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Rare earths and scandium drill results at Imperial’s Crater Lake continue to ‘exceed all expectations’

As electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers focus on achieving great energy efficiency and range lightweighting using a scandium-aluminum alloy continues to gain traction. By lowering a vehicle’s weight the range can either be improved or if kept the same the cost can be reduced by using fewer batteries.

Scandium oxide demand has potential to rise from 175 tpa to 5,000-10,000 tpa if lightweighting is adopted widely across the EV sector

Source: Imperial Mining company presentation

Scandium junior miner Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG | OTCQB: IMPNF) (“Imperial”) 100% owns the Crater Lake Scandium-REE Project in northeastern Quebec, Canada. The Project has a large 6km diameter complex host to high-grade scandium and some rare earths deposits. Drilling has defined a mineralized zone of over 600m in total strike length and from surface to a vertical depth of up to 200m. Scandium oxide drill result grades have ranged from 0.0235% to 0.056% (235-506 g/t) which makes the resource look potentially to be commercially viable, as viable scandium grades are typically >200-300 g/t. There is also a parallel niobium target showing grab assay results of between 0.20% and 1.42% Nb2O5 which sits 250m west of the scandium target.

Scandium is best known for increasing the strength and hardness of aluminum and is therefore used commercially for lightweighting in the automotive industry, space industry, for fuel cells and defense applications. Niobium is used mostly in the steel industry to significantly increase steel strength, resulting is less steel required and overall cost savings.

Announced on April 28, 2021, recent drill results at Crater Lake included results of 92.5 m @ 291g/t scandium oxide (Sc2O3). Elevated levels of total rare earth oxides plus yttrium of up to 0.42% were also found. Imperial stated in the release that “at a gold price of $1,750US/oz and a scandium oxide price of $1,250US/kg, the intersections represent a gold-equivalent value of 6.5 to 8.0 g/t Au”,  Imperial’s President and CEO Peter Cashin stated:

“The winter drilling results for the Crater Lake property continue to exceed all expectations….. mineralization has been traced by drilling over 600m in total strike length from surface to a vertical depth of up to 200m. Importantly, the zone appears to get wider and higher grade with depth.

Imperial Mining’s Crater Lake Scandium-REE Project in northeastern Quebec, Canada

Source: Imperial Mining corp. website

Further drill assay results announced on May 27, 2021, included an intercept of 111.9 m @ 298 g/t Sc2O3. Elevated levels of total rare earth oxides plus yttrium (TREO+Y) of up to 0.38% were also found across the scandium-bearing horizon. Given current high prices for the magnet rare earths such as neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, the rare earth oxides found should help boost the projects by-products and hence project economics. The current drilling program is now completed with a total of 14 drill holes having tested the TG Zone.

Next steps and business strategy

Imperial will now undertake a 43-101 preliminary Resource Estimate of the TG zone for delivery in June 2021. Imperial’s strategy is to become a producer of scandium and valuable rare earths using simple process recovery methods. Imperial would like to be a scandium disruptor and to capture market share. Over time the Company’s goal is to move downstream to deliver high-margin scandium-aluminum alloy products for the automotive, aerospace, defense and fuel cell sectors. The Project’s location in Canada’s aluminum capital of Quebec should also lead to further market opportunities.

One such opportunity has already emerged with Eck Industries (“Eck”) with a letter of intent (“LOI”) to develop scandium-modified aluminum alloys for transportation, defense and aerospace markets. The research work will be directed towards developing a novel scandium-enhanced version of the currently commercially available 535 Aluminum which Eck uses for a wide array of applications. The initial scope of work will include casting and testing of various compositions as well as characterization of the finished alloys.

Closing remarks

Imperial is still in the early stages of proving up a resource. But given scandium at economic grades is rare the Company is doing very well by finding good grade scandium and valuable rare earths. The Resource estimate is a significant near term catalyst, which would typically be followed by a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) or PFS.

All of this is ahead, so given the current market cap of just C$29 million, investors with a long-term time frame can have a chance at a potentially big reward if all goes well. The usual risks of junior miners also apply.




Betting on scandium-aluminum lightweighting to take off, Imperial Mining Group is set to benefit from EV market demand

Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG | OTCQB: IMPNF) is an early stage scandium junior miner (also with two prospective gold properties) in Quebec hoping to cash in on the move towards scandium-aluminum alloys for lightweighting of vehicles such as spacecraft, airplanes, and especially electric vehicles (EVs).

