Almost every trading day someone asks me if they should buy gold. Personally, I own physical gold and silver bullion since 2004, but if you are trading gold ETF's' you may want to wait before jumping on board in at this time. As you all know, gold topped out in September 2011 at $1923.70 an ounce. Ironically, that same week that gold topped out it was upgraded by J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) to $2500.00 an ounce. Either J.P. Morgan Chase is just terrible at spotting tops or they were looking to sell to the amateurs that always buy the peak. My suspicion is the latter as most large firms have an agenda behind their upgrades and downgrades when equities are at extreme highs and lows. Just think about it, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) upgraded oil to $250.00 a barrel when it was trading at $145.00 a barrel in July 2008. As you probably know, oil peaked at $147.00 a barrel a week after that upgrade. Again, the amateurs that followed that upgrade were just decimated when oil was bought at that high. Oil dropped to $30.00 over the next year. Now gold has turned into one of the most hated commodities out there by Wall Street. Currently, gold is coming under pressure due a potential tightening of the Federal Reserve's $85 billion QE-3 program. Now let us be clear, the Federal Reserve has not begun to tapper yet, they are only floating rumors of a tapering. This can be seen by the recent rise in yields in the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note yield. So enough with that, here are three signs to look for that will tell us we should buy gold ETF's again:
1. If the recent low in gold futures (GC) from June 28, 2013 is briefly broken to the downside and then reverses back to the upside on volume. If this occurs it will signal institutional sponsorship and it will most likely be a solid low in place. This could also lead to a W-bottom pattern on the larger time frame which often signals huge upside potential.
2. Next, watch for a major downgrade from Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co or another major firm. Remember, when these giant firms downgrade stocks at lows it is often a sign that they now want to own that equity. Just look their past track records of upgrading and downgrading stocks at extreme highs and lows.
3. Gold is a currency, this is why central banks around the world own it, and this includes the Federal Reserve. So when you start to notice that asset prices are falling despite the easy money policies (money printing) by the central banks around the globe it is a good time to get on board and own some gold. After all, gold cannot be printed out of thin air or by a click of a keyboard like the fiat monetary system that we have today. Why do you think Bitcoin is becoming so popular right now? Bitcoin only has a certain amount available for use unlike fiat currency which can be printed infinitely.
Not posted for quite sometime, a lot has happened, PEA, some great agreements with HQ etc... The price was hammered down with so many of the juniors from 100c to 50c! Back up to 80c and we sit at 68c, 6% down yesterday after more financing announced at 91c vs a 70c price. FMS seem to achieve financing very easily, but we are still potential waiting to be fully realised, although we have a very prudent $246m NPV10 behind us. Pilot plant very soon and then financing and off-takes we hope. Please read my case below, no bad (imo) for a company that listed in 2010.
Last reported cash position 26/11/2012 $17.6m CAD (FRC).
About Focus Graphite:
Focus Graphite Inc. is a Canadian graphite mining and exploration company. They are the owner of Lac Knife, one of the highest grade (16%), large natural flake graphite deposits in the world, located in the CÃ´te Nord region of Quebec. Other mineral exploration projects include the Kwyjibo Rare Earth Elements & Copper Project. Focus hold a 40% stake in Grafoid, a company looking to develop scaleable and affordable Graphene production and Graphene IP, internally and through partnerships. The companies principal aim is to develop one of the lowest cost producers of industrial and technology-grade graphite in the world.
Lac Knife PEA Highlights:
Capital Investment â¬154m, including $33m working capital and $24m contingency (25%)
Payback Period 2.8 years
LOM 20 years
LOM production 928,000 tonnes per year at 92% graphitic carbon
Finished production 46,600 tonnes per year
Positive cash flow $880m
Lac Knife PEA Recommendations:
RPA recommends that Focus advance the Project to the next phase of development, by collecting further data, and conducting metallurgical testwork and relevant studies that allow
for licensing process and estimation of Mineral Reserves. Specific recommendations by area are as follows.
GEOLOGY AND MINERAL RESOURCES
â¢ Conduct a comprehensive review of graphitic carbon analytical methodology in order to resolve the issue highlighted during the 2010/11 twin hole drilling campaign. The review should include the use of certified reference material in laboratory roundrobins in order to select the most appropriate analytical method and to select the laboratory for future drilling campaigns.
