Rare Earths & Critical Minerals Week-in-Review (August 19-23, 2013): The REE Leaders Index (REEL) started the week at 374 points and closed Friday at 365 point – down -2.40%, versus the InvestorIntel members that were up +3.03% for the week led by Minco, US Rare Earths,Critical Elements, Matamec, and Frontier Rare Earths.
So what was it that trended REEL down? Many may guess Molycorp, due to the shareholder suit announcement last week, but clearly this law firm had no imprint on shareholders, as MCP was up +4.54%. Alessandro Bruno wrote an excellent piece on the litigation trend against public companies and how this process may not be in investors’ best interest that was very well read. Many rumors around Molycorp these days (some quite good) and a lot of people ask me — what do I ‘really’ think? This is one of my favorite questions because arguably does anyone ‘really’ care? I mean, as an investor, it’s all about performance — we want to see our investment yield a profit. Here’s my position on MCP and it has been fairly consistent since I started in 2008. MCP is a leader in this industry and affects all of us. If the leader is strong, we all prosper and if not… it affects us all. We need MCP on the course towards sustainability, plus I have been quite a supporter of Constantine Karayannopoulos since I met him several years ago, while running Neo Material Technologies. Sharp, well spoken and committed to performance, understanding that without end-users a company does not stand a shot. It takes barely 2 minutes with him to see why his press is so good on Bay Street. That said, I do wish they would hire a proper southern woman to liaise with shareholders and the public. MCP could benefit from a woman’s touch and grace as could many in this sector…
Kicking off the week strong, Northern Minerals put out the news release yesterday AM: Best drill result to date at Wolverine. I am starting off this week’s review with NTU, as it is relevant news for those following the industry. Here is an excellent interview with George on how NTU has become Debt free with $58 million for Heavy Rare Earth Play. In this interview, George provides the details of the Northern Minerals’ $58-million funding package from the company’s major shareholder and Board member, Conglin Yue (of Australian Conglin International Investment Group), and discusses NTU’s upcoming benchmarks for the remainder of this year, including a resource expansion, additional exploration and continued drilling. George even comments on Professor Dudley Kingsnorth’s and Jack Lifton’s forecasts for rare earths.
Speaking of commentary, more people should review the interview with Dan McGroarty on the EPA’s latest efforts for resource companies to get to the mining stage and how it will affect sustainability (click here). Ty Dinwoodie wrote an interesting piece on scandium, featuring Dr. Nataliya Hearn, detailing her scandium company’s iconic golf shot from International Space Station, and how Metallica Minerals Ltd. (ASX: MLM) is planning to change the world’s use of scandium oxide by being first to market with a reliable supply of the 21st element, which was one of the most well-read pieces of the week. But do not discount the values of being up to speed on how Japan is still following its own REE road… written by our distinguished editor Robin Bromby.
Now here are the highlights of the week:
- Minco Plc (AIM:MIO) continued it’s surge in share price for a second straight week, up+52.38% and if you recall, Minco was up +29.63% the week before. I called Warren Macleod of Buchans Minerals to see if the acquisition of his REE projects was propagating this acceleration, and he responded positively.
- Mining the future… and increasing its stock price. U.S. Rare Earths Inc. (OTCQB: UREE) was up an impressive +14.29% for the week, hot off the company’s August 20th announcement that it has “the most accessible critical rare-earth deposit in North America.” You may not know this, but UREE has the 10th largest market cap in the REE market. Although the results were not officially released from sub-surface drilling in Phase 1 of the Lemhi Pass (located near the mining belt of Idaho and Montana), UREE’s latest news release stated: “the initial results of the drilling not only confirms historic data, but returned higher grades of rare earths than first reported.” And, yes, we have Ty doing a follow-up piece on results this week.
- Shares in Critical Elements Corporation (OTCX: CRECF) increased +11.11% on no news. The company is focused on rare metals and rare earths – particularly tantalum – and is at the advanced exploration stage with Critical Element’s Rose tantalum-lithium project.
- Matamec Exploration Inc. (TSXV: MAT | OTCQX: MHREF) was up +8.57% and +7.57% respectively. The company made two announcements last week – second quarter financial results on August 19th and a notice of Matamec’s September 4th Kipawa Feasibility Study Results conference call on August 22nd.
- Frontier Rare Earths Limited (TSX: FRO) ended the week up +8.11% without any announcements, but if your recall, the week before (August 14th) they released the news that they were on track with: Frontier Rare Earths well-funded and debt free as it heads toward feasibility study as they focus on advancing their flagship asset, the Zandkopsdrift Rare Earth Project in South Africa.