Scandium is still not widely used due to limited supply and scandium being expensive. This means the scandium supply chain is minimal as the industry has not yet grown. The current global scandium supply is only about 35 tonnes pa of scandium oxide. Demand is forecast to boom to as high as 1,800 tonnes pa by 2035 (Bloomberg forecast, 2018). If that were to happen, it would mean a 51-fold increase in scandium demand over the next 15 years. Interestingly the 2020 Bloomberg forecast for electric vehicles is for them to rise from 2.2M in 2019 to ~54M by 2040. That would be a ~25-fold increase. So clearly the EV boom has the potential to be a strong driver of scandium demand if scandium-aluminum lightweighting becomes widely adopted.

Another estimate of the impact of surging EV sales on the potential demand for scandium

Source: Imperial Mining Group investor presentation

A major issue with EVs is getting their purchase price down which should lead to mass adoption this decade. If an EV weighs less then it can use a smaller battery to get the same range, thereby lowering the EVs cost. Looking ahead this decade if scandium-aluminum alloys become much more widely used, this should lead to a virtuous cycle of cheaper scandium as supply expands and far greater scandium use.

The airline industry and the space industry are other examples where lightweighting becomes vitally important to reduce fuel costs.

This brings us back to Imperial Mining Group, which has one of the lowest market caps (currently C$25M) of all the junior scandium miners as shown below.

Scandium junior miners market cap comparison as of early March 2021

Source: Imperial Mining Group investor presentation

The Crater Lake Scandium-REE Property/Project

Imperial Mining’s focus is on the development of its high-quality scandium-REE Crater Lake Property in northeastern Quebec, Canada. The 100% owned property consists of 57 contiguous claims covering 27.8km2. It has a large 6km diameter complex host to high-grade scandium and niobium deposits. Imperial Mining is currently working to expand the resource.

Previous drilling has defined a mineralised zone of over 250m in strike and 170m in depth. Scandium oxide grades ranged from 0.0235% to 0.0319% (235-319 g/t), which is good. Commercially viable grades (>200-300 g/t) of scandium are very rare. Early drill results included 528 g/t scandium oxide over 8.8m.

2020 TG Zone drilling intersected intervals grading up to 253 g/t Scandium Oxide (Sc2O3) over 29.14 m. These are again very good drill results. Imperial Mining stated in Nov. 2020:

  • “The scandium rich zone also contains elevated levels of total rare earth oxides plus yttrium (TREO+Y) grading up to 0.419%.
  • The scandium mineralized zone is estimated to be up to 110 m in true thickness and continues to be open at depth below 200 m down-dip and along strike.
  • The evident increase in scandium grades with depth is also very encouraging, however more work needs to be done to fully quantify the scandium and REE resource potential on the property.”

Imperial Mining’s goal is to define a scandium-REE mineral resource of a minimum of 10 Mt. Recoveries to date have been strong at 97-98% for scandium and 79% for rare earths.

Well funded after recent oversubscribed capital raises, Imperial Mining plans to spend C$2M to achieve their 2021 plans. These include further drilling, metallurgical recovery additional method testing (April), a 43-101 Resource report (May), and a PEA (July-August). Beyond that next will be permitting and a completed Feasibility Study by end 2023, subject to financing.

The Company plans the Crater Lake Project to be a small open-pit operation with on-site magnetic concentrator and/or sensor-based sorting resulting in high scandium recoveries. It is expected that the Project will be a low CapEx, OpEx due to the high grades and using simple process recovery methods.

Closing remarks

Imperial Mining Group has recently started trading on the OTCQB Venture Market in the U.S., which provides US investors with a pathway to invest and participate in the Imperial Mining Group story.

Given the potential exponential growth ahead if scandium lightweighting takes off in a big way, first mover scandium junior miners such as Imperial Mining Group can be big winners.

Risk is high and patience is needed. One plus for investors is Imperial Mining also has some gold prospective properties in Quebec (La Roncière  and Opawica), with a recent increased interest in La Roncière. Always good to have some gold as insurance.

We will continue to follow the Imperial Mining Group story as it unfolds. Stay tuned.




Clausi, Cashin and Kovacevic on the rising demand for scandium in aluminum alloys

In a recent InvestorIntel interview, Peter Clausi speaks with Peter Cashin, President and CEO of Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG) and Gianni Kovacevic, CEO of CopperBank Resources Corp. (CSE: CBK), about growth opportunity in the scandium space and the factors affecting demand.

In this InvestorIntel interview, which may also be viewed on YouTube (click here to subscribe to the InvestorIntel Channel), Gianni went on to say, “Scandium is a market, that in my opinion in this decade can grow 20 fold.” Peter added, “There is just not enough production capacity in the world to be able to satisfy what the potential growth in demand could be.” Peter then went on to talk on the primary uses of scandium and explained that the factor holding back demand is limited supply of the metal. He continued, “If you can find the supply, I think the players and consumers are there waiting for it.”

