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Announcing the Launch of the Critical Minerals Institute for Companies and Experts Focused on Electric Vehicles, Green Energy and Secure Supply Chains

Toronto, August 14, 2022 – It is with great pleasure that the Critical Minerals Institute (CMI) announces its founding as an international organization for critical mineral companies and professionals designed to address relevant issues relating to the establishment of secure supply chains from mine to manufacturing in not just rare earths but all 50 vitally important critical minerals.

Focused on battery materials and electric vehicles, along with the use of critical minerals for energy and green energy production, CMI Founder Tracy Weslosky explains: “With uncertainties in Russia and China escalating concerns around secure supply chains, governments have been offering sizable incentives for everything from facilitating faster production timelines to advancing extraction technology processes. Unfortunately, the required infrastructure or expertise is often lacking. CMI was created to offer education, collaboration and an online platform designed to solve these issues through both online and in-person networking events.”

“There has already been incredible interest in the Critical Minerals Institute,” Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Lifton said. “From the first time we mentioned it to our extensive network of industry contacts, we have literally been inundated with calls from government, public companies and industry experts wanting to support and participate in this important initiative.”

 Jack is the Editor in Chief, Critical Minerals for InvestorIntel Corp., and is a recognized international critical minerals expert, who coined the term “technology metals” over a decade ago. He is joined by President and Director, Alastair Neill, who has more than 25 years of experience managing all facets of rare earths and critical minerals.

With over 250,000 combined hours of professional experience in the critical minerals sector, Executive Chairman Jack Lifton and President Alastair Neill are joined by the following industry experts on the CMI Board: Peter Clausi, Christopher Ecclestone, Byron W. King, Stephen Lautens, Alister Macdonald, Melissa Sanderson and Tracy Weslosky.

The Critical Minerals Institute is planning to hold its first summit on November 9th in Toronto, bringing together international industry leaders, governments and companies at the historic National Club to discuss emerging trends in battery materials, technology metals, defense metals, ESG technologies, the general EV market, and the use of critical minerals for energy and green  energy production. The Critical Minerals Summit (CMS) has confirmed that Geoff Atkins of Vital Metals Ltd. (ASX: VML | OTCQB: VTMXF) and Constantine Karayannopoulos of Neo Performance Materials Inc. (TSX: NEO) will be the keynote speakers. The CMS will also have as a guest speaker Charlie Angus, MP, author of “Cobalt: The Making of a Mining Superpower.” For more information, go to www.CriticalMineralsInstitute.com or to request a delegate pass, click here

About the Critical Minerals Institute:

The Critical Mineral Institute (CMI) is an international organization for companies and professionals focused on battery materials, technology metals, defense metals, ESG technologies and practices, the general EV market, and the use of critical minerals for energy and alternative energy production. Offering an online site that features job opportunities that range from consulting roles to Advisory Board position, the CMI offer a wide range of B2B service solutions. Accompanied by online and in-person events, the CMI is designed for education, collaboration, and to provide professional opportunities to meet the critical minerals supply chain challenges.

For more information, go to CriticalMineralsInstitute.com or contact info@criticalmineralsinstitute.com or +1 416 792 8228. TwitterLinkedIn




Troy Boisjoli of Murchison Minerals on drilling progress at its nickel-copper-cobalt HPM Project

In this InvestorIntel interview Murchison Minerals Ltd.‘s (TSXV: MUR | OTCQB: MURMF) President, CEO, and Director Troy Boisjoli speaks with host Tracy Weslosky directly from the core shack at its nickel-copper-cobalt HPM Project in Quebec.

In the interview, which can also be viewed in full on the InvestorIntel YouTube channel (click here to access InvestorChannel.com), Troy tells Tracy that the drills are turning at its battery metals site as part of a “multi-pronged exploration approach” that includes updated geophysics and field work across the property’s magmatic sulfide system. Drilling is now focused on the high-grade nickel, copper, cobalt zone called Barre de Fer. “It has a strike length of about 315 meters, a depth extent of about 295 meters, and a width of about 150 meters with individual lenses,” Troy explains, “and mineralization up to about 25 meters. The the intention of the drilling right now is to expand and and push forward at Barre de Fer and test the extent of this mineralizing system.”

Troy goes on to tell Tracy that Barre de Fer is “an area that has all of the the fundamental requirements from a technical geology perspective to have district or camp scale potential.” He goes on to say that “we also have very tangible, real results that we’re expanding on, and we’ll be able to expand on in the very near term,” and that one of the objectives of this drill program is getting into a position to have a maiden resource at Barre de Fer.”

