Compelling Geology. Proven Team.
RECON-ENERGY (RECO-TSXV; LGDOF-PINK)
Can Be Play-of-the-Year
There is not a single doubt in my mind.
Reconnaissance Energy Africa (RECO:TSX.V/LGDOF-PINK) is the single most exciting oil stock to watch in 2020.
This 60 cent stock is drilling a well that could create more than 100x times its value—yes, in just one hole.
Do you remember where you were when the first Permian well hit big? Or when the first Bakken well was successful? For Canadians it was the Leduc#1 well in 1947.
These wells discovered entire basins that discovered hundreds of billions in value for shareholders and created tens of thousands of jobs—high paying jobs that last for decades—in nearby communities.
ReconEnergy is drilling that kind of well. The geological data is compelling. A nearby well has hit shale. They have put together a Tier 1 team of geologic and market professionals—who have built and sold international juniors before (that is SO important!).
And when you combine their technical and market teams with the geological data, and then throw in the movie-worthy detective-work of how they acquired the entire basin—well, it made me run out and buy stock. Because history says if one hole in a blanket shale has oil, it almost always means the entire play–in this case 6.3 million acres–has oil.
ReconEnergy has secured the entire Kavango Basin in northeast Namibia—a sparsely-populated country that was colonized by the Germans. It’s as deep as the Permian. It’s as wide as the Eagle Ford. It could be worth A LOT of money.
Should ReconEnergy prove up what high quality data is telling this high quality team—about 12 billion barrels of OOIP (Original Oil in Place) could be present–then this stock is the Play of the Year.
One well–to be spud in July–could transform this $38 million market cap oil company into one worth billions for shareholders, and a multiple of that to industry and communities.
And I think the likelihood of it working out is VERY high for this kind of play. Here’s how this massive play came about:
Energy entrepreneur Craig Steinke had just finished selling Realm Energy at $1.30/share. Realm was a Polish shale play, and he monetized it for shareholders quickly—it was a fast 500% win for the original shareholder group, and more than a triple for retail shareholders.
Fresh off an international shale win, he bought a new global shale study by IHS Markit—Steinke says he was quite probably the first or second customer for this comprehensive document.
He had a list of 20 criteria he wanted to see in a new play—some above ground, some under-ground.
The Namibian data was just interesting enough for him to fly over there and start developing relationships with the government.
He was looking for oil, but he found a gold mine of data.
The Namibians had recently paid for an airborne magnetic survey over a massive amount of land.
To be clear, a magnetic survey is a low cost way to cover a wide territory …read more
A group of Calgary energy entrepreneurs has a novel idea – that could have much lower capital costs and much lower operating costs – for getting Canadian natural gas to Korea and other Asian markets.
Building LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) terminals on tidewater in western North America has been a tough sell. High costs, environmental impact concerns and activism have caused regulatory delays in both Canada and the United States.
What can you do when you can’t get an LNG terminal built on tidewater?
The answer for tiny TSX Venture company ArcPacific (ACP – TSVX) is simple: you build it inland and transport the LNG to the coast. In Asia and Europe, using existing rail and large river barge infrastructure is a common way to move commodities—including LNG—to markets.
Arc Pacific calls its project “WESCO LNG” , and it’s bringing together major
What they are moving forward is the WESCO LNG project. This is a very early stage project. But it is pursuing a novel idea – an LNG production terminal located inland in a sparsely populated area away from the most active opponents of large energy projects, with the ability to tie into an existing underutilized, long-haul pipeline and use existing infrastructure to transport the LNG to the coast.
Getting the Gas (LNG) to Tidewater
WESCO plans to use an existing pipeline to transport the feed gas to the production facility. By avoiding the high cost of a major new pipeline, the project saves billions in capital cost.
So it SHOULD be able to deliver the LNG to the coast at a much lower cost than any other proposed West Coast projects. And this means that the project can be phased-in to meet market demand. This is not an option for other LNG projects in Western North America which must cover the pipeline development cost – up to $7 billion — from Day 1.
Management says that WESCO’s approach also saves years and tens of millions of dollars of permitting time and expense. Long-haul pipelines by definition cross many jurisdictions and so have a significant environmental and landowner impact.
