Don Bubar of Avalon Advanced Materials talks about the surge in interest following the Rock Tech LOI

Don Bubar, President and CEO of Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF), talks to InvestorIntel’s Tracy Weslosky about Avalon’s recent surge in stock price and volume after announcing their letter of intent with Rock Tech Lithium to collaborate on the development of a North American lithium process facility.

Avalon’s announcement has attracted a lot of industry attention. “This is the fifth media interview I’ve done to talk about that news release,” Don told Tracy. “Avalon and Rock Tech have long been aspiring producers of lithium from resources in northern Ontario,” he continued, “and we had this shared vision of how this centrally located processing facility would make a lot of sense for us to collaborate to create different lithium products and serve different markets.”

“The demand for lithium battery materials is escalating,” he continued, “with plans to establish EV and battery manufacturing capacity here. The interest is building all the time and is accelerating now with government policy,” Don told Tracy. “And the push for more rapid adoption of electric vehicle technologies is obviously creating new demand with government providing incentives to get these new facilities started.”

Don went on to describe how with Rock Tech’s German-based management’s connections in Europe, this arrangement to collaborate on a new lithium process facility will help Avalon grow its business both in Europe and North America.

Don Bubar is recognized as one of the global experts on rare earths and lithium in particular, and sees an exciting “opportunity to put a processing facility in a central location close to transportation infrastructure and access to market for the product.”

In the interview Don also provides an update on Avalon’s Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Property, and its deal with Australia’s Vital Metals. “They are pretty much ready to go,” he said, as soon as pandemic conditions allow. “The idea all along is for them to take advantage of the small, relatively easy to process resource called the T-Zone,” he continued, “and once you get that production and supply chain started then we could be in a position to scale it up.”

To watch the full interview, click here.

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Disclaimer: Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.




Avalon Advanced Materials Separation Rapids Lithium Project progresses, EV investors look north for critical materials

It is not very often that an investor can buy a company with exposure to both lithium and key magnetic rare earths. One company that offers exposure to both is Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF) (‘Avalon’). Avalon has five critical materials projects across Canada, providing investors with exposure to lithium, rare earths (neodymium, dysprosium), cesium, tantalum, feldspars, tin and indium.

With the electric vehicle (EV) boom set to take off, companies such as Tesla are planning to grow EV production by 50%pa reaching 20 million new EVs pa by 2030. At Tesla Battery Day Tesla suggested an aggressive industry wide target of 10TWh of Li-ion batteries pa by 2030 to meet EV demand (assumes a switch to 100% EVs).

Tesla says that’s a 100 fold increase on 2019 levels. This suggests demand for EV metals (such as lithium and the magnetic rare earths) looks likely to surge this decade and create a super-cycle for the EV metal miners.

100% electric transportation requires 100x growth in EV battery production this decade

Source: Tesla Battery Day video

Avalon’s focus projects for lithium (Separation Rapids, Lilypad) and rare earths (Nechalacho)

Source

Avalon’s Separation Rapids Lithium Project is located 70 km by road north of Kenora, Ontario, Canada. It holds one of the largest “complex-type” lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite deposits in the world. A PEA was completed in 2018 resulting in a pre-tax NPV8% of $156m, post tax IRR of 22.7%, CapEx C$77.7m with a 20 year mine life. In a recent news Avalon has been doing metallurgical test work with the overall objectives of reducing costs, improving recoveries and optimizing lithium product quality. Avalon has previously developed a proprietary process flowsheet to produce a high purity lithium hydroxide product from petalite. The process limits waste by recycling of the sulphuric acid solvent. Avalon and partners are now optimizing the final stages of the process, which involves the use of electrolysis to produce lithium hydroxide. The results will enable finalizing equipment selection and design. A further 2,500 tonne bulk sample extraction program is set to commence next. With Ontario Premier Doug Ford recently announcing Ontario’s interest in establishing new battery materials supply chains in the province, Avalon is investigating collaborative opportunities to establish a lithium processing facility in Northwestern Ontario.