â¢ Conduct an exploration drilling program to complete the current drilling grid with focus on the mineralized zones currently classified as Inferred.
â¢ Review the existing exploration targets on the property and test selected targets with a limited drilling program.
â¢ Carry out a geotechnical drill program and initiate geo-mechanical and rock mechanics assessments to confirm appropriate pit wall slopes angle and stability.
â¢ Carry out specific hydrological/hydrogeological studies to refine dewatering needs in the open pit over the LOM.
â¢ Improve the understanding of the mining cost base and carry out a preliminary mining plan and develop a detailed estimate of the mining costs.
The four months since our AGM have been busy months for Focus Graphite Inc.
Weve rebranded as Focus Graphite Inc, embarked on drilling campaigns at both Lac Knife and Kwyjibo and continued work on our PEA. As we head into a busy fall, I want to take this opportunity to update you on our activities.
While everything we are doing is neither visible to shareholders nor reflected in todays market price, our efforts continue the lay the foundation for healthy, long-term shareholder returns.
We are following three broad goals, namely: to de-risk the development of Lac Knife to ensure maximum shareholder return; to deliver a mine-to-market-to-technology strategy, and; to develop Focus Graphite into the #1 graphite company in the world.
When were done, we will achieve that. Focus will be the highest-grade, lowest-cost graphite producer with JV participation in the graphene revolution with globally significant partnerships.
Preliminary Economic Assessment
During the course of this summer events occurred which caused a delay in the release of our Preliminary Economic Assessment, or Scoping Study of our Lac Knife graphite deposit.
This delay was purposeful, and, at the end of the day, will align our production operations with customer demand.
The delay occurred because of a need to re-adjust our previously planned production levels and grades due to changes in elevated customer demand. We are now planning substantially increased production that corresponds with that demand.
These changes caused us to revise our economic projections; provoked new requests for quotations from equipment and services suppliers and caused us to revise facilities and infrastructural planning.
Typically, PEA's are planned with an assumptive margin of error and contingency allowance. Therefore, prudence requires us to be sure our cost information is as accurate as possible. This has caused us to redouble our efforts with our customers to arrive at medium-term market price estimates against the backdrop of current global economic trends.
With recent fluctuations of graphite pricing in the $1,800 per ton range for large flake, it is imperative that we work with all our customers to obtain a better idea of future pricing levels in the years to come.
The revised PEA document should be published within the coming weeks.
Partnering discussions for long term distribution contracts, long term purchase agreements and long term development agreements in addition to project financing and technology development are continuing to take shape as planned.
We expect to be able to announce a number of these agreements during the coming months along with our financing.
99.99% Purity Graphite Production
One of our partners has successfully purified our graphite to the required
battery grade of 99.99%. Purification testing is now underway with two additional potential customers. These advances are significant for our future market positioning as a supplier of technology graphite materials.
Summer Drilling Lac Knife and Kwyjibo
Im pleased to report that weve made great progress and in fact, are ahead of schedule with our summer drilling and exploration program at Lac Knife.
We shall be releasing preliminary reports once assays on the first several holes drilled are returned to us. Some 5,000 meters of infill and 2,500 meters of exploratory drilling is planned for this years campaign.
Our 4,000 drilling campaign at our Kwyjibo rare earths and polymetallic property has began and we look forward to its completion. It will be followed by an NI 43-101 compliant resource calculation.
Grafoid Inc. Scaling Up
Our efforts in proving the scalability of Grafoids graphene manufacturing have been successful. The pilot plant has been operating for some three months now and is producing few layer, that is: bilayer an
Grafoid Inc. and CVD Equipment Corporation Sign Joint IP Development Agreement
Press Release: Grafoid Inc. 24 minutes ago
Grafoid announcing a joint venture relationship with CVD Corporation in the U.S. This is a significant release for Grafoid, partnering it with a well known U.S. company in the graphene space and providing credibility to Grafoid's IP process for extracting graphene directly from graphite.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -08/20/12)- Grafoid Inc. and CVD Equipment Corporation (NASDAQ:CVV) announced today the signing of a Joint Intellectual Property Development Agreement for the development of NanoToMacro catalyst materials. The Companies believe that this collaborative relationship has the potential to speed up the commercialization of graphene and provide additional opportunities for both companies.