This means that the process involves countless government agencies and the land rights of many property owners plus exposure to many First Nations land ownership claims.
West Coast energy projects have been plagued with
The cost of construction,
extensive regulatory oversight, and
political complications associated with new pipelines
Having an inland LNG terminal has the potential to avoid that.
Once the LNG is near the coast, WESCO will then transfer the LNG to large, standard LNG tanker vessels which will transport the LNG to Asian markets. This transfer process is referred to as a Ship to Ship transfer
This is not new technology. Privately owned Excelerate Energy has done over 1,500 such ship-to-ship (STS) transfers with more than 171 million cubic meters of LNG transferred. Complete STS technology solutions are now available on the market and STS operations are becoming routine in both Europe and Asia.
Source: Company Presentation
Getting Canadian NatGas to Market Cheaper
Building an LNG terminal inland has its advantages.
First off, investors are saving the capital cost of the …read more
Surprisingly…….the most bullish recent piece of news for the price of oil in 2020 DID NOT come from the Middle East.
Not that the massive escalation of Middle East issues with the killing of Iran’s top general isn’t hugely bullish news for oil.
However, the bomb that the oil service company Core Labs (CLB:NYSE) dropped on New Year’s Eve is even bigger and should have the attention of all investors — because it gives us a very clear view as to what is coming in the oil market in 2020.
Core Labs is #1 worldwide in reservoir tweaking–they’re in most every oilfield in the world and have one of the best views as to how oil production is going. They’re right beside the oil producers in the field. They know how much oilfields activity is declining or moving up before the public does.
And from what they told the Market–let me tell you friends–I haven’t been this BULLISH ON OIL STOCKS for a decade!
That last time I was this excited my portfolio was loaded with triple digit winners within six months. The only difference is that this time energy stocks are even cheaper.
Ugly, Ugly, Ugly – Unless You Are Long Oil
Core Labs is an important bellwether, or more specifically a leading indicator, for where oil prices are going.
If business is bad for Core Labs, it is telling us that supply is likely to lower, and oil prices are going up.
And while the news isn’t pretty for Core Labs, it most definitely is pretty for oil bulls.
Core Labs share price ended December 30 at $46.46.
After releasing a press release on that day after hours……the stock opened a shocking 21% lower on December 31.
Core Labs didn’t disappoint the market, it shocked the market.
For a press release to have that kind of impact for a company this well known the news has to be more than bad, it has to be distressingly bad……as in far beneath what was believed to be the plausible “worst-case” scenario.
What Core Labs did was hit the market with a hat-trick of painful cuts (1):
Painful Cut #1 – Cut guidance for the last quarter, Q4 2019
Painful Cut #2 – Cut guidance for the next quarter, Q1 2020
Painful Cut #3 – Cut the amount they pay to shareholders, their sacrosanct dividend
Yep, they covered pretty much everything…….Core Labs told investors that most recent results are far worse than expected, results will get worse going forward and that they can no longer afford to pay the current dividend.
The cut to Q4 2019 earnings and earnings per share was 15%. That is shockingly large considering that initial guidance came out almost a full month into the quarter at the end of October.
In two months business has fallen apart, and remember this isn’t a company that has walk-in traffic.
Customers must be backing out of agreed-upon-business for this kind of surprise to happen.
Business must be rapidly deteriorating if they cut to the dividend — which will immediately be slashed to 25 cents per share from 55 …read more
Everyone thinks Facebook is a great stock—and it is; the 10 year chart says so.
But investors are forgetting that Facebook stock stumbled badly after its IPO, losing almost 2/3rds of its opening day high of $45. It took roughly 18 months for the stock to hit new highs—and then it never looked back, going to $218, or 1250% off the $17.55 bottom. And it did that with almost no volatility!
UBER and LYFT are two disruptive leaders, like Facebook, that also stumbled badly in the public markets after their IPO. They bled cash profusely in their first couple quarterly reports.
But clearly, things are changing. Research notes from brokerage firms are noting how this competitive industry is now turning into an oligopoly of two—and this should be good for UBER and LYFT as pricing pressures ease.