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About Murchison Minerals Ltd.

Murchison is a Canadian‐based exploration company focused on nickel-copper-cobalt exploration at the 100% – owned HPM Project in Quebec and the exploration and development of the 100% – owned Brabant Lake zinc‐copper‐silver project in north‐central Saskatchewan. The Company also holds an option to earn 100% interest in the Barraute VMS exploration project also located in Quebec, north of Val d’Or. Murchison currently has 218.2 million shares issued and outstanding.

To learn more about Murchison Minerals Ltd., click here.

Disclaimer: Murchison Minerals Ltd. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.

This interview, which was produced by InvestorIntel Corp. (IIC) does not contain, nor does it purport to contain, a summary of all the material information concerning the “Company” being interviewed. IIC offers no representations or warranties that any of the information contained in this interview is accurate or complete.

This presentation may contain“forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and assumptions of the management of the Company as of the date made. They are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and other factors that could cause actual events/results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Additional risks and uncertainties, including those that the Company does not know about now or that it currently deems immaterial, may also adversely affect the Company’s business or any investment therein.

Any projections given are principally intended for use as objectives and are not intended, and should not be taken,  as assurances that the projected results will be obtained by the Company. The assumptions used may not prove to be accurate and a potential decline in the Company’s financial condition or results of operations may negatively impact the value of its securities. Prospective investors are urged to review the Company’s profile on Sedar.com and to carry out independent investigations in order to determine their interest in investing in the Company.

If you have any questions surrounding the content of this interview, please contact us at +1 416 792 8228 and/or email us direct at info@investorintel.com.




Nano One’s cathode materials are inventing the zero-emission battery future

Every once in a while, something that you have been working on, seemingly forever, starts to come together and that momentum starts to snowball. Today we are going to discuss a company that recently announced Q2 results with several exciting highlights that are the result of many years of hard work and determination. And although this article isn’t part of the critical minerals series, this company is inextricably linked to EV batteries, the processing of critical minerals and has already received funding from the Canadian Federal Government as well as the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program and is engaged in the Mines-to-Mobility initiative. And if that isn’t enough of a teaser for you, their stock price has rallied over 140% since hitting its 52-week low in mid-May. It has been a solid couple of months, to say the least.

The company that has been on a pretty good roll of late is Nano One Materials Corp. (TSX: NANO), a clean technology company with a patented, scalable and low carbon intensity industrial process for the low-cost production of high-performance lithium-ion battery cathode materials. The technology is applicable to electric vehicle, energy storage, consumer electronic and next generation batteries in the global push for a zero-emission future. Nano One’s One-Pot process, its coated nanocrystal materials and its Metal to Cathode Active Material (M2CAM) technologies addresses fundamental performance needs and supply chain constraints while reducing costs and carbon footprint.

The second quarter news flow began in late May with the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Johnson Matthey Battery Materials Ltd. located in Candiac, Québec. The acquisition included the team, facilities, equipment, land and other assets, with highlights of the deal being:

  • A team with more than 360 years of scale-up and commercial production know-how
  • Team and facilities proven in supplying tier 1 cell manufacturers for automotive
  • LFP facility and land strategically located near Montréal and operational since 2012
  • Facility and equipment that can serve Nano One’s process needs with room to expand
  • Expedites Nano One business strategy for LFP and other battery materials

The fully funded C$10.25 million deal is strategically located and has the benefit of access to a North American ecosystem that will serve the broader global community with cost-effective, resilient, and environmentally sustainable cathode materials. If you’ve been following my critical minerals series you’ll recognize that this is an opportunistic deal that is the right asset in the right location at the right time.

Nano One quickly followed up with another, even more important (in my opinion), corporate announcement less than a week later by signing a joint development agreement (JDA) for lithium-ion battery materials with industry giant BASF. The JDA will see the companies co-develop a process with reduced by-products for commercial production of next-generation cathode active materials (CAM), based on BASF’s HEDTM-family of advanced CAM and using Nano One’s patented One-Pot process and metal direct to CAM (M2CAM®) technologies. The multi-phase agreement includes a detailed commercialization study for pre-pilot, pilot and scaled up production. BASF, a global leader in chemistry and high-performance lithium-ion battery cathode materials, has recognized Nano One’s advanced technology that has the potential to improve the product performance of BASF’s high-performance CAM and further simplify the synthesis of battery materials.