In the interview Peter also provided an update on Imperial Mining’s Crater Lake Scandium project in Quebec and explained how the project benefits from being located in Quebec, which is the aluminum capital of Canada.

To watch the full interview, click here

About Imperial Mining Group Ltd.

Imperial is a new Canadian mineral exploration and development company focussed on the advancement of its copper-zinc, gold and technology metals properties in Québec. Imperial is publicly listed on the TSX Venture Exchange as “IPG” and is led by an experienced team of mineral exploration and development professionals with a strong track record of mineral deposit discovery in numerous metal commodities.

To know more about Imperial Mining Group Ltd., click here

Disclaimer: Imperial Mining Group Ltd. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.




Kozak on Imperial Mining’s proximity to Quebec’s aluminum production corridor

Just six months ago, the share price of Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG) was range-bound between CAD$0.05 and CAD$0.06/share.  This was a good thing, because only a month before, the company was trading at $0.04 or less! The company closed 2020 at approximately $0.09/share but currently trades around $0.16/share with a market capitalization of approximately CAD$20 million.

What happened? As followers of the rare earth space know, the market is catching on to the notable rare earths companies and the need to recreate a domestic US/non-China based supply. In addition to the company’s gold and base metal assets, Imperial’s Quebec hardrock property has excellent exposure to scandium. This was highlighted on December 31, 2020 in a year-end interview, where scandium and Imperial Mining were mentioned by name. On January 4, 2021, the stock soared to $0.16 and continues to trade at that level.

As you probably know, scandium is an additive to aluminum alloys that hardens and strengthens the end product, (not unlike titanium alloys) and allows for lighter weight but equivalent (or better) strength components. Notably, two Russian jet fighters (MiG-21 and MiG-29) use scandium alloys in their construction. Other uses for scandium alloys include (but not exclusive to) automobiles, fuel cells and other defense products.

Peter Cashin, President and CEO, recently explained how Imperial Mining’s 100%-owned Crater Lake Project “provides a strategic opportunity for an exciting new line of lightweighting [sic] products.” The project contains rare earths but is highly leveraged to scandium.

“How it (Crater Lake Project) stands out is that it is a primary bedrock opportunity in Quebec,” said Mr. Cashin. “The grades are exceptionally high relative to our peers for a bedrock deposit. It is exposed at surface so it would be amenable to an open pit operation. Our preliminary metallurgy shows that we have very strong recoveries and high rejection rates of the gangue minerals from our metallurgical work so far. We are ideally located very close to the aluminum capital of Canada.”

In other words, a potential source of a critical metal element for the aluminum industry right on its doorstep in Canada!

After an active 2020 field program, which included 130-line kilometers of detailed ground magnetic surveys, in August the company announced the discovery of several new areas of scandium mineralization on the Crater Lake Project. These new areas lie within the same 14-km magnetic trend hosting the three previously defined mineralized zones on the property (Boulder, TGZ and STG). Subsequent 2020 drilling confirmed strong scandium resource potential on the property, which was announced last November.

The market clearly liked those results. Imperial went on to successfully raise CAD$2.6 million on closing of an oversubscribed, non-brokered private placement of flow-through shares and units in early December 2020.

Looking into 2021, Imperial is in an enviable position in the scandium industry owing to their close proximity to Quebec’s aluminum production corridor, where 90% of Canada’s aluminum is produced. While there is already competition from the recently announced scandium plant by $100 billion market capitalization Rio Tinto, the Crater Lake Project appears to have all of the traits of a high-quality, low cost project which is getting better delineated with every drilling program. Still a competitive advantage, the project has easy egress to the aluminum smelters plus low-cost electricity and a supportive political environment.

While it is too early to say that the Crater Lake Project will be the next (hardrock or otherwise) scandium supply source for Quebec aluminum, the project is getting ever closer to the decision to proceed with a new mining development. There are still a significant number of steps to go before that decision, but the company appears to have a promising future ahead.




Lifton, Clausi, Cashin and Putnam on how the time for scandium is now

The Technology Metals Show hosts Jack Lifton and Peter Clausi talk to Peter Cashin, President and CEO of Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG) and George Putnam, President, CEO and Director of Scandium International Mining Corp. (TSX: SCY), about scandium, which is a critical material and the scandium market overall.