Their charts are bottoming just as Facebook did in its first year. It’s important for investors to understand one very important thing—these stocks don’t need good financials to soar higher: they just need less-bad financials. Like oil in 2019—everybody hated these stocks. That could set them up for a great 2020 with any hint of a turn-around.
Folks, oligopolies make a LOT of money. Now it could still be years before UBER and LYFT show positive cash flow. But stocks will price that in well in advance of it actually happening.
The #1 problem for rideshare companies right now is: LACK OF DRIVERS. My favourite stock in this sector helps solve that problem. They have a platform technology that they are exploiting like no one else. And it’s all packed into a very tightly structured $50 million micro-cap.
It’s a high-risk junior, but if UBER and LYFT take off, so will this stock—quite possibly a multi-bagger if they execute properly just as these senior ridesharing stocks soar upwards. It’s a very exciting time for this young company. Get my report on it before it lyfts off! Click HERE to learn more this offer which ends January 13th.
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The latest table pounding buy for the oil sector was issued last week.
It came from the most unlikely (and highly credentialed) source.
The single greatest fund manager in history said in a Barron’s interview last week:
“Oil, energy services, and natural gas can provide triples……”
He named no other sector, this is where he says to invest today.
To be clear on exactly what he said….
1—He did not say that the sector offered opportunity.
2—He did not say that he that he is buying some oil and gas stocks.
3—He did not even say that he thinks that there is one specific oil and gas stock that can triple.
What he said is that the oil and gas sector is full of stocks that can triple from current prices.
It is go time!
The Investor Is Peter Lynch
His Track Record Unfathomably Good
Peter Lynch ran the Fidelity Magellan mutual fund from 1977 to 1990. When he took over the fund it was tiny, just $18 million in assets. When he left 13 years later……it was the biggest fund in the world with $14 billion.
Source: Fox Business
He retired early in 1990 because his father had died at 46, which understandably hung over him. He didn’t want to spend his whole life in an office and miss his children growing up.
His performance was epic — he generated an astonishing 29% annualized return over the period that he ran Fidelity Magellan. $10,000 invested with Lynch in 1977 would have been $300,000 when he left.
The table below shows his annual performance versus the S&P 500. The consistency for someone putting up annualized numbers that big is remarkable. I would have expected a lot more volatility.
Clearly he wasn’t making many big mistakes…
Most of us knew of this great performance already, so this isn’t news.
What was revealed in his interview with Barron’s though is–new information about Lynch’s investing, post-retirement. It turns out he has been killing it since he left Fidelity as well.
Lynch told Barron’s about his late wife’s IRA which he had managed for her.
From 1974 to 1978 she put just $750 per year into it. Despite subsequently taking $3 million out of it to pay for weddings, graduations and other events, those small $750 contributions had still grown to be worth $8 million when she passed from leukemia in 2014.
Lynch believes that the IRA account was up 350,000% over that time period….WOWZERS!!!
Making Big Sector Bets Drove Lynch’s Performance
Obviously you don’t rack up the kind of performance that Lynch has by running with the herd.
Outperformance like this requires thinking very differently.
While at Fidelity Magellan Lynch often overweighted areas that were unusually attractive. Lynch made big sector bets, once putting 25% of the fund in utilities, and later owning 400 financial institutions when they traded at half of their book value.
He didn’t follow the herd, he followed the value.
Today the sector that Lynch is betting on is oil and gas — as I mentioned, he believes that stocks in this sector can be triples from where they currently …read more
How fast is US oil production slowing? That is The Big Question that oil bulls are asking right now.
That—and some wildly different EIA data—make this question very timely right now.
You see, the monthly and weekly EIA oil production data are showing growth at two very different speeds. The weekly numbers intimate growth is barely slowing at all, while the two-month delayed monthly numbers (EIA 914 report) show production slowing a lot.
For the monthlies, an investor could reasonably argue the rollover in US shale production is already happening.
For investors, it’s a $100 billion question. The weekly numbers say don’t buy oil stocks yet; red light! The monthly numbers are saying buy now; green light!
