Thursday 14th December 2017

Resource Clips


May, 2016

May 31st, 2016

Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Maybe they’re quaint, but some people do invest as “some sort of movement” GoldSeek
Tesla’s rise has inspired a dozen new electric vehicle rivals Equities.com
Lithium 2016: Demand on the rise Industrial Minerals
A new golden bull, or has the market gone too far too fast? Streetwise Reports
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500
Gold takes a breather. Is this the buying opportunity investors are looking for? Stockhouse
Total makes $1.1-billion battery bid for foothold in the new oil Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

Rob Maurer of the Smithers Exploration Group lauds the non-profit Geoscience B.C. for releasing its data publicly

May 30th, 2016

…Read more

Vancouver Commodity Forum adds speakers: Gerald McCarvill, Jon Hykawy and Joe Martin

May 30th, 2016

by Greg Klein | May 30, 2016

Three more names bring additional expertise and insight to the June 14 Vancouver Commodity Forum. Prince Arthur Capital chairperson/CEO Gerald McCarvill, Stormcrow Capital president/director Jon Hykawy and Cambridge House International founder Joe Martin will address the conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Already booked are Chris Berry of the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, John Kaiser of Kaiser Research Online and Stephan Bogner of Rockstone Research.

Vancouver Commodity Forum adds speakers Gerald McCarvill, Jon Hykawy and Joe Martin

The speaker lineup grows as the June 14 Vancouver event approaches.

McCarvill’s 30-year CV includes conducting mining and energy projects globally, as well as private equity and finance transactions. Among other career highlights, he helped establish Repadre Capital, now IAMGOLD TSX:IMG, and Desert Sun Mining, later acquired by Yamana Gold TSX:YRI. McCarvill also helped develop and finance Consolidated Thompson Iron Ore from a $2-million entry valuation to its $4.9-billion sale to Cliffs Natural Resources NYSE:CLF.

An expert in areas such as lithium, rare earths, fluorspar and tin, Hykawy combines a 14-year Bay Street background with an MBA in marketing, along with post-doctoral work as a physicist with Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories and the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. His technical background also includes work on rechargeable batteries and fuel cells, as well as wind and solar energy.

Starting off in business journalism, Martin created BC Business magazine, then founded Cambridge House International to present some of the world’s largest mining/exploration conferences. He remains active in semi-retirement as a prominent advocate for investment regulatory reform.

The Vancouver Commodity Forum also features a range of companies pursuing lithium, uranium, rare earths, gold, nickel, copper, diamonds, jade, scandium, zeolite, magnesium and potash. Click here for free registration.

Interview: Chris Berry discusses the lithium boom.

May 30th, 2016

Tesla’s rise has inspired a dozen new electric vehicle rivals Equities.com
Lithium 2016: Demand on the rise Industrial Minerals
A new golden bull, or has the market gone too far too fast? Streetwise Reports
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500
Q1 silver maple leaf coin sales surge to highest record ever SilverSeek
Gold takes a breather. Is this the buying opportunity investors are looking for? Stockhouse
Total makes $1.1-billion battery bid for foothold in the new oil Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

Volkswagen ponders a German Gigafactory

May 28th, 2016

by Greg Klein | May 28, 2016

A multi-billion-euro electric vehicle battery factory could be coming to Germany if Volkswagen approves the idea. The German business daily Handelsblatt said VW has the plan under consideration and might make an announcement at the firm’s annual meeting on June 22.

Volkswagen ponders a German Gigafactory

Volkswagen hopes models like the E-Up will improve
the company’s image as well as its revenues.
(Image: Volkswagen)

Citing unnamed company sources, Handelsblatt stated, “The company’s executive board looks likely to approve the plan, which is also supported in principle by the works council and the state of Lower Saxony, its major shareholder.”

The Dieselgate-bedevilled company hopes to expand its electric car sales to one million within a decade, according to the journal.

Earlier this month Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said at least 12 mega-factories are expected to be producing lithium-ion batteries by 2020.

While unveiling Tesla Motors’ Model 3 on March 31, CEO Elon Musk announced the company’s Nevada Gigafactory is “already operational today.”

Interview: Chris Berry discusses the lithium boom.

Lithium: Boom or bubble?

May 27th, 2016

The metal crashed once before. Chris Berry discusses its prospects this time around

by Greg Klein

It’s the mining and exploration world’s hottest commodity, with parabolic prices amid a rush to find new sources of supply. But can lithium sustain this level of enthusiasm? Consider the collapse of uranium in 2007, rare earths in 2011, graphite in 2012 and—in this case, most foreboding—lithium itself between 2009 and 2011. Is this time different? Or should we heed a cautionary tale?

“We live in very exciting times in terms of how energy is used, generated and stored, and lithium is at the epicentre of that,” says Chris Berry. As an analyst with House Mountain Partners and the Disruptive Discoveries Journal, he examines the interplay of technology, emerging economies and commodities, especially energy minerals. “The demand story, when you look at the forecasts for electric vehicles and energy storage in particular, is real. It’s defensible and it’s sound.” Yet lessons from the past can’t be ignored, he adds.

