EDITOR: | July 23rd, 2013 | 27 Comments

Jack Lifton’s ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ Rare Earth Element Companies

| July 23, 2013 | 27 Comments
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Weslosky-LiftonJuly 23, 2013 — Tracy Weslosky, Publisher of InvestorIntel.com in an interview with Jack Lifton, Founding Principle of Technology Metals Research (TMR) discuss Jack’s “…companies most likely to succeed…” in the rare earth element sector. Jack explains that the analysis and evaluation metrics for selecting industry leaders were based on “…their business model and management skills…” and went on to say that “the industry needs materials not promises.”

Jack Lifton is a Founding Principal of Technology Metals Research, LLC. He is also a consultant, author, and lecturer on the market fundamentals of the technology metals, the term that he coined to describe those strategic rare metals whose electronic properties make our technological society possible. These include the rare earths, lithium and most of the rare metals.

Educated as a physical chemist, specializing in high-temperature metallurgy, Jack was first a researcher before becoming both a marketing and manufacturing executive. Finally, he became a metal trader specializing in the field of technology metals and of rare metals.

His work today is principally as a due-diligence consultant for institutional investors, looking into opportunities where rare and technology metals availability are a factor in determining the probability of commercial success of a metals-related venture.

Jack is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security.


Tracy Weslosky

Editor:

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>


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Comments

  • Asher Berube

    Excellent Video

    July 23, 2013 - 2:48 PM

    • Joseph

      I used to think Jack Lifton was impartial but after watching this video I am fairly convinced he is corrupt.

      July 23, 2013 - 9:56 PM

  • Patrick

    I have only one question: When was this interview taken? In 2013, or 2012?

    July 23, 2013 - 4:43 PM

  • catlady

    Jack Jack Jack, if you would only get the catchup out of your eyes you would see that GWG is very close to getting their feedstock on line. And them poring Nd is a big deal, we’ll see what you have to say in a few months. Love the hair Tracy

    July 23, 2013 - 7:00 PM

    • Tim Ainsworth

      Exactly the point: “in a few months”…………….

      Maybe you could provide an update on mine, concentrator & processor construction? Completion/startup date perhaps?

      Obviously you believe extraordinary progress has been made since the Q1 report in March:

      “Outlook: SKK Project
      The Company intends to continue further exploration of the mineral resources at the SKK Project and perform additional design work and metallurgical testing in order to finalize the design of the RECl Plant. The PEA has assisted the Company in evaluating its timing and funding requirements for the SKK Project. Based on the timelines in the PEA, production of mixed RECl is projected to commence within 24 months of the completion of required project financing, at a design capacity of approximately 5,000 tonnes per year of contained REOs. The Company is currently evaluating a variety of funding options as well as alternatives to reduce capital outlays. Until
      such time as the funding is secured, the Company will manage its current cash position to best support the progress of the SKK Project. The Company will continue to work with its joint venture partner, GQD, to design the RE Separation Plant to turn the mixed chloride from the RECl Plant into the separated REOs required by the Company’s manufacturing services segment. The Company is also evaluating toll separation alternatives should the opportunity exist to eliminate certain upfront capital costs and shorten timelines to have separated REO production.
      In light of recent events surrounding the quality of the rehabilitation work and construction of certain assets
      performed by the Company’s former contractor, management is assessing the best approach to correct these deficiencies. The Company is pursuing all available options, including the commencement of civil claims, to recover any damages which may have occurred in relation to the SKK Project. The police investigation into the events leading up to the issues surrounding the termination of the former Project Director continues with the Company committing the required resources to conduct a thorough investigation and protect its interests.”

      Reads to me like they didn’t have funding, or even know what was required, let alone any construction 3 months ago. Focus appears to still be on exploration, completing their PEA, working out how to remediate the dodgy work done to date and recover the $6M plus an interesting review of “Disclosure Controls and Procedures and Internal Controls Over Financial Reporting” on page 13 -http://www.gwmg.ca/images/file/Financials/2013-Q1-GWMG-MDA.pdf

      “GWG is very close to getting their feedstock on line” – who are you kidding – “Based on the timelines in the PEA, production of mixed RECl is projected to commence within 24 months of the completion of
      required project financing” – “The PEA is preliminary in nature” – “The Company may need external financing to repay its obligations related to the convertible bonds” – “Due to the restrictions associated with the convertible bonds, the Company’s ability to raise additional financings
      through sources other than equity may be limited.”

      “in a few months”, oh sure, can’t wait for the Q2 report for a summary, and hopefully some pics, of this amazing development.

