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Today’s Market View – Alba Minerals Resources, Beowulf Mining, Hummingbird Resources and more…

SP Angel . Morning View . Friday 12 03 21

Funds moving into value equities from gold and bonds


Alba Mineral Resources (LON:ALBA) – Results from the Clogau St David’s mine

Beowulf Mining* (LON:BEM) – Scoping study contract awarded for Aitolampi Graphite Project

Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) – Dugbe drilling results

Talga Resources* (LON:TLG) – Scoping Study on graphite resources in Sweden


Copper US$ 8,979/t – Expect supply disruption and firm demand to help copper prices higher

The copper market is in a bit of a pickle, though some would call it a perfect storm.

Strong demand in China is likely tightening inventories with physical buyers reluctant to pay high prices.

Regulators may step in to curb speculation though their very threat is likely to have curbed a certain amount of speculation .

News today is that the Antapaccay mine in Peru is closed for a week due to yet another community blockade. The mine accounts for 8.8% of Peruvian copper production

The mine produces 130-160,000tpa of copper and will probably lose something over 3,000t of production for each week of stoppage depending on how they manage the suspension.

Ongoing protests at the giant Las Bambas which produces some 350-370,000tpa is a further threat to copper production.

There is also the risk of strike action at Antofagasta’s Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile where workers rejected the latest wage offer.

Spot Chinese Tc/Rcs ‘Treatment and refining charges’ have fallen in China to US$38.5/t, a new 10-year low vs the Freeport contract price of $59.50/t & 5.9c/lb. Platts quoted one seller as potentially lowering bids to into the high 30s last month.

China’s SRB ‘State Reserve Bureau’ is likely to push copper into the market to stabilise prices while making substantial profit for the state.

This may account for recent inflows into Shanghai and LME warehouses though, visible inventories these days are more often a reflection of the need to raise collateral than evidence of actual stock building.

With copper at $ 8,979/t It is not at all surprising that some metal is coming off-warrant and onto the official/visible side of LME and other warehouses.

Strong demand and internal metal movement is causing queues at warehouses

Container shortages and shipping delays are also disrupting the supply chain.

Ongoing Covid restrictions in Latin America may cause further interruption to supply

Chile – Government resume lockdown as Santiago cases surge

The government announced new restrictions putting all areas in Santiago under strict weekend quarantines as of March 13 as well as extending nightly curfew.

The metropolitan area of Santiago is home to 40% of the nation’s population

Copper mining and other economic sectors deemed essential are exempt from Chile’s restrictions.


Fund flows show US$32.5bn of new investment into equities for the week to 10 March (Reuters)

The BofA report also shows $1.8bn coming out of gold and $15.4bn coming out of bonds causing bond yields to jump higher.

Investors were seen rotating out of overvalued technology stocks and into stocks offering more certain fundamental value.

Bond investors will have been looking for less risky equity plays in utilities and other more stable sectors.

Gold investors are more likely to move into underlying mining equities which may account for the pickup in Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining last week despite the pull back in gold prices and rise in oil price which has a significant impact of costs.


China reports a 365% yoy increase in car sales to 1.46m vehicles in February (CAAM).

The figures are highly skewed by the COVID-19 lockdown in China in February last year

NEVs ‘New Electric Vehicles’ sold 110,000 units.

The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers is forecasting sales to increase by 4% this year.

Semiconductor shortages may slow automotive production. The Chinese government has been quick to react to help secure semiconductor supply and to build new foundry capacity in China to prevent semiconductor shortages for Chinese manufacturers in future.


Chinese base metal inventories rise across the board this week

Copper inventories rose +5.4% to 172,000t – the sixth consecutive weekly rise.

Aluminium inventories rose +3.8% to 364,000t – highest level since May.

Zinc inventories rose +4.2% to 123,000t – highest since April.

Nickel inventories rose +11% to 12,603t (Bloomberg).


Recent Interviews:

VOX Markets: 12/03/20:


*SP Angel almost invariably acts as nomad or broker or nomad and broker to companies mentioned in the above videos and podcasts.

We speak more about these companies as we have a good understanding of their business and can talk with a greater degree of confidence. As ever, however, it should be noted that our views do not take into account the circumstances and needs of any particular investor or investor type. So enjoy the talks, but please do your own research, including other companies not mentioned by us but operating in the same areas, and get professional advice where appropriate.


