changed its valuation method from historic cost (adjusted for market movements) to EBITDA multiple. Based on a discussion with the investment manager, we understand BSRT does not intend to exit the project in the near term, given the pending decision to build a second production line (which could be completed at the end of 2021 and ramped up in 2022). This could enhance the dividend potential of the business, benefitting BSRT, which holds a mix of equity and convertible bonds (that on conversion would increase its stake to c 32.8%).

PAL revaluation driven by increase in silver prices

Among other major holdings, BSRT also recognised a 31.3% revaluation of its royalty interest in a silver mine held through Polar Acquisition (11.2% of NAV at end-2020), contributing 3.4pp to its NAV uplift versus end-November 2020. This mostly reflects the higher silver price (up 52% vs end-June 2020). The new valuation also accounts for the pre-feasibility study (PFS) completed in Q320, which resulted in lower production volume assumptions, offset by a reduction in the discount rate applied in the valuation given the project’s PFS status (combined, these had a slight net negative effect).

Trading at a discount below five-year average

In 2020 BSRT’s shares traded at an average discount to NAV of c 20%, compared to its five-year average of c 25%. The discount has significantly narrowed by the year-end and turned into a slight premium (1.5%) on 30 December 2020 close, which may suggest investors already anticipated a significant NAV uplift. As such, the immediate share price response to the end-2020 NAV announcement on 14 January 2021 was only a c 10% increase compared to the 27.5% NAV uplift versus end-November, resulting in a double-digit discount to NAV (currently c 14.1%).

Prospective NAV developments

Further near-term progress of key projects ahead

We see a number of potential further important developments for BSRT in H121 among its top holdings. Firstly, BSRT is continuing discussions with a potential buyer of the Bilboes Gold project, its largest holding accounting for 16.9% of NAV at end-2020. Its current carrying value is below the cash offer BSRT received, suggesting a potential uplift on disposal. We note that based on its capital returns policy, BSRT will distribute no less than 15% of aggregate net realised cash gains on exited investments through a tender offer, share buyback or dividend. Furthermore, Tungsten West expects to complete a definitive feasibility study in Q120.

Futura Resources (16.5% of NAV at end-2020) has been delaying the acquisition of a mining licence and production launch in the two Australian coking coal sites, initially due to COVID-19 and a decline in coking coal prices, then more recently amid the geopolitically motivated Chinese ban on coking coal imports from Australia. BSRT revalued Futura at end-2020 upwards by over 20% based on higher peer multiples. Despite low visibility, a possible lifting of the ban or otherwise improved coking coal prices for Australian producers (which have seen an increase of around 30% since the start of the year) might support the move to production stage by Q321.

Smaller holdings may also assist NAV growth

Several of BSRT’s smaller holdings (each representing less than 5% of end-2020 NAV) have important development plans for the year, including the IPOs of Mines & Metals Trading (H121) and Anglo Saxony Mining, securing financing for mine construction by Nussir, a resource update for Azarga Metals and the financing or sale of Sarmin's potash project following completion of the positive definitive feasibility study at the end of 2020. It is also worth highlighting that the gold producer Metals Exploration resumed its AIM listing in Q320 after successful debt restructuring, with its share price reaching 2.28p on 18 January 2021, compared to 0.5p used by BSRT to value the company before relisting. In its Q420 update released on 15 January 2021, Metals Exploration reported a record-high level of gold sold (c 20.3k oz, up 26% vs Q320) and positive free cash flow of US$13.6m.

For more information on the market background and potential NAV triggers, please see our note published in November.

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Baker Steel Resources Trust and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Baker Steel Resources Trust. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £49,500 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2021 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

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Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

General disclaimer and copyright

This report has been commissioned by Baker Steel Resources Trust and prepared and issued by Edison, in consideration of a fee payable by Baker Steel Resources Trust. Edison Investment Research standard fees are £49,500 pa for the production and broad dissemination of a detailed note (Outlook) following by regular (typically quarterly) update notes. Fees are paid upfront in cash without recourse. Edison may seek additional fees for the provision of roadshows and related IR services for the client but does not get remunerated for any investment banking services. We never take payment in stock, options or warrants for any of our services.

Accuracy of content: All information used in the publication of this report has been compiled from publicly available sources that are believed to be reliable, however we do not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this report and have not sought for this information to be independently verified. Opinions contained in this report represent those of the research department of Edison at the time of publication. Forward-looking information or statements in this report contain information that is based on assumptions, forecasts of future results, estimates of amounts not yet determinable, and therefore involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of their subject matter to be materially different from current expectations.

