InvestorIntel Week-in-Review: Welcome David Morgan, Tasman up +30.72% & IC Potash’s CEO on the future of potash pricing
This morning I would like to start with the special announcement that David Morgan will be joining our team as a weekly Guest Editor for our Gold & Silver and Financial Commentary sector. As you may or may not know, David Morgan (Silver-Investor.com) is a widely recognized analyst in the precious metals industry; he consults for hedge funds, high net-worth investors, mining companies, depositories and bullion dealers. He is the publisher of The Morgan Report on precious metals, the author of Get the Skinny on Silver Investing, and a featured speaker at investment conferences in North America, Europe and Asia. This week he is hosting the 11th Annual Silver Summit Conference in Spokane, WA (October 24-25th) and having been there before – I would like to recommend that anyone that is able make the trek and join this impressive annual event, be there. Personally, I was delighted to see David recognized in the film released last year titled “Four Horseman” as one of the top 25 most influential minds on the markets. So welcome David, we are indeed honored to have your thoughts and insight shared regularly with our readers (Sign up for The Morgan Report today and get 16 reports free – click here!).
Weekly and monthly, I have written an Intel report for members of InvestorIntel, which I have published for our entire readership to enjoy for years (since 2008). Please note that by mid-November this information on stock movement and tracking will be limited to subscribers of the InvestorIntel Report only. This said, you know I love free and accessible data, so I will continue to print my overall market commentary; which as you know is a collaboration of the information that we receive here at InvestorIntel and our impressive roster of clients and internationally recognized writers and analysts (subscribe for complimentary daily updates, click here).
Now, for the InvestorIntel Week-in-Review — please see my summaries for the Rare Earth & Critical Minerals, Graphite & Graphene and Potash & Phosphate sectors for the week ending October 18, 2013.
Rare Earth & Critical Minerals: The sector’s performance was down slightly overall last week with the REE Leaders Index down -5.37% (closing at 370 points last Friday), while the InvestorIntel Rare Earths & Critical Minerals members’ average was down -1.56%.
The week’s biggest gainer in the sector was Tasman Metals Ltd. (TSXV: TSM | NYSE MKT: TAS), which increased a strong +30.72% on the American exchange and an equally impressive +30.56% on the Canadian exchange. The market seemed quite pleased with Tasman’s October 10th announcement that it has expanded its critical metal portfolio with the acquisition of tungsten projects in 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 company’s flagship Norra Karr heavy rare earth element project and were purchased outright by Tasman.
Alkane Resources Ltd. (ASX: ALK | OTCQX: ANLKY) increased +13.51% on the American exchange on three announcements. On October 14th, Alkane announced that it has starting recruitment for its Tomingley Gold Mine, where mining operations are set to begin in January of next year. On October 17th, Alkane announced the results of its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders. That same day, the company announced the release of the presentation from its Annual General Meeting.
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Yours truly published an exclusive 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.
InvestorIntel’s Robin Bromby wrote an excellent article, entitled: Lithium in Europe; a match made in critical metals heaven as well as Critical metals – Critical insight; how the technology metals may be the best window into economic trends.
Robin Bromby also wrote a very popular article on his meeting with Northern Minerals Limited’s (ASX: NTU) Chief Executive, George Bauk and Exploration Manager, Robin Wilson in Sydney, Australia. George shared his insight on the present state of the rare earth space and how Northern Minerals is driving a pathway to heavy rare earth production. Northern Minerals and its Browns Range project (located in the Western Australian section of the Tanami Desert, close to the border with the Northern Territory) has dysprosium in xenotime grades that compare favourably with those of the Jiangxi ionic clays of southern China and are sharply contrasted with content in typical monazite or bastnasite. On October 15th, Northern Minerals made a series of announcements, including an upgrade to the HRE resource at Browns Range, a Browns Range HRE JORC Compliant Mineral Resource Estimate and an updated Investor Presentation.
Last week, InvestorIntel featured an article on IBC Advanced Alloys Corp.’s (TSXV: IB | OTCQX: IAALF) cost-effective, high-performance castable beryllium-aluminum alloy, Beralcast. IBC is a leading rare metals advanced alloys developer and manufacturer with a focus on specialty copper alloys and high performance beryllium-aluminum castings.