IGTV:  Sam Wahab on Oil: what is driving up the price?

Are we in a new commodity supercycle, or is one coming?

Is this a new Supercycle for commodities:

Metals expected to continue the last-year gains into 2021

Is 2021 the start of the new COVID-Supercycle or will Lockdowns delay the recovery?


No.1 in Copper:  “The winner of the 2020 Fastmarkets Apex contest for copper was the team at SP Angel comprising John Meyer, Sergey Raevskiy and Simon Beardsmore, with an  accuracy score of 93.8%”

No1. In Gold:  “SP Angel’s trio took the top spot for the gold price prediction throughout the year, with an accuracy score of 97.59%”

The SP Angel team also ranked 1st in Palladium, 3rd in Tin and 5th in Silver in the fourth quarter of 2020


Dow Jones Industrials +0.58% at 32,486

Nikkei 225 +1.73% at 29,718

HK Hang Seng -2.20% at 28,740

Shanghai Composite +0.47% at 3,453



US – Attention turns to the Fed with the next FOMC meeting scheduled for 16-17 March after the ECB announced a step up in its bond buying rate.

10y bond yields resumed an upward trend climbing 6bp this morning and trading around 1.6%.

Labour numbers released yesterday showed a drop in jobless claims as the economy gradually recovers.

Initial Jobless Claims (‘000): 712 v 754 (revised from 745) in the previous week and 725est.

Continuing Claims (‘000): 4,144 v 4,337 (revised from 4,295) in the previous week and 4,200 est.


ECB – The central bank pledged to ramp up purchases of government debt in coming months in an attempt to contain the latest rise in market yields.

Policy makers see purchases in the next quarter “to be conducted at a significantly higher pace than during the first months of this year,” the statement read.

The overall size of the QE programme remained unchanged at €1.85tn.

“Increases in these market interest rates, when left unchecked, could translate into a premature tightening of financing conditions for all sectors of the economy… this is undesirable,” ECB President Christine Lagarde said.

Benchmark 10y German bond yields climbed more than 20bp since early February with rates pulling back following the announcement before returning to Wednesday levels.

The ECB remains committed to monetary stimulus stating that it will accelerate its QE programme over the next few months

The move is in response to rising borrowing costs and bond yields amid an uncertain economic outlook.


UK – The economy contracted at the fastest pace in January since the spring as government implemented strict lockdown rules while Brexit came into force.

GDP fell 2.9%mom v -4.9%mom market estimates.

Services accounting for 80% of the economy shrank 3.5%mom while manufacturing also reported a decline with output off 2.5%mom marking the first contraction since April.


UK/EU – Trade collapses between two regions in the first month following the Brexit split.

UK goods exports to the EU dropped nearly 41%mom in January while imports from the EU were down 29%mom.

Hardest hit EU imports were machinery and transport equipment, including cars, and medical and pharmaceutical products, Bloomberg reports.

“What we don’t know is how much of this is permanent and how much is ‘teething troubles’ and will gradually return… you could possibly attribute a quarter of the changes to stockpiling effects,” former UK trade negotiator David Henig said.

The UK government commenting on the data argued numbers reflected stockpiling, COVID-19 lockdown and businesses adjusting to the new arrangement.


Indonesia – government spending to focus on transportation sector in attempt to spur economic growth

The Indonesian government plans to issue sharia-compliant bonds worth US$2bn this year to finance the country’s costly infrastructure projects, according to the Finance Ministry.

Proceeds will finance 870 development projects to be managed by 11 ministries including the Transportation and Defence Ministry.

According to the Finance Ministry, The biggest allocation would be made to the transportation sector, as the Transportation Ministry and the PUPR are tasked with strengthening connectivity and logistics in 2021,”

Connectivity is seen as the key driver for higher economic growth in Indonesia, as the country is dispersed over 17,000 islands which makes building critical Infrastructure costly and logistically complicated.

Indonesia raised Rp 23.3tn (US$1.67bn) in 2020 in order to stimulate growth as the economy plunged into recession, and the Finance Ministry estimate that 91% of this was used to finance infrastructure spending.

