Tuesday 22nd January 2019

Resource Clips

Posts tagged ‘Lynas Corp. Ltd (LYSCF)’

A Rare Summit Meeting

January 31st, 2012

Toronto Hosts Technology Metals Summit 2012

By Ted Niles

On February 1 and 2 Rare Earth World will host the Technology Metals Summit 2012. Co-produced by Pro-Edge Consultants Inc and Market Edge Media, the summit seeks to “bring the industry and investors together for a better understanding of rare earths and critical metals.” Tracy Weslosky, Chairman of REE World and CEO of Pro-Edge, speaks with ResourceClips.com about the event.

Q: Tell us about the Technology Metals Summit 2012 and how it came to be.

A: I looked around at the International Rare Earth Summit in Pittsburgh last winter and thought, ‘If we’re going to be in Pittsburgh, why are we not in Toronto?’

Toronto Hosts Technology Metals Summit 2012

The idea for the Technology Metals Summit is to inspire interest in rare earths, create real debate and educate industry investors. Until now, there wasn’t a forum for this. We’ve got some of the smartest, rare earths über-geeks on the planet coming together here. For instance, we have Dudley Kingsnorth. He’s a rock-and-roll star in the rare earth industry. From Lynas Corporation to Molycorp, every rare-earth company on the planet quotes Dudley Kingsnorth in their power points. They often disagree with him but always quote him. We’re going to be doing a live feed on Thursday morning at 8am where he’s going to be giving us his forecast for 2016 and 2020 on the Chinese export quotas and what they’re going to mean to the industry. You’ll hear it first at our event.

Q: What makes rare earth elements so important?

A: The rare earths are a moderately abundant group of 17 elements comprising 15 lanthanides, scandium and yttrium. This group of metals was so shrouded in complexity that it took 151 years from the discovery of the first rare earth element in 1794 to the final element discovered in 1945. I think James Hedrick put it best when he said, “Rare earths are the economic and technologic foundation of a safe and secure nation. To possess them imparts independence, immunity to coercion and the tools to invoke scientific advancement.”

I think what everyone is missing in the rare-earths sector—the one thing that investors need to understand about the rare-earth industry that they’re missing—is that the current pace of technological change in the world requires rare earth elements. I believe that supply is on an upward trend, but that demand is likely to be exponential over the next few decades. There are no producers outside of China. A common misconception is that we don’t have to worry because we have suppliers outside of China. We don’t. Lynas is fighting to become a producer, and Molycorp are only light rare earths.

We basically have the entire industry here —Tracy Weslosky

Q: Given our heavy dependence on Chinese production of rare earths and that country’s recent severe reduction of exports, what is the outlook for the industry moving forward?

A: We were all upset for many years over being dependent on the Middle East for oil. We are presently completely dependent on the Chinese for many of our green energy, clean technology applications and for a lot of our military applications. This is one of the reasons rare earths are also known as critical metals. China supplies the resource we need to have a competitive advantage moving forward. You want to drive a hybrid car, you’re going to be dependent on the Chinese. What will it take for a rare-earth project outside of China to compete successfully with the various Chinese mines currently in production? Luck. No non-Chinese mine can really compete against Bayan Obo production, where the rare earths are a byproduct of iron-ore niobium production, essentially a free extra. If China wanted to sell this, it could sell it at any price.

The Technology Metals Summit is so important for educating the industry and investors because the industry is evolving so quickly, and there’s so much misinformation. There are going to be issues addressed at this event that most people don’t even consider. Items like thorium and metallurgical extraction processes. There are very few people on the planet with experience of heavy rare-earths metallurgical extraction processes, and we have one of the senior experts in the world coming over from Russia. Very few people have these skills, so the problem the industry is facing is a shortage of talent. The idea that we want to produce is great but to actually find the people that can do it? We stopped producing rare earths in North America in the early 1980s. There’s six people over 70 who are experts that are available in North America.

Q: What can attendees of the Technology Metals Summit expect to take away from it?

A: My goal in this event is to inspire interest, create debate and educate the industry and investors on rare earths, rare metals and critical metals. This is one of the most intensively competitive sectors in the resource sector bar none. The race to produce is the number one issue. We have over 60 CEOs that will be speaking on panels. We basically have the entire industry here. The Technology Metals Summit will make for a very knowledgeable and savvy investor in this very exciting market.

Ms Weslosky is also the Senior Editor of RareMetalBlog.com

Rare Earths In Abundance

December 19th, 2011

Commerce Finds Up to 44 Pounds per Ton at Eldor

By Ted Niles

The phrase “more of the same” has an uncharacteristically positive implication when applied to Commerce Resources Corp’s TSXV:CCE Eldor project. In 2010, when analyst John Kaiser of Kaiser Research Online called Eldor “the most important new grassroots rare earth discovery since market interest in rare earths took off in 2009,” the assessment was based on the discovery hole. Since then, much has occurred to vindicate Kaiser’s claim. “Every time we’ve started a new program,” President Dave Hodge remarks, “we had to bring in a different drill, one that would go deeper, because the deposit just seemed to keep going and going. This drill program was no different.”

Commerce acquired Eldor—located in northern Quebec’s Labrador Trough—in 2007 with a focus on tantalum and niobium. In the process, says Hodge, “[We] discovered what we believe will be one of the world’s largest resources of rare earths in a small portion of a very large carbonatite complex.” This is small only relatively—given Eldor’s 19,006 hectares—and is called the Ashram deposit. On March 3, Commerce released an NI 43-101 inferred resource estimate for Ashram of 117.34 million tonnes grading 1.74% total rare earth oxides (TREO) at a 1.25% cut-off. This was based on Commerce’s 2010 12-hole drill campaign, consisting of 3,300 metres.

Commerce Finds Up to 44 Pounds per Ton at Eldor

Since then the company has completed two more drill programs with the objective, first, of upgrading the resource to the indicated category, then completing a preliminary economic assessment, both of which Hodge expects to be completed by summer 2012.

December 8 results of the company’s summer drill campaign include

  • 2.04% TREO over 491.1 metres
  • 2.2% TREO over 218.7 metres
  • 2.47% TREO over 123.4 metres

Included within those intersections, “And fortunately near surface,” Hodge adds, “is a zone that’s enriched with heavy rare earths.” (Rarer even than light rare earths, and likewise more valuable, their presence makes for a significant sweetener to the deposit.)

The last holes of the winter drill program were reported August 4 and included

  • 2.06% TREO over 344.5 metres (including 2.35% over 38.8 metres)
  • 1.99% TREO over 243.5 metres (including 2.83% over 37.2 metres)
  • 1.67% TREO over 237 metres (including 1.99% over 117.8 metres)

Note too that June 28 Commerce reported a result of 2.1% TREO over an impressive 586.9 metres. “These numbers just get silly. That’s 44 pounds of rare earths per ton!” Hodge told Resource Clips at the time, continuing, “[Eldor] stands to be the largest, richest, rare earth deposit in the world; second only to Baiyun Obo, which is the Chinese deposit that is currently controlling the world.”

Controlling the world now, yes, but not for long. Until recently, China has been the producer of 97% of world supply, but it announced in September 2010 that it would be cutting exports by as much as 70%. The news was met with consternation and saw rare earths prices soar this summer. While prices have since settled (but remain considerably higher than mid-2010) the crisis in supply remains. Indeed, recent news that Baotou Steel—producer of nearly half of the world’s supply of rare earths—has been barred from exporting by the Chinese government suggests the crisis is only now really beginning to manifest itself. With the market for rare earths projected to as much as double over the next five years, alternatives to China are becoming a matter of some urgency.

Every time we’ve started a new program we had to bring in a different drill, one that would go deeper, because the deposit just seemed to keep going and going —Dave Hodge

The opportunity this affords rare earths explorationists such as Commerce is considerable. Citing Chinese investment in Australian companies Lynas Corporation Ltd and Arafura Resources Ltd, Hodge comments, “The Chinese bought as much of those companies as the Australian government would allow. China has stated quite clearly that they intend on moving from an exporter of rare earths to an importer. That shows that the future market for rare earths is really a huge opportunity. They’re all growth markets, and I would anticipate they are going to continue growing even if the global economy cools a little bit. There’s so much opportunity in those spaces that it’s not going to have a dampening effect on them.”

Commerce also announced November 3 a positive preliminary economic assessment for its Blue River tantalum-niobium project in BC. Blue River has an NI 43-101 indicated resource estimate of 36.35 million tonnes containing 195 parts per million tantalum and 1,700 ppm niobium; it has inferred resources of 6.4 million tonnes containing 199 ppm tantalum and 1,890 ppm niobium. The PEA projected total $379 million in capital costs to design and build the mine, estimating a 10-year mine life with production of 2.7 million tonnes per year. “We are gaining some traction in the tantalum industry with that PEA,” Hodge reports. “It’s a good example for us to show the world that we are capable of taking a project from early exploration through the PEA stage. We intend that Blue River will lead the way for some kind of deal with industry.”

Commerce hasn’t been immune to the downward pressure on virtually all metals equities, but does not repine. “I like people to think that our stock is on sale at the moment—like the January sales after Christmas. We’re very happy with the progress we’re making in particular at the Ashram deposit. It’s a spectacular, world-class kind of deposit. It is challenged with the infrastructure a little bit; however, the size and grade of the deposit will certainly overcome those challenges very easily. We’re going to turn the Eldor carbonatite into a huge, multi-resource asset for Commerce Resources and its shareholders.”

At press time, Commerce had 130.6 million shares trading at $0.275 for a market cap of $35.9 million.