Avalon’s Lilypad Cesium Property, located 150 km northeast of Pickle Lake, Ontario, is an exploration stage project with cesium-lithium-tantalum mineralization. It has the potential to be a secondary lithium supply source for Avalon. Avalon has recently re-activated the Project due to increasing demand for cesium. Planned follow-up work will initially involve mineralogical and analytical testwork, which will be followed by metallurgical process testwork to identify the most efficient methods for concentrating the pollucite ore and recovering by-product tantalum and lithium.

Avalon’s flagship Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Property is located at Thor Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada. Avalon’s main focus is the deeper HREE Basal Zone at the property. The Basal Zone retained by Avalon contains a rich polymetallic rare metals resource, with potential for economic recovery of several rare earth elements. A Feasibility Study was completed in 2013 on the Basal Zone resulting in a pre-tax NPV10% of $1.35 billion (post-tax NPV10% of $900m). The post-tax IRR was 19.6%. CapEx was $1.575b. Sales of the five critical REO (neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium) account for over 82% of the separated REO revenues. Avalon has also retained a 3% NSR on the near surface T-Zone and Tardiff Zone at the Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Property, bought by Cheetah Resources back in 2019. Avalon could also potentially collaborate with the newly planned SRC Rare Earths Processing Facility to be established in Saskatchewan with plans to be operational by late 2022.

EVs are coming in all shapes and sizes and they will require huge amounts of EV metals such as lithium and rare earths

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. stock is up 87.5% over the past year and trades on a market cap of C$26m.




Don Bubar on Avalon’s 20 years in rare earths and their diversified asset base of critical materials

“We have been in rare earths business for over 20 years now,” Don Bubar, President, CEO and Director of Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF), tells InvestorIntel’s Tracy Weslosky in an interview. “And we are very well known among investors in the US for our lead role in the rare earths bubble 10 years ago. Whenever there is new development and news headline related to the risk on security of supply, then you will see speculative trading activity in Avalon.”

“Our strategy has been to have a diversified asset base,” Bubar continued. “That gives us exposure to broad range of these new emerging critical materials. We are basically positioned to react to when there is a new demand in the marketplace.”

Bubar went on to say that Avalon is working with a partner on its Nechalacho rare earth elements property and has maintained its main resource for any future upside. “We continue to look at other possibilities to create new rare earths supplies, by looking at how we can use new technology to recover rare earths from non-traditional sources such as historic mine wastes,” he said.

Bubar also commented on Avalon’s Separation Rapids Lithium Project: “Our focus now is on taking advantage of the opportunity in lithium markets. We are permitted now to recover a bulk sample to finalize our process flowsheet, do a pilot plant run and produce some product samples for customers who have expressed interest in the product in the glass industry as well as start to revisit serving the battery materials market going forward.”

To access the complete interview, click here.

Disclaimer: Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.




Rare earths company jumps 38.46% yesterday as the world searches for a NA supply

As good news continues to flow for the rare earths sector, today I look at one of the recent best performers, whose stock was up 38.46% yesterday as they led the pack of rare earth companies higher. Impressively, the stock is up 80% so far in 2020.

Avalon Advanced Materials leads the pack as the rare earths miners make a comeback

Source: InvestorChannel’s Rare Earths Watchlist Update – July 27, 2020

What has caused the surge in prices for western rare earth miners?

The recent price surge appears to be due to a combination of factors, all positive for rare earths:

These are in addition to several other Acts currently before the US Senate, such as:

Added to all of this the US Department of Defense recently said that it will seek $1.7 billion to purchase rare earths in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. You can read more on the three Acts here.

With this extremely favorable backdrop, today I take a look at yesterday’s star performer Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF).

