InvestorIntel Month-in-Review: Hastings (+50%), MCW Energy (+35.51%), Berkwood (+33.33%), Tasman (+25%), Magna Resources (+20.27%) & Orbite Aluminae (+12.23%)
We celebrated our publisher ProEdge Media Corp.’s 12th anniversary this week and we kicked it off with a piece on what we do here at InvestorIntel titled: Creativity and passion drive InvestorIntel forward. Please note that while we are very positive here on the impact of renewable energy on the increasing demands on technology metals, I must confess that my temptation was to turn the REE Leaders Index graph — upside down for October…
Rare Earths & Critical Materials: The sector’s performance was down overall for the month of October with the REE Leaders Index down -10.40% (closing at 353 points on October 31st), while the InvestorIntel Rare Earth & Critical Materials members’ average fell -7.85%.
October’s biggest gainer was Hastings Rare Metals Ltd. (ASX: HAS) which soared +50% for the month. On October 8th, Hastings announced a company update. And on October 31st the company announced its quarterly activities report, outlining Hasting’s Strategic Alliance MOU (with a REE strategic partner for the staged funding of the Hastings Project with the aim of providing commercial production; the strategic partner has a deep technical understanding of the separation and refining process required for heavy rare earths) and details of its recent share placement.
Tasman Metals Ltd. (TSXV: TSM | NYSE MKT: TAS) was up +25% on the Canadian exchange and +22.09% on the American Exchange. On October 10th, Tasman announced it had expanded its critical metal portfolio with the acquisition of 6 tungsten projects in mining-friendly Sweden. Tasman executed an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in a portfolio of tungsten projects in the Bergslagen mining district of south-central Sweden. This new tungsten portfolio includes several of the largest known tungsten occurrences in Scandinavia, including the former Yxsjoberg mine, which accounts for more than 90% of the tungsten previously produced in Sweden. The projects lie 200 to 300 kilometers north of the company’s flagship Norra Karr heavy rare earth element project and were purchased outright by Tasman (insert applause for positive market news story)…
Shares in Orbite Aluminae Inc. (TSX: ORT | OTCQX: EORBF) gained +12.23% and +7.69% on the American and Canadian exchanges respectively in October. On October 8th, Orbite announced changes to its management team, namely that the company had promoted Mr. Denis Arguin to Vice President Engineering and Operations. In addition, Mr. Yves Noël, formerly Chief Marketing Officer, was named Vice President Business Development. On October 11th Orbite announced that the company is currently in discussions with the government of Quebec regarding financing alternatives. According to the news release: “These discussions are at an early stage, remain subject to several conditions that have yet to be satisfied and may or may not come to fruition.” Trading in Orbite was temporarily halted that same day, due to heavy trading volume. On October 18th, the company announced an update on Orbite’s ongoing financing initiatives and management reconfirmed that it is actively focused on completing an offering within the coming weeks. On October 24th, Orbite announced an update that reported on the present status, development plan and updated budget for completing its high-purity alumina (HPA) production plant in Cap-Chat, Quebec.
Other sector highlights this month:
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REE industry guru Jack Lifton officially joined InvestorIntel as a regular columnist last month and his first article (which was so jam-packed, we had to make into a five-part series) was a huge success. In case you missed them, be sure to check out: Part 1: The State of the Rare Earth Market, Part 2: The Driver for Global Rare Earth Demand, Part 3: Forecasting Chinese Rare Earth Demand, Part 4: China is Officially Shifting Focus to Domestic Consumer Demand, and Part: 5: The Future Demand for Rare Earths. Earlier in the month, I also published a video interview I did with Jack Lifton for his take on the future of rare earths, Professor Dudley Kingsnorth, a ‘possible’ market turnaround, and Molycorp. On October 23rd, Jack wrote the hugely popular: Grade is not King for the production of Critical Rare Earths and addresses the need to focus on the building of a Total Rare Earth Supply Chain (TRESC) outside of China.