The full interview available exclusively to subscribers of the Technology Metals Show, this a promo clip from the panel’s discussion on the overall scandium market, commercial uses of scandium and the latest research and development that has been done in this area. George said, “Scandium has some unique aspects to it that make it well suited as an aluminum alloy along with some exciting uses in a number of areas specifically in battery technology.”

In the interview, Peter Cashin provided an update on the Imperial Mining’s Crater Lake Scandium-Rare Earth
property located in the Canada’s aluminum capital – Quebec.

To access the complete interview subscribe to the Technology Metals Show and get exclusive access to member-only content through this exclusive site. Or Log-In Here for the latest conversations, debates, updates and interviews with the leaders, thought leaders and investors focused on issues relating to sustainability in the critical materials sector.

For more information on the Technology Metals Show email us at info@technologymetals.com or reach us direct at +1 (416) 546-9233.




The White House Executive Order on critical materials heightens scandium interest

The September 30, 2020 White House Executive Order (‘EO’) on critical minerals is just what was needed to give a huge boost to the mining sector. Not sure why ‘scandium’ and the ‘rare earth group’ was listed separately in the EO, since scandium is considered a rare earth, but the end result is that this has escalated market interest in this critical material.

One of the 35 critical minerals is ‘scandium’, used mostly for the purpose of lightweighting, scandium-modified aluminum alloys have equivalent yield and tensile strength to steel and titanium alloy but are 1/3 the weight of steel and 40% lighter than titanium.

Declaring this “a national emergency“, the EO states that the US intends to support companies that have “projects that support domestic supply chains” and “the establishment of secure critical minerals supply chains”, which could reasonably be expected to include Canadian projects such as Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG).

Peter Cashin, President, CEO and Director of Imperial Mining Group, which own their flagship scandium-rare earth Crater Lake Property in northeastern Quebec, commented to InvestorIntel when asked on their thoughts on the EO with the following:

“President Trump’s Executive Order should force an orderly build-up of the necessary steps required to secure a domestic supply chain for rare earth materials. In addition to the European Unions expressed push to lessen Chinese import dependence, our hope is that the order will apply to development of the significant critical mineral resources that exist in Canada.”

What is driving this market demand? Available scandium oxide supply today is estimated at just 25 to 35 metric tonnes per year, insufficient for widespread adoption of scandium-aluminum (“Sc-Al”) alloys for automotive, aerospace and defense sectors where they can be used for high-strength applications and in sectors in which lightweighting is essential. In addition to Sc-Al alloys, scandium is used in the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (“SOFC”) industry because of its heat stabilization and electrical conductivity characteristics. In essence, the competitive advantage of scandium is as a hardener in aluminum alloys, which is what renders them corrosion-and thermal-resistant.

If your not familiar with the Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG), Imperial’s Crater Lake Property has a large diameter complex which is host to high-grade scandium and niobium deposits. Scandium oxide grades to date have been very good ranging from 0.0235% to 0.0319% (235-319g/t). Other drill results have included 528g/t scandium oxide over 8.8 meters, showing the high grade potential of the Crater Lake Project.

The company expects the Crater Lake Project to be a small open-pit operation with an on-site magnetic concentrator and/or sensor-based sorting. It is anticipated that the project will be low CapEx, OpEx due to the higher grades and expected simple process recovery methods.

Imperial Mining is currently working to expand the resource and have recently discovered several new areas of scandium mineralization. These new showings lie within the same 14-km arcuate magnetic trend hosting the three previously defined mineralized zones (Boulder, TGZ and STG) on the property. Assay results are expected very soon.

Crater Lake’s 14-km arcuate magnetic trend hosting the three previously defined mineralized zones (Boulder, TGZ and STG)

Source

Peter Cashin states: “The new discoveries are extremely positive news for Imperial in view of the rapidly growing demand and limited supply for this important new technology metal……Currently, scandium is only produced as a minor by-product in China and Russia and, with supplies limited, it is our belief that Crater Lake represents an important alternative, primary scandium supply source to serve western consuming markets.”

A new US Executive Order to boost critical mineral mining, strong management, a high grade growing scandium-rare earths asset in a good mining jurisdiction, and a growing need for scandium and rare earths elements all combine to support Imperial Mining Group. Due to the early stage the current market cap is only C$9m.




Jack Lifton and Peter Cashin talk about the scandium market and Imperial’s strategic opportunity in the vital lightweighting space

In an interview with Technology Metals Show host Jack Lifton,  President and CEO of Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG) Peter Cashin discusses the scandium market and the economics of the Crater Lake Project. Peter explains how Imperial Mining’s Crater Lake Project provides a strategic opportunity for an exciting new line of lightweighting products. The project also contains rare earths.