Avalon is focused on critical minerals and cleantech materials including rare earths, lithium, tantalum, cesium, cobalt, nickel, tin, and others with near term production potential. Avalon has a very large project pipeline of promising, mostly development stage projects including:

  • Their flagship Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Property (Thor Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada) with a 3% NSR on on the near surface T-Zone and Tardiff Zone bought by Cheetah Resources, and the 100% owned HREE Basal Zone. The Basal Zone retained by Avalon contains a rich polymetallic rare metals resource, with potential for economic recovery of several rare earth elements. A Feasibility Study was completed in 2013 on the Basal Zone resulting in a pre-tax NPV10% of $1.35 billion (post-tax NPV10% of $900m). The post-tax IRR was 19.6%. CapEx was $1.575b. Sales of the five critical REO (neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium) account for over 82% of the separated REO revenues.
  • Their Separation Rapids Lithium Project (70 km by road north of Kenora, Ontario) holds one of the largest “complex-type” lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite deposits in the world. A PEA was completed in 2018 resulting in a pre-tax NPV8% of $156m, post tax IRR of 22.7%, CapEx C$77.7m with a 20 year mine life. You can read a company update here. Currently Avalon is working on optimizing the process flowsheet and producing new petalite product samples for glass-ceramic manufacturers.
  • Their Lilypad Cesium Property (150 km northeast of Pickle Lake, Ontario) is an exploration stage project with cesium-lithium-tantalum mineralization.
  • Their Warren Township Feldspar Project (100 km west of Timmins, Ontario) hosts a significant resource of high purity anorthosite, consisting of up to 98% high calcium plagioclase feldspar. The PFS was completed in 2003.
  • Their East Kemptville Tin Project (45 km northeast of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia) with a PEA completed in 2018.

Avalon Advanced Materials’ project pipeline are all located in North America

Source: Company investor presentation

Since Avalon did not release any new news in July, I can only conclude that yesterday’s 38.46% stock price surge was related to the very positive rare earths market news from the U.S. government and European Commission reported on July 24 as I discussed above. The fact that Avalon surged more than the rest is likely due to their lower market cap resulting in greater leverage to the positive rare earths news. Certainly having a low market cap and a very significant local Canadian rare earths project with a pre-tax NPV10% of $1.35 billion would go a long way in explaining the potential ahead. Most companies would trade on ~20% of the post-tax FS value. In this case that would mean ~20% of $900 million or ~$180 million. Even allowing for the large CapEx, using 10% of the $900 million would suggest a market cap of $90 million. The Feasibilty Study costs alone were ~$60 million. Also this does not include any value for the other projects. Avalon is trading on a market cap of just C$31 million.

Closing remarks

The good thing about western rare earths companies is they actually do better if US-China relations get worse. This is because of the implied threat that China may one day cut off or severely restrict their rare earths supply to the US as they did before to Japan.

Rare earths stand to be one of the biggest winners of the new economy this decade as the world continues to decarbonize and moves towards using powerful magnets for electric motors used in electric vehicles and wind turbines.

Investors wanting broad exposure to multiple rare earths and critical materials should consider Avalon Advanced Materials. Avalon gives investors exposure to four advanced stage projects and one exploration stage project – with exposure to lithium, tin, cobalt, indium, beryllium, niobium, cesium, zirconium and tantalum, as well as the rare earth elements, neodymium, europium, terbium, dysprosium and yttrium.




Don Bubar on the ORE Act and Avalon’s lithium and rare earths projects

“The ORE Act is a great start. There is no doubt that if we are going to see these rare earths supply chain established in North America government has to help by providing incentives to businesses and entrepreneurs to make that whole supply chain happen. It is not as simple as just starting a new mining operation and everything will happen easily after that. I think it is encouraging that they recognize that now that they do need to provide these incentives and maybe we will actually start to see them.” States Don Bubar, President, CEO and Director of Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF), in an interview with InvestorIntel’s Tracy Weslosky.

