Need Diversity & Security? Think Matamec.
The junior exploration sector is no stranger to volatility, and security is resultantly difficult to come by, but Matamec Explorations Inc. (TSXV: MAT | OTCQX: MHREF) (“Matamec”) have taken diversification to a new level. It’s more than common to come across explorers with irons in two or three fires, but Matamec owns properties throughout Canada and has a diversified portfolio of base, precious and minor metals. Their two-company strategy, by which they will insert themselves into the market as both a gold and energy-metals provider, protects the company from fluctuations in the value of any individual metal. If low-risk is your flavour, these guys should be on your menu.
According to President André Gauthier, the company’s flagship project, Kipawa, is the most advanced rare-earth element (REE) deposit in North America, and enjoys the support of major companies including Toyota Tsusho Corp. The resource has a completed feasibility study, and the company expects to begin production around 2022. REEs are increasingly necessary for the manufacture of portable electronic devices, but competition in the area has been fierce to say the least, which makes Matamec’s varied portfolio all the more attractive.
Of course, metals for use in technology extend far beyond REEs, and Matamec is making sure to profit from the full range of expanding markets. Lithium and cobalt are the two metals most fundamental to modern battery technology, an expanding market currently fuelled by massive projected increases to electric vehicle and energy storage system sales. The Fabre property, 100% owned by Matamec, is located about 10 km from the Cobalt historical mining camp, which produced about 20,450 tonnes of cobalt throughout the 20th century, and within 8km of the site for the former Keeley-Frontier silver-cobalt mine, which produced 19Moz of silver and 3.3Mlbs of cobalt from 1907 to 1965. As for lithium, the company has 100% ownership of three promising sites currently undergoing exploration.
Matamec’s Vulcain project is being investigated for nickel-copper mineralization containing cobalt, gold, silver, and platinum group elements (PGE), but a further six gold properties reside on the company’s books. Gold is always a good signal to investors as it protects from volatility in a number of ways; when all else fails, gold keeps us safe. The company reports that a further two gold properties are in the process of being acquired, and the strategy of focusing on areas in proximity to operating gold mines is a significant confidence marker.
Applications for tech-metals are constantly emerging and ever-increasing; recently, a team of nano-science researchers, mainly from IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, discovered that a single bit of data could be stored on a single holmium (Ho) atom, generating yet more interest in REE extraction. With supply from China falling due to the closure of illegally operating mines that have caused untold damage to both people and environment, a steady climb in REE prices is expected in the next few years.
Even with the REE space as rocky as it has been, the sheer number of properties spanning this many metals, combined with a skilled team experienced in geology and metallurgy, make Matamec appear to be one of the surest bets the junior world has to offer. Currently trading at only C$0.06, the next five years should provide ample returns as the cleantech world continues to blossom.