And if all the above wasn’t validation enough that Nano One has finally made it to the big leagues, less than 2 weeks after the BASF news the company announced a US$10 million equity investment by one of the world’s largest mining companies, Rio Tinto. In addition to the investment, Rio Tinto has agreed to enter into a strategic partnership to provide iron and lithium products, all of which will accelerate Nano One’s multi-cathode (multi-CAM) commercialization strategy and support cathode active materials (CAM) manufacturing in Canada for a cleaner and more efficient battery supply chain for North American and overseas markets. The collaboration agreement includes a study of Rio Tinto’s battery metal products, including iron powders from the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane facility in Sorel-Tracy, Québec, as feedstock for the production of Nano One’s cathode materials, which dovetails nicely with the first deal noted above.

Nano One finished Q2 with cash and cash equivalents of C$48 million, which represents roughly 14% of their C$343 million market cap. With abundant capital to deploy, plenty of tailwinds for the industry as a whole, and a team with ample experience in financing, capital growth, technology management, chemistry, engineering, materials science, batteries, and intellectual property, it seems the company is really hitting its stride. I dare say, based on the recent news flow, there could be a lot more to come from Nano One.




Jack Lifton of the Critical Minerals Institute on what’s wrong with the Inflation Reduction Act

In this video, Critical Minerals Institute’s (CMI) Executive Chairman Jack Lifton talks about what’s really behind the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and how it will affect the electric vehicle market.

In the video, which can also be viewed in full on the InvestorIntel YouTube channel (click here to access InvestorChannel.com), Jack Lifton points out that the sections of the Inflation Reduction Act that are supposedly intended to promote the sale of EVs are, in fact, political theater to make party loyalists think that the government is taking action on the climate and the domestic economy. The way it’s written, the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 doesn’t really subsidize the cost for a buyer of an EV. The key problems for vehicles made and sold into the US market by OEMs, says Lifton, are the strict and escalating rules about the percentage sourcing of domestically made parts and materials. This, along with a requirement that only vehicles assembled by unionized labor qualify, reduces the number of EVs offered into US market that qualify to under 20% of those now sold here.

The main problem, according to Jack, is that all EVs sold or made in the USA today use some components made in China or made from materials processed in China. If the components and materials they are made from exceed 40% of the total cost, then the vehicle does not qualify for the tax credit. By 2026 that figure goes down to 20% of the of the total cost of components and materials, and in 2030 it will be zero.

With the EV sector heavily reliant on foreign components, it will be difficult for manufacturers to qualify and pass any savings on to consumers. American manufacturers, their parts, and their raw material suppliers are far behind in producing a domestically sourced EV. The question is, can they catch up in time to do any good for the climate?

To access the full episode, click here.

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About The Critical Minerals Institute

The CMI is an international organization for critical mineral companies and professionals focused on battery and technology materials, defense metals, and ESG technologies in the EV market. Offering listings for experts and companies that offer a wide range of B2B service solutions, the Critical Minerals Institute hosts both online and in-person events designed for education, collaboration, and provides professional and human capital opportunities around critical mineral and EV supply chain challenges.




Marty Weems of American Rare Earths talks about successful drilling results at Halleck Creek

In this InvestorIntel interview with host Tracy Weslosky, American Rare Earths Limited’s (ASX: ARR | OTCQB: ARRNF) President – North America, Marty Weems talks about continuing positive news coming out of its Halleck Creek rare earths project, and how the company plans an updated JORC-compliant exploration target “to give the market an idea of what we mean when we say this project has the potential to be the largest rare earth JORC resource and development in the USA.”

In the interview, which can also be viewed in full on the InvestorIntel YouTube channel (click here to access InvestorChannel.com), Marty tells Tracy that with recent drill results “the grades appear very consistent to depths of exceeding 100 meters, so we’re not talking about a few little high-grade veins of rare earths. We’re talking exceptional thickness,” he says. He goes on to say that “it’s exposed at surface and really consistent to depths exceeding 100 meters, so the majority of the drill holes average over 4,100 parts per million total rare earth content – rare earth oxides – over more than 90 meters of mineralized thickness in average across those holes, so the project remains open at depth and laterally and that’s especially exciting considering we now have over 24 square kilometers of claim control at Halleck Creek.”

Marty tells Tracy that in addition to last week’s reported assay results, American Rare Earths was named the sole industry member of a consortium led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) that has been awarded up to $13 million in research funding to develop scalable, bio-based separation and purification of rare earths elements.