The National Development Planning Agency estimate that Indonesia requires infrastructure investments of around US$430bn by 2024.

After transportation, energy projects are expected to receive the second largest proportion of the planned budget. Funding will be used to improve the country’s overall energy capacity and diversify its energy mix.

Reducing regulation has been a key priority for the government in terms of energy investment, with President Widodo commenting: “Speed of service, speed of giving out permits, are the keys to bureaucratic reform,”


UK communities Secretary calls for public enquiry into Cumbria Coal Mine

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has intervened in the planning decision to build the Woodhouse Colliery in Cumbria, citing the need to a public inquiry about its potential climate impacts.

Jenrick is calling for the decision to be made by the central government rather than by local planning authorities which is likely to slow down development and potentially cast doubt on the project.

Woodhouse would be the first new coal mine in the UK in three decades, producing coking coal necessary for the steel industry.

The coking coal at Woodhouse would be used by the domestic steel industry who currently have to source coal from abroad.

Climate activists would view the cancellation of the mine as a win, naive to the fact that coal produced abroad would almost certainly be at a greater environmental cost due to less stringent practices and emissions from shipping the coal to the UK.


Currencies US$1.1931/eur vs 1.1966eur yesterday.  Yen 109.14/$ vs 108.46/$.  SAr 14.988/$ vs 14.918/$.  $1.394/gbp vs $1.395/gbp.  0.775/aud vs 0.788/aud.  CNY 6.505/$ vs 6.495/$.


Commodity News

Precious metals:  

Gold US$1,707/oz vs US$1,740/oz yesterday

Gold ETFs 101.7moz vs US$101.9moz yesterday

Platinum US$1,179/oz vs US$1,223/oz yesterday

Palladium US$2,338oz vs US$2,323/oz yesterday

Silver US$25.66/oz vs US$26.44/oz yesterday


Base metals:  

Copper US$ 8,979/t vs US$9,066/t yesterday

Aluminium US$ 2,156/t vs US$2,181/t yesterday

Nickel US$ 16,040/t vs US$16,355/t yesterday

Zinc US$ 2,807/t vs US$2,809/t yesterday

Lead US$ 1,955/t vs US$1,969/t yesterday

Tin US$ 26,295/t vs US$25,630/t yesterday



Oil US$69.4/bbl vs US$68.6/bbl yesterday

OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) released yesterday continues the group’s bullish sentiment, estimating that global oil demand is set to benefit from stronger economic recovery and vaccinations in the second half of this year, adjusting higher its outlook for the second half of 2021 and raising slightly its full-year oil demand forecast

The group however, revised down its estimates for global oil demand for the first half of the year due to extended lockdowns in major economies in Europe and high unemployment rates in the United States slowing the recovery

In hindsight, the OPEC+ group’s decision from last week not to lift collective crude oil production from April, leaving only small exemptions to Russia and Kazakhstan, seems not so surprising after all, as it sees now oil demand in the first and second quarters of 2021 lower than in last month’s assessment

In this month’s report, OPEC cut its oil demand estimate for Q1 by 180,000bopd, and for Q2 by 310,000bopd compared to the February outlook

In the third quarter, OPEC now sees demand at 97.43MMbopd, up by 400,000bopd compared to last month’s assessment

For the fourth quarter, global oil demand is expected at 98.91MMbopd, up by 970,000bopd compared to the estimate in February

Elsewhere, the rising premium of North Sea’s benchmark Brent over Dubai crude is making shipment of Brent-linked oil to Asia more expensive and likely to reduce in the coming months

The Brent premium over Dubai jumped to the highest since December 2019 at over US$3/bbl according to data from PVM Oil Associates and Bloomberg

The key reason for this is the upcoming heavy maintenance on a number of oilfields in the North Sea, which will reduce the availability of North Sea oil to the market

Dated Brent is also much higher than Dubai crude in recent months because of the lower production of US light sweet oil out of the American shale patch that would have otherwise competed with the North Sea oil

Therefore, the highest premium of Brent over Dubai in nearly 15 months will likely be closing the arbitrage for some Atlantic basin crudes to be shipped to Asia, the region which is showing relative resilience in crude oil demand these days