"This agreement represents yet another step forward for Grafoid within the graphene community," stated Gary Economo, President and CEO, Grafoid. "Grafoid's scalable mass production process provides us with a long-term business platform for growth and expansion within our industry," Mr. Economo added.
Leonard A. Rosenbaum, President and CEO of CVD Equipment stated, "By combining Grafoid's processing capabilities, understanding of applications/markets and by finding common ground for nano carbon material functionalization, we believe CVD can more efficiently leverage our 30 years of technical know-how in custom equipment design, manufacturing and process development for novel nano materials and their transformation into macro size commercially viable materials."
"These materials," Mr. Rosenbaum added, "will be primarily developed at our Application Laboratory and marketed through our CVD Materials Corporation subsidiary. We believe this Agreement is another way for us to accelerate the commercialization of nano materials to solve tomorrow's problems and we expect to collaborate with other companies and universities on interesting growth opportunities."
Dr. Gordon Chiu, Grafoid Vice President and co-founder said that Grafoid's mesographene, few layer graphene, powders and liquids offer joint venture partners an array of possibilities for exploring potential applications.
"Grafoid is a reliable supplier of high quality graphene and a provider of IP solutions," said Dr. Chiu. "Our relationship with CVD will help identify and solve intellectually challenging problems and our combined expertise in IP development holds great potential as our industry pioneers its way into mainstream market applications."
"Our joint venture concept of combining carbon nanotubes with scalable graphene leverages on Grafoid's existing investments in graphene," Dr. Chiu added.
Dr. Karlheinz Strobl, V.P. of Business Development of CVD Equipment Corporation stated: "The purpose of the agreement is to leverage both company's knowledge of functionalized nano material design, development, manufacturing and the transformation of these materials for use in a broad range of markets and applications. Together we will increase our understanding of novel catalyst solutions for commercially viable NanoToMacro catalyst materials."
About Grafoid Inc.
Grafoid, Inc. is a privately held Canadian corporation investing in graphene applications and economically scalable production processes for meso-graphene and its graphene derivatives from raw, unprocessed, graphite ore.
Focus Graphite, Inc. (FMS.V)(FCSMF)(FKC.F) holds a 40% stake in Grafoid on behalf of its shareholders.
About CVD Equipment Corporation
CVD Equipment Corporation (NASDAQ:CVV) is a designer and manufacturer of custom and standard state-of-the-art equipment used in the development, design and manufacture of advanced electronic components, materials and coatings for research and industrial applications. CVD offers a broad range of chemical vapor deposition, gas control, and other equipment that is used by customers to research, design and manufacture semi
There is not much out there in the market at the moment. Graphene is mostly the preserve of the University researcher/large cap company at the moment. You have companies like GE, Bayer, Canon, Samsung and IBM committing considerable sums in R&D, but Graphene per se cannot really drive their price in any meaningful way, as it is such a small part of their global interests. Small companies are few and far between. CVV on the nasdaq is a consideration, but I have not invested there as they produce Graphene using vapour deposition, which is expensive and I cannot see this method as the future for this material commercially. They have also seen their SP half in approximately in the past year. Another option is PKX on the NYSE, as they recently took a 20% stake in XG Sciences Inc (privately held). But again they are large cap. Other potential companies would be Graftech (holds many patents) or SGL Carbon, these are not specifically Graphene companies, but other graphite/carbon products also. (I do like SGL very much as a long/long). Oxford Instruments are also a very tidy company, but they would be more on the production equipment side (nice graph!) OXIG is the LSE ticker there.
There are new application developments every week (search Google). I believe it will change the world like the silicon chip did, but it is still early days.
For me, the key for Graphene is scaleable and affordable production. No-one it seems has cracked this nut yet, which is why Grafoid Inc. has been an attractive punt to me:
Focus Graphite Inc. holds 40% of the company (which is private), but in all honesty it has been the quality of the Focus Graphite deposit (16% grade ore) that has been the major factor in my investment there. If Grafoid comes off it will be major cake icing tba. If you have an interest in Focus, my recent posting on Stockhouse on potential production costs may be of interest?
The cited FMS PEA is late (should have been end of July) so there will be more concrete confirmation on the economics once that is out. Northern Graphite (2% grade ore) recently published a BFS and the market decimated them. I hope for much better from Focus due to the massive ore grade advantage, but who knows what will happen, as Focus are 100% in high risk junior territory.