To access the full InvestorIntel interview, click here.

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About American Rare Earths Limited

American Rare Earths Limited is an Australian company listed on the ASX with assets in the growing rare earth metals sector of the United States of America, emerging as an alternative international supply chain to China’s market dominance of a global rare earth market expected to expand to US$20 billion by the mid-2020s. The Company’s mission is to supply Critical Materials for Renewable Energy, Green Tech, Electric Vehicles, National Security, and a Carbon-Reduced Future.

Western Rare Earths (WRE) is the wholly-owned US subsidiary of the Company. ARR owns 100% of the world-class La Paz Rare Earth Project, located 170km northwest of Phoenix, Arizona. As a large tonnage, bulk deposit, La Paz is potentially the largest, rare-earth deposit in the USA and benefits from containing exceptionally low penalty elements such as radioactive thorium and uranium. Approximately 742 – 928 million tonnes of Rare Earths mineralized rocks are identified as an exploration target in the La Paz Rare Earths project’s Southwest area with an average TREO Grade of 350 – 400ppm and Scandium Oxide grade of 20-24.5ppm. The new exploration Target is additive to the La Paz Rare Earth project recently upgraded 170MT Resource. (ASX Announcement, 29 September 2021). During the period from February to April 2022 the Company drilled nine holes for 821 metres and collected 677 samples in the La Paz southwest area. The assay results from the first 332 samples demonstrate rock type associated with higher rare earth grades. The enhanced grades and thickness of the mineralized zone have accelerated exploration planning. The Company is working on establishing a JORC resource for the southwest area (ASX Announcement, 14 June 2022). Preliminary metallurgical test work demonstrates that La Paz ore can be effectively concentrated using conventional magnetic separation, selective grinding and direct flotation. Under the guidance of Wood Australia, advanced metallurgy and mineral processing test work is near completion with Nagrom Laboratories in Perth Western Australia (ASX Announcement, 7 April 2022).

In the first half of 2021, ARR acquired the USA REE asset, the Halleck Creek Project in Wyoming. Since acquiring the asset the company has increased the land holding to over 6,000+ acres. Approximately 308 to 385 million tonnes of rare earths mineralized rocks were identified as an exploration target for the Halleck Creek project area with an average Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) grade of 2,330 – 2,912 ppm. Initial surface sampling of the Overton Mountain area conducted in 2018 revealed average TREO values of 3,297 ppm, average Heavy Rare Earth Oxide (HREO) values of 244 ppm, and average Magnetic Rare Earth Oxide (MREO) values of 816 ppm. (ASX Announcement,26 April 2022). The maiden exploration drilling program was completed in April 2022. The Company is updating the existing exploration target and developing a more comprehensive drilling program with the objective of defining a high tonnage maiden JORC resource.

La Paz and Halleck Creek’s mineral profiles are incorporated into emerging US advanced rare earth processing technologies in collaboration with US national laboratories, major universities and the US DOE innovation hub, the Critical Materials Institute.

To know more about American Rare Earths Limited, click here

Disclaimer: American Rare Earths Limited is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.

This interview, which was produced by InvestorIntel Corp., (IIC), does not contain, nor does it purport to contain, a summary of all the material information concerning the “Company” being interviewed. IIC offers no representations or warranties that any of the information contained in this interview is accurate or complete.

This presentation may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and assumptions of the management of the Company as of the date made. They are inherently susceptible to uncertainty and other factors that could cause actual events/results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Additional risks and uncertainties, including those that the Company does not know about now or that it currently deems immaterial, may also adversely affect the Company’s business or any investment therein.

Any projections given are principally intended for use as objectives and are not intended, and should not be taken, as assurances that the projected results will be obtained by the Company. The assumptions used may not prove to be accurate and a potential decline in the Company’s financial condition or results of operations may negatively impact the value of its securities. Prospective investors are urged to review the Company’s profile on Sedar.com and to carry out independent investigations in order to determine their interest in investing in the Company.

If you have any questions surrounding the content of this interview, please contact us at +1 416 792 8228 and/or email us direct at info@investorintel.com.




