Monday 20th November 2017

Resource Clips


All posts by Greg Klein - Resource Clips

Avoid a European sell-off

November 19th, 2017

Zimtu Capital offers a timely warning to dual-listed companies

by Greg Klein

A little-known legal requirement threatens Canadian companies trading in Europe. But it’s a threat that’s easily avoided. Beginning January 3, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) will require all companies trading in the continent to have a 20-digit alpha-numeric code called a Legal Entity Identifier. Companies that don’t could be delisted. Companies that don’t apply for an LEI could face a pre-delisting sell-off by European investors.

Zimtu Capital offers a timely warning to dual-listed companies

By disregarding new requirements, Canadian companies
risk unnecessary selling in Frankfurt and elsewhere in Europe.

As the deadline approaches, a surprising number of companies on this side of the pond remain unaware of the requirement. Yet the LEI can be obtained easily. Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC president Dave Hodge encourages companies to act promptly.

“Zimtu Capital is proud to be one of the leaders in bringing Canadian companies to European markets,” he says. “By getting their LEIs, companies demonstrate commitment to their European shareholders.”

LEIs can be acquired online through an allocating agency such as WM-Leiportal in Germany. No such agencies exist in Canada yet. WM-Leiportal’s English-language online registration takes about 30 minutes. The fee currently comes to an initial €80, with a €70 annual renewal charge. The LEI normally arrives within days of payment being received.

The procedure’s not difficult. Even so, some dual-listed companies have encountered challenges. Having already walked several applicants through the process, Zimtu’s Shaun Ledding compiled a free step-by-step guide available from sledding@zimtu.com.

Zimtu Capital is proud to be one of the leaders in bringing Canadian companies to European markets. By getting their LEIs, companies demonstrate commitment to their European shareholders.—Dave Hodge

As an internationally standardized ID for market participants, the LEI was established by the Financial Stability Board, a Basel, Switzerland-based regulatory committee, on behalf of the G20 in response to the 2008 crisis. Entities such as companies, banks and investment funds use the LEI to comply with a number of financial reporting requirements.

According to the Deutsche Bӧrse Group, “The LEI will clearly assist the regulatory authorities in monitoring and analyzing threats to the stability of the financial markets, [but] it can also be utilized by counterparties internally for risk management purposes.”

The ESMA notes that LEIs are also “required or are in the process of being implemented by other regulators, including those in the U.S., Canada and Asia-Pacific.” Last month the ESMA stated it “expects all relevant trading venues and investment firms to comply with the MiFID II requirements on LEIs ahead of the implementation of the new regime on 3 January 2018.”

“Failure to have an LEI number could result in delisting in Germany and denying Germans the ability to trade a company’s shares,” Ledding points out. Adding that investors can check a company’s LEI status online, he warns: “Companies that do not address this could create a situation of risk for shareholders in Germany, prompting them to sell their shares.”

For a copy of his free guide to obtaining an LEI, write to sledding@zimtu.com.

Double discovery

November 18th, 2017

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

by Greg Klein

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

The Southern High Plains of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma
might someday boost U.S. domestic uranium supply.
(Photo: Public domain)

 

The dream of discovery must motivate many a geologist. Through skill, effort and luck they hope to eventually find something precious, useful or otherwise valuable—something well known yet found in a previously unknown location. But a group of geo-boffins from the U.S. Geological Survey not only identified a type of uranium deposit previously unknown to their country, they discovered a new mineral.

It’s finchite, “a new uranium mineral species,” as a press release described it last week. The discovery actually dates to 2015, says Brad Van Gosen, the USGS scientist who did the discovering.

While surveying a Texas cotton ranch Van Gosen collected samples of what he and his colleagues thought was carnotite, “a pretty common yellow, near-surface uranium mineral.” Back in the lab, he put it under a scanning electron microscope, which kept showing strontium with the uranium and vanadium, he recalls. To a geologist, it was unusual—very unusual. A eureka moment was looming.