Weekly vs. Monthly
The EIA is the Energy Information Administration based out of Washington DC. You can learn all about them here – https://www.eia.gov/about/
The EIA Methodology
Every week the EIA estimates oil inventory, imports, exports and production to give the public a full picture of what happened over the previous week.
If you talk with the EIA or dig into their methodology, one thing becomes clear: they have a much firmer grasp on inventories than any of the other numbers they provide.
Every week the EIA surveys for inventory. In addition, there are third party data providers like Genscape that make inventory estimates from thermal cameras, satellite images and other innovative techniques.
What it means is that EIA has a lot of confidence in their inventory number. They know it’s in the ballpark and are confident which base it’s on.
The production numbers on the other hand….
Weekly production is estimated from the latest available production data from Alaska and a whole bunch of short-term forecasts for the rest of the country.
Those short-term forecasts come from the STEO, or Short-Term Energy Outlook, an EIA modeling exercise which is notoriously inaccurate.
Bottom line – the weekly data we get is marked-to-model and has a history of being wrong.
The monthly numbers are far better quality than the weeklies.
In 2015, the EIA began to issue a comprehensive, survey based monthly production report (the EIA-914).
The survey used in the report included all major production areas. According to the EIA at least 85% of production within a state is surveyed. Overall, they assert that 94% of production in the country is accounted for.
Even though the methodologies differ, over time the weeklies and the monthly data have tracked each other fairly well.
There are some that say this is because the EIA plays with the weekly data if they need to get it back inline with the monthly numbers.
Whatever the backroom mechanics, the data is usually fairly close over time and if anything, the monthly data has a history of showing higher production than the weeklies.
Source: EIA Data
That is, until recently.
First, let me be clear – there is very little discrepancy between the two datasets for the last few comparable periods.
In fact, if you looked at the September data alone, you would conclude that the weekly and monthly numbers agree extremely well.
The monthly data for September, which is the last reported period, is showing …read more
I don’t want to exaggerate…
But it does seem to happen every year: the MLP sector – Master Limited Partnerships – wraps itself up as a wonderful Christmas present for investors to open in the New Year.
Ok, not every year.
But almost every year… investors buying the sector after heavy selling near the ends of 2015, 2017 and 2018 all had profits of 20% within the first six months of the next year (excluding dividends). (1)
MLPs were built to pay out big dividends – and many of them are. But the stocks have traded down hard in H2 19 – in sympathy with the oil producers, the E&Ps, which have just been crushed.
For investors buying the MLP sector in December it has been like shooting fish in a barrel. Buy in December, sell in June – book your 20 percent profit plus dividends.
2019 is shaping up to be the fourth year out of five that this happens. After the usual first half rally in 2019, the MLP sector has fallen off a cliff in the second half.
Much of the decline has happened since the beginning of November.
Now what we need to consider…
Is the MLP sector another 20% gift waiting to be unwrapped or a big lump of coal stuffed into our stockings?
Why MLPs Are In The Doghouse Again…
Now before we get all “pound the table” excited about another MLP first-half-of-2020-rally coming our way we need to tap the breaks just a little bit…
The investor pressure on MLPs isn’t just annual tax loss selling – although that is undoubtedly a part of it. There are also real concerns that investors have raised with this sector.
First Concern – Elizabeth Warren And The Far Left
I don’t know who will win the Presidency in 2020 – but I do think the election will be much closer than it was 2016.
Energy investors are rightly concerned about left-leaning candidate Elizabeth Warren. It is not a complete coincidence that as the rise of Elizabeth Warren happened in the polls in 2019 the selling of MLPs kicked into gear.
Ms. Warren is openly hostile to anything tied to hydrocarbons. She has blatantly stated that one of her first acts as president would be to ban fracking entirely, while also doubling down to ban all drilling on Federal lands.
That would unquestionably be great for oil and natural gas prices, but terrible for the volumes of the stuff that is being transported through pipelines owned by mid-stream MLPs.
Second Concern – An Increasing View That
The Energy Sector Is Uninvestable
There is a growing belief amongst professional investors that the energy sector has become uninvestable. These folks aren’t reducing their energy sector exposure… they are cutting it to zero.