As for Grafoid Inc. you cannot invest directly at the moment, only through FMS. They are looking at a private placement within 2 months, so the FMS 40% will be diluted and Grafoid intend to come to Market (AMEX) within approximately 12-18 months, so there will be a chance for direct participation at some time in the future I hope. We are told by Focus Management Grafoid has signed up to 15 NDEs related to their Graphene Production method, but as a private company firm information is hard to come by.
Price has been pretty steady last few months as we wait for an updated NI51-101 from the re-entry of TSB-1 well late in 2011. The re-entry identified considerably higher net pay (+300%) over previous Shell logs for the marginal Tom Shot Bank field (TSB-1 drill) and this is to be incorporated into the updated NI51, with a corresponding expected OIP uplift. The company also has been the recipient of several unsolicited bids and expressions of interest, as yet undisclosed to the market (Sedar mgt discussions). Afren recently completed a successful drill on the EBOK block, next to the Tom Shot Bank field. MIRA management is partly ex MART. Company insiders have also been loading up the truck for months (see Canadian insider ticker MRP).
I received an email from the CEO yesterday, news looks to be on the horizon and i expect some uplift in the SP as a result of increased resources expected in the NI51 and from any subsequent disclosure of any approaches regarding interest in the company:
Read the company NR/presentations for more basic information on the co if you want to do some DD. A good play, but high risk imo. For full disclosure i am useless with short term trading, i'm a fundamental investor with MRP for over 1 year and I hold a 21c average .
Thank you very much for your email.
The updated report has been a very long process but I know it has been a very good one. The January timeline we gave in a press release at the end of the year was misinformed and that date was never discussed internally. However, I am pleased to report we are in the final stages and plan to make some press in the coming days.
Operations have continued as usual and we are well into the planning of TSB3. You are correct in assuming there has been considerable interest in our company since our announcement of engaging First Energy as our advisor . We shall see these become formal once the report is finalized.
From: Mark XXXXXSent: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 6:34 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Business Update
I am a long term holder of Mira Resources stock. I appreciate you are busy but would you please be able to offer any insights regarding an update to the companys business?
-Updated NI51-101, cited as January, obviously I am aware of the report has been held up, but is completion expected any time soon please?
-with reference to the NI51-101, have we been progressing any other operational elements of the development of TSB field please? I am concerned we have lost and continue to lose considerable time (+6 months) waiting for the updated report to be issued, when we could be looking to TSB-3 and further drilling.
-There have been several unsolicited expressions of interest in the company (as pre Sedar Management Discussions). Are there any plans for these details to be communicated to the owners of the company at a point in time please?
I hold and will continue to do so (I intend holding until either production or sale), but I am finding considerable frustration with the lack of news flow at the moment and feel that the general excellent support shown to MRP in the face of a highly volatile market is now just starting to ebb away.
Bingo. Roll on the June (2nd week i'm told) publication of the PEA.
Focus Metals and Hydro-Québecs IREQ Sign Graphite Purification Technology Agreement and Anode Production Agreement for Li-ion Batteries
MONTRÉAL/OTTAWA Focus Metals Inc. (TSX-V: FMS; OTCQX: FCSMF; FSE: FKC) and Hydro-Québecs world-leading research institute, IREQ, today announced the signing of a licensing agreement enabling Focus Metals to develop a graphite purification facility and a graphite anode production facility for lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.
A new, Focus-owned facility will transform first-production graphite sourced from Focus Metals Lac Knife (Québec) high-grade deposit to battery-grade material.
The licensing agreement is in two parts. The first part is related to Focus Metals development of a graphite purification process that brings Lac Knifes processed graphite to 99.95% carbon for use in lithium battery applications. The processing includes spherical shaping as well as thermal and chemical purification. The second part of the agreement provides for the production of anodes for Li-ion batteries.
IREQ will provide technical support and cooperate in future material and processing technology improvements.
Focus Metals President and CEO, Gary Economo, said the new purification and production facilities will be built in Québec and will be owned and managed by Focus Metals. The new purification facility will be designed, subject to positive economic analysis, to produce 15,000 tons of spherical battery-grade flake graphite at peak, by 2015, whereas the anode production facility will be designed to produce up to 5,000 tons of anodes. The exact cost of the facilities and the financing required have yet to be determined.
In exchange for the technology licence, technological support and future processing improvements, IREQ will receive a licensing fee that will be paid in cash over a three-year period, representing less than 10% of the current working capital, as well as a royalty fee based on a percentage of future sales.