REE producer Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: MCP) made significant news this past month. On October 2nd, Molycorp announced mechanical completion and the start of commissioning of both the Chloralkali Plant and the Final Unit of Multi-Stage Cracking at Mountain Pass. On October 8th, MCP announced that it has named Geoff Bedford as new Molycorp President and CEO. Mr. Bedford, who has 14 years of experience in the rare-earth industry, will assume his new position December 2nd. On October 21st, the company announced the successful close of its offering of common stock (which raised a net of $247.5 million). The following day, Molycorp announced that it will report third quarter financial results on November 7th. And, as InvestorIntel’s Robin Bromby reported on October 28th, Molycorp received a downgrade from J.P. Morgan — the same investment banking firm that was directly involved in the $247.5 million raise. The New York-based analyst team has lowered its earnings-per-share forecast for Molycorp, withdrawn its price target, and reduced its net present value from $5.37 a share to $3 — that’s a 44% downgrade (ouch).
On October 7th, I published a great interview with Randy Scott, President and CEO of Rare Element Resources Ltd. (TSXV: RES | NYSE MKT: REE). In it, Randy provides an update on Rare Element Resources and its flagship the Bear Lodge Project, which is now being described as a ‘world-class critical rare earths district.’
Yours truly also published a video interview with Jean-Sébastien Lavallée, President and CEO of Critical Elements Corporation (TSXV: CRE | OTCQX: CRECF) to discuss the company’s recently released positive optimization metallurgical test results from its flagship Rose property; increasing tantalum recovery rates by 50%. Critical Elements is actively developing its 100%-owned Rose Lithium-Tantalum Project located in James Bay, Quebec.
On October 21st, I published my exclusive video interview with Marc LeVier, President and CEO for Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (TSXV: GWG | OTCQX: GWMGF), to discuss the recently-released metallurgical update on Great Western Minerals’ South African Steenkampskraal Rare Earth Project: Advancing ‘Mine-to-Metal’ vision – Great Western Minerals Group makes significant progress de-risking one of the most robust REE deposits in the world.
On October 23rd, Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. (TSX: QRM | NYSE MKT: QRM) announced the release of it’s positive Pre-Feasibility Study results for its Strange Lake Rare Earth Mine and Quebec Processing Complex. That same day, InvestorIntel published: Quest Rare Minerals advances leading heavy rare earth project with release of positive Pre-Feasibility Study. Yesterday, InvestorIntel published my video interview with Quest’s President and CEO, Peter Cashin.
Finally, late last month the WTO ruled in the case brought by the United States, Japan and the European Union regarding China and its REE industry. On October 25th, InvestorIntel reported the WTO backs Japan, US and EU over China Rare Earths. We covered this topic with a comprehensive feature article entitled: WTO’s verdict against Chinese Rare Earths export quotas underscores criticality of Sustainibility.
Here are your numbers for the month:
Graphite & Graphene: The sector was down overall last month, with the InvestorIntel Graphite & Graphene members’ average slipping -8.58%. I am working on launching a graphite index, and hopefully this will look like something we used to refer to as an — uptick.
Top honors for monthly performance goes to Berkwood Resources Ltd. (TSXV: BKR), which was up +33.33% in October. On October 21st Berkwood announced that is was established in a growing graphite district of Quebec. The following day, InvestorIntel published: Berkwood capitalizes on ‘massive’ graphite mineralization and the power of big brother Mason, which explained how since Berkwood acquired the Lac Gueret East Graphite Property in 2012, this region of northeastern Quebec has gained attention for being the location of an advanced developing high grade, flake graphite deposit owned by Mason Graphite. Mason Graphite’s Lac Gueret deposit has NI 43-101 compliant measured and indicated mineral resources of 7.6 million tonnes grading 20.40% carbon as graphite
Nouveau Monde Mining Enterprises Inc. (TSXV: NOU) was up +2.38% for the month on no new announcements, other than they joined InvestorIntel…(smile).
Graphite & Graphene October highlights:
In October, InvestorIntel published two of the best graphite interviews you’ll ever read with graphite industry experts Don Hains in Understanding the Zen of the Graphite Industry and SGS Canada’s Oliver Peters in What every investor needs to know about investing in graphite, which provided a great overview about graphite purity and processing.
Earlier in the month, I published my video interview with Benoît Gascon, President and CEO of Mason Graphite Inc. (TSXV: LLG) for an update on the recent major milestones accomplished by Mason (including achieving 99.9% purity, via first-run conventional hydrometallurgical process testing without any optimization and extensive 26,000-meter drilling) in a considerably short period of time in: Mason Graphite scores one of the world’s highest-grade graphite deposits.