Other crudes priced off Brent, such as Russia’s Urals and crudes from West Africa, could also find it more difficult to attract buyers in Asia, in view of the rising premium of Brent over Dubai, off which the Middle Eastern oil producers price their oil to Asia

Sales of Russia’s Urals are currently slow, while Nigeria struggles to place its barrels that would typically sell in Europe given the still low European demand due to the COVID-19 lockdowns

Natural Gas US$2.642/mmbtu vs US$2.697mmbtu yesterday

Natural gas prices moved lower on Thursday in the wake of the Department of Energy’s inventory report

The weather in the U.S. is expected to be cooler than normal over the next 6-10 days and then turning more moderate

Natural gas in storage was 1,793Bcf as of Friday 5 March 2021, according to the EIA  

This represents a net decrease of 52Bcf from the previous week

Expectations were for an 85Bcf draw according to survey provider Estimize

Stocks were 257Bcf less than last year at this time and 141Bcf below the five-year average of 1,934Bcf

At 1,793Bcf, total working gas is within the five-year historical range



Iron ore 62% Fe spot (cfr Tianjin) US$163.7/t vs US$158.7/t

Chinese steel rebar 25mm US$726.2/t vs US$718.1/t

Thermal coal (1st year forward cif ARA) US$68.8/t vs US$69.1/t

Coking coal swap Australia FOB US$133.0/t vs US$132.0/t



Cobalt LME 3m US$52,610/t vs US$52,610/t

NdPr Rare Earth Oxide (China) US$87,779/t vs US$88,536/t

Lithium carbonate 99% (China) US$12,298/t vs US$12,318/t

Spodumene 6% Li2O min, cif (China) US$510/t vs US$455/t

Ferro Vanadium 80% FOB (China) US$34.5/kg vs US$34.5/kg

Ferro-Manganese high carbon 78% Mn US$1,625/t vs US$1,625/t

Tungsten APT European US$263-268/mtu vs US$260-265/mtu

Graphite flake 94% C, -100 mesh, fob China US$560/t vs US$560/t                

Graphite spherical 99.95% C, 15 microns, fob China US$2,625/t vs US$2,625/t


Battery News

LG to invest $4.5bn in US battery operation by 2025

LG Energy Solution is set to increase investment in US battery production via its joint venture with General Motors.

LG say the investment will help create 10,000 jobs, with the JV currently building a $2.3bn factory in Lordstown, Ohio.

GM has vowed to make its entire global fleet electric by 2035, promising to roll out 30 new battery-powered vehicles globally within five years.


Dirty coal to hydrogen  

A Japanese-Australian venture has begun producing hydrogen from brown coal in an A$500m pilot project that aims to show liquefied hydrogen can be produced commercially and exported safely overseas.  

The plan is to create the first international supply chain for liquefied hydrogen and the next step will be to ship a cargo on the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier.  

The project is producing hydrogen by reacting coal with oxygen and steam under high heat and pressure in a process that also yields carbon dioxide and other gases.  

If the project goes commercial, the carbon dioxide will be buried off the coast of Victoria.  


National Energy buys 70MW of wind and solar in Greece 

London based investment platform National Energy Holdings has finalised the acquisition of a portfolio of operational wind farm and solar farms totalling around 70MW in Greece.  

The company said it had completed the transaction with IBG Hellenic Fund III, a private equity fund managed by Hellenic Capital Partners.  

With the deal completed, HFIII divested the operating assets of its renewable energy portfolio and is heading for full divestment, according to a release by National Energy 

Launched two years ago, National Energy aims to develop, build, own and operate renewable power plants across Europe, starting from Greece. 


Company News

Alba Mineral Resources (LON:ALBA) 0.37p, Mkt cap £21.5m – Results from the Clogau St David’s mine

Alba Minerals has now completed its Phase 1 drilling programme at the Clogau St David mine in north Wales with the final hole of the programme, LL010 terminated at a depth of 176.4m bringing the total drilled to 1158m.

Data published in today’s announcement does not appear to include assays, however, the company says that the intersection in hole LL0101 at 122m below the existing Llechfraith workings is the deepest of the programme and that “The mineralisation remains open along strike to the west, and as the host stratigraphy is also dipping to the west the deposit could extend to increasing depths to the west where historical reports suggest the structure joins up with the Lode mined at Vigra Mine.”

Future drilling is expected to “infill between the Vigra workings and Llechfraith, with a view to extending the Llechfraith Lode to the west and to greater depths”.

Alba Minerals’ short-term objective is to dewater the workings at Llechfraith to allow access to “No. 4 Level, one of the most recent areas of production in the Mine … [in order to] … afford the Company an improved understanding of gold distribution within the lode structure”.

Mark Austin, COO of Alba explained that the intersection of the Llechfraith Lode at depth “has implications for the entire Clogau St. David’s Gold Mine, as it indicates that gold-bearing structures mined in and around the Mine could extend significantly to depths which historical mining never reached”.  Mr. Austin said that this would be followed up shortly during Phase 2 surface drilling.

Hole LL010 intersected “the Upper Lode quartz vein system from 120 to 129 m and the Lower Lode quartz vein system from 139 to 145 m … [with] … A total of 1.82 m of quartz veins … intersected in the Upper Lode and 5.92 m in the Lower Lode including one intercept of 3.73 m which is the widest intercept in the entire programme.”

Conclusion: We await assays from the recent drilling which has encountered mineralisation at depth below the historic workings in areas not accessible to previous miners.


Beowulf Mining* (LON:BEM) 4.75p, Mkt cap £39.3m – Scoping study contract awarded for Aitolampi Graphite Project

Beowulf reports that a contract has been awarded to Afry Finland Oy (AFRY) to conduct a Scoping Study on the Aitolampi Graphite Project in Finland, currently being developed by Beowulf’s 100% owned Oy Fennoscandian Resources AB.

The project contains an estimated 1.275mt of graphite possessing almost perfect crystallinity- vital for high-tech applications such as anodes in lithium-ion batteries.

Drilling at Aitolampi in 2019 supported an upgraded mineral resource estimate with an 81% increase in contained graphite for the higher-grade western zone, and an updated global Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 26.7mt at 4.8% TGC for 1,275,000 tonnes of contained graphite.

The Scoping Study aims to verify the robustness of work completed by Fennoscandian and to provide a roadmap for the next project development stage, most likely a Pre-feasibility Study.

AFRY is a leading European engineering and consulting company employing more than 16,000 experts worldwide, and one of the leading           mining and environmental consultants in Finland.

 Kurt Budge, CEO of Beowulf commented: “It’s great to be working with AFRY on the Aitolampi Scoping Study. We will benefit from the AFRY team’s deep competence in environmental matters, permitting and sustainability. “Fennoscandian is the only natural flake graphite developer in Finland and, following on from the announcement regarding the Memorandum of Understanding with Epsilon Advanced Materials, this is another workstream that pushes Fennoscandian forwards in 2021.”

“Since Fennoscandian was acquired in January 2016, Beowulf has invested over €1.56 million in graphite exploration, resource development, metallurgical testwork and the assessment of market applications for graphite from Aitolampi, including lithium-ion battery applications. Fennoscandian is pursuing a strategy to develop a resource/production base of natural flake graphite that can provide ‘security of supply’ and enable Finland and Europe to achieve the shared ambition of self-sufficiency in manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles and renewables storage.”

*SP Angel act as Nomad and Broker to Beowulf Mining


Hummingbird Resources (LON:HUM) 22p, Mkt Cap £78m – Dugbe drilling results

The Company reports on drilling results from the Dugbe Gold Project in Liberia carried by Pasofino Gold who earns-in a 49% in the asset.

Selected intersections from the first drill holes of the planned 5,500m programme at Dugbe F, one of the two deposits on the Dugbe Gold Project, include:

26.7 metres at 1.44 g/t gold from 86.9 metres in DFDC338

10.0 metres at 1.48 g/t gold from 67.9 metres in DFDC335

14.6 metres at 1.30 g/t gold from 102.0 metres in DFDC335

4.1 metres at 2.17 g/t gold from 16.9 metres in DFDC334

The current programme is focused on infill drilling Inferred MRE at Dugbe targeting to grow the Indicated category to 0.6-1.0moz.

Current Dugbe F MRE stands at 273koz in the Indicated category and 823koz in the Inferred resource.

This if the first drilling programme since 2014.