More than 1,000 different pension funds, endowments and institutions representing $8 trillion of assets have officially declared the sector off-limits. (2)
Those are the capital allocators who have chosen to this for the betterment of the planet – that doesn’t factor in the investment managers who have abandoned the sector for investment performance reasons.
Many managers think this industry has no future.
The feeling from many corners …read more
Turmalina Metals (TBX:TSXV) is the next high grade, tightly structured venture from backers of K92 Mining (KNT-TSXv) – the hottest team in the junior gold sector.
The stock price of K92 Mining has rocketed this year… up from 70 cents to $2.70 (almost 400%!) as their Kainantu Mine keeps churning out more and more gold at over 20g/t (half an ounce or better!).
Early investors in K92 have made as much as 15x their original investment. Turmalina Metals is their next venture – and it just listed TUESDAY – 2 days ago!
And they already have a high grade discovery – in fact, their San Francisco project may be the top of one of the highest-grade gold-copper tourmaline breccias ever discovered.
Super-high-grade gold results that are close to surface – 36.9 metres of 6.3 g/t gold and 122 g/t silver in one hole and 85 metres of 4.4 g/t gold and 109 g/t silver – were released at the IPO.
There are over 65 more breccias identified on their property – the nearest one only 200 metres away. That makes San Francisco look more like a district than a property.
A new 15-hole program will soon be underway – as well as work on other breccias they’ve found.
They have packaged all this up in a tight share structure – with only 49 million shares out, the market cap of the company was just $25 million, and the Enterprise Value – where you subtract the cash in the kitty or add the debt – was only $18 million. K92 now has a market cap over $500 million.
You can do the simple math on the potential that exists here at this early stage with Turmalina. OK I’ll do it for you – K92 has 20x the market cap of Turmalina. Only 14 million of the shares are freely-tradeable. Turmalina has a MUCH tighter share structure than K92 did then – increasing leverage for investors.
In one sense, that’s all you need to know. BUT… Turmalina has one of best creation stories of any junior mining company I’ve ever been involved with – and I’ve been doing this since 1991.
Three Worldly Geologists with One Focused Goal:
Find the Single Best South American Gold Project
Everything seems to happen so fast in the stock market. K92’s share price has soared higher and now this team has another gold venture ready to go.
In the real world though these things take a lot more time… and EFFORT.
Two years ago, a group of wealthy mining entrepreneurs including K92 Mining founder Bryan Slusarchuk tasked three of the top geologists on the planet with one goal: find the best advanced stage high-grade deposit in South America.
One of these men was Doug Kirwin, who played a key role in the early days of getting K92 Mining their high-grade mine in Papua New Guinea. Kirwin led the geological team that discovered the massive Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, which was developed by Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines.
Kirwin knew exactly who to call – his good friend Dr. Rohan Wolfe, now the CEO of Turmalina.
Wolfe helped discover the Merlin Molybdenum-rhenium deposit in Australia, but his real value-add for Turmalina comes from another part of his resume: he spent …read more
Making a lot of money in junior mining is actually pretty simple. Put together a strong technical team with a strong finance team, and pay up for good assets. Insert all that into a tight share structure where the insiders don’t get too greedy and leave some room for retail investors to make money.
I have found such a company. I know the team VERY well — and not just because their flagship gold play has gone up 567% in the last 18 months.
Their stock was able to do that because they have what the market wants — high grade gold deposits that have low capex — ones that don’t take a lot of money to get into production.
This new listing — and you get the name and symbol for free tomorrow — follows that Modus Operandi perfectly. They have TWO advanced stage gold bearing assets, and they are bringing it to trade with only 49 million shares out, a market cap of just $25 million, and the Enterprise Value — where you subtract the cash in the kitty or add the debt — of only $18 million.
The company has just listed their shares — this is the ground floor. I’m telling you about it before ANYBODY else.
Their assets combine what the Market wants now — both high grade and low development cost.
This group is strong in the market — really strong. Well respected technically, and investors love them.
They could bring the most remote piece of moose pasture to investors now and the stock could be a double or triple. But that isn’t how they operate. And the truth is that this next venture launching is years in the making.
The Top Geological Detectives On The Continent
Two years ago this team recruited three of the world’s top geologists and gave them money to go find something very specific. The marching orders for the geologists was to find:
Something in South America.