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

First to recognize the new mineral finchite, USGS scientist
Brad Van Gosen examines rock layers in Texas.
(Photo: Susan Hall/USGS, public domain)

“We looked it up and there’d been no strontium-uranium mineral ever reported before. So [team leader Susan Hall] worked with a crystallography/mineralogy lab that specializes in micro-analysis up at Notre Dame and they concluded, ‘By gosh you’re right.’” Further study continued before sending the evidence to the International Mineralogical Association. “They’re the high council and they blessed it as a new mineral.” Finchite’s moniker honours the late Warren Finch, a USGS uranium expert.

Another major finding was that the uranium was hosted in calcrete rock formations, a style of deposit known elsewhere but reported for the first time in the U.S.

Some previously secret info led to the twin epiphanies. Hall, as leader of a project that’s reassessing national uranium resources, gained privy to some unpublished 1970s and ’80s data from the former Kerr-McGee company. Included were estimates for two deposits, Sulphur Springs Draw and Buffalo Draw, with marginal grades of 0.04% and 0.05% U3O8 respectively. Together they held an estimated 2.6 million pounds U3O8.

(Of course data from historic sources and the U.S. government agency falls outside the framework of NI 43-101 regulations.)

The newly transpired, near-surface deposits led Hall and her group to the Southern High Plains spanning parts of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. It was there that they recognized calcrete, its first known manifestation in the U.S.

The USGS reports new American uranium potential and a new uranium “species”

Surface showings of yellow finchite might have previously
been mistaken for sulphur, says Van Gosen.
(Photo: Susan Hall/USGS, public domain)

The stuff’s associated with uranium in other countries. Among major calcrete-style deposits listed by the World Nuclear Association are Yeelirrie in Western Australia, along with Trekkopje and Langer Heinrich in Namibia. Yeelirrie is a potential open pit held by a Cameco Corp TSX:CCO subsidiary and averaging 0.16% U3O8. Trekkopje, a potential open pit majority-held by AREVA Resources, averages 0.01%. Langer Heinrich, an open pit mine operated on behalf of Paladin Energy, the majority owner now under administrative control, averages 0.052%.

According to the USGS, grades for potential Southern High Plains deposits range from 0.012% to 0.067%, with a median 0.034% U3O8. Gross tonnage estimates range from 200,000 to 52 million tonnes, with a median 8.4 million tonnes. Together, the region’s calcrete-style potential comes to 39.9 million pounds U3O8.

But that’s a regional assessment, not a resource estimate, reflecting how USGS methodology contrasts with that of exploration companies. The agency uses a three-part approach, explains Mark Mihalasky, who co-ordinated the assessment. The procedure first delineates areas that would allow the occurrence of a particular kind of deposit. Using additional geoscientific evidence, the agency estimates how many deposits might be awaiting discovery. How much those potential deposits hold can be estimated through comparisons with similar known deposits around the world.

Mineral assessment and mineral exploration are two different things…. It’s not a ‘drill here’ assessment.—Mark Mihalasky

“Mineral assessment and mineral exploration are two different things,” Mihalasky emphasizes. “The purpose of our assessment is to help land planners, decision-makers and people in the region get an idea of what could be there, based upon probability. It’s not a ‘drill here’ assessment.

“This whole region is a relatively newly recognized area of potential and while we’re not saying this is a new uranium province we are saying there’s something here that hasn’t been found before in the United States and this might be worth looking into in greater detail if you’re an exploration company.”

Already one company from Australia has been asking “lots of questions,” says Van Gosen. Although most uranium mining in the American west uses in-situ recovery, the shallow depth and soft host rock of the Southern High Plains could present open pit opportunities “assuming uranium prices and other factors are favourable.”

Any positive price assumption will have to wait, however. One week earlier Cameco announced the impending suspension of its high-grade McArthur River mine and Key Lake mill in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin. The company said that long-term contracts had shielded it from uranium’s post-Fukushima plunge of over 70%, but those contracts are now expiring. Cameco had previously suspended its Rabbit Lake mine and reduced production at its American operations.

But while production faces cutbacks, controversy over American dependence on foreign uranium flared up again last month with renewed questions about the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s state-owned Rosatom. The formerly TSX-listed Uranium One holds American resources that could potentially produce up to 1,400 tonnes of uranium annually, according to the WNA. But last year the company’s sole U.S. operation, the Willow Creek ISR mine, produced just 23 tonnes of the country’s total output of 1,126 tonnes.

As the world’s largest consumer of uranium for energy, the U.S. relies on nukes for about 19% of the country’s electricity, according to USGS numbers. Only 11% of last year’s uranium purchases came from domestic sources.

November 17th, 2017

Zirconium chemical market gains traction Industrial Minerals
Uranium production cuts “very positive” for the market Streetwise Reports
Could this be the end for Tesla? Equities.com
Economic pain distributed unevenly through society GoldSeek
Great deposits: The Comstock lode Geology for Investors
Five agents of change investors need to know about now Stockhouse
Gold seems to be entering a secular bull market, says Canaccord’s Yasmin Gordon SmallCapPower
LME zeros in on electric vehicles as London comes of age Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Q2 energy metals earnings review—crunch time for the lithium majors The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Visual Capitalist: The rise of Tesla, part 1 of 3

November 16th, 2017

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | November 16, 2017

Priced at $17 per share just seven years ago, the Tesla IPO ended up being a total bargain for anyone lucky enough to get in.

However, this view comes with the benefit of plenty of hindsight—and even Elon Musk would tell you that it wasn’t always obvious that the company would be around in 2017. There were periods of time when layoffs were rampant, the company’s payroll was covered by credit cards and Tesla was on the brink of bankruptcy.

Tesla’s rise: The history (part 1 of 3)

Today’s massive infographic comes to us from Global Energy Metals TSXV:GEMC and it is the first part of our three-part Rise of Tesla series, which will soon be a definitive source for everything you ever wanted to know about the company.

Part 1 deals with the origin of the company, challenges faced by the first EVs, the company’s strategy and initial execution, and the Tesla Roadster’s development.

 

Infographic The rise of Tesla, part 1 of 3

 

Tesla was initially conceived in 2003 out of the vision of two Silicon Valley engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The partners had just sold their eReader company for $187 million and were looking for their next big idea.

The infamous “death” of GM’s EV1 electric car that year ended up being a source of inspiration, and the two engineers started looking into ways to reduce the world’s reliance on Middle Eastern oil and to combat climate change.

The electric car pathway was not just better than the other choices that were out there—it was dramatically better.
—Martin Eberhard,
Tesla co-founder

The company was bootstrapped until Elon Musk led the $7.5-million Series A round in February 2004 and became the controlling investor. He joined the board of directors as its chairperson and took on operational roles as well.

At this time, JB Straubel—who famously rebuilt an electric golf cart when he was only 14 years old—also joined the company as CTO.

Initial strategy

Tesla’s initial strategy was to build a high-performance sports car first, for a few reasons:

  • It would shed the existing stigma around EVs

  • Sports cars have higher margins

  • Fewer cars would need to be produced

  • High-end buyers are less price-sensitive

Instead of building the Tesla Roadster from scratch, the company aimed to combine an existing chassis with an AC induction motor and battery. And so the company signed a contract with British sports car maker Lotus to use its Elise chassis as a base.

The Roadster debut

The Roadster made its debut at a star-studded launch party in Santa Monica. The 350-strong guest list of Hollywood celebrities and the press were wowed by the two-seater sports car with a $100,000 price tag.

This is not your father’s electric car.—The Washington Post

What the audience didn’t notice?

The Roadsters had many issues that needed to be fixed—these and others would delay Tesla well beyond the planned summer 2007 delivery date.

The dark years

Tesla’s original business plan was built on the idea that the auto industry had changed drastically. Automakers now focused on core competencies like financing, engine design, sales and marketing, and final assembly—getting the hundreds of individual car parts, like windshield wiper blades or door handles, was actually outsourced.

