Jack Lifton One-on-One with Ian Chalmers of Alkane Resources
September 8, 2014 — In a new InvestorIntel weekly special, Jack Lifton interviews Ian Chalmers of Alkane Resources in episode 1 of One-on-One. The following is minute one of their conversation transcribed for your review. To access the complete interview, click here.
Jack Lifton: I’m always amazed by when I hear about things. People ask me why I don’t include Alkane on any of my lists because I just assume you’re a genuine polymetallic producer and since you’re not dependent on rare earths, I don’t want to include you on a list of rare earths. That’s the point, but…I looked at your website and I’d like to ask you a couple of questions. I’m a little confused by a statement that you say you’ll produce 1,200 tons of heavy rare earth mixed concentrate in your total, and that would be 5% of what?
Ian Chalmers:It’s meant to be about 5% of current world consumption of heavy rare earths…that’s what we mean by that. I know these numbers are all very vague and rubbery — that’s roughly what that number means.
Jack Lifton: And, tell me, I think I recall the number 1,200 pounds of yttrium. Is that correct?
Ian Chalmers: The total is about 1,300 tons of what we call, heavy rare earths….of which 900 is yttrium.
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Jack Lifton: Okay. That is a very significant amount of yttrium. What I read on your website is that you expect to start producing next year.
Ian Chalmers: You mean 2016.
Jack Lifton: Here’s the point, that would be around more than 10% of the world’s production of yttrium at the moment and it would be, as far as I know, the first commercial yttrium produced outside of China in this century.
Ian Chalmers: That’s correct – that’s our understanding also.
Jack Lifton: Is that committed to existing customers at least under some kind of intent letter?
Ian Chalmers:It is certainly intent and interest. I mean, it’s the one mine to export that Shin-Etsu is not interested in as you’d expect being a magnet company they have no real interest. What we found though is once that Shin-Etsu deal started to crystallize we had a lot of approach from phosphor manufacturers and ceramics. The answer is, look, I think we can sell double that if we produced more. I think the option there is to sell a lot of yttrium.
Jack Lifton: What I mean is, are you open to any new interested customers for this?
Ian Chalmers: The answer is yes. Always happy to talk to people, absolutely.
Jack Lifton: Because I think here, in the U.S., there’s a couple of interested parties that I do not believe are aware of how far along you are. Now I understand your production of materials would begin in 2016. When would you actually have some yttrium in — I am assuming your form will be yttrium oxide?
Ian Chalmers:Yes it will. Yes, basically…I mean, look, with ramp up I think you’d start talking commercial quantities of yttrium sometime early 2017.
Jack Lifton: Okay, Okay. Well, I think you would be, as far as I know, and I’m quite familiar with what’s going on, I can’t see anybody coming out sooner than that outside of China, unless somebody with a bunch of xenotime should get into business right away.
Ian Chalmers:Yeah, sure, yeah.
Jack Lifton: But, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards, sort to speak, in the near…
Ian Chalmers: I don’t usually comment on other projects and where they are in their timetable, but you’re right, xenotime does provide an opportunity to get into production fairly quickly, yeah, yeah.
Jack Lifton: Well, the interesting thing — tell me, what other heavy rare earths would you be producing? Which ones?
Ian Chalmers: We’ll certainly produce substantial dysprosium, terbium, gadolinium and all of the other, what I call, exotics, right through the whole spectrum. We’ll produce, I’ll call it loosely, commercial quantities of all of those other rare earths as well. The reason we, kind of, stopped quoting the actual tonnages, the outputs of those, is really because of our ongoing relationship with Shin-Etsu. They’ve asked us not to actually publish individual volumes at this stage because of obviously their relationship with China’s producers at this stage. Yes, we can produce the whole spectrum; small amount of europium, but otherwise the full spectrum.
To access the rest of this interview, click here.
Disclaimer: Alkane Resources is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel.
Jack Lifton is the CEO for Jack Lifton, LLC and is a consultant, author, and lecturer on the market fundamentals of technology metals. Technology metals ... <Read more about Jack Lifton>