Lynas Bets $500 Million on Rare Earths Market Expansion

Lynas Rare Earths Ltd.‘s (ASX: LYC) August 3 announcement that it will invest an additional $500 million to rewrite its own already aggressive growth plan is risky, sure, but then, when it comes to rare earths, what isn’t? Managing Director Amanda Lacaze appears to be reading the demand-pull market for Lynas’ main products, neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr), as further accelerating, despite some hits to the “green” economy from the war in Ukraine. There are sound reasons supporting such a view, including the commitments by EU auto manufacturers to cease all gasoline production by 2025 and recent (surprising) political developments in the US, especially passage of the CHIPS Act (supporting redevelopment of a US-based semiconductor industry) and the current Inflation Reduction Act (also known as Build Back Better in disguise) likely to be approved this week by the House of Representatives and signed quickly by President Biden.

Lynas is particularly well-positioned to benefit from this latest legislation as it already has two agreements with the US Department of Defense for construction of two separation plants: a $30 million light rare earths plant (deal signed in January 2022) and also in June a $120 million deal for a heavy RE plant. This in addition to Japan’s ongoing demand, a not insignificant factor as Lynas self-identifies as controlling 80% of that market.

So, if all looks positive on the demand, where are the risks? Well, unvarnished success will require the split-second timing of a juggler. Expanding output at Mt. Weld should be a green light: the deposit and its characteristics are well known and should present few obstacles to an experienced team (with the usual caveats about the weather which these days can be a real Devil).

But, there is a problem with Malaysia. Despite winning an unprecedented two EcoVadis awards, political and public concerns about radioactive materials led the Malaysian government to refuse to extend Lynas’ cracking and leaching permits. (ESG Comment: this goes to show how history haunts even companies who had nothing to do with previous problems, and how hard it can be to gain and retain trust.)

Lynas announced in February of this year that it has received Ministerial approval for its Kalgoorlie rare earth processing facility, clearing the way for construction to begin. This new facility will strip and store the radioactive elements (uranium and thorium) and then ship the “clean” material to Malaysia for final processing. Thus the timing issue. If the processing plant can be constructed in record time with no unexpected issues, it could dovetail nicely with the increased output from the mine. Otherwise, lower through-put or possibly storage of mined materials could be necessary, providing a cost hit. And even if the timing is impeccable, there will be some increased product cost due to shipping to and processing at Kalgoorlie and then onwards to Malaysia.

Nonetheless, kudos to Lynas for a bold move, going for market share in a booming market with positive political signals and economic momentum. As Christopher Ecclestone said to InvestorIntel: “Lynas just goes to show that it is a doer when so many others are just talkers in the Rare Earth space.”




The Dean’s List: What copper company could benefit from Canada’s commitment to critical minerals?

Part 4: Foran Mining Corporation

It’s time for another installment in our series that looks at Canadian companies in the mining sector that could be impacted by Federal and Provincial government announcements with respect to critical materials, supply chain, EV battery manufacturing, etc. As a reminder the province of Ontario first announced in March its strategy for ‘critical minerals’ followed shortly by a C$4.9 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ontario. In April the Federal Government got on board with it’s Budget 2022 proposing up to C$3.8 billion in support over eight years to implement Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy. The Fed’s followed this up in late June with a House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology report entitled: Positioning Canada as a Leader in the Supply and Processing of Critical Minerals. And then in mid-July, a new C$1.5 billion battery materials facility was announced for eastern Ontario in a deal that sees Umicore, a Belgium multinational corporation, planning to transform metals such as nickel, cobalt and lithium into cathode active battery materials.

With announcements like this coming fast and furious one can hope that there is follow through on all of this potential and numerous Canadian mining companies can take advantage of this positive momentum. On top of all this, there was some big news out of the U.S. this weekend that could also have a trickle down affect to Canadian miners. With the Senate passing the Inflation Reduction Act, the Bill includes requirements for domestic manufacturing of EVs and their battery components to qualify for tax credits. As written, the law requires that 40% of battery components be sourced from factories in the U.S. or its free trade agreement partners (that would definitely include Canada), and that Chinese components and minerals be phased out beginning in 2024. The landscape is beginning to look outright bullish for North American purveyors of all these critical minerals.

Up to this point in this series, I had been focused on Ontario-based companies, simply because that province appears (to me) to have the best critical minerals plan and is also the heart of vehicle manufacturing in Canada. However, in light of the latest U.S. development and another piece of news out yesterday, I’ve decided to venture into Saskatchewan for today’s offering. Foran Mining Corporation (TSXV: FOM | OTCQX: FMCXF) just announced it has entered into a non-binding term sheet with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers), which contemplates a transaction that could see Ontario Teachers’ invest up to C$200 million in the 100%-owned McIlvenna Bay copper project.

