Friday Round-Up

7th May 2021

Well, it’s Friday. What’s happened this week?

BATTERY METALS

Many metals are currently experiencing a price surge, and battery metals are no exception. Take rare earths, for example, which are used in electric vehicle and renewable power applications. The simmering coup in Myanmar is one among many factors pushing up the price of rare earths these days, since that country is the main foreign source of feedstock for Chinese producers, and supply is being threatened by the political instability.

But it isn’t just rare earth prices soaring, and most of the factors driving this price high apply to all battery metals. The Paris Agreement deadlines, and the US’s renewed enthusiasm for the deal in particular, are creeping closer, and signatories know that battery technology is now at a stage where a true transition can begin for motor vehicles and power storage. Uptake of electric vehicles is at its highest point, and it seems consumers are finally satisfied that the new technology can meet their needs. US President Biden has announced $174 billion to supply infrastructure for electric vehicles, meaning the barriers to their use will get lower still in the world’s biggest economy.

This means lithium, among other metals, is increasing in price, which in turn is driving investment and expansion of projects that struggled to attract interest during the pandemic. In good news on this front, junior Jourdan Resources (TSXV:JOR) has announced bulk sample results for its Vallee pegmatite in Quebec, where it is exploring hard rock for lithium. 47 samples averaged 1.55% LiO2 and Jourdan is planning a summer drilling campaign which should lead to an initial resource estimate.

These aren’t the only moves in the lithium market.  As we reported a few weeks ago, Australia’s Orocobre (ASX:ORE) has acquired Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY), making a new large lithium producer, and this week China’s Ganfeng Lithium offered a premium of nearly 50% per share for Banacora Lithium (LON:BCN), in which it already holds a 28.88% stake. Activity like this seems like a sign of emerging bullishness in the market, after prices had floundered for some time.

AROUND THE TRAPS

There’s a great write-up by Stockhouse about the exciting junior Mountain Boy Minerals (TSXV:MTB) who are exploring for gold, silver and copper in British Columbia’s Golden Triangle.  They’ve interviewed VP of Exploration, Lucia Theny, who has some great insights into the region and the Mountain Boy’s projects in particular.

CEO of Northstar Gold Corp (CSE:NSG), which went public in January, had this interview with Proactive, talking about the astonishingly high grade (1,010 g/t over 0.5 m) intersected at their Miller property in Ontaria.

Contago ORE (OTCQB:CTGO) has listened to the Tetlin Tribal Council, on whose land their 30% stake with Kinross Gold (TSX:K, NYSE:KGC) in the former Peak Gold project lies, and changed its name to Manh Choh, an Athabascan phrase meaning “Big Lake.”  Good to see local people having their say!  In other news for the junior, they got a Resource Report on Manh Choh, and acquired the large Shamrock property, near Manh Choh in Alaska.  A busy week! Read more about it here.

Gold Mountain (TSX.V:GMTN, OTCQB:GMTNF, Frankfurt:5XFA) has announced that it has received its Notice of Departure allowing it to begin mine construction at the Elk Gold project in British Columbia. Good to see a junior taking things all the way to production!  They’ve also received permission to expand their 2021 drilling campaign at the same property.