Don went on to say that the whole COVID-19 pandemic has raised awareness in the public about the vulnerability of supply chain in North America by relying on a sole source of supply, especially when it comes from a country like China. He added, “There is increasing trade tension between China and the US. If that continues to grow then for sure there is real risk of China weaponizing their control on the supply chain of rare earths and other critical minerals.”

Don also provided an update on Avalon’s Separation Rapids Lithium Project. He said that the company is increasingly seeing real opportunities with their Separation Rapids Lithium Project. There is a lot of innovation happening in the glass ceramics space that prefers a form of lithum that is in the high purity mineral petalite at Separation Rapids. The demand from the battery sector is also continuing to grow.

To access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.




Avalon’s ‘Holy Grail’ plan-of-operations for near term production of NA critical materials

Avalon is a company with big plans. With several advanced critical materials projects all in the safe jurisdiction of Canada. Using smart extraction processes and technology, and in some cases JV project partners, Avalon aims to cost-effectively bring several new projects into production.

Additionally Avalon is working on extracting valuable materials from waste materials, that offer potential for near term revenue streams. Many Governments and large miners are interested to facilitate the removal and further processing of waste material.

Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. (TSX: AVL | OTCQB: AVLNF) is focused on critical minerals and cleantech materials including rare earths, lithium, tantalum, cesium, cobalt, nickel, tin, and others with near term production potential.

Avalon has adopted a strategy of sourcing low CapEx, high value projects which can be put into small scale production quickly and cost effectively. To this end Avalon has several JV partners in their different projects.

Avalon Advanced Minerals project pipeline

Source

Nechalacho Rare Earth Elements Property (Thor Lake, Northwest Territories, Canada) (3% NSR on T-Zone and Tardiff Zone bought by Cheetah Resources, and 100% owns the HREE Basal Zone).

Avalon has sold some of the project (the near surface T-Zone and Tardiff Zone resources) to Cheetah Resources for C$5 million cash. Avalon will receive a 3% NSR on these areas should they reach production. Cheetah Resources recently announced they are moving rapidly toward small-scale production of rare earths including neodymium and praseodymium.

The Basal Zone retained by Avalon contains a rich polymetallic rare metals resource, with potential for economic recovery of the heavy rare earth elements, neodymium, praseodymium, lithium, zirconium, beryllium, niobium and tantalum. A Feasibility Study was completed in 2013 on the Basal Zone resulting in a NPV10% of $1.35 billion.

You can read more in a recent InvestorIntel article.

Separation Rapids Lithium Project

Separation Rapids Lithium Project is 70 km by road north of Kenora, Ontario. The deposit is one of the largest “complex-type” lithium-cesium-tantalum pegmatite deposits in the world, unusual in its enrichment in the rare, high purity lithium mineral petalite. A PEA was completed in 2018 resulting in a pre-tax NPV8% of $156 million, post tax IRR of 22.7%, CapEx of $77.7 million with a 20 year mine life. Avalon is currently doing process development work to optimize the process flowsheet and produce new petalite product samples for glass-ceramic manufacturers who have expressed strong interest in Avalon’s product. Also of interest is that Avalon is testing advanced processing methods such as sensor-based ore-sorting and dense media separation.

Next steps include processing a larger bulk product sample for customer qualification, which would then lead to off-take agreements to support project development. In 2020, subject to financing, other work will include a $3-5 million program to prepare for construction of mine and process plant in 2020-21 to produce lithium mineral concentrates. Added to this will be a FS, environmental assessments, and project permitting.

Separation Rapids Lithium Project

Source

Will Scarlett Rare Earths Recovery Project (near Marion, Illinois, USA) – Avalon to earn-in up to 50% from project owner Coal Strategy Advisors

The Will Scarlett Project is interesting as Avalon plans to process rare earths from coal mine wastes. Sampling of the waste has revealed high concentrations of total rare earth oxides in excess of 500 ppm. Also notable is that no significant uranium or thorium has been detected associated with the rare earths at Will Scarlett. The coal mine also has other metallic elements such as cobalt, nickel, lithium, manganese and zinc in mine waste materials.

