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  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 14, 2011 [View instapost]
    I would hope that MCP has learned their lesson about "vertical integration". Neo is doing just fine with it's positive cash flow $.66 EPS last quarter and they are shooting for $2 annualized. They have $650m in cash but a lot of debt to offset it. All in all book value (roughly the shareholder equity - intangibles) is around $410m… I think that is a lot more than MCP has in the bank. (Book is roughly what a friendly takeover would cost)...

    Neo is a solid, NOT so little company. They are doing quite well with their 2 1/2 divisions :) (I don't count Recapture a a whole division)… I had a great conversation with a guy that helped start Magna Quench a few years back. He is no longer there but is still very high on Neo… The exciting thing with the performance division is that they have committed to developing 30% NEW revenues per annum from newly developed applications…

    Neo is doing just fine and doesn't need a loser like Moly to mess up it financial statements… Just as a caveat, if I was a holder of Neo, I would be concerned about the financial's of feedstock, that is, just when the feed stock was purchased and whether or not they are hedged… Remember, the magnet/performance guys and their profits are based on the difference between what they sell minus (COGS or cost of goods sold), and what they pay for the metals.

    The quarterly performance will be affected by REO/REM price fluctuations… JMHO...
    Nov 18 11:29 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 14, 2011 [View instapost]
    The walkthrough is a great idea. Let the SLSM folks get lost in the piping circuits, then explain the way to the gate. When they get there, give 'em a t-shirt with a goats head with broccoli ears and a cucumber stripped pencil and pen set…

    Seriously, a tour may impress the SLSM group that Lynas is really bringing a tremendous asset into Kuantan and Malaysia as a whole. Not sure whether the MP will be there but I have a feeling she will change her story after being allowed to tour with professionals...
    Nov 16 11:24 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 14, 2011 [View instapost]
    Hi Chi, WRT Macquarie, and the cash available to Lynas... I think they have a $125m credit facility in place already that is untapped...
    Nov 15 09:31 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    Interesting articles OG, It seems to me that these resources would be most valuable to Lynas and not so much for Saner (or other interested parties)… Lynas (LAMP) is the only facility in the region that can process concentrate and as we all know a facility to process REE's particularly for a deposit this size will cost hundreds of millions to construct...
    Nov 13 05:52 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    You are correct about Poncho, he has been a leader on the Yahoo board, makes good points and is a staunch GWM supporter. Stay away from the Yahoo board, the posting there has been ruined by an individual and apparently they can't get his IP (internet protocol) address and port number to correct the problem. Anyway, Poncho would be a good addition to the board…

    It is my understanding that co-generation uses a fossil fuel to run a generator to create electrical power. However, unlike electrical power, the heat from the exhaust is also used in processes that require such heat, making the whole power (and energy) process much more efficient. Electrical power is great but Nat Gas is far better. It is probably why NC chose Malaysia with it's tremendous Nat Gas resources.

    Interesting Poncho should note the lack of infra-structure at Moly. I pulled Steenkamp up on google maps and I saw very little in the way of any kind of infrastructure. Maybe someone can fill in some color here?
    Nov 13 05:40 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    Article shows a possible softening position of the opposition party The Pahang Barisan Nasional…

    While they discuss winning Pahang in the upcoming elections, they admit it will be a tough fight… I think Pahang is Najib's hometown…
    Anyway the article makes for good reading...

    From the article...

    “The Lynas issue (Australia’s rare earth processing facility) is the main problem but whatever it is, we will wait for the next course of action from AELB (Atomic Energy Licensing Board),” he said.

    "Adnan, who is the Mentri Besar said if AELB allowed Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd to commence its operation in the Gebeng industrial area here, it would mean the project was safe."

    http://bit.ly/syImyJ
    Nov 6 11:37 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Phoenix Drawings to Photos Progress [View instapost]
    Nice work. Today's (Friday) CNBC report showed camera panning shots of the Mountain Pass location. The camera showed some foundations under construction and some other older equipment that appeared to be in the process of incorporation into other new equipment.

    The planning, engineering and construction is a long complex process that involves significant piping "circuits" and industrial control systems. These control systems use valves, metering, and feedback systems that not only need to be installed but requiring industrial computer programming with operational and safety functions. Once this is finished and statically tested, the commissioning process needs to take place.

    In short, your pictures and other pictures I have seen do not indicate a good deal of progress in this area. I think a 40kmtpa process will take significant resources and in my experience with industrial projects, engineering and construction errors increase exponentially with time constraints and pressure on the project completion.

    After reading the Moly blog touting the advantages of project acceleration, it is pretty apparent that Moly has not suffered through all of the implications building and commissioning (and capitalizing) of a project of this caliber...
    Nov 4 11:31 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    Good article and better comments on raremetalblog...


    http://bit.ly/vqxgtx
    Nov 4 02:56 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    Hi Chi, what's your take on Mark Smith's comments today where he said the acceleration of Project Phoenix will cut 6 months off the construction time at a cost of $115m?

    He said that they would recover this in 5 weeks (I assume this is gross)… This would indicate INCREASED numbers of $20m / week (annualized over $1b pa) … no?
    Nov 4 02:45 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    Mark Smith was just on CNBC and was very bullish on demand. he made the comment that Moly was going to accelerate Project Phoenix by 6 months at an ADDITIONAL cost of $115m…

    What is amazing is that he said they will recover that cost in just 5 weeks of production! They also showed some pictures of the site and work in progress and it looked like they had a long way to go. I'm not too sure when the pictures were taken however...
    Nov 4 01:49 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    At the boot camp in Toronto we were able to sit down with a Senior Chemist from Australia.