Total Dugbe Gold Project MRE is currently 47.7mt at 1.51g/t for 2,304koz in Indicated and 26.7mt at 1.47g/t for 1,262koz in Inferred categories.


Talga Resources* (LON:TLG) A$1.30, Mkt cap A$368m – Scoping Study on graphite resources in Sweden

(Talga shares will be admitted to the S&P/ASX All Ordinaries Index by 22 March. The index represents the 500 largest companies in the Australian equities market)

Talga Resources’ financial report for the period to 31st December 2020 provides details on the progress of the company’s plans to develop the Vittangi Anode Project in Sweden where the company aims to start production in 2023.

The company reports a “15% increase in total natural graphite resources at Vittangi as a result of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for Talga’s Nunasvaara deposit” as well as a positive scoping study for its Niska project which could make the company “the largest natural graphite anode producer in the world”.

The study envisages a mining rate of 400,000tpa pre-tax free cashflow of US$690mpa over a 14 year mine life and cash costs of US$2,380/t for coated anode (Talnode®-C) and graphene (Talphene®) products.  The estimated NPV8% is expected to lie in the range of US$2.4-4.6bn with base case US$3.5bn with an IRR of 47% for the base case and a pay-back within 1.7 years.

Talga Resources also highlights the Letter of Intent between itself and State-owned LKAB and Mitsui Europe for the “joint development of the Vittangi Anode Project” and the commitment of “Global technology leader ABB to support development and construction of Talga’s Vittangi Anode Project under executed Memorandum of Understanding”.

Among its priorities for 2021, the company plans

To deliver a detailed feasibility study for the Vittangi Anode Project, along with partnerships and funding for the development; and

The completion of a 25,000 tonne trial mine at Niska to produce “up to 5,000 tonnes of commercial Talnode® product samples”; and

The “Completion and submission of permitting applications for the Niska expansion towards taking Talga’s total Talnode®-C production to >100,000tpa by 2025-26”; as well as ;

Additional drilling to expand and upgrade the mineral resources of the Vittangi Graphite Project; and

Complete the feasibility studies into “into potential Talnode®-C and Talnode®-Si production for the emerging UK lithium-ion battery value chain; and … Accelerate the development and commercialisation of next generation Talnode® products including solid state battery anodes”.

Talga Resources reports a 31st December 2020 cash balance of A$32.4m and subsequently closed a “heavily oversubscribed” offer to eligible shareholders and “In acknowledgement of the strong shareholder support the Talga Board elected to increase the size of the Share Purchase Plan offer to ~A$30 million, with the additional proceeds being used to bring forward and ramp-up multiple project and product developments.”

Conclusion:  Talga is setting an ambitious agenda for the development, construction and financing of its graphite projects in Sweden which could place the company as the world’s largest graphite anode producer.  Securing strategic alliances with a Swedish state mining operator and leading international industrial companies alongside the company’s own recent funding success is, in our view, positive for the development agenda and we look forward to news of further progress.

*SP Angel acted as UK broker to Talga Resources. SP Angel also act for Oxis Energy a leading Lithium metal battery development company.



John Meyer – – 0203 470 0490

Simon Beardsmore – – 0203 470 0484

Sergey Raevskiy – – 0203 470 0474

Joe Rowbottom – – 0203 470 0486



Richard Parlons – – 0203 470 0472

Abigail Wayne – – 0203 470 0534

Rob Rees – – 0203 470 0535

Grant Barker – – 0203 470 0471



SP Angel                                                            

Prince Frederick House

35-39 Maddox Street London



*SP Angel are the No1 integrated nomad and broker by number of mining brokerage clients on AIM according to the AIM Advisers Ranking Guide (joint brokerships excluded)

+SP Angel employees may have previously held, or currently hold, shares in the companies mentioned in this note.


Sources of commodity prices

Gold, Platinum, Palladium, Silver

BGNL (Bloomberg Generic Composite rate, London)

Gold ETFs, Steel


Copper, Aluminium, Nickel, Zinc, Lead, Tin, Cobalt


Oil Brent


Natural Gas, Uranium, Iron Ore


Thermal Coal

Bloomberg OTC Composite

Coking Coal




Lithium Carbonate, Ferro Vanadium, Antimony

Asian Metal


Metal Bulletin



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