Jack Lifton’s Modus Operandi

by Jack Lifton on December 24, 2009 · 9 comments

in Miscellaneous

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I am an analyst of the market fundamentals, and the end uses, and the future trends of the end uses of the technology metals. I estimate the probability of success of a mining venture and report it as the likelihood that it will produce the metal(s) in its deposit(s) economically, and in a time frame that will allow it to be financed by those who expect a return on their investment in a reasonable time. I utilize a comprehensive set of metrics of my own design, which I am considering making available to a wider audience early in 2010.

I am not a stock picker, but I know that some investors will see my probability of success figure as a measure of the value of the venture being analyzed. I actually make my estimates of the probability of success for:

  1. End users making long term strategic plans;
  2. Procurement officers looking to issue off-takes and trying to quantify the risk of non-production;
  3. Institutional investors doing long term mining finance; and
  4. Governmental policy makers.

I am a paid consultant to institutional investors, private investors, and both public and private companies. In the interests of objectivity I do not own shares in any publicly or privately traded company at all, in any sector in which I provide analysis or commentary. I am paid only for my time. I gladly respond to inquiries from national and local governments for advice or help, and I am not always paid even my expenses for trips to Washington, D.C. I prefer to be paid for my travel expenses to conferences where I am only a speaker, but that is not always possible. I therefore chose my speaking engagements carefully.

Above all I want to continue to be a disinterested observer and I place my principles above all. I am trying to give informed advice about the rare metals sector to everyone whose life is impacted directly by what goes on in that sector. This may from time to time offend some who are dedicated to only making money and sometimes feel that they have to bend the truth to uphold their “shareholder value.”

So be it.

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1 Andrew December 24, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Jack,

Good to have someone with integrity and knowledge giving us overview and guidance for a better future for all.

Personally, in an old fashioned way, I try to invest in ideas that will IMO benefit society, in that I would want to live in such a culture. Rare earth minerals, mined in a responsible way, supplying the world green technologies that would help us reduce our use of fossil fuels and have cleaner air, would fall in that category.

Best of the Season and a Progressive New Decade!

2 Elliott December 24, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Jack,
I appreciate that you are providing objective reports and are not advocating stocks. PBS recently had a story about China and its large (95%) share of the Rare Earth market. I decided to look for ‘stocks’ associated with Rare Earth and quickly found that Goldman Sachs has already been there, even mischievous in the Australia situation.

I’m curious, are there ANY public companies that have Rare Earth reserves? From my casual review, they are all private with interlocking relationships.

3 trevor December 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Well said Jack. The Western World owes you for the valuable work you are performing. At last someone with a strategic view. Keep up the good work.

4 Jack Lifton December 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Andrew, Elliott, and Trevor

Thank you for your kind comments and support.

Andrew,

There are, of course, some public companies with significant rare earth resources and reserves. Canada’s Great Western Minerals Group and Avalon Rare Metals have both been in the business of developing rare earth mines for between 5 and 10 years, and are the closest companies to production in the rare earths sector in North America. I personally rate their probability of commercial success as very high (The details of my rating system and an analysis of the rare earth mining opportunities, outside of China, will be published in TJLR beginning in January 2009.) There are currently more than 100 publicly listed mining ventures, all juniors-i.e., not producing-outside of China, and most of them are either in or associated with Canadian owned companies.

There are also the Australian listed companies Lynas and Arafura. Lynas says it is about to commence mining and go forward with the construction of a large refinery in Maylaysia. Arafura is not yet at that stage but is certainly in the tier of listed companies closest to actual production.

I have not yet finished my analysis of comapnies such as Quest Uranium or Rare Element Resources, both are listed companies, both are Canadian owned, and both are looked upon favorably by my colleague, John Kaiser, and the famous stock-picker James Dines.

My first list of rare earth companies for which I am posting a figure for their probability of success as a commercial venture will include all of the public companies mentioned herein. I will have it out by early January.

Thanks again,

Jack Lifton

5 Tim Starns December 24, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Thanks Jack, for an honest, thoughtful, and clear statement of just what it is you do, contrary to what others erroneously perceive. I have found all your consultant writings and public oral presentations to be well thought out and eloquently expressed, honest appraisals of the facts such as they exist. In short, very objective and most professional. I will continue to rely on your observations and assessments.

6 Sander December 24, 2009 at 11:57 pm

Happy holydays.

Jack thanks for all reports you have written so far . Dont worry about skulls witch simply dont get it, that some people may even write and speak about subjects and not get paid for it. Even if some of them finnaly see some light at the end of tunnel, there will be alwys next 10, and it is never ending story.

Sander

7 John Petersen December 25, 2009 at 1:50 am

Since I owned my battery stocks before I started writing about the sector I can’t lay claim to the virginal purity you manage to maintain, but I do try to maintain comparable standards of objectivity. You’re a priceless resource for the REE and alternative energy sectors because you’re not afraid to recognize opportunity or call promoters on their bullshit as circumstances dictate. I’m delighted that you’re willing to work with me to help investors understand that all green gee gaws need a well-built road that starts in the black earth.

8 Vera December 29, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Jack, very well stated! Please keep up the objectivity and good work, look forward to reading more.

9 andriette campbell January 5, 2010 at 1:04 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!

dID THE MOVIE AVATAR USE RARE METALS TO PRODUCE THE FABULOUSE TECHNOLOGY??

IAM THE WOMEN WHO CALLED YOU LAST WEEK,,,,SUCH A PEST I CAN BE…JUST DRIVING AND THINKING AND KNOWING THAT YOU KNOW WHAT ARE THE THOUGHTS RAMBLING AROUND IN MY HEAD AS TO MIVING SELLING SOME STOCKS AND PURCHASING SOME RARE METALS. iB ALREADY HAVE GWG…AVALON AND QUEST…..I WANED TO INVEST SOME DOLLARS FROM A SALE AND I COULD NOT FIGURE WHICH ONE WAS THE BEST…I HAVE STIDIED..BUT OF COURSE IAM NOT YOU ..MY LIFE IS HEALTH AND BEAUTY…THOUGH NOT COSMETIC BEAUTY! sO, I WAS LOOKING FOR A LITTLE NUANCE FROM YOU REGARDING YOUR THOUGHTS …THOUGH I O KNOW THAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO INVOLVED IN TELLING ANYONE WHAT TO DO. UNDERSTANDABLE! i WAS JUST WANTING TO DO THE RIGHT THING..I HAVE READ CJECKED THE LOCATIONS, ETC, ETC. i FOUND THAT QUEST IS BEING REIMBURSED OR RATHER GRANTED SOME TAX BENEFITS OR POSSIBLY REIMBRUSEMENT..I THOUGHT THAT OSUNDED IMPORTANT. bUT ONLY IF THE MINE IUS VIABLE AND HAS THE REE THEY CLAIM TO HAVE. tHEN ONE FINDS OUT THAT PRODUCTION WILL NOT TAKE PLACE FOR FIVE TO TEN YEARS………….IT CAN BE A LITTLE OVERWHELMING. sO, IF YOU HUNG UP ON ME, I UNDERSTAND. bUT WIOULD ATILL LIKE YOUR VIEW ON THE THREE MINES WHICH I HAVE MENTIONED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR KNOWLEDGE, HONESTY AND WONDERFUL OBSERVATIONS!

THANK YOU

SINCERELY.,

ANDRIETTE

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