Something the public market has never seen before.
Something with high grade gold.
Something technically advanced — maybe an old producer, for example
Something that they could possibly raise $20 million quickly in a good gold market.
Yes, this was no easy task.
But… they also gave these geologists the most important advantage in the world — they gave them the advantage of TIME. The geologists weren’t tasked with finding something fast, they were tasked with finding something good.
Really, REALLY good.
All three geologists are credited with mine discoveries. Two of them spent many years specifically looking in South America for big gold deposits for major mining companies.
This group isn’t just knowledgeable about the region… they are the most knowledgeable players on the continent.
They knew where to look, who to talk to, to literally find that hidden gem, that hidden nugget – a great asset that was unknown to the general market.
The geologists’ asset selection strategy was actually pretty simple. All three of them had to agree 100% on an asset, otherwise they took a pass.
When I say agree what I mean is that they all had to believe that each asset was basically …read more
I am itching for 2020 to get started.
As the calendar turns into a new year, I have FOUR junior mining plays that will come to trade—all of them before the end of Q1 2020. In fact, one will likely list the week of December 2.
These four stocks alone are going to make my year in 2020.
Gold has had a great 2019. What I do really well is pick low cost producers that are growing production per share really quickly, and efficiently—just like I do with oil and gas stocks.
I see gold exploration stocks as a great place to make money in 2020—but you have to pick the right ones.
I have FOUR “right-ones” coming to trade with very cheap valuations, proven teams, high potential assets and lots of money in the bank.
These are all FRESH stories—new assets that the Market has not seen before. And the potential for a quick re-rating with a discovery is very high.
These stocks can make your year too — all of them are all coming out with very low initial valuations, priced as if gold was priced hundreds of dollars below where it is today.
Gold doesn’t need to go up for these stocks to be huge winners from those valuations.
The key here (as always with new cos) is getting onto these stories early BEFORE the market realizes how undervalued these stocks are. If you act early this is a situation where the retail investor has the distinct advantage.
Each of these companies have management teams that have successfully built juniors before — having generated multi-bagger returns for investors.
So not only do these stocks have dirt-cheap valuations, they also have leadership teams that know how to grow cash flows and earnings. That is the powerful combination that creates multi-baggers (valuation expansion + growth).
Here are what my fab-four 2020 junior mining plays look like:
Junior Mining Stock #1—is run by the same team as my favorite gold producer, a stock that is already up 400% in 2019. This team is STRONG right now, and this new pubco has drill results already! I expect this stock to trade the week of Dec. 2. Less than 60 million shares out, and only 14 million will be free trading for the first four months. The tightly held shares of this popular team are going to be in high demand quickly.
Junior Mining Stock #2—has amassed a huge tract of land both adjoining and in the area of one of the most profitable gold mines in the world. This operating mine is a freak of nature in the sense that normally such high grades and great profitability come in remote places in third world countries. This mine is in a first world country and is going to be very appealing to institutions adding gold to their portfolios! Less than 60 million shares out. It should trade late January.
Junior Mining Stock #3—this team has not only been part of two major discoveries in this area—they are backed some of the most blue-blood royalty in the gold …read more
I’m not going to try and forecast the 2020 election at this point.
Not with impeachment, Ukraine, Biden’s son, quid pro quo, Michael Bloomberg and who knows what else between now and then.
But a chart I found today made me think of what would happen if Democrat Elizabeth Warren wins the White House exactly one year from now, in November 2020. This chart shows how important fracking is to US oil production:
Climate Change is a major issue for her and her voting base.
Elizabeth Warren is on record as saying that on her first day as president she intends to completely ban fracking — EVERYWHERE.
Here it is, straight from the horse’s mouth…
That is concerning, although it is hard to say how doable it is for her.
Without an act of Congress, the President could not issue an outright ban on fracking across the US. There are however a number of regulatory and executive actions an administration could take to prevent or shrink the use of fracking technology.
Even if she can’t ban it, she can surely slow it down. Perhaps even make it economically unviable.
