"I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe." - Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Lithium and Graphite miners begin to shine as Rockwood gets bought for 6.2B and Tesla announces it's "Giga Factory" for Lithium batteries

  Why we own Focus Graphite Shares

Focus Graphite has been one of our core holdings in the emerging electric car market and for graphene development. Here are 10 reasons why we bought into this Canadian junior.

1. Holds two properties containing strategically and economically important minerals
graphite and neodymium – needed for green initiatives, and; for European and U.S. national and
industrial security.

2. Economics: The Lac Knife graphite deposit holds the highest concentration of flake graphite in the world at 16%. And their positive Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA, Oct ‘12) outlined robust economics: mine life of 20 years, $3.7 billion total net revenue, $926 million pre-tax undiscounted cash
flow, a 32% pre-tax IRR with a $246 million pre-tax NPV at a 10% discount rate. Lac Knife is anticipated
to go in production in early 2015

3. Supply conditions favor Focus Graphite. China controls the global market with over 70% of worldwide graphite production and with the United States producing no graphite, security of supply is critical.

 Super Capacitors printed on Graphene
4. Market applications favour the company. Future demand will be driven by green technology initiatives
in the Carbon Age - lithium batteries, electronics - and advanced technology-grade graphite applications and products and the discovery of the "miracle material" graphene!

5. The numbers tell the story. Current world production of graphite is approximately 1.2mt of which 40% is
flake graphite.

 To meet future estimated demand, some 25 new mines would be required by 2020.

6. Strategic implications will dictate future development. The U.S. and Europe are vulnerable to
graphite and neodymium shortages. Both the E.U. and the U.S. Government have designated graphite
as a critical mineral.

7. The Kwyjibo REE property has a strategic partner in the Government of Quebec through SOQUEM, a wholly–owned subsidiary of Investissement Quebec which is responsible for fostering economic development and job creation in Quebec.

8. The discovery of graphene will change the way we work, live and play in the future. At one atom thick, it is the strongest material known to science. It conducts electricity better than copper, is transparent, can be shaped to suit any form and can be modified to suit different industrial end-uses.

9. Graphene is most economical to produce from high quality, natural flake graphite such as that found at Lac Knife

 Graphene - the “new silicon” - provides limitless commercial opportunities through Focus Graphite’s
investment in Grafoid Inc. as a 40% partner
. Grafoid invests in, manages, and co-develops application solutions from economically scalable graphene.

10. Focus Graphite is positioned perfectly for long-term growth with the right resources, the right management and the right strategic partners as evidenced in its JV with Hydro-Quebec as technology partner in graphite purification and anode production.


Ed note:  We have been high on Graphite as a crucial material of the future of lithium batteries for some time now and also hold positions in several other Graphite companies including Graftech Intl, Flinders Resources. Mason Graphite, RB Energy and Lomiko Metals.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Death of Long Term Thinking

A "Tongue in Cheek" article by Motley Fool Analyst and contributor, Morgan Housel

 Long-Term Thinking: 1800-2013
By Morgan Housel

Long-Term Thinking died last year. His last true friend, Vanguard founder Jack Bogle, was at his side. He was 213 years old.

Long-Term Thinking lived an illustrious life that began at the start of the Industrial Revolution, when for the first time, people could think about more than their next meal. But poor incentives and the rise of 24/7 media chipped away at his health. The final blow came when a trader on CNBC warned that a 10% market pullback -- which has occurred on average every 11 months over the last century -- could be "devastating" for investors. "That's it," Long-Term Thinking whispered from his hospital bed. "There's no more room for me here." He died shortly thereafter as Bloomberg published its daily tally of how much the net worth of the world's billionaires had changed in the previous 24 hours.

Long-Term Thinking endured the Great Depression, world wars, and spiking interest rates in the 1980s. But the last five years proved too much, as he fought for relevance with cable news, Twitter, and derivatives. He was hospitalized in May 2010 after pundits lost their collective minds over a "flash crash" that made a few stock prices freeze up for 17 minutes. "Computers froze for 17 minutes and they literally think American industry vanished," Long-Term Thinking told his psychiatrist. "These people are insane."

Fifty years ago, the average stock was held for more than eight years, according to LPL Financial. By 2010, the average stock was owned for five days. Fifteen years ago, S&P 500 companies spent more than 40% of available cash flow on capital investments. That fell to just over 25% by 2007, with the difference going mostly to share buybacks, likely to boost option-based compensation. "Our culture has an endemic problem of short-term thinking," Long-Term said in his final speech in November. "Years have become months, months have become days, days have become milliseconds, and milliseconds have become careers. However much you think you're winning in the short run, you're losing in the long run."

Long-Term frequently blamed media. Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street Week went off the air the same year Mad Money, Jim Cramer's daily investment show, debuted. The number of important financial events hasn't changed since Rukeyser could cover a whole week's news in an hour -- just the amount of drivel, gossip, nonsense, and hyperbole. It was too much for Long-Term Thinking to handle. Once the bastion of rational thought, he became the laughingstock of the financial world, repeatedly teased for his indifference to candlestick charts and the 50-day moving average.

Some mourned his passing. Peter Burton, a hedge fund manager from Greenwich, Conn., said, "It's sad to see him go. Everyone in my field knows he was right. With our own money, we think years out in the future. But with clients' money, I have three months to be correct, or I'm out of a job." Shaking his head, he continued: "The dirtiest secret in finance is that few of us are incentivized to do what's right. Your pension fund, your 401(k), and your kids' college funds probably have a time horizon measured in decades. But you pay me based on how I perform against my peers every 90 days. It's such a joke."