      July 23, 2013 - 9:45 PM

  • toly

    Agreed, the RE industry has grown up with a lot of disappointment… Many promises have been made and many have been broken… I totally agree with the Lynas asscessment. I think Jack realizes that the industry needs RE’s in consistent supply at a stable price. The more RE’s on the market from multiple companies the better off everyone will be…

    July 23, 2013 - 7:25 PM

  • u4eah

    Jack
    – Here is what Ed Richardson – USMMA / THOMAS & SKINNER had to say earlier this year at the “Magnetics 2013 Orlando” concerning REE metal-making via “Fused salt Electrolysis”

    http://www.magneticsmagazine.com/main/channels/materials-channels/a-break-in-the-rare-earth-magnet-value-chain-fused-salt-electrolysis/

    July 23, 2013 - 10:49 PM

  • Bill Keenes

    Correct me if I am wrong but haven’t both companies mentioned by Jack Lifton:-

    Rare Element Resources

    and

    Ucore

    already pushed back their production dates ??

    July 24, 2013 - 3:59 AM

  • Steve Davies

    Maybe Jacks 2 picks have LOI with a certain seperation company he and Gareth are involved with ?

    July 24, 2013 - 7:41 AM

  • bourque

    Jack is a manufacturing guy, so why does he comment as an expert in the mining/processing field. Something doesn’t add up with his various statements over time.
    Pretty clear though that, unless you have a very rich REE resource you won’t make money in processing and selling only oxides (you need the critical REE’s),….. that has become apparent. Vertical integration to metal and alloy production is key to success……do gold producers sell anything other than solid gold?

    July 24, 2013 - 8:54 AM

  • Tracy Weslosky

    Thanks for the great commentary. For starters, we need a good interview update with Marc Levier of GWMG and we will call him today. The interview with Dudley Kingsnorth was rescheduled last night due to weather conditions and certainly, I will be following up with him on his picks. We have a 2nd interview that is being edited from Jack that is a good one that we will be putting out this week, and yes – date is indeed 2013 and has been corrected. As for the compliment on my hair, thank you kindly….

    Finally, would like to clarify a misconception that Jack Lifton and Gareth Hatch are indeed Partners for TMR; but they are not Partners with Innovations Metals. Gareth is Partners with Patrick Wong on this venture.

    Thanks again for the feedback and for visiting InvestorIntel — our team appreciates it.

    July 24, 2013 - 9:38 AM

    • JohnH

      Thanks Tracy. I look forward to the 2nd interview with Jack and the interview with Dudley once the weather clears. I agree that Marc, or someone, from GW should clear the air on some things and why not do it here? Thanks again.

      July 24, 2013 - 11:30 AM

      • Tracy Weslosky

        Thanks JohnH – interview request was just sent to Marc Levier of GWMG 10 minutes ago. We are past due on a good interview with him. Thanks for your feedback…we are cutting Colin Bird of Galileo Resources interview today….

        July 24, 2013 - 2:54 PM

  • SteauaOilers

    Jack, to use your words, I am not particularly impressed by your interview. Let’s see:

    “With all due respect, GWM is basically playing catch up …”

    “I’m not particularly impressed by either announcements …”

    Yes, the Chinese master the fused salt electrolysis process and have been using it for a long time. As Ed Richardson is pointing out (see link in u4eah’s comment), there are some additional fused salt electrolysis facilities outside China, in Laos and Vietnam, but these are also supported by the Chinese and overall they are maintaining their hold on the process.

    If you were to apply the same logic, you shouldn’t be impressed by ANY of the REE companies outside China (and Japan), since all of them are basically playing catch up in rare earth processing and refining. So why we are spending time talking so much about the most likely to succeed companies, regional REE separation facilities etc. ?

    Unless you want to clarify your point, your statements in this interview show that you being biased.

    July 24, 2013 - 11:03 AM

  • Bill Keenes

    Just confirmed that both Rare Element Resources and Ucore – the companies Jack is pushing or should I say “consulting for” …. both originally had their production target dates set down for 2015.

    Both have now pushed that back to 2016.

    It does not surprise me that Jack made no mention of this fact. Yet Jack then goes on to point the fingers at others explorers for making announcements and then pushing back deadlines.

    Hope in the next interview Jack talks a little more about what is relevant about getting rare earth explorers into production … like the metallurgy.

    You can have the biggest and richest heavy rare earth resource in the world but if you can’t crack the metallurgy, then you can’t efficiently extract the rare earths, and that is what impacts production time lines the most in the world of rare earths.

    Proving up the resource and promoting the company is the easy part, actually getting into production requires cracking the metallurgy.

    Given this fact … how then can Jack pick which rare earth companies will come in production the soonest without consideration as to metallurgy.