On October 11th, I published my video interview with Paul Gill, President and CEO of Lomiko Metals Inc. (TSXV: LMR) to discuss the company’s strategic alliance with Graphene Laboratories Inc. in: In the ‘center of the hurricane’ Lomiko successfully produces Graphene.
Here are your numbers for the month:
Potash & Phosphate: The sector was down in October, with the InvestorIntel Potash & Phosphate members’ average falling -9.48%; however this was not much of a surprise given the ongoing market over-reaction — and perceived uncertainly — in the potash world over the Uralkali split from BPC, just over three months ago.
Shares in Magna Resources Ltd. (CNSX: MNA | OTCQX: MGRZF) gained +20.27% on the American exchange in October. Earlier this month, I interviewed Mike Sieb, President of Magna Resources, to discuss the company’s most significant benchmark achieved to date; the announcement that the US Bureau of Land Management has approved Magna’s 35,000-acre Green River Potash Project in Utah’s world-renowned Paradox Basin.
Allana Potash Corp. (TSX: AAA | OTCQX: AALRF), one of the most advanced-stage potash juniors in the world, moved one step closer to potash production in October. On October 9th, Allana announced the issue of its Mining Licence for the Danakhil Potash Project by the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, after receiving approval of the Ethiopian Council of Ministers. “Allana is proud to have achieved this major milestone in the development of the Project and very much appreciates the extensive work done by Ethiopian government staff and Allana’s consultants and employees in reaching this goal”, said Allana President and CEO Farhad Abasov, further noting that, “Allana is now positioned as one of the leading mining companies in Ethiopia and is committed to working with the Ethiopian government, our communities, investors, lenders and contractors to deliver on the significant potential of Ethiopia’s potash resources.” Two weeks later, on October 24th, InvestorIntel’s Daniel McGroarty wrote the very popular, Cheer Up, Sir Bob Geldof – Allana Potash is Preparing to Transform Ethiopia into Africa’s Agricultural Superpower.
Here are your numbers for the month:
Oil & Gas: The sector was up in October, with the InvestorIntel Oil & Gas members’ average increasing +17.76%.
Shares in MCW Energy Group Limited (TSXV: MCW) increased +35.51% for the month on no new announcements. The MCW Energy Group is a Canadian holding company, consisting of two primary operations, MCW Fuels and MCW Oil Sands Recovery, LLC. Established in 1938, MCW Fuels is one of the leading branded and unbranded diesel and gasoline distributors in western United States. MCW’s Oil Sands Recovery has a breakthrough, environmentally friendly, proprietary oil sands technology suitable for oil extraction purposes on all type of hydrocarbon deposits (i.e. oil wet deposits in the US and water wet deposits in Canada), and has also been successfully laboratory tested using oil shale materials.
In other news, InvestorIntel’s resident Oil & Gas industry expert John Clarke (and one of the top ONG analysts in North America) wrote a great article on liquefied natural gas projects (LNG), entitled: ‘LNG projects will drive the drilling bonanza in Canada.’ I also published my video interview with John discussing the revolutionary impact of fracking on the Oil and Gas industry.
Gold & Silver: Another positive story here as this sector was up in October as well, with the InvestorIntel Gold & Silver members’ average increasing +2.92%.
Shares in Darwin Resources Corp. (TSXV: DAR) were up +5.56% in October on a series of news announcements. Darwin’s vision is to become a premier gold and copper explorer in mining powerhouse Peru. On October 16th, Darwin announced that it has commenced a ground geophysical survey at its Suriloma Project in Peru. Suriloma is located in a pedigreed epithermal gold belt, just 30 kilometers from Barrick’s Lagunas Norte (14 million ounces contained gold) and 50 kilometers from Rio Alto’s La Arena mine (2.3 million ounces gold oxide). On October 28th the company announced results from the geophysical survey. Dr. Graham Carman, President and CEO of Darwin Resources, stated: “The survey has confirmed the presence of large-scale chargeable targets that lie immediately beneath the gold-bearing structures drilled 2 months ago. The survey has significantly increased the prospectivity of the area and we look forward to drill testing these exciting epithermal gold and porphyry copper targets.” Two days later Darwin announced a $1 million private placement financing.
Here’s to an amazing November.
An accomplished entrepreneur and corporate finance professional, Tracy Weslosky is the CEO for InvestorIntel Corp. and the VP of Business Development for Bellotti Capital Partners ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>