This was supposed to make it easy for Tesla to get its foot in the door—to focus on the EV aspect and let Lotus do the rest. Instead, the company experienced an “elegance creep” phenomenon that meant customizing individual parts.

Costs spiralled out of control, things got delayed and the car began to take a very different shape than the Elise. By the time it was said and done, the Tesla Roadster was nothing like its Lotus cousin, sharing only 7% parts by count.

The revolving door

During this process, there was a revolving door of CEOs.

  • 2007: Eberhard was forced to resign as CEO in August

  • 2007: Early Tesla investor Michael Marks took the reins temporarily

  • 2007: In November, Ze’ev Drori took over as CEO and president

  • 2008: After less than a year of Drori’s run, Musk stepped in to take over the role in October

At this point, Musk had already invested $55 million in the company and it was teetering towards bankruptcy.

I’ve got so many chips on the table with Tesla. It just made sense for me to have both hands on the wheel.—Elon Musk

Some of Musk’s first moves:

  • He ended up cutting 25% of the workforce

  • He leaned on friends to help cover payroll, week to week

  • He raised a $40-million debt financing round to escape bankruptcy

  • He formed a strategic partnership with Daimler AG, which acquired a 10% stake of Tesla for $50 million

  • He took a $465-million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. (He repaid it ahead of the deadline)

  • He recalled 75% of the Roadsters produced between March 2008 and April 2009

Despite revamping the entire production process—and the company itself—Tesla made it through its most trying time.

The Roadster’s run

The Roadster wasn’t perfect, but it helped Tesla learn what it meant to be a car company.

It is not just a car, but one of the strongest automotive statements on the road.—Car and Driver

A total of 2,450 units were produced and the specs were impressive for an EV. With a top speed of 125 mph and a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, the Roadster helped dispel many of the myths surrounding electric cars.

Meanwhile, the Roadster’s lithium-ion battery also was the first step forward in a battery revolution. The 992-pound (450-kilogram) battery for the Roadster contained 6,831 lithium-ion cells arranged into 11 “sheets” connected in series, and gave the car a range of 244 miles.

With the Roadster, Tesla would set up not only the future success of the company, but also the transformation of an entire industry.

This was part 1 of the Tesla series. Parts 2 and 3, on Tesla as well as the future vision, will be released in the near future.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

November 16th, 2017

Uranium production cuts “very positive” for the market Streetwise Reports
Could this be the end for Tesla? Equities.com
Texas frac sand boom puts truckers in high demand Industrial Minerals
Economic pain distributed unevenly through society GoldSeek
Great deposits: The Comstock lode Geology for Investors
Five agents of change investors need to know about now Stockhouse
Gold seems to be entering a secular bull market, says Canaccord’s Yasmin Gordon SmallCapPower
LME zeros in on electric vehicles as London comes of age Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Q2 energy metals earnings review—crunch time for the lithium majors The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

Pistol Bay Mining wants to bring blockchain to resource companies

November 15th, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2017

Although still focused on its Confederation Lake zinc-copper portfolio in northwestern Ontario, Pistol Bay Mining TSXV:PST sees untapped potential in technology’s current upheaval. The company reports ongoing discussions to form a wholly owned subsidiary that would create blockchain applications for the mining sector, as well as oil and gas and possibly other industries. Some products could include “Ethereum smart contracts, security, claim management, resource management and the tokenization of resources,” Pistol Bay stated.

Pistol Bay Mining wants to bring blockchain to resource companies

“We believe a unique opportunity exists to lead the mineral development industry by building a resource-focused blockchain company to facilitate modern mining-related transactions,” explained president/CEO Charles Desjardins. “This represents an exciting opportunity for the shareholders of Pistol Bay and, as a founder of the original Investment.com portal, I have always recognized the need to be early in adapting to new technologies.”

Back to mineral exploration, last month Pistol Bay announced confidentiality agreements with two companies interested in partnering on Pistol Bay’s 17,000-hectare Confederation Lake properties. One company was described as a mid-tier producer, the other a junior explorer. The news followed completion of the first regional and modern geophysical program carried out over the VMS-rich greenstone belt.

Having already received an exploration permit for Confederation Lake’s Dixie claims, Pistol Bay now has applications pending for the Garnet, Fredart, Moth and Fly claim groups. “With zinc prices at a record high, there’s lots of demand for zinc and copper exploration projects,” said Desjardins. “Not many companies can offer a belt-wide property base with proven VMS mineralization and a new airborne EM survey with multiple untested targets.”

Read more about Pistol Bay Mining here and here.

Resource update underway for Rockcliff Metals’ Talbot copper property in Manitoba

November 15th, 2017

by Greg Klein | November 15, 2017

One of a number of active projects in Rockcliff Metals’ (TSXV:RCLF) Flin Flon-Snow Lake portfolio, the Talbot copper property has an updated resource estimate in the works. The initiative follows Phase II drilling and will accompany a DPEM geophysical survey on the West Talbot deep conductive plate, below and west of the deposit. In April the company announced finding VMS mineralization within the plate.

Resource update underway for Rockcliff Metals’ Talbot copper property in Manitoba

While analyzing this year’s drilling data for a resource update,
Rockcliff will conduct geophysics to help identify 2018 targets.

Rockcliff holds a 51% option on Talbot from Hudbay Minerals TSX:HBM.

Last spring’s drill campaign “identified additional areas of high-grade enrichment in the hanging wall and along strike of the present resource,” said president/CEO Ken Lapierre. “The additional DPEM geophysical survey will help us vector in on the exact up-dip location of the West Talbot deep conductive plate. The Talbot copper deposit was originally identified as a smaller geophysical conductive plate so any new larger plates identified in this area are viewed as high-priority targets.”

Dating to January 2016, Talbot’s current resource shows an inferred category for three zones:

Main zone

  • 1.44 million tonnes averaging 3.4% copper, 2.6 g/t gold, 2.4% zinc and 61 g/t silver for 107 million pounds copper, 118,600 ounces gold, 76.4 million pounds zinc and 2.83 million ounces silver

Footwall zone

  • 443,900 tonnes averaging 2.2% copper, 2 g/t gold, 2.4% zinc and 55.6 g/t silver for 22 million pounds copper, 28.5 ounces gold, 23.2 million pounds zinc and 793,800 ounces silver

North lens

  • 283,400 tonnes averaging 0.7% copper, 2 g/t gold, 1.3% zinc and 20.6 g/t silver for 4.6 million pounds copper, 18,300 ounces gold, 7.9 million pounds zinc and 187,600 ounces silver

Total

  • 2.17 million tonnes averaging 2.8% copper, 2.4 g/t gold, 2.2% zinc and 54.6 g/t silver for 133.6 million pounds copper, 165,400 ounces gold, 107.4 million pounds zinc and 3.81 million ounces silver

Rockcliff expects work to be completed by year-end, with results to be released once analyzed. Talbot has more drilling planned for 2018.

Active on several Snow Lake assets, the company began another drill campaign last week at the Bur zinc-polymetallic property. See a roundup of recent Rockcliff news here.

Read more about Rockcliff Metals here and here.

November 15th, 2017

Uranium production cuts “very positive” for the market Streetwise Reports
Could this be the end for Tesla? Equities.com
Texas frac sand boom puts truckers in high demand Industrial Minerals
Economic pain distributed unevenly through society GoldSeek
Great deposits: The Comstock lode Geology for Investors
Five agents of change investors need to know about now Stockhouse
Gold seems to be entering a secular bull market, says Canaccord’s Yasmin Gordon SmallCapPower
LME zeros in on electric vehicles as London comes of age Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Q2 energy metals earnings review—crunch time for the lithium majors The Disruptive Discoveries Journal

USGS reports new domestic uranium potential and new uranium “species”

November 14th, 2017

This story has been expanded and moved here.

Cambridge House International president Jay Martin looks forward to the San Francisco Silver and Gold Summit on November 20 and 21

November 14th, 2017

…Read more