This agreement represents a huge and significant milestone for us as we move through pre-development to production of our Lac Knife technology graphite deposit, said Mr. Economo. Moreover, the marriage of Focuss Québec-based, world-class graphite deposit to the Québec-based global leader in processing technologiesespecially in battery anode productionwill leave Focus Metals well-positioned to secure its place as a quality supplier to the fast-growing lithium battery manufacturing sector.
In particular, this agreement reinforces our goal of becoming the lowest-cost technology graphite producer in the world, Mr. Economo added. To have an all-Québec technology agreement with a world leader in graphite anode development and patenting bodes well for our shareholders.
Mr. Economo went on to say that the battery-grade process will be incorporated into the Lac Knife Preliminary Economic Assessment due in June 2012.
Focus Metals is the 100% owner of the Lac Knife deposit, which contains 4.9 million tons of measured and indicated resource grading 16% Carbon as graphite (Cgr) and 3.0 million tons of inferred resource grading 16% Cgr (see NI 43-101-compliant Technical Report on the mineral resource estimate filed on SEDAR), the bulk of which is intended for use in technology applications.
IREQ is recognized globally as a leading technology source for renewable energy solutions.
We believe that the high-grade graphite of the Lac Knife property, associated with our graphite purification and shaping technologies, will yield a quality product for Li-ion battery applications, said Karim Zaghib, Director Energy Storage and Conversion at IREQ.
Hydro-Québecs research institute, IREQ, is a global leader in the development of advanced materials for battery manufacturing and designs cutting-edge processes in its state-of-the-art facilities. IREQ holds more than 100 patent ri
OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -04/11/12)- Focus Metals Inc. (TSX-V: FMS.V - News)(OTCQX: FCSMF.PK - News)(Frankfurt: FKC.F - News) announced today metallurgical testing by SGS Metallurgical Services of its Lac Knife, Quebec graphite property reported the deposit held 46.1% large flake (+48 mesh to +100 mesh); 39% medium flake (+150 mesh to +200 mesh) with an overall global recovery test rate of 85.9%.
Focus Metals President and CEO Gary Economo said that in addition to the 46.1% large flake the balance of available graphite flake (+150 mesh to -200 mesh) can be used for the production of anodes for the high-growth lithium battery manufacturing sector.
Mr. Economo said: "Lac Knife's 16% grade and a large flake concentration of 46% validate our deposit's commercial primacy in an emerging and highly competitive sector, especially when the balance of our resource can be largely dedicated to battery-grade applications."
"As a business, grade and quality are the key elements to Lac Knife's commercial viability. And increasing recoveries by utilizing new processing and purification technologies will provide additional value to actual results," Mr. Economo said. "We will also continue to improve our production circuit design to reflect the processing and production requirements for potential customers."
Mr. Economo said Lac Knife's premium large flake will command premium prices in the graphite market, building additional shareholder value.
Complete results are listed in the table below. Premium large flake graphite is the most in-demand size for use in technology applications and the least available in current markets.
Concentrate Flake size Distribution (%) and TotalCarbon Grade (%C) F21 test
SIZE Distribution(%) Total carbon Grade(%C) 48mesh 16.6 96.1
+65mesh 14.3 95.0
+80mesh 7.0 94.5
+100mesh 8.2 94.1
+150mesh 28.0 92.6
+200mesh 11.0 87.2
-200mesh 14.9 85.2
Note: Carbon Grade is determined by LOI at 1000 degrees C to constant weight. Global carbon recovery in the batch flotation test was 85.9%. Next phase of testing will be in a locked cycle test designed to improve the global recovery and to provide a flow sheet and operating parameters for use in Focus Metals' Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA).
The technical information in this news release has been reviewed by Mr. Tony Brisson, P.Geo., Vice President, Exploration, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
About SGS Metallurgical Services
SGS Metallurgical Services is recognized as the world leader in the development of bankable flow sheets and pilot plant programs. SGS Metallurgical Services was founded over half a century ago. Its metallurgists, hydro-metallurgists and chemical engineers are experienced in all the major physical and chemical separation processes utilized in the recovery of metals and minerals contained in ore bodies around the world.
