A Critical Elements Rally?
A few years back, Goldman Sachs called lithium “the new gasoline”, and InvestorIntel has always stuck by the rare earth story, even at its bleakest. A company with a wide selection of projects focusing on a range of these highly requisite resources is rallying this month as its feature project advances ever-closer to feasibility.
Critical Elements Corp. (TSXV:CRE | OTCQX:CRECF) (“Critical Elements”) have 11 potential projects including the large Rose lithium-tantalum resource; an expansive, advanced stage resource located in Quebec, comprising of 500 active mining titles covering a total of 260.90 km2. The completed Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) indicates that the operation could support a production rate of 26,606 tons of high purity, battery grade Li2CO3, and 206,670 pounds of Ta2O5 per year over a 17-year mine life. The company is keen to advance the project, and the single Financial Times analyst offering a 12 month price target expects Critical Elements Corp’s share price to continue rising towards $1.30 over the next year from the current price of $0.79.
The Company is focused on minor metals and their projects target a wide range of valuable materials. Critical Elements has achieved its objectives to date with Rose, and is aiming to rapidly advance the lithium-tantalum project to production. The flagship resource is well located, with on-site access to infrastructures such as powerlines, road, air and rail access, and camp. The project hosts a current Indicated resource of 26.5 million tonnes of 1.30% Li2O equivalent or 0.98% Li2O and 163 ppm Ta2O5 and an Inferred resource of 10.7 million tonnes of 1.14% Li2O equivalent or 0.86% Li2O and 145 ppm Ta2O5; this particular area is by far the most advanced area of the property.
That being said, three other identified showings, namely Pivert, JR and Hydro, appear very promising. As surface observations reveal key similarities with the Rose deposit in terms of mineralogy, grades and thickness, the company intends to investigate these deposits further, by either trenching or drilling.
Critical Elements Corp. began exploratory work on the Rose property in late 2009, and the drilling and prospecting has yielded many significant results that highlight the potential of the entire property area for new discoveries. Out of 181 drill holes at Rose, 175 returned significant mineralized values for Li, Ta, Rb, Cs, Ga or Be, and in most cases, for more than one of these elements. Mineralization is hosted within outcropping pegmatite dykes subparallel to the surface. The dykes and grades correlate well and show good continuity throughout the sections.
The Rose property is located in the northeast part of the Archean Superior Province of the Canadian Shield craton, more precisely within the southern portion of the Middle and Lower Eastmain Greenstone Belt (MLEGB). Although the MLEGB displays a wide variety of lithologies, most of the claims constituting the Rose property are underlain by intrusives containing rare-element LCT-type pegmatites.
Very few these days need an education on lithium and its applications in battery-tech, but tantalum enjoys indispensability in several niches. Tantalum is essential to the electronics industry for the production of millions of capacitors and high power resistors every year. It increases strength, ductility and corrosion resistance in alloys, and is used in surgical instruments and implants, as it causes no immune response. The supply of these critical metals is a precarious race indeed, but Critical Elements seem to have their bases covered to take on the year ahead; the year that many feel will be the year of fruition for numerous lithium-based projects.