One of the most popular articles on InvestorIntel last week was our very in-depth, exclusive feature interview with SGS Canada’s Consulting Metallurgist and top graphite expert, Oliver Peters for: What every investor needs to know about investing in graphite. It’s a very thorough lesson in understanding graphite purity and how >99% graphitic purity is achieved.
Ty Dinwoodie wrote an exceedingly sharp angled article on graphene supercapacitors, entitled: the energy-dense replacements for batteries are close to commercial reality. In it, he refers to Focus Graphite Inc.’s (TSXV: FMS | OTCQX: FCSMF) partner, Grafoid Inc. and writes, “One company on the cutting edge of graphene and graphene-based portable storage applications is Grafoid Inc. On the forefront of the ‘graphene revolution,’ Grafoid invests and manages investments in high-growth, scalable graphene patents and material applications.”
On October 17th, Toronto-based Energizer Resources Inc. (TSX: EGX | OTCQX: ENZR) announced the commissioning and start-up of the pilot plant for its flagship Molo Graphite Project in Madagascar. The pilot plant was designed, built, and is being operated by SGS Canada Inc. (“SGS”) in Lakefield, Ontario. 200 tonnes of composite graphite ore was transported last month from the Molo deposit via existing, serviceable infrastructure to SGS in preparation for the pilot plant. Energizer stated that multi-tonnes sample of graphite concentrate will be ready for shipment to potential partners in November. The company is working on its upcoming Bankable Feasibility Study.
Robin Bromby started your week out with a thought-provoking graphene article, entitled: Britain joins the graphene race but China sees itself in the lead. With the largest graphite reserves in the world, China will not surrender the graphite (or graphene) crown willingly.
Taking top honors in the sector was IC Potash Corp. (TSX: ICP | OTCQX: ICPTF), which gained +14.21% on the American exchange last week. On October 10th, ICP issued an update on the company’s operations and stated that it expects to complete and finalize its much-awaited Feasibility Study for its 100,000-plus-acre, flagship Ochoa SOP Project in southeastern New Mexico by December. On October 11th, Ty Dinwoodie wrote ‘A world-class SOP play with extraordinary promise, IC Potash nearing completion of Feasibility Study’, which provided a solid overview of the company and the milestones achieved to date.
I’m look forward to interviewing IC Potash President and CEO, Sidney Himmel in the coming week. When discussing the future of potash pricing over the weekend, Sid commented: “It is not possible to reasonably project ranges for short- and medium-term future potash prices due to the to the July departure of Uralkali from the BPC marketing sales organization. The political machinations that followed that departure include aggressive predictions of price declines down to $300 per tonne by Uralkali CEO Vladislav Baumgartner — and by his subsequent arrest by Belarusian authorities. Forecasted prices were already subject to downward revisions, due to soft contracting by China, India and Brazil, the world’s most significant buyers of internationally traded potash. At the moment, industry consultants believe that the potassium chloride market will become increasingly competitive. Granular Brazilian spot prices have been seen in the area of $350 cfr. And the same pricing has been seen in Asia. Once the large Chinese contracts are settled, I believe that the pricing of potash is going to be affected primarily by demand factors, and secondarily by supply factors. I believe that moving forward, supply factors will be secondary because it is already clear that with regards to MOP, most expansion will come from large potash company brownfield expansions such as Vanscoy and Picadilly. There will be very limited greenfield expansions, and as this becomes obvious to all market observers and buyers and sellers of potash, prices will firm up. With greenfield capital costs of $1600 per tonne, new projects can only advance with MOP netbacks in the $500 per tonne range. Given that prices approaching $500 net to China, India or Brazil generates demand resistance, but that prices in the $400 range have been shown not to necessarily cause demand destruction, I suggest that the long-term price per tonne FOB Vancouver Standard potash will average $400.”
The following articles were the Top 10 reviewed for last week and include the following:
Tracy Weslosky is the CEO of InvestorIntel Corp., a company that publishes InvestorIntel.com. A leading source for investors, entrepreneurs and industry leaders alike, InvestorIntel is ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>