So the prelim results have 46.1% of the ore into the premium grade category (94-97%). This is good as i attracts a premium price up to $2,500-3,000/t. Note it is not a locked cycle, a locked cycle will increase recoveries. We need to get the 28% medium flake 92.6%, over 94% and need a 0.98% process improvement to achieve this. I believe this will be relatively easy exercise in a locked cycle, with improved processing. I do not think we will get the lower flake fractions in the pr
Not posted for a while but quite a bit has gone on recently. Mostly in the Graphene space.
Focus Metals Inc own 40% of the private co Grafoid Inc (owned by Directors and the scientist Gordon Chiu, although i will be honest and say i have not always been fully happy with the arrangement, as i think 100% should come under ownership of Focus). The Grafoid Inc website has been under development for a while, but is up now.
In my previous posts i introduced Graphene, the changes likely coming from Graphene in technology and advanced polymer and non-polymer materials, medical and military applications are pretty amazing, but it is expensive to produce, so if Grafoid do have IP/process for cheap production (as they advise they do) from Lac Knife ore, then this a major coup.
Grafoid is the lead sponsor at the Graphene 2012 International Conference, which will be the largest European Event in Graphene. To be held in Brussels (Belgium) from 10th until 13th of April 2012. The speakers list is impressive: http://www.grapheneconf.com/GENERAL/speakers.php
As for the mkt cap, we are a touch under $100m (£63m), so in my opinion still cheap. We broke the 80c resistance recently and touched 130c, before a consolidation in the 100-110c range. So we are making progress, but this for me is a 3-5 year plus investment and i'm a year in. If all goes well in both the Graphite & Graphene space this could become a real cash cow for this co, so i may end up holding for longer. Usual financing and excecution risk for a junior, but we are very well funded.
Hot on the heels of the NanoBattery comes another contender for the crown of most astonishing graphene device this week. The latest thing to emerge from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and challenger for the crown, is a graphene based battery that works on ambient heat. The device, which is still to be peer reviewed, works by capturing the thermal energy of ions in solution and converting them into electrical energy. As such it has the potential to provide a virtually never ending supply of electricity from heat sources such as the body, the sun and chemical and mechanical processes.
The battery uses to good effect the fact that ions in aqueous solution move with such a high velocity that several kilojoules per kilogram per degree are contained within their motion. Transforming that thermal and kinetic energy into electricity occurs when the high speed ions collide with the graphene inside the battery. The battery comprises an aqueous solution of copper chloride with a graphene strip stretched across a gold and silver electrodes and works because the high level of conductivity across the graphene makes it easier for the displaced electron to travel through the circuit than to travel through the solution. When the copper ion collides with the graphene strip the electron has two options, combine with the copper or pass through the circuit; the circuit is the easier of these two possibilities and so the current flows.
In theory the power output lasts for as long as their is sufficient heat to raise the temperature of the solution. The output voltage increases with a rise in temperature and with the addition of ultrasound, a result of the increase in the speed of the ions. And so too with an increase in the concentration of the copper chloride solution.
The promise of a never ending supply of electricity would transform the battery market if the teams claims are shown to stand up to scrutiny. It is too early to say whether the battery can produce sufficient power to make the device feasible for everyday use, however the concept looks promising and the Hong Kong team are now engaged in further research to see how the output can be improved.
Focus Metals are a Canadian diversified company that hopes to become the worlds lowest cost graphene source. The companys interests cover the whole spectrum of valuable materials from gold, to graphite and rare earth metals; but most significantly for their graphene ambitions is the acquisition in August 2010 of the Lac Knife graphite project. Purchased for $239,000 from the gold producer Iamgold, the Lac Knife crystalline flake graphite deposit is the corner stone of the companys ambitions.
The Lac Knife graphite deposit is located 35 km south of Fermont, Quebec, and contains a historic non NI43-101 compliant resource (compliance expected by year end 2011) of 8.1 million tonnes grading 16.7% graphite, making it the highest grade graphite resource in the world. Well developed infrastructure, with cheap Quebec electric grid power and transportation links make the mine not only an attractive proposition but also a feasible business. Lac Knife is also close to the towns of Fermont, Wabush and Labrador City that serve as a base for three iron ore mines in the area.
