It’s not (just) about the Gold

It's not (just) about the gold Since the beginning of recorded history, the lure of gold has drawn men and women to it like a moth to flame. A Greek traitor told the Persian King Xerxes about a secret goat trail that would enable his personal bodyguard, The Ten Thousand Immortals, to outflank and defeat King Leonidas and the 300 Spartans in the mountain pass at Thermopylae. The asking price was his weight in gold, which the Persians granted to him and then buried him with it. Legend speaks of Midas, whose fascination with gold was so intense that he wished for – and received –…

The Real “House of Cards”: The Dangers of Dependency on China for Rare Earth Elements

house_of_cards2 The Netflix drama "House of Cards" has taken audiences by storm, not least the Washington watchers captivated by the jaundiced behind-the-scenes portrayal of how Washington really works (spoiler alert: It’s not at all like Schoolhouse Rocks’ “How a Bill Becomes a Law”). People shorthand the series -- featuring Kevin Spacey’s southern-fried Machiavelli, House whip Frank Underwood, and Robin Wrights’ Claire, his ice-water wife – as a show steeped in “power games and political intrigue.” Wrong. As one (disappointed) reviewer put it: “It’s a show about an isotope.” Samarium 149, to be precise, derived from the Rare Earth Element, used in…

Breaking China’s stranglehold on the Rare Earths Industry

REE monopoly 2013 was a horrendous year for rare earth elements companies outside of China. And if you are a speculative investor who understands the fundamentals of the REE industry -- the backbone to the technology that underpins modern life -- and the geopolitical dynamics surrounding it (meaning China), this past year is one you may very well try to forget. The rapid decline in the rare earth exploration companies’ share prices (and those of Molycorp and Lynas, the only two REE producers outside of China) have led many investors to make the financially painful decision to sell their positions for tax-loss…

Offtake agreement announced; Focus Graphite makes history

FMS The junior graphite market changed dramatically at 4pm on December 19th. That’s when industry leader Focus Graphite Inc. (TSXV: FMS | OTCQX: FCSMF) made graphite-industry history with the announcement that the company has formally entered into an offtake agreement for future graphite production from its 100%-owned ultra-high-purity, technology-grade Lac Knife Graphite Project in northeastern Québec. The announcement effectively transitions Focus from a graphite development company to a graphite production company. With the achievement of the company’s most significant milestone to date, Focus is positioned to become one of lowest-cost graphite producers in the world. As most InvestorIntel readers and graphite…

Graphite & Graphene Week-in-Review: Mason Graphite (+16.67%), Zenyatta (+6.28%) & Nouveau Monde (+4.76%)

Screen shot 2013-12-15 at 1.48.29 PM Graphite & Graphene Week-in-Review (for the week ending December 13, 2013): Unless your name is Mason Graphite, it was a very tough week for graphite companies. The sector was down overall, with the InvestorIntel Graphite & Graphene members’ average falling -1.97% for the week. Of all the sectors, I firmly believe that graphite is the most promising. Irrefutably the demand is there (as is the case with many other commodities in various resource sectors); however, the major difference between graphite and other commodities is the comparatively low associated CAPEX costs. With a solid project and robust economics, a graphite company…

David Morgan: Silver Threads among the Gold

david_morgan_gs I thought it would be interesting this week to write a column comprised primarily of quotes and statistics demonstrating how silver and gold have -- from the distant past, right up to the present day -- woven themselves throughout our lives and consciousness. In just beginning to do justice to the role precious metals have played in 5,000 years of history, this article could have been many times longer, but this small start will certainly give you the idea. People in the East -- most notably “Chindians” -- Indians and Chinese, really understand and appreciate it. Hence as 2013 draws to a close, we…

Rare Earth & Critical Minerals Week-in-Review: Hastings Rare Metals (+40.43%), Medallion Resources (+22.56%), Alkane Resources (+18.15%) & Arafura Resources (+10.53%)

reel 2 Rare Earth & Critical Minerals Week-in-Review (for the week ending December 13, 2013): I’ve said it before and, unfortunately, I have to say it again — the sector was down overall last week, with the REE Leaders Index (Bloomberg Ticker: REEL) down -5.2% (289 to 274 points), while the InvestorIntel Rare Earth & Critical Minerals members’ average fell -2.41%. Interestingly, the REE Leaders hit its 52-week all-time low for the year on December 12th, at 273 points, versus its January 7th 52-week all-time high of 702 points; representing a -61% decline overall. So have we finally hit the bottom? Not…

Did Rare Earths Kill Jang Sung-Taek?

nkdm Did Rare Earths kill North Korean General (also Kim Jung-Un’s uncle) Jang Sung-Taek? Hold that question, as the “cause of death” for any execution in North Korea is far more complex than what appears. The official bill of indictment was rather lengthy – 2,700 words as published in the DPRK press, supplemented by some culinary suggestions sure to resonate with malnourished North Koreans, such as: "I want to grab Jang by the neck and shove him down a boiling pot.” According to the charges, Jang was guilty of debauchery in many forms, starting with the world-historical bad taste to be…

Alkane Resources’ Plant 95% built and ready to Gold produce in 2 months

Chalmers-Ian December 15, 2013 —Tracy Weslosky, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of InvestorIntel interviews Ian Chalmers, Managing Director of Alkane Resources Ltd. (ASX: ALK | OTCQX: ALKEF), a mining and exploration company focused on gold, zirconium, niobium and rare earths. The Company’s projects are located in Central West of New South Wales, Australia. The $1B Dubbo Zirconia Project (DZP), with an estimated open pit mine life of 70+ years that is expected to process 1 million tonnes of ore throughput/annum.  The ore body containing zirconium, yttrium, niobium, hafnium and rare earths, has a surface area of over 45 ha. When fully into production,…

The Laird Economics Report: “the economy is improving across the globe.”

LairdReport3leftside We are pleased to provide InvestorIntel readers with the latest edition of The Laird Economics Report — hot off the digital press, so to speak. Each month, The Laird Economics Report examines where we are today, based on a detailed presentation of economic indicators with some historical context. This comprehensive downloadable monthly report — prepared by financial expert Jim Laird — compiles a plethora of key economic data in one easy-to-understand summary. In this month’s report, it seems as though everyone has his or her head around the notion that “the economy is improving across the globe.” China isn’t blowing up with a hard landing and…