Exclusion of Liability: To the fullest extent allowed by law, Edison shall not be liable for any direct, indirect or consequential losses, loss of profits, damages, costs or expenses incurred or suffered by you arising out or in connection with the access to, use of or reliance on any information contained on this note.

No personalised advice: The information that we provide should not be construed in any manner whatsoever as, personalised advice. Also, the information provided by us should not be construed by any subscriber or prospective subscriber as Edison’s solicitation to effect, or attempt to effect, any transaction in a security. The securities described in the report may not be eligible for sale in all jurisdictions or to certain categories of investors.

Investment in securities mentioned: Edison has a restrictive policy relating to personal dealing and conflicts of interest. Edison Group does not conduct any investment business and, accordingly, does not itself hold any positions in the securities mentioned in this report. However, the respective directors, officers, employees and contractors of Edison may have a position in any or related securities mentioned in this report, subject to Edison's policies on personal dealing and conflicts of interest.

Copyright: Copyright 2021 Edison Investment Research Limited (Edison).

Australia

Edison Investment Research Pty Ltd (Edison AU) is the Australian subsidiary of Edison. Edison AU is a Corporate Authorised Representative (1252501) of Crown Wealth Group Pty Ltd who holds an Australian Financial Services Licence (Number: 494274). This research is issued in Australia by Edison AU and any access to it, is intended only for "wholesale clients" within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001 of Australia. Any advice given by Edison AU is general advice only and does not take into account your personal circumstances, needs or objectives. You should, before acting on this advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If our advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product you should read any relevant Product Disclosure Statement or like instrument.

New Zealand

The research in this document is intended for New Zealand resident professional financial advisers or brokers (for use in their roles as financial advisers or brokers) and habitual investors who are “wholesale clients” for the purpose of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 (FAA) (as described in sections 5(c) (1)(a), (b) and (c) of the FAA). This is not a solicitation or inducement to buy, sell, subscribe, or underwrite any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. For the purpose of the FAA, the content of this report is of a general nature, is intended as a source of general information only and is not intended to constitute a recommendation or opinion in relation to acquiring or disposing (including refraining from acquiring or disposing) of securities. The distribution of this document is not a “personalised service” and, to the extent that it contains any financial advice, is intended only as a “class service” provided by Edison within the meaning of the FAA (i.e. without taking into account the particular financial situation or goals of any person). As such, it should not be relied upon in making an investment decision.

United Kingdom

This document is prepared and provided by Edison for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer or solicitation for investment in any securities mentioned or in the topic of this document. A marketing communication under FCA Rules, this document has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination of investment research.

This Communication is being distributed in the United Kingdom and is directed only at (i) persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments, i.e. investment professionals within the meaning of Article 19(5) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial Promotion) Order 2005, as amended (the "FPO") (ii) high net-worth companies, unincorporated associations or other bodies within the meaning of Article 49 of the FPO and (iii) persons to whom it is otherwise lawful to distribute it. The investment or investment activity to which this document relates is available only to such persons. It is not intended that this document be distributed or passed on, directly or indirectly, to any other class of persons and in any event and under no circumstances should persons of any other description rely on or act upon the contents of this document.

This Communication is being supplied to you solely for your information and may not be reproduced by, further distributed to or published in whole or in part by, any other person.

United States

Edison relies upon the "publishers' exclusion" from the definition of investment adviser under Section 202(a)(11) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and corresponding state securities laws. This report is a bona fide publication of general and regular circulation offering impersonal investment-related advice, not tailored to a specific investment portfolio or the needs of current and/or prospective subscribers. As such, Edison does not offer or provide personal advice and the research provided is for informational purposes only. No mention of a particular security in this report constitutes a recommendation to buy, sell or hold that or any security, or that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

Frankfurt +49 (0)69 78 8076 960

Schumannstrasse 34b

60325 Frankfurt

Germany

London +44 (0)20 3077 5700

280 High Holborn

London, WC1V 7EE

United Kingdom

New York +1 646 653 7026

1185 Avenue of the Americas

3rd Floor, New York, NY 10036

United States of America

Sydney +61 (0)2 8249 8342

Level 4, Office 1205

95 Pitt Street, Sydney

NSW 2000, Australia

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