McIlvenna Bay is a copper-zinc-gold-silver rich volcanic-hosted massive sulphide (VHMS) deposit intended to be the center of a new mining camp in a prolific district that has already been producing for 100 years. McIlvenna Bay sits just 65km West of Flin Flon, Manitoba, is located entirely within the traditional territory of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and is the largest undeveloped VHMS deposit in the region. The Company announced the results from its Feasibility Study on February 28, 2022, outlining an 18-year mine life producing an average of 65 million pounds of copper equivalent annually. That Feasibility Study indicates an initial capital cost of C$368 million, which means it appears they are already over half way there as far as financing this domestic copper supply.

Over and above all the generally bullish news currently out there regarding critical minerals, Foran Mining has a couple of unique characteristics that make it stand out to me. First is location. Saskatchewan is one of the world’s top mining jurisdictions and with the property being entirely located on the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation, it triggers one priority found in the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology report which recommends that the government provide incentives to ensure that the development of a new mine also establishes a value-added industry in the region where it is located and introduces initiatives to encourage Indigenous peoples to fully participate in the mining sector. Perhaps it’s a bit of a reach but I suspect Foran could tap into some funding from the Federal government if they play their cards right.

The other interesting aspect of the McIlvenna Bay project is Foran’s objective to build the mine based on the Company’s carbon neutrality goals and initiatives, part of a broader mission to create a blueprint for responsible mining that is upheld as leading practice globally. To show they are serious about this undertaking, Foran has already announced an agreement with Sandvik to supply initial underground equipment for development at its McIlvenna Bay project. The initial equipment order includes battery electric underground drills, trucks, and loaders that will be used for the mine’s development and production activities. Clean power is provided by two nearby hydroelectric dams to reduce operational emissions and a state-of-the-art tailings storage facility and paste backfill operation will reduce the carbon footprint and greatly reduce environmental impact. I have to believe that as the push for domestic supply chains of critical minerals evolves, the potential source’s carbon footprint will also play a role in who signs the best supply or offtake agreements.

I’m not sure if the phasing out of anything Chinese in battery components by 2024 was a late add to the US Inflation Reduction Act as a result of China’s military response to US House speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan (likely not, but it’s fun to speculate). Regardless, there appears to be increasing tensions globally as the rest of the world figures out how far behind China they are when it comes to the resources and facilities required to combat climate change and reduce emissions without being mostly reliant on China. In the near term that appears to be good news for North American resource companies.

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Did you miss a previous edition? Check it out….

The Dean’s List – Part 3: What graphite company could benefit from Canada’s commitment to critical minerals?
The Dean’s List – Part 2: What nickel company will benefit from Canada’s commitment to critical minerals?
The Dean’s List – Part 1: What rare earths company will benefit from Canada’s commitment to critical minerals?




The Dean’s List – Part 3: What graphite company could benefit from Canada’s commitment to critical minerals?

Part 3: Northern Graphite Corporation

It’s time for another installment in our series that looks at Canadian companies in the mining sector that could be impacted by Federal and Provincial government announcements with respect to critical materials, supply chain, EV battery manufacturing, etc. As a reminder, the province of Ontario first announced in March its strategy for ‘critical minerals’ followed shortly by a C$4.9 billion electric vehicle battery plant in Windsor, Ontario. This was followed in April by the Federal Government’s Budget 2022 proposing up to C$3.8 billion in support over eight years to implement Canada’s first Critical Minerals Strategy. The Fed’s followed this up in late June with a House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology report entitled: Positioning Canada as a Leader in the Supply and Processing of Critical Minerals. Just to highlight a few of the momentum building actions in the sector.

Today we’re going to have a look at what I consider to be the least publicized critical mineral that comprises a lithium-ion battery (LiB) – graphite. Not only is graphite the largest component in a lithium-ion battery (up to 48%), it also requires the largest production increase of any battery mineral in order to meet forecast demand.

Source: Northern Graphite Corporate Presentation

Conversely, over 80% of graphite mine production in 2021 came from China, while China makes almost 100% of the graphite anode material for lithium-ion batteries. Does this sound like a recipe for disaster for the rest of the world to you? Perhaps it’s stats like these that have put graphite on the critical minerals list of virtually every country that is attempting to develop a critical minerals strategy.