    July 24, 2013 - 1:36 PM

  • 4now

    Hi Tracy,
    Is it possible that you ask Marc Le Vier this questions?
    Is there a problem with the SA Authorities getting the approval for BAR because of the problems with Mr. Mora? Is BAR (Vredendal)stopped because of the missing decision to use GQD’s separation technology ? Are the LOI with Aichi, EEC and Vacuumschmelze still in place and running? Is it a problem that Aichi has changed its President ? Isn’t it funny that other companies talk about getting finance for 1 or even 2 billion $ but GWG is not able to get 120Million, although it could provide different matrials for offtake ?(oxyds, pure metals, alloys) 4now

    July 24, 2013 - 2:29 PM

  • hackenzac

    I’d be surprised if he agrees to an interview at this time since there are so many hardball questions surrounding this company and its operations in South Africa but if you do Tracy,here’s another question for Mark LaVier: Assuming that GWM finds the money and gets the mixed chlorides plant built, what is the likely scenario for achieving separation and who are the likely partners? They’ve indicated that the JV with GQD is not going forward and some vague reference was made to tolling mixed chlorides through some middle man yet to be named. It’s no wonder that investors are uneasy with this company. They sound so good in theory but so far in the execution and accounting of borrowed money already spent, they are fishy, like one of those air gulping, mud dwelling African lung fish. They seem stuck in the South African mud. Above claims that they are close to their own feedstock are bogus. They are not close. What’s up with this gwm cult showing up every time their baby doesn’t get tickled right?

    July 24, 2013 - 3:23 PM

    • Tim Ainsworth

      Q2 report can’t be too far away, any material progress should be reported there but without a completed PEA or any apparent cohesive plan I wouldn’t be expecting much.
      Feedstock? Their own Q1 statement clearly says it’s a minimum of 24 months away so I’m not sure what the fuss is about.

      July 25, 2013 - 8:03 AM

  • Quentin Wilcox

    Hi Jack I have been reading your info that you put out for sometime now and I was hoping that you would make some comments on Greenland Minerals and energy. Where do you see this project now and in the future.

    July 24, 2013 - 10:12 PM

    • Bill Keenes

      Quentin, don’t hold your breath waiting for a reply of substance from Jack …

      I could be wrong but from what I have seen if a company is not paying Jack to work as a consultant he won’t likely promote it over a company that is paying Jack to consult

      Look at this interview how Jack turned a blind eye to both Ucore and Rare Element Resources having already extended their proposed production time lines

      …. and will Jack now discuss what really matters in bringing rare earth projects into production – the “metallurgy” …

      July 28, 2013 - 3:05 AM

  • pva1

    Re GME, TASMET, LCM/GW: please read about the EURARE project and the envisioned European uninterrupted REE supply chain on pages 7 and 8 of the following presentation:

    http://www.eurogeosource.eu/conferences/presentations2013/12_EuroGeoSource_JuhaKaija_20130312.pdf

    July 24, 2013 - 11:08 PM

    • Henning Holmstrom

      Perhaps worth mentioning is that Tasmet AB know is called Tasman Metals AB, hence, it is Tasman Metals Ltds Swedish subsidiary.

      July 31, 2013 - 4:07 AM

      • Henning Holmstrom

        Should read now not know…

        July 31, 2013 - 4:08 AM

  • Mad_Mike

    Tracy- I wonder what Jack would have said about GWG’s other news- The second Furnace that was commisioned.
    He probably would have shot that down to as trying to catch up to these other juniors that have no downstream processing at all.

    July 26, 2013 - 2:40 PM

  • Stephan B. Feibish

    Jack Lifton, Tracy, Mickey Fulp, Gareth Hatch, et. al. are invaluable sources of information. But never trade based on one of their articles or interviews. Timing is everything. All you have to do is track the price of the stocks they’ve mentioned after an article/interview. You’ll see what you need to do is put the stocks on a watch list and wait for the right moment to invest.

    And they can’t be responsible for all the hiccups a company might experience. Or anything illegal the company does.

    Do your due diligence. I followed a newsletter writer whom I expected to do my due diligence for me. I was amazed when the tide washed out and I saw how these companies were run and how they were being milked while the ship went down.

    July 28, 2013 - 6:36 AM

  • Lifton, Kingsnorth, Bird and Hatch lift Rare Earth Market Interest | InvestorIntelInvestorIntel

    […] & Critical Minerals Week-in-Review: Rising tides in the sector, did you see the highly charged Jack Lifton interview and debate we posted this week on Jack Lifton’s ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ Rare Earth Element […]

    July 30, 2013 - 12:37 PM

  • bourque

    Interesting times……… cheap REE feedstock is on the market thanks to Lynas, which is good for them, at least some money for their efforts, but better for those downstream producers of metals and alloys in the ROW who can process them. New stable supply all round.

    July 31, 2013 - 8:05 AM

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