    "(His) particular interests include materials development for ion exchange and adsorption applications, and solution-chemistry modeling of hydrometallurgical processing streams."

    He is particularly well versed in the Radiation issues encountered when working with REEs and the various extraction processes.

    It is his feeling is that radiation at LAMP or in the transport of the concentrate is NOT any kind of problem in itself and it is political issues that are driving the current sentiment. The comment was made that Lynas needed to improve the perception of REE processing at LAMP (which they are working on)...

    Also, his presentation included methods of chemical concentration and separation processes including solvent extraction. SX is a very complex process and it seems there is no other way (at this time) to carry out this process in an easier method… It requires many circuits or what is essentially piping roadways, to route the processing through an organic process that actually removes the impurities to achieve increasing purity of a given element. Very complex...

    One very interesting note that came from Tony Marino's presentation in reference to the SX process. Tony's comments were that in reality, the grade of ore at these mines is somewhat insignificant and the issue that is real important is how easily the REE's can be extracted from the minerals.
    Nov 4 01:08 PM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    The top 5 :)

    LYC
    MCP
    UURAF
    NOURF
    TASXF
    Nov 3 01:20 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    Apparently the Alaskan government is interested in building a hydro electric dam near Bokan Mountain. It was explained to me that Alaska being a very project friendly state may push the case to develop it's resources, namely Bokan…

    Good article, kinda takes you back to the wild west days :)
    Nov 3 04:36 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    Hi Chi, to add to your comments on the juniors, it would appear that today's sour investing climate may just favor the juniors that know how to conserve valuable capital. There is not a lot of "go team go" enthusiasm at this point in time and while I am sure there is a point where this will change, the fact remains these are tough times to go to the well…

    Conversely these same problems heavily favor the well capitalized companies (including juniors) who can measure their cash outflow and tailor progress to match…

    I agree MCP has capitalization at the right time and I know UCORE is fully aware of what is going on in this environment. I think I will look at some more balance sheet / cash flow situations and try and pick out others in the same space...
    Nov 2 10:05 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • REE/Strategic Minerals Concentrator, November 2, 2011 [View instapost]
    More from Toronto...

    First of all I need to apologize for spelling Gareth's name wrong... It is with an E as opposed to an A...

    When I arrived at the Toronto Hilton and was checking in, I met Jeb Handwerger, journalist and owner of the Gold Trade Stocks web site... Jeb has quite a following on his site and deals quite extensively with gold and silver trading. He is also moving into the REE arena. Also, early on the first day I met Mark MacDonald of UCORE. Mark is with the business development end of things in Halifax, (NS)... The three of us ended up spending time together and sharing a lunch or dinner table with most of the speakers at one time or another...

    I guess I will post my comments and notes in a chronological order as they were at the seminar. All of the subjects were very well chosen and presented in an order that made sense and had a natural flow. The presentations were followed by a short question and answer period. The answers to the questions were often annotated by other experts to give a little more color on the subject, without ego's!

    The seminar open with some opening remarks by Garath on supply/demand projections. His charts indicated REE demand increasing anywhere between 4 to 10% (annualized) over the next 8 years.

    This is obviously a projection and an encouraging one at that. If demand increases at this rate and the supply is not there, the first movers stand to do very well in an uncrowded space. There was some more discussion of REE demand with respect to the changing supply chain and the different regions and applications that will determine future growth. Annualized growth of 10% (compounded ?) is significant and will keep the demand increasing. However supply must be there to keep the users interested in REE applications... Of course different regions and demands will determine the individual elements use...

    The next speaker was Karl Gschneidner who presented an intro to Rare Earth Chemistry. It made me wish I paid better attention in my college chemistry class but it still was presented in a manner that even I got something out of it. Karl presented some moderate Physics describing the actions of the different atom shells and the significance of their interaction. Included were the different shapes of the 4f charge densities and other subjects (pretty interesting). IMO, the presentation was in depth enough to keep everyone interested yet general enough so someone like myself could keep up. Also Professor Gschneidner included many reference and facts that tied his chemistry presentation together with the Lanthanide group of metals (REE's)...

    Other things discussed included the separation process of REE's which is extremely complex and requires a level of understanding that I do not have. It helped me realize that REE production is a lot more than mining...

    As far as individual companies are concerned, it seemed as though everyone had an opinion on the current progress and future direction of the juniors especially those close to production. While I am not going to list any names or individual comments I will reveal some general thoughts and opinions. The prevailing opinions about the Juniors is that most will be gone is a few years. Pretty much everyone felt that the separation of the individual elements will provide a very large barrier of entry and will trip up many of the smaller players. That said, it seemed that there was a wide variety of opinions as to just who will be on the top of the pile as time goes on...

    I am a staunch believer in the financial statements and while cash on the balance sheet is of critical importance, the burn rate ultimately determines the staying power of any company. I guess what I am saying it the obvious, the better capitalized juniors will survive if they have control over their spending. In my discussions with Mark McDonald, he indicated that UCORE was well aware of this and was cautiously developing it's exploration plan and moving ahead with controlled progress. It is my feeling that the juniors need to put them in a position for potential M & A as the Capex of planning, engineering, constructing and operating a separation facility will be cost prohibitive...

    More a little later... :)
    Nov 2 03:53 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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