The metal crashed once before. Chris Berry discusses its prospects this time around

Even more than in North America, electric vehicles have become a
prominent feature of European streetscapes, as this Paris scene shows.
(Photo: Greg Klein)

“The lithium story in 2009 was almost the same as it is today: ‘Electric vehicles are here.’ In other words, they were considered ready to compete,” he recalls. “But that wasn’t the case. In 2009 they could not compete on a cost basis with internal combustion engines. I think the main difference now is the absolute collapse in cost of a lithium-ion battery on a per-kilowatt-hour basis. Now, because lithium-ion battery prices fall by about 14% per year, we are getting to the point where vehicle electrification can take hold.”

Although battery costs did drop in 2009, “on a per-kilowatt-hour basis the average battery was much more expensive than it is today.” This time around, “batteries continue to get cheaper and they continue to get more powerful at the same time. That’s a winning combination.”

Variable oil and gas prices play a role too. “But when you look at the broad trend, battery prices are falling.”

Berry’s forecasts might be less bullish than others, but remain optimistic. “There are predictions that EVs will be 20% to 25% of the overall vehicle fleet by 2025. I think that if full electric vehicles, plug-ins and hybrids made up 5% to 7% of the global fleet by 2025, that would be a huge win for the lithium market in particular and for the electric vehicle movement as well.”

Meeting demand brings on the challenges of “making a discovery, getting it permitted and ultimately building a mine,” Berry notes. “I see a tight lithium market over the next three or four years, although not anything where demand is going to blow supply away. But you can’t forget some of the lessons of the past where niche metal prices went crazy, a huge flock of juniors went into the space and a lot of capital was misallocated and lost. You have to think about the difference between investing and speculating.”

The metal crashed once before. Chris Berry discusses its prospects this time around

Chris Berry: “The main difference now is the absolute collapse in cost of a lithium-ion battery on a per-kilowatt-hour basis.”

On issues of electrification, much media attention focuses on one company and its charismatic, tremendously accomplished founder. So could the boom go bust should that firm experience setbacks or, God forbid, Elon Musk get run over by a diesel-burning bus?

“Vehicle electrification really is a Tesla-centric story right now,” Berry acknowledges. “But I think the focus on Tesla is misguided. When you look at the automotive landscape you’ve got so many other automotive companies electrifying their vehicle fleets to varying degrees over the next three to five to seven years. I credit Tesla with making people realize that vehicle electrification can work. But focusing on that one company is very short-sighted.”

Nor will Tesla’s Gigafactory be the planet’s sole battery-building behemoth. At least 12 such factories are expected to come online by 2020, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Another recent report says Volkswagen’s considering joining the group.

Berry also emphasizes the importance of a “huge, existing lithium-ion battery supply chain” that continues to grow as companies like Panasonic, Samsung SDI and LG Chem expand their capacity.

But what are the chances of a rival technology taking over? “In the next five to 10 years, absolutely zero,” Berry responds. “To be fair, there are many other chemistries out there. But lithium-ion has been around for 30 years, it’s been commercially used safely since 1991, it’s been scaled up and mass-produced. So a lot of the R&D and technology is really focused on lithium-ion right now. It would take at least five to 10 years for any of these other chemistries to catch up with and supplant lithium-ion.”

Ultimately different battery chemistries will be used for different needs, for example long-distance driving versus energy storage, he adds. “But lithium-ion is the clear frontrunner and I do not expect that to change in the next five to 10 years.”

Having said that, he sees lithium’s price eventually settling back from its steep ascent. “But I think lithium prices will remain higher than they had been for the previous 18 to 24 months,” Berry says. “And that has to do with that really tight market for supply right now.”

Chris Berry addresses the Vancouver Commodity Forum on June 14. Click here for free registration.

May 27th, 2016

Lithium 2016: Demand on the rise Industrial Minerals
A new golden bull, or has the market gone too far too fast? Streetwise Reports
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500
Q1 silver maple leaf coin sales surge to highest record ever SilverSeek
The worst debt crisis in history could be upon us Equities.com
Gold takes a breather. Is this the buying opportunity investors are looking for? Stockhouse
Total makes $1.1-billion battery bid for foothold in the new oil Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

The Dow celebrates its 120th birthday

May 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | May 26, 2016

The Dow celebrates its 120th birthday

A chart shows how each industry contributed to the average since 1992.
(S&P Dow Jones Indices)

 

Long gone are the days when an analyst for the Dow Jones Industrial Average “would pull ticker tape from the machine, bloodying his hands while furiously calculating the gauge on which the markets hung,” says the firm’s anniversary promo. “By contrast, S&P Dow Jones Indices—the owner and publisher of the DJIA—now calculates over one million indices using an advanced calculation platform with operation centres around the globe.” On May 26 S&P celebrated 120 years of the benchmark created by Charles Dow and Edward Jones in 1896.