Assuming governments get their strategies at least partially right, that could result in opportunities galore for miners and explorers of these critical materials. This includes Northern Graphite Corporation (TSXV: NGC | OTCQB: NGPHF), a Canadian company focused on becoming a world leader in producing natural graphite and upgrading it into high-value products critical to the green economy. Northern is the only significant graphite producing company in North America and will become the third largest non-Chinese producer when its Namibian operations come back on line in the first half of 2023.  The Company also has two large-scale development projects, Bissett Creek in Ontario and Okanjande in Namibia, that will be a source of continued production growth in the future. All projects have “battery quality” graphite and are located close to infrastructure in politically stable countries.

Looking a little closer at the Bissett Creek project, testing has indicated that graphite from Bissett Creek is very well suited for the manufacture of high capacity, durable, long-life lithium-ion batteries. Bissett Creek is projected to produce 20,000 tonnes of graphite per year in phase 1 of development and has the resources to increase production to approximately 100,000 tpy as demand grows. By comparison, Canada’s graphite production in 2020 was estimated to be only 10,000 tonnes. An independent study has rated Bissett Creek the highest margin graphite project in the world, including existing producing mines. This is due to its very high percentage of valuable large flake graphite, simple metallurgy and favorable location which provides ready access to equipment, supplies, labor, grid power, natural gas and markets.

Why is this important? Along with the above noted Windsor battery plant JV between Stellantis and LG Energy Solution, the latter has also announced two projects in Michigan, just across the US border from Ontario. It is investing US$1.7 billion to expand its LiB cell plant in Holland, Michigan and has a third joint venture with GM to build a US$2.5 billion cell plant in the City of Lansing and Delta County, Michigan. Combined with the investment in Ontario, LG will have a collective LiB production capacity of 200 GWH in North America, requiring 250,000 tpy of graphite. And Bissett Creek is the nearest graphite deposit to these megafactories which provides Northern Graphite with a unique opportunity to deliver a secure, local, responsibly sourced supply of graphite.

It seems Northern Graphite might be sitting pretty as LG Energy Solution looks to start sourcing supply for all its facilities. This could dovetail nicely with two upcoming milestones the Company has stated. In Q3, 2022 Northern is planning to announce an LiB anode production strategy, which also aligns with two of the Ontario government’s strategies:  Growing domestic processing and creating resilient local supply chains and Investing in critical minerals innovation, research and development. Then come Q4, 2022 they are looking to arrange financing for the Bissett Creek Project which could potentially include government support or possibly loan guarantees, a strategic offtake agreement with LG Energy Solution or just an old-fashioned capital raise. Regardless, the appetite should be there for whichever means the Company determines is its best course of action with the current tailwind for critical minerals.

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Did you miss a previous edition? Check it out….

The Dean’s List – Part 2: What nickel company will benefit from Canada’s commitment to critical minerals?
The Dean’s List – Part 1: What rare earths company will benefit from Canada’s commitment to critical minerals?




Canada gets it right with new critical materials report

Government report should be mandatory reading

 

Last week, Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology issued a report entitled: “POSITIONING CANADA AS A LEADER IN THE SUPPLY AND PROCESSING OF CRITICAL MINERALS.” I urge everyone to read it. Canada is the leader in the Americas in the mining of the critical metals for EVs, and as this report shows it is embarked upon a government-supported and funded initiative to become a world class provider of not only the downstream end-user forms of those critical materials, but of the consumer products dependent upon them, such as EVs and the batteries they need as well as stationary storage batteries, and the rare earth permanent magnet motors that most efficiently propel EVs.

The report is, not “should be,” mandatory reading for the elected officials and bureaucrats of the USA, the UK, and the EU. Just go to the table of contents page, which has live links for each topic, and you have the outline of a textbook on the topic of “How can a government support the development of a domestic, world class, critical metals enabled high tech consumer industry?” Note well that China has already done this! The United States and Europe publish voluminous reports patting themselves on the back but showing no consultation with industry or finance whatsoever.  This Canadian report puts Canada at the forefront of a revolution in how a democracy can compete with an autocracy and can implement an industrial policy without falling into the “just throw money at a problem” mentality of the USA and Europe.

It has been said that to accomplish anything, you need people who come from a culture that honors work and expects results. This is no longer the culture in the United States, and this is why the United States cannot catch up with Asia in technological prowess or “reclaim” its former and rapidly fading lead. The rapid rise of Canada as a technology products powerhouse will also constrain American production, as Canada uses its own high tech raw materials domestically just as China does.