Avalon President and CEO, Don Bubar, stated:

“In our research to date on rare earths in coal mine wastes, Will Scarlett stands out as exceptional in terms of the levels of rare earths present in the AMD. Like our East Kemptville Tin Project in Nova Scotia, Will Scarlett provides Avalon with an opportunity to extract value out of previously-mined waste materials at a relatively low cost, and potentially fully remediate the long term environmental liability associated with acid mine drainage at the site.”

Avalon plans to participate in the installation and operation of a demonstration facility (pilot plant) to scale up the process at the Will Scarlett site, assuming funding can be arranged. The goal is to demonstrate how this technology can recover separated rare earths at a much lower cost than traditional solvent extraction technology, thereby making it economic to recover rare earths from lower grade resources, such as mine wastes.

Lilypad Cesium Property

Lilypad Cesium Property (150 km northeast of Pickle Lake, Ontario) is at exploration stage with cesium-lithium-tantalum mineralization. Past discoveries has included cesium assaying up to 6.205% Cs2O over 1.70 metres and tantalum mineralization assaying over 0.10%Ta2O5 found in numerous tantalum-cesium-lithium pegmatite dykes. This summer Avalon plans to follow up on encouraging results obtained during past work programs.

Warren Township Anorthosite Project

Warren Township Anorthosite Project (100 km west of Timmins, Ontario). The tenement hosts a significant resource of high purity anorthosite, consisting of up to 98% high calcium plagioclase feldspar. The PFS was completed in 2003.

East Kemptville Tin-Indium Project

East Kemptville Tin-Indium Project (45 km northeast of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia). PEA completed in 2018. There is the opportunity to sustainably fully rehabilitate the site through recovery of tin from stockpiles using new ore-sorting technology at a very low CapEx. Currently the project is on hold.




International Rare Earths Expert Alastair Neill Steps in as the 8th Annual Technology Metals Summit (#TMS2020) Conference Coordinator

Leading Rare Earths’ Companies and U.S. Government Relations Consultant Jeff Green Confirms Participation

Toronto, February 13, 2020 — The 8th Annual Technology Metals Summit (#TMS2020), an exclusive event for both the industry and investors on the critical materials supply chain, is pleased to announce the appointment of rare earths expert Alastair Neill as conference coordinator.

Founder of InvestorIntel and the Critical Materials Summit series Tracy Weslosky commented: “Alastair has over 25 years of professional experience in critical materials in Asia, North America and Europe. Often a speaker or panelist for a wide range of industry events, we are privileged to be utilizing such a knowledgeable player in the industry to ensure the most informative content possible at this year’s 8th Annual Critical Materials Summit being held on Thursday, May 14, 2020 in Toronto at the Omni King Edward Hotel.”

Having already confirmed critical material presenters such as Avalon Advanced Materials Inc., Search Minerals Inc., and Texas Mineral Resources Corp., Alastair added: “I am delighted to be stepping in to ensure that we offer investors an understanding of not only where the critical materials industry stands presently, but where it is heading. Increased speculation from government and industry on how to effectively create a much-needed supply chain in North America and Europe, makes #TMS2020 timely.”

Speaker Jeff Green of J.A. Green and Company commented further with “I look forward to speaking at #TMS2020 about the most aggressive U.S. government intervention into the rare earths market in history. The U.S. Department of Defense is in the process of committing millions of dollars to bring rare earth manufacturing back to the United States, which makes this an exciting time to be a participant in this critical materials market. I look forward to the conversations that Alastair Neill and InvestorIntel are sparking at #TMS2020.”

About the 8th Annual Technology Metals Summit: InvestorIntel, a trusted source of online market information for investors in the capital markets, is pleased to host the 8th Annual Technology Metals Summit (#TMS2020) on Thursday, May 14th, 2020. A 1-day event being held in the Sovereign Ballroom at the Omni King Hotel located at 37 King St East in Toronto, Canada — click here to register

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