If you think this is crazy talk, note that the state of California just ordered a review of all pending fracking in the state AND halted steamflooding — a secondary recovery method to increase production from old oilfields (mostly worked on conventional, non fracking fields).
The hit to the economy would be enormous — tens of thousands of job losses, especially in the western states, and WTI oil prices would jump 50% in a week. The stock market would crash, sending the world into a global liquidity crisis — for a while.
But if you’re an investor in Canadian oil stocks, you will have the best year of capital gains in a long long time!
Her Election Chances Look As Good As Anybody
There was point in time where the idea of someone as far left as Elizabeth Warren winning anything was far-fetched.
Today she isn’t even the furthest left of the serious Democrat contenders — although far left she most certainly is relative to what we are used to from nominees.
Former US President Barack Obama is so concerned about an Elizabeth Warren nomination that he recently came out of political retirement to remind his flock that going too far left would be a bad idea.
Warren is currently neck and neck with Obama’s buddy and former VP Joe Biden in some polls. Second place in almost all of them.
Can she beat Biden?
If you combine her supporters with the Bernie Sanders brigade, she has a realistic chance at the nomination.
Realistically, the Democrats aren’t going to nominate Sanders. He is 78 years old and just had a heart attack.
His campaign proposals are truly radical, he wants to overhaul nearly every institution and industry in the country.
In many cases, his proposals are further to the left than even movements on the ground have called for.
Warren is no spring chicken at 70, but next to curmudgeonly Bernie she seems barely middle age. Plus her policies aren’t nearly as extreme… she …read more
By Alex Grant
It’s still a nuclear winter for junior lithium stocks—especially for the South American salar (evaporation) projects—but a very different kind of project has been heating up in North America.
Surprisingly, they are deep, hot brine plays, which didn’t get much attention during the lithium bull run of 2016-2017. Investors were much more focused on high altitude, shallow salars in South America or hard rock spodumene in Australia and Africa.
E3 Metals Corp. (ETMC-TSXv) with a 6.7Mt LCE lithium brine resource in the middle of the Alberta oilpatch, announced in September an up to $US 5.5M investment by Livent, one of the world’s largest lithium producers and a technology leader in the industry.
Standard Lithium (SLL-TSXv) is starting up a demonstration plant in southern Arkansas to extract lithium from an already flowing brine producing bromine, and they announced in October a $US 3.75 million convertible loan from Lanxess (LXS-ETR, LNXSF-OTC), their German chemical partner who operates the plant.
“We are excited to have Livent’s technical expertise on board. Their expertise with E3 will move this project towards construction faster than many other options. Their lithium development group are leaders in the space. This is really like building a development arm to our company for no cost,” says E3 CEO Chris Doornbos.
Brine technology is new, whereas evaporating lithium out of salars is a 12th century technology. Investors are always leery of new processes in mining. Also, both E3 and Standard Lithium were early stage plays in the lithium bull run of 2016-2017—another hurdle for investors.
But brines—also called DLE—Direct Lithium Extraction—arguably have three advantages over the more traditional high-elevation salars—speed, scale and simplicity. That could account for why they are getting funded while the more traditional salar projects languish.
“We’ve developed a process specific for our project that extracts lithium from the brine in minutes,” says Andy Robinson, COO of Standard Lithium. “We’ve kept it simple, proven the process and now we’re demonstrating to our partner and to the industry that it can be taken to the commercial scale.”
Compare that to salars, where lithium has to sit in large evaporation ponds for 18 months before processing starts.
E3 Metals CEO Chris Doornbos speaks to the scale and simplicity of using brines: “The processing of brines is way simpler. With hard rock or clays, you have to mine it, upgrade it, roast it in some cases, and then leach it to make a sulfate stream. We already have our lithium in solution as a brine.
“This project looks just like an oil operation–which is the industry in Alberta—right up to the chemical plant. The brine gets pumped up like oil.
“We can move massive quantities of brine easily here to produce large quantities of lithium from this very big resource. That’s why for this project, the grade is less important.”
Besides speed, scale and simplicity, the Alberta and Arkansas lithium brines are different in several ways technically from the more well-known South American salar-type brines.
Brines are much deeper in the Earth (thousands of feet vs. hundreds of feet),
Brines can …read more