“How it (Crater Lake Project) stands out is that it is a primary bedrock opportunity in Quebec,” said Mr. Cashin, Imperial’s President and CEO. “The grades are exceptionally high relative to our peers for a bedrock deposit. It is exposed at surface so it would be amenable to an open pit operation. Our preliminary metallurgy shows that we have very strong recoveries and high rejection rates of the gangue minerals from our metallurgical work so far. We are ideally located very close to the aluminum capital of Canada.”

To access the complete interview subscribe to the Technology Metals Show and get exclusive access to member only content through this exclusive site! Or Log-In Here for the latest conversations, debates, updates and interviews with the leaders, thought leaders and investors focused on issues relating to sustainability in the critical materials sector.

For more information on the Technology Metals Show email us at info@technologymetals.com or reach us direct at +1 (416) 546-9233




Drolet Stock Note: Imperial Mining Group Ltd. – Advancing one of the only sources of Scandium in North America

Mario Drolet President of MI3 Communications Financières Inc. (MI3) released his Stock Notes on Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG) for exclusive distribution on InvestorIntel. In this note, MI3 highlighted the following points on Imperial Mining Group Ltd.:

  • Imperial’s focus is on development of its high-quality Scandium-Rare Earth property in northeastern Quebec
  • Specific focus on Critical Metal (scandium, rare earths) projects showing low CapEx, OpEx and simple process recovery methods
  • Management & Insiders hold 21% of the shareholding
  • IPG surge recently on good volume and price…  US-CHINA trade war is the loop… stay tuned for more volatility in the strategic metals sector!!!
  • MI3 target in 2020: $0.25 – $0.50
  • Support: S2; $0.06    S1; $ 0.085   Resistance:   R1; $0.095   R2; $0.12

About Imperial Mining Group Ltd.

Imperial is a Canadian mineral exploration and development company focused on the advancement of its copper-zinc, gold and technology metals properties in Québec. Imperial is publicly listed on the TSX Venture Exchange as “IPG” and is led by an experienced team of mineral exploration and development professionals with a strong track record of mineral deposit discovery in numerous metal commodities.

PLEASE DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE

Disclaimer: This MI3 Technical Note produced by MI³ Communications Financières is neither an offer to sell, nor the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities discussed therein. The information contained is prepared by MI3, emanating from sources deemed to be reliable. MI3 Communications Financières makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy, correctness or completeness of such information. MI³ Communications Financières accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from the use of the information contained therein. Please take note that for compliance purposes, all directors, consultants or employees of MI3 Communications Financières are prohibited from trading the securities of the company and MI3 Communications Financières is a shareholder and do not intend to sell any shares during the distribution of this report.




Cashin on the scandium market and Imperial Mining’s Crater Lake asset

“We are starting to do the metallurgy for scandium mineralization we have on the property. It is very positive. That is a process where we want to reduce the mine volumes by using magnetic concentration. It is looking like we will be able to reduce the amount of material we mine in half. That is important for reducing the footprint of the operation, reducing the transportation, infrastructure that is related to the project. Also there is a byproduct that we can actually sell out to the cement market.” States Peter Cashin, President & CEO of Imperial Mining Group Ltd. (TSXV: IPG), in an interview with InvestorIntel Corp. CEO Tracy Weslosky.

Peter Cashin: We are starting to do the metallurgy for scandium mineralization we have on the property. It is very positive. That is a process where we want to reduce the mine volumes by using magnetic concentration. It is looking like we will be able to reduce the amount of material we mine in half. That is important for reducing the footprint of the operation, reducing the transportation, infrastructure that is related to the project. Also there is a byproduct that we can actually sell out to the cement market. It is an iron powder product that they use as a strengthener and, again, always a reduction of the environmental footprint on the operation.

Tracy Weslosky: Many of you at InvestorIntel know who Peter Cashin is, but do you know who Imperial Mining is? Can you give us a bit of an overview of Imperial Mining?

Peter Cashin: Sure Tracy. Of course, when I left Quest I brought the Crater Lake, which was the Misery Lake scandium property. I was looking for a home for it. Initially I was thinking about going public with that entity. It did not work out, but we recently did an RTO with a Quebec-based explorer, NQ Exploration and they had some base metals and gold properties. I thought that is where investor intention was so we rolled those together to form Imperial. We went public on the TSX Venture just in January. 

Tracy Weslosky: For those of you out there watching leaders in our industry, Imperial Mining is one that we are all watching Peter. I think we should use this opportunity to maybe talk about what is happening with the scandium market…to access the complete interview, click here

Disclaimer: Imperial Mining Group Ltd. is an advertorial member of InvestorIntel Corp.