Interestingly enough the mine was once on the wish list of another of the companies tipped for success by Investingraphene. In 2001, Graftech, in partnership with Ballard Power Systems, looked to develop a new fuel cell application and considered the mine at Lac Knife with the intention of exploiting its extremely high grades of graphite. Financial pressures on Ballard and the Chinese dominance of the graphite market and prices caused the venture to be sidelined. Focus Metals happened to be in the right place at the right time, and acquired Lac Knife from IAMGO
1. Graphite. Graphite is used extensively in the operation of nuclear reactors, as it is very heat resistant. Graphite is also something I've been hearing more of a buzz about in the resource sector; Mickey Fulp identified it as potential bubble area in 2012. The only graphite company on my watch list is Focus Metals (FCSMF.PK). Focus operates out of the Labrador Trough, an area I regard as a keystone of sorts because of the abundance of mining companies operating there.
The globes next highest grade, lowest cost, solid supply of graphite
Global graphite consumption has increased from 600,000 tonnes in 2000 to 1.2 million tonnes in 2011 and market watchers forecast demand growth hikes of five to 10 per cent in the years ahead. As anticipation mounts and end-users worldwide from the energy industries to construction and high profile new technologies seek out alternative sources of supply from globally dominant Chinawhich accounts for around 82 per cent of the strategic metal hitting markets todayfew emerging producers are more keenly watched than Quebecs Focus Metals Inc. (TSX-V: FMS) (OTCQX: FCSMF)(FRANKFURT: FKC) (Focus).
As the owner of the worlds highest-grade (16 per cent in situ) technology graphite resource at its Lac Knife project near Fermont, northern Quebeccomprising an NI43-101 compliant 8.1 million tons to date (December 2011) and huge potential for adding to the resource inventory along strike and at depthFocus is taking its flagship project into production. In 24 months, the company will claim pole position as the worlds lowest cost technology grade graphite producer.
We have a large defined resource and even larger potential for growing it, says Gary Economo, President and chief executive.
With the high grade of the graphite content in the ore in the ground well become the lowest cost producer in the world and enable many new high profile applications.
The coming year consists of completing the scoping study well underway, continuing the search for the right offtake partners, permitting and feasibility works (backed by two historically completed feasibility studies) and swiftly into late-2012/early-2013 construction to complete at the 2013 year-end. Furthermore, armed with the large high grade NI43-101 resource, plans to delineate further tonnage, 10 graphite concentrated showing targets within the Lac Knife claim map, a patented processing technology capable of generating 99.99 per cent purified product and interests in Graphoid Inc., an outfit focused on graphene, Focus will rapidly deliver to the global markets the graphite supply they are hungry for.
Leading with Lac Knife
The past 18 months have seen Focus step up from starting out as a junior explorer-developer with a handful of choice northern Quebec claims, to establishing itself as a leader for technology grade graphite. With its scoping study due to wrap up in a couple of months, the team is looking forward to further drilling out in depth the three zones comprising its current NI43-101 and exploring the stack of graphite shows throughout the wider Lac Knife area. Like any keen mine builder aware that mines are monetised as much as they are built by grade and tons, however high, Focus has readied for 2012 development activity by way of financing, completed in December, 2011. Raising approximately one third of the total funding required to take Lac Knife into commercial output, Economo says, is a critical step in seeing through the upcoming work programmes planned.
Part of our strategy was always to de-risk the company by having a good cash position and thats what weve done. The financing will make it a lot easier for us to raise the balance required for the mine and the processing plant and allow us to negotiate from a position of strength, he explains.
The second part of Focus sublime production equation stems from the nature of the material itself. While other graphite players strive to put mines into production at grades of two, four and six per cent, Lac Knifes 16 per cent grade-in-ground is quite something. At two per cent, a company would need to process 48-50 tonnes of ore, making it prohibitively expensive to produce one tonne of 98 per cent material. Comparatively, Focus need process six or seven tonnes of raw ore to obtain that 98 per cent premium productand with an addi
Now that is what i call doing a financing. It rose 10% yesterday to 114c on the back of this.
I should imagine they will take up the 48hr option to increase, but we will see.
Nearly every placing i have ever seen is at a discount, although flow through shares in CA, carry positive tax implications if the funds are used for exploration, so the net premium to closing price was around 10%. Even so a placing at a premium is still new to me.
Hopefully someone is reading and buying in the UK, but i suspect it is only me and the Canadians. TDW didn't even have Focus set up in their system for either ISA or SIPP when i invested, so safe to assume i am the early bird.
I am not sure anyone even reads this stuff i write on Focus? This article summarises the current position pretty well, basically tells you all you need to know. I can only hope a few investors pick this up, as this will be a massive 2012 for Focus and Graphite generally. There is a bubble coming and the bubble is big. Similar to REE of 2010. Many companies will come to market and there will be money to be made. Most will be marginal producers and ultimately will fall. FMS is 16% grade, the highest grade deposit known world wide. 'Grade is king' and FMS will be the one of the companies to see the bubble burst and definately come out the other side.
Graphite: Pencil It In - Richard (Rick) Mills - Ahead of the Herd
As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information
Sometime between 1500 and 1565 a large graphite deposit was discovered in Cumbria, England. Because the graphite was extremely pure and solid it could easily be sawed into sticks. The graphite was actually thought to be a form of lead and called plumbago - Latin for lead ore.
The Borrowable Mine was soon ordered to be put under armed guard by Queen Elizabeth because the lead could be used to line the moulds for making her armies cannonballs. But black marketers managed to smuggle out the graphite for continued use in pencils. Artists from all over the known world quickly learned to appreciate the qualities of Cumbrias graphite but it wasnt until 1795 that Nicholas Conte learned to mix graphite powder with clay and fire it in a furnace to actually make something with the equivalent quality of Borrowables plumbago.
Today graphite (named for the Greek word meaning "to write") is attracting the attention of investors, and for just as good a reason as it once attracted all those artists 500 years ago.
By mass carbon is the fourth most abundant element in the universe (after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen) and its the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust. Carbon is present in all known life forms and is the second (oxygen is first) most abundant element by mass - about 18.5% - in the human body.
Carbon is the stuff of life, it is the foundation, the chemical basis, of every living thing on Earth, yet because of its pervasive familiarity we all take it for granted.
As investors we might want to rethink that.
Allotropes are structural modifications of an element - the allotropes of carbon include:
Diamond - The carbon atoms are bonded together in a tetrahedral lattice arrangement
Fullerenes - The carbon atoms are bonded together in spherical, tubular, or ellipsoidal formations
Graphite - The carbon atoms are bonded together in sheets of a hexagonal lattice
Graphene - A flat two-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms
Graphite has long been used in the aviation, automotive, sports, steel and plastic industries, as well as in the manufacture of bearings and lubricants. Graphite is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, is corrosion and heat resistant and is also strong and light.
Currently, the automotive and steel industries are the largest consumers of graphite and demand across both industries is rising at five percent per annum.
The steel industry uses graphite as liners for ladles and crucibles, they use it in the bricks which line blast furnaces and to increase the carbon content of steel. Graphite has already replaced asbestos in automotive brake linings and pads and is used for gaskets and clutch materials. Sparks plugs are also made incorporating graphite.
But demand for graphite has been rising for other applications as well; Flexible graphite sheets, lithium-ion and vanadium batteries, fuel cells, semi conductors, nuclear, wind and solar power.
Graphoil is flexible graphite sheets and one of the fastest growing graphite markets. Flexible graphite is desirable for compression packing and gaskets, whose ability to seal comes from filling gaps through which fluid might flow.
Flexible graphite products have valuable properties:
Free from creep under constant load
Stable from cryogenic temperatures far below zero to temperatures well above the melting point of most ferrous and non-ferrous metals
Resists a wide range of corrosive materials
Nuclear radiation resistant even when exposed to massive doses of radiation
Fire-safe in the presence of highly volatile fluids and extremely high temperatures
Graphite plays a key role in many current, and future, nuclear reactor desig
The word is starting to get out now on this story. From the blogs and paid specialist resource investor sites to Moneyweek (The UK's best selling financial magazine). The rise is coming and not without cause. This will not be a unjustified bubble based on sentiment, but on the realities of supply/demand and massive investment in graphite and graphene for technology research. The govt recently put £50m into Manchester University for Graphene research.
The companies with a NI43 include FMS & NGC on the venture. NGC 2.9% grade, FMS 16% grade, hence my money is with Focus, grade is king when it comes to miners imo.
There are various other investments pre-NI43 and i think the best one is Cedar Mountain CED, also on the venture. US based (the others are Canadian) with what could be a massive resource at decent grade. I intend to take a position, but need the pop on Focus to buy only out of profits.
Below is the Moneyweek article, Focus Metals (v.FMS) also receive a nice mention.
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