InvestorIntel Rare Earths & Critical Minerals Week-in-Review (August 30 – September 6, 2013): The REE Leaders Index (Bloomberg Ticker: REEL) started the week at 353 points and closed Friday at 363 — up +2.83%. I am off to London next week for a meeting with FTSE, so I look forward to updating you on our indices by the end of the week. Our clients often outperform REEL but last week, our team was down slightly at -0.97%.
Critical Elements Corporation (TSXV: CRE | OTCQX: CRECF) was the first-place finisher for the week — up +26.67% on the Canadian exchange and +9.33% on the American exchange, on some promising news. On September 5th, the company announced positive optimization metallurgical test results from its Rose (tantalum-lithium) property in James Bay, Quebec, with lithium recoveries of up to 91.9% at grades of up to 6.43% Li2O.
Pele Mountain Resources Inc. (TSXV: GEM | OTCQX: GOLDF) was up +17.65% on the American exchange with no new announcements, and shares in Cache Exploration Inc. (TSXV: CAY) gained +16.67% for the week on no news.
U.S. Rare Earths Inc. (OTCQB: UREE) was up +10.18% last week without any new announcements; however, the August 28th news release regarding General Tommy Franks, former Commander-in-Chief, United States Central Command, being named to the US Rare Earths Board of Directors appears to have resonated with the market.
Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. (TSXV: MON) increased +9.09% for the week without any new news.
Focus Graphite Inc. (TSXV: FMS | OTCQX: FCSMF) was essentially flat for the week; however Focus’ partner Grafoid Inc. made a major announcement last Thursday. Grafoid and ProScan Rx Pharma Inc. have joined forces for the formation of Calevia Inc. – a joint-venture partnership to develop graphene-based, non-invasive cancer eradication therapies. This really is exciting as Calevia will first target prostate cancer using ProScan’s anti-PSMA antibody and with success, the platform will be developed subsequently for several solid tumor types. We are sending in Dr. Luc Duchesne to write a full feature and what this means for the market.
Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. (TSX: QRM | NYSE MKT: QRM) announced on September 5th that the company has produced a heavy rare earth plus yttrium (HREE+Y) concentrate with a high purity level of approximately 84%, of which 75% is composed of yttrium oxide. Quest has also successfully produced a separate light rare earth (LREE) concentrate and high-purity zirconia product using Strange Lake materials. Alessandro Bruno wrote a piece on Quest’s most-recent achievements that we published this weekend titled: Quest’s pursuit of innovative technologies yields separate heavy and light rare earth concentrate success.
I recently interviewed Ian Chalmers, Managing Director of Alkane Resources Ltd. (ASX: ALK | OTCQX: ANLKY). Alkane is a great multi-commodity play out of Australia and if you aren’t familiar with it, well, you should be. And if you are, you’ll be just as pleased as I was to get an update on the company’s Dubbo Zirconia Project, the Tomingley Gold Project (going online early next year), as well as setting the record straight about the company’s REE processing.
Aside from being a man of tremendous intellect (he has an entire alphabet of credentials after his last name), business savvy (he’s been in the business 40 years, with almost 30 years in the REE game) and transparency, Chalmers is never one to shy away from an issue. Case in point: last Friday Ian posted – at length – in the comments section of my interview to (further) clarify information regarding Alkane’s HREE and LREE processing; processing which may very well set the standard for other REE refineries globally.
Needless to say, we were delighted that Ian took the time out of his hectic schedule to comment further. Please note that we will be posting a follow-up interview with Ian Chalmers on the REE market later this week where we discuss China, Jack Lifton, Professor Dudley Kingsnorth, and of course have an additional update on Alkane Resources, and Ian’s pick for the REE that will be most in demand in 2014. Finally, Ian offers some encouraging and optimistic words for the beleaguered REE industry: “We have seen the bottom… it’s turning around. We’re seeing demand starting to come back into the market.”
Speaking of video interviews, this week I am pleased to report that InvestorIntel will be publishing my exclusive interview with the President of Matamec Explorations Inc. (TSXV: MAT | OTCQX: MHREF), André Gauthier, whose company just announced the positive results of its Feasibility Study for Kipawa joint-venture heavy rare earths element project this past Wednesday (the goal of the Kipawa JV is to supply Toyota with heavy rare earths, such as dysprosium).
Also, we’ll be posting an interview with Anthony Marchese, Chairman of Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp. (OTCQX: TRER) early this week. Anthony will be discussing, among other topics, Texas Rare Earth Resources’ ridiculously low market cap, how the company’s resource (with a NPV of over $1 billion) is comprised of “critical” rare earths, its 100-plus-year mine life, the status of the company’s Preliminary Economic Assessment, US REE sustainability, and his belief that the US federal government will have an interest in what Texas Rare Earth Resources will be producing.
Robin Bromby wrote an interesting piece (when doesn’t he though?) last week on the lithium, entitled: Lithium story gets stronger as China and Japan nail down suppliers – and watch South America. Thank you for all of the emails on lithium companies we should be covering…
Here are the numbers from last week: