TMR produces independent market intelligence and analysis on the rare earths, graphite and other critical and strategic materials. We provide research management, due-diligence and advisory services to public and private companies, institutional investors, government agencies and other market-intelligence firms. We focus on the challenges and opportunities associated with these materials.

A Visit To The Alabama Graphite Coosa Project

by Gareth Hatch on February 15, 2016 · 1 comment

in Graphite, Site Visits, USA

In October 2015 I paid a visit to the Coosa graphite project in the USA, being developed by Alabama Graphite Corp. (TSX.V:ALP, OTCQX:ABGPF) in Coosa County, Alabama.

Located in a past-producing region of the state known as the Alabama Graphite Belt, the Coosa project is approximately 50 miles south-southeast of Birmingham and 20 miles north of Montgomery. The project is also 30 miles northeast of the Bama Mine project, also owned by Alabama Graphite Corp (AGC).

20 miles to the northeast, AGC has its field office and core storage facility in Sylacauga, which I also had the chance to visit. Sylacauga is home to the world's largest marble quarry, and the source of the pure, white marble used in the construction of many famous buildings and memorials in the USA, including the US Supreme Court building, the US Capitol rotunda and the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

I was hosted during my visit by Don Baxter, President & CEO of AGC, Rick Keevil, VP for Project Development and Jesse Edmondson, Project Geologist for Coosa and also Director of Community Relations.

Per the October 2015 NI 43-101 guided mineral-resource estimate for the Coosa deposit, at a 1% graphitic carbon (Cg) cut-off grade, 78.5 megatonnes (Mt) of the resource is at the Indicated level @ 2.39% Cg and 79.4 Mt is at the Inferred level @ 2.56% Cg. This results in an estimated 3.9 Mt of Cg present in the mineral resource at Coosa. The resource estimate was based on the results of 109 drill holes totaling 7,900 m (25,900 feet) and 9 trenches totaling 1,150 m (3,800 feet).

Graphite development companies typically report on the distribution of flakes sizes in their graphite deposits. Metallurgical results announced by the company in May 2015, and subsequently reported in the PEA report indicate that approximately 25-30% of the graphite present at Coosa is in the form of large flakes (+80 mesh or >180 μm). However, as we will see later in this article, AGC's intended approach to production potentially negates the need for significant quantities of large-flake graphite to be present in the deposit, since the company's plan is to process graphite across the range of flake sizes, into higher-value engineered graphite products.

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I recently updated the TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index, to reflect project updates since the last edition. The effective date of the latest edition is November 19, 2015. The specifics:

  • On October 6, 2015, Hastings Technology Metals Limited (ASX:HAS) (formerly Hastings Rare Metals Limited) announced an updated JORC-guided mineral-resource estimate for the Yangibana project in Australia. According to the associated news release, 8.1 Mt of the resource is at the Indicated level @ 1.07% TREO and 4.2 Mt is at the Inferred level @ 1.07% TREO, both without a cut-off grade.
  • On October 8, 2015, Crossland Strategic Metals Limited (ASX:CUX) announced that its previous joint-venture partner in the Charley Creek project in Australia, Pancontinental Uranium Corporation (TSX.V:PUC), has sold its stake in the project to a private Australian company 100% owned by EMMCO Mining Sdn Bhd, a private Malaysian company.
  • On October 12, 2015, Hastings Rare Metals Limited (ASX:HAS) announced a name change to Hastings Technology Metals Limited.
  • On October 16, 2015, the Thorium Foundation announced completion of the acquisition of the Steenkampskraal project in South Africa, formerly owned by Great Western Minerals Group Ltd. (TSX.V:GWG) before being transferred to the Douglas Trust.
  • On October 30, 2015, Arafura Resources Limited (ASX:ARU) announced an updated JORC-guided mineral-resource estimate for the Nolans project in Australia. According to the associated news release, 4.9 Mt of the resource is at the Measured level @ 3.2% TREO, 30.0 Mt is at the Indicated level @ 2.7% TREO, and 21 Mt is at the Inferred level @ 2.3% TREO, each at a cut-off grade of 1% TREO.

The Index currently consists of 58 rare-earth mineral resources, associated with 53 advanced rare-earth projects and 49 companies, located in 35 regions within 16 countries.

I have also updated the pricing used in the Index data, to reflect the average monthly prices for October 2015. The underlying pricing data used are copyright © 2015 Argus Media Group, with all rights reserved and used with permission under license. You can access the updated details via the Index page.

One final note - the easy-to-remember shortcut for accessing the Index is www.RareEarths.org.

Disclosure: at the time of writing, Gareth Hatch holds no shares or stock options in any of the companies mentioned in this article, or in any publicly traded rare-earth company, nor is he doing paid consulting for any such company.

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September 2015 Updates To The TMR Advanced Graphite Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch September 23, 2015

I recently updated the TMR Advanced Graphite Projects Index, to reflect two new and two updated mineral-resource estimates, announced since the last update. The effective date of the updates is September 22, 2015. The specifics: On March 17, 2015, Graphite One Resources Inc. (TSX.V:GPH) announced an updated NI 43-101-guided resource estimate for its Graphite Creek [...]

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August 2015 Updates To The TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch September 21, 2015

I recently updated the TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index, to reflect project updates since the last edition. The effective date of the latest edition is September 10, 2015. The specifics: Per a recent report from PWC, acting as the court-appointed monitor for the Sale or Investor Solicitation Process for Great Western Minerals Group Ltd (TSX.V:GWG), [...]

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July 2015 Updates To The TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch August 3, 2015

I recently updated the TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index, to reflect project updates since the last edition. The effective date of the latest edition is August 2, 2015. The specifics: On May 11, 2015, Ucore Rare Metals Inc. (TSX.V:UCU) announced an updated NI 43-101-guided mineral-resource estimate for the Bokan-Dotson Ridge project in the USA. According [...]

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March 2015 Updates To The TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch April 6, 2015

I recently updated the TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index, to reflect project updates since the last edition. The effective date of the latest edition is April 2, 2015. The specifics: In November 2014, Mineração Serra Verde, a subsidiary of Mining Ventures Brasil, completed a pre-feasibility study for the Serra Verde project in Brazil, which included [...]

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December 2014 Updates To The TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch January 21, 2015

I recently updated the TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index, to reflect project updates since the last edition. The effective date of the latest edition is January 21, 2015. The specifics: On December 17, 2014, Tantalus Rare Earths AG (F:TAE) announced an updated NI 43-101-guided mineral-resource estimate for the Tantalus project in Madagascar. According to the [...]

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January 2015 Updates To The TMR Advanced Graphite Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch January 18, 2015

I recently updated the TMR Advanced Graphite Projects Index, to reflect three new and two updated mineral-resource estimates, announced since the last update. The effective date of the updates is January 15, 2015. The specifics: On October 17, 2014, Sovereign Metals Limited (ASX:SVM) announced a maiden JORC-guided resource estimate for its Duwi graphite project in [...]

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China Has Not Relinquished Control Of Its Rare-Earth Exports

by Gareth Hatch January 6, 2015

Usually around this time of year I would have already posted an update on the export quotas issued by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) to rare-earth element (REE) producers in China.

Not so this year.

The twice yearly announcements on the specifics of the allocations were always met with a degree of interest that far outweighed their real importance. It was the illusory nature of the export quotas and the complete misreading of the 2010 quota allocations, by entities outside of China, that led to the completely unnecessary, yet unfortunately destructive run up (and subsequent crash) in prices for these materials in 2010 and 2011.

On December 31, 2014 MOFCOM announced that dozens of products previously subject to export quotas would instead now be subject to an export licensing regime. Perhaps the fact that REEs can be found cheek to jowl alongside live cattle, frozen meat, tungsten, sand, motorcycles and paraffin, to name but a few of the commodities listed, will finally correct the notion that some folks have of REEs as unique, precious snowflakes in the grand scheme of nefarious Chinese strategy. Or perhaps not...

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November 2014 Updates To The TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index

by Gareth Hatch December 7, 2014

I recently updated the TMR Advanced Rare-Earth Projects Index, to reflect project updates since the last edition. The effective date of the latest edition is December 5, 2014. The specifics: On October 10, 2014, Rare Element Resources Ltd. (TSX:RES, MKT:REE) shared details of the NI 43-101-compliant mineral-resource estimate for the Bear Lodge project in the [...]

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