From the introduction to the Canadian critical materials report (p. 9)

The two American bubbles, the Hollywood fantasy culture and the Washington and coastal center cities’ economic fantasy, have combined to ensure the end of social mobility through economic improvement for any and all who try hard enough and to replace it with financialized fascism decorated with the appearance of social justice trumping merit and of selective “data”-based clueless illogic replacing scientific inquiry that has created a need to direct the energy economy to oblivion strictly to enrich an oligarchy.

Unlike the USA, Canada has a clean sheet, technologically. It has not lost its respect for merit-based scientists, and although badly infected by clueless social justice, its universities and government still retain a culture that values scientific accomplishment and is against man-made energy poverty (aka, the green new deal). American readers should note that Canadians use more energy per capita than Americans. Winnipeg’s climate is not like San Diego’s.

Thus, I am not surprised, and I have some pride (note: my parents emigrated from Winnipeg to Detroit in 1923-26 seeking the opportunities offered by the then “American dream” of social mobility) in the fact that Canada’s Parliament has the making and keeping of Canada’s standard of living for everyone a top priority. The Canadian dream is, in my opinion, today more viable than the fading American dream.

The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, said last week of recent pronouncements by the White House: “It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”

Let me add that the U.S. government also has a deep misunderstanding of the technology of natural resource production and its limitations. Canada’s Parliament could give some good tips to the Americans.




Industry experts talk about silver’s bright future on InvestorIntel’s PDAC 2022 Panel Series

In this InvestorIntel PDAC 2022 Panel on “Silver, The Technology Metal & Market”, host Chris Thompson is joined by Critical Minerals Corner co-host & InvestorIntel columnist Byron W King, Silver Bullet Mines Corp.’s (TSXV: SBMI) VP Capital Markets and Director Peter Clausi, Bald Eagle Gold Corp.‘s (TSXV: BIG) CEO and Director Chris Paul, and Volcanic Gold Mines Inc.’s (TSXV: VG) Founder, Director, President and CEO Simon Ridgway, to talk about the past and future importance of silver as both an investment and industrial metal.

In the video, which can also be viewed in full on the InvestorIntel YouTube channel (click here), Byron W King leads off with the observation that “just as there’s not enough copper in the world to run all the wires, there’s not enough silver in the world for all the electronics that the world has planned for itself.” Chris Paul, CEO of Bald Eagle Gold says that there is a “dash for cash” right now, but “investors looking for more leverage are going to look at silver which typically will outperform gold in times like this.”

Silver Bullet Mines’ Peter Clausi discusses how the market has disconnected from traditional gold-silver price ratios. Simon Ridgway of Volcanic Gold Mines sees this an an opportunity creating “a better upside in silver than everything gold”, because “silver is also now not just an investment metal but it’s a battery metal so to speak, so I think there’s a better upside in silver than there is in gold. You can see silver doubling –  you can’t see gold double.”

The panel also discusses the current state of silver exploration and discoveries, and the challenges facing silver companies including working in silver-rich jurisdictions, ESG, and forging good relationships with local populations.

To access the full InvestorIntel interview, click here

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About Bald Eagle Gold Corp.

Bald Eagle Gold Corp. is a junior mining company focused on the exploration and development of the Hercules Silver Project, northwest of Cambridge, Idaho. The Company’s management team brings extensive and successful international experience with a focus on identifying and acquiring prospective and under-explored precious metals properties worldwide. The board of directors have an established track record of creating significant returns for investors and have demonstrated access to capital to advance the development of assets.

To learn more about Bald Eagle Gold Corp., click here

About Silver Bullet Mines Corp.

Silver production is imminent at Silver Bullet’s Buckeye Silver Mine, in Arizona. Only 63M shares outstanding, with 29M in escrow. The company owns its own mill, giving it great control over its costs.

To learn more about Silver Bullet Mines Corp., click here

About Volcanic Gold Mines Inc.

Volcanic brings together an experienced and successful mining, exploration and capital markets team focused on building multi-million-ounce gold and silver resources in underexplored countries.  Through the strategic acquisition of mineral properties with demonstrated potential for hosting gold and silver resources, and by undertaking effective exploration and drill programs, Volcanic intends to become a leading gold-silver company.

To learn more about Volcanic Gold Mines Inc., click here

Disclaimer: Bald Eagle Gold Corp., Silver Bullet Mines Corp. and Volcanic Gold Mines Inc. are advertorial members of InvestorIntel Corp.

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