That was a somewhat tumultuous year in American history, as two presidential candidates fought over the gold standard and other economic issues. Resulting anxiety wiped over 30% from the new index.

Charles and Edward actually began with the 11-stock Dow Jones Railroad Average, since evolved into the Dow Jones Transportation Average. The railway list complemented their Customer’s Afternoon Letter, the precursor to the Wall Street Journal. The DJIA began with 12 stocks, grew to 20 in 1916 and reached the present level of 30 in 1928. Nasdaq stocks joined in 1999, towards the end of the index’s best decade. Not exactly open to junior explorers, listings are limited to large- and mega-cap companies. As of March 31 their capitalizations averaged $86.08 billion, compared with $37.37 billion for the S&P 500.

Of the original dozen companies, General Electric remains as the only survivor under the same name, although its presence hasn’t been continuous. GE was dropped twice prior to 1907.

Meanwhile the pace accelerates. Although the index took 76 years to close on 1,000 points, it needed less than 12 months to bolt from 9,000 to 10,000 in 1999. That same year the DJIA jumped to 11,000 in just 24 days. The speed of each 1,000-point climb continues to hasten.

A bi-polar year, 2008 recorded five of the benchmark’s 10 best days and four of its worst by points. By percentage, the early Depression years of 1929 to 1933 held seven of the 10 best days and five of the worst.

Commemorating the anniversary while symbolizing market swings, green and red lights blazed on the Empire State Building the night of May 25. Honchos from S&P and some DJIA companies rang the May 26 NYSE closing bell.

May 26th, 2016

A new golden bull, or has the market gone too far too fast? Streetwise Reports
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500
Q1 silver maple leaf coin sales surge to highest record ever SilverSeek
The worst debt crisis in history could be upon us Equities.com
Gold takes a breather. Is this the buying opportunity investors are looking for? Stockhouse
Solar energy: Harnessing the heat Industrial Minerals
Total makes $1.1-billion battery bid for foothold in the new oil Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

Drilling begins as Equitas Resources works to expand its Brazilian gold producer

May 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | May 26, 2016

With two rigs busy on a 20-hole program, Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT has 2016 Phase I well underway at its newly acquired Cajueiro gold operation in central Brazil. Under focus is the 39,053-hectare property’s Baldo zone and its high-grade oxidized saprolite, which the company believes offers potential for low-cost mining. Baldo currently hosts small-scale alluvial gold production which Equitas hopes to eventually expand into an open pit mine.

Drilling begins as Equitas Resources works to expand its Brazilian gold producer

The 20 holes will total about 1,600 metres. Along with 700 metres of trenching that began earlier this month, the campaign will target a mineralized corridor 650 metres in strike. Work should take about one month.

A March 43-101 technical report recalculated data from Cajueiro’s 2013 resource estimate, providing new numbers for four zones of sulphides and oxides. The project’s sulphides now total 214,100 gold ounces indicated and 203,500 ounces inferred. Oxides total 78,400 ounces inferred.

Baldo’s oxides show an inferred 309,000 tonnes averaging 3.029 grams per tonne for 30,100 gold ounces. The tonnage might be modest, but past results suggest this is the area with the strongest near-term potential for resource expansion.

Mini-bulk sampling of oxidized saprolite from the target area in 2014 and 2015 brought grades as high as 5.77 g/t and 87.2 g/t gold. The sole previous hole on this structure found 1.48 g/t over 29.85 metres in the sulphide bedrock. “In general the oxidized saprolite component of the mineralization contains significant enrichment in gold grades compared to the bedrock sulphide domain,” Equitas stated.

Thirty-four saprolite grab samples taken from across the Baldo zone in 2012 assayed between 0.01 g/t to 118.47 g/t gold, and averaged 14.67 g/t. Twenty of those samples graded above 0.5 g/t. “Additionally, a 100-kilogram sample of saprolite taken from the southern Baldo target area for metallurgical testing yielded a head grade of 8.9 g/t gold,” the company added.

Equitas closed its acquisition of Alta Floresta Gold and its 184,410-hectare Brazilian portfolio just last month. The company plans to fund incremental expansion of the Cajueiro flagship through the project’s revenue. Alluvial production at Baldo has been underway since June, now producing around a kilogram of gold a month at about 30% to 35% recovery. The company sees considerable potential for improvement by installing a gravity plant, then carbon-in-leach processing that might raise recovery to about 85%. In the longer term, Equitas hopes to run a full open pit operation.

Cajueiro connects by road to the city of Alta Floresta, 95 kilometres north. A hydro-electric dam now under construction should provide energy for the project area within two years.

The company announced a new advisory board earlier this month. Last month Equitas closed the final tranche of a $1.5-million private placement with strong insider participation.

Read more about Equitas Resources.