Rare Earths & Critical Minerals Month-in-Review: A sector back on its feet; major announcements affect stocks positively; Texas Rare Earth (+68.52%), Quest Rare Minerals (+52.73%), Critical Elements Corporation (+52.67%)…
Rare Earths & Critical Minerals Month-in-Review (September 2013): I said it last week, but after reviewing the numbers for the month, it bears repeating: this is more like it. Heading even more so in the right direction, the REE Leaders Index was up +11.6% on a 41-point jump for the month (closing at 394 points last Friday), while the InvestorIntel Rare Earths and Critical Minerals members’ average gained +6.23% overall in September.
There’s a lot to write about as a plethora of members experienced truly exceptional performance in September 2013, so let’s get right down to it.
Texas Rare Earth Resources Corp. (OTCQX: TRER) soared into top spot, gaining a phenomenal +68.52% for the month. Recently, I interviewed Chairman Anthony Marchese and discussed Texas Rare Earth Resources’ revised CAPEX from $2.1 billion to under $300 million, its low market cap, how the company’s resource (with a NPV of over $1 billion) is comprised of “critical” rare earths with the largest holmium deposit in the world, its 100-plus-year mine life, the status of the company’s revised Preliminary Economic Assessment, US REE sustainability, and how TRER’s land and the China clay deposits are the only REE deposits in the world to use heap leach extraction. On September 20th, the company announced that it welcomes the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of HR 761, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013. On September 30th, Texas Rare Earth Resources announced results of significant heavy and critical rare earth recoveries in column leach testing by independent laboratories (needless to say, that announcement had overwhelmingly positive impact on TRER’s stock price and really got it moving). And finally on October 1st, the company announced that InvestorIntel’s Jack Lifton, noted rare earth industry expert, had joined the Texas Rare Earth’s Board of Directors.
Quest Rare Minerals Ltd. (TSX: QRM | NYSE MKT: QRM) jumped an outstanding +52.73% on the American exchange and +46.55% in Canada. On September 5th, Quest announced that it has produced separate heavy and light rare earth concentrates from Strange Lake B-Zone Deposit with excellent results. I interviewed Quest’s President and CEO, Peter Cashin for an update and to discuss how Quest has extracted an 84% pure “heavy rare earth plus yttrium” (HREE+Y) concentrate with a 75% yttrium oxide content, how the company has the highest level of critical/heavy rare earths in its peer group, how metallurgy is advancing steadily and results are exceeding previous expectations and peers’ reports, as well as praseodymium, neodymium, lutetium, yttrium, dysprosium, terbium, niobium, and Quest’s strategic end-user agreement for zirconia.
Shares in Critical Elements Corporation (TSXV: CRE | OTCQX: CRECF) gained a exceptionally significant +52.67% and +50.00% in the US and in Canada respectively on two news releases in September. 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. On September 23rd Critical Elements announced that the company reported robust tantalum recoveries in optimization batch testing, with up to 84% Ta2O5 recovery, compared to 50% in the initial PEA.
Rare Element Resources Ltd. (TSX: RES | NYSE MKT: REE) sowing the seeds of technology and increasing its share price +32.18% on the American exchange and +30.95% on the Canadian exchange for the month. On September 19th, the company announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the US Forest Service, Bearlodge Ranger District. The signing of the MoU officially starts preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement on the Bear Lodge Critical Rare Earth Project, located in northeast Wyoming. On September 27th Rare Element Resources announced it had closed its US$8 million offering of common shares and warrants.
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Shares in Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) gained +28.21% on a series of news releases in September. On September 11th Northern Minerals announced an update on its Browns Range Heavy Rare Earth Project Development. On September 16th Northern Minerals announced that it had received the final payment to complete it $26.6 million rights issue (more than $30 million raised in 2013). On September 27th Northern Minerals announced that the Brown Range pre-feasibility study had commenced with new appointments bolstering the development team. On September 30th the company announced Sumitomo Corporation of Japan as off-take MoU partner for Browns Range.
Tasman Metals Ltd. (TSXV: TSM | NYSE MKT: TAS) was up +20.79% in the US and +15.79% in Canada on no news; however, InvestorIntel’s Ty Dinwoodie interviewed Tasman founding President and CEO Mark Saxon earlier this week for an update on Tasman’s Norra Karr HREE Project and how the company is advancing one of the world’s most extraordinary dysprosium deposits (with one of the lowest CAPEX costs in the space).
Pele Mountain Resources (TSXV: GEM | OTCQX: GOLDF) increased +20.24% on the American exchange. On September 12th, the Pele announced the results of an updated economic review of Eco Ridge. Recently, I posted a great interview with Al Shefsky, President and CEO of Pele Mountain Resources. In it, we discuss Pele Mountain’s competitive advantages at the company’s flagship Eco Ridge Mine Rare Earth and Uranium Project, yttrium and other critical rare earths, and Pele’s updated NI 43-101 Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment.
Alkane Resources Ltd. (ASX: ALK | OTCQX: ANLKY) gained +16.51% and +14.29% in the US and Canada respectively. A few weeks ago, I interviewed the great Ian Chalmers, Managing Director of Alkane for 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. Ian even took the time to comment on the article and to further clarify facts about processing. I published a second interview I did with Ian Chalmers (Ian commented on this one too!) and got his expert take on the current state of the rare earth market. Alkane had a number of announcements last week, the most noteworthy being its September 16th Annual Report to Shareholders and the notice of the company’s Annual General Meeting. The following day, Alkane released its most-recent corporate presentation.
Medallion Resources Ltd. (TSXV: MDL | OTCQX: MLLOF) was up +16.34% on the American exchange. On September 30th, the company announced results from the 2013 Annual and Special Meeting of Shareholders.
Canada Rare Earth Corp. (TSXV: LL) increased +14.29% on the Canadian exchange. On September 27th, CREC announced that it has acquired interest in an exploration and development company.
Big news… it may not be applicable to September, but it is important to note that on October 2nd, REE producer Molycorp, Inc. (NYSE: MCP) announced that the Chloralkali Plant at Mountain Pass, California is now mechanically complete and that full-scale commissioning operations have commenced. “These are the last major construction activities of Project Phoenix, the re-build of Mountain Pass, and we expect these units to be commissioned and enter into production in the fourth quarter of 2013,” said Constantine Karayannopoulos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Molycorp. “Bringing these units online will help us focus on increasing production while continuing to reduce our production costs.”
On September 4th Matamec Explorations Inc. (TSXV: MAT | OTCQX: MHREF) announced the results of the positive feasibility study for the Kipawa Joint Venture Heavy Rare Earth Project with Toyota in Quebec. In an interview with Matamec President and CEO André Gauthier we discussed the company’s recently released Feasibility Study (with $2.55 billion in projected revenues), the details of Matamec’s JV project with Toyota, future corporate milestones, and — with millions in the company treasury — Matamec’s strategy moving forward. On September 24th the company announced an update on Kipawa.
Enjoyed publishing Professor Dudley Kingsnorth’s update on the rare earth market, after just returning home from two weeks in China, he weighs in on Molycorp, Lynas and offers his latest rare earth forecast. Be sure to view The King’s latest presentation, found at the bottom of his article. Anytime we post commentary from Kingsnorth, our numbers smash through the roof. So thank you, Professor… we’re still trying to repair the ceiling from last week.
Here are your numbers for the month:
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>