In lieu of flowers, his family asks that you turn off CNBC and stop checking your brokerage account.

Friday, January 17, 2014

IBC Advanced Alloys poised for tremendous growth!

It has been years if at all since I have noticed a microcap company, indeed, a penny stock, that has as much potential and upside as IBC Advanced Alloys does.  I certainly cannot remember any, and that's saying something.

IBC's website states that: "IBC Advanced Alloys is a leading rare metals advanced alloys developer and manufacturer, for the global market, with a focus on specialty copper alloys and high performance beryllium aluminum castings. IBC's engineered solutions are essential for high technology products used in a broad range of market sectors including nuclear power, automotive, oil and gas, electronics and aerospace. Complementing our alloy manufacturing operations are R&D initiatives focused on enhancing and supporting IBC's growing US manufacturing base." 

When searching for good prospects in the penny stock area, one normally encounters many frontier type miners with no production, no income and no cash, with big dreams for a single mining claim. IBC is a different animal completely.

Many things differentiate this microcap from it's peers, not the least of which is a patented process of producing a proprietary Beryllium Alloy called "Beralcast"(c). At this writing IBC is working with Lockheed Martin Corp, in the production of the most advanced fighter jet in history, the F-35 Lightening II
which was recently the subject of an attempted theft of technology by Iran.

Beralcast(c) is a casted alloy, which is not duplicated by any other company at present.  It is proprietary property of IBC Advanced Alloys, and one of the reasons IBC recently (2013) gained the top engineering designation of  AS9100 Certification for the Aerospace industry.

 I believe that, if IBC signs with Lockheed Martin to provide Beralcast Alloys for the F35 stealth fighter, the share price will pop around 500% on the first day. Of course, that hinges on the signing of a contract.

That, my friends, is only one of the "irons in the fire" on the drawing board at IBC. Their alloys are also to be used in the nuclear industry to make nuclear fuel safer to use. Recently they presented at the American nuclear top fuels conference.

IBC also recently signed an MOU with Global Nuclear Fuels America and Ceramic Tubular Products to Advance Nuclear Fuel Initiatives.  See: MOU 

Another frontier for IBC Advanced Alloys Corp is in the Injection Moulding market where Beralcast Mouldings are "The ideal material for mold cores and cavities and one that has both excellent thermal conductivity and high hardness". 

 Although IBC is still currently a penny stock, listed on the TSX Venture exchange under the symbol IB and on the OTC market in the U.S. under the symbol IAALF, it won't be very long before growth forces this under the radar stock onto the Nasdaq exchange as IBC's four production facilities are all located in the USA. I suggest you get in before that happens, for obvious reasons.

If you don't already have IBC in your penny stock portfolio, then you are just not paying attention!

Wishing you great investing success.


Here are some more recent headlines for IBC.
IBC Advances Aerospace credentials

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lomiko Metals Partners with Graphene Labs

December 12, 2013

The collaboration between Lomiko Metals (LMR-TSX.V) and Graphene Labs is like a gold miner partnering with the world's most innovative jeweler. 

On December 4, 2013 Lomiko and Graphene Labs took delivery of a prototype graphene supercapacitor built with proprietary technology developed at Graphene Labs. 

A report from Stony Brook University and New York State's Center for Advanced Sensor Technology stated that the specific capacitance of the prototype was an eye-popping 500 Farad per gram.

The exceptional quality of the Reduced Graphene Oxide electrodes expands the operating voltage window, allowing the stored energy density of the supercapacitor to be increased.

The prototype utilizes the highly conductive graphite converted to graphene produced from Lomiko's Quatre Milles Graphite Project in Quebec - thereby paving the way for future commercialization efforts.

The properties of graphene, including its high conductivity, mechanical strength, and high specific surface area, make it an ideal electrode material for electrochemical devices used such as supercapacitors and next-generation Li-ion batteries.

Graphene Laboratories specializes in the manufacture and sale of research materials to R&D markets. The company is working towards industrial-scale production of graphene and graphene-like materials, currently with pilot-scale production capabilities.

Graphene Labs has spun out a new company Graphene 3D Laboratories, focusing on the development of high-performance graphene-enhanced materials for 3D Printing.

3D Printing is a billion dollar manufacturing technology that allows products with different components such as printed electronic circuits, sensors or batteries to be manufactured.

A surgeon on a battlefield can now print himself a new scalpel. The technology is so radical that journalists who witness it often burst out laughing as though it were the world's best party trick.High quality graphite is the base material for producing graphene. Lomiko is the exclusive provider of graphite to Graphene 3D Labs. 

"The graphite industry is a lot like the Canadian logging industry," explains Lomiko CEO Paul Gill in an exclusive interview with Tech Venture News, "Few players are interested in adding value along the production chain. We are conditioned to sending raw logs overseas. Lomiko has a valuable product coming out of the ground and we think we can add value by making strategic partnerships with private technology companies. With 9,000 graphene based patents pending, this is a big market which we are in a position to service."
Graphene Labs' proprietary technology mixes graphene with polymers. It is inexpensive, scalable, applicable to 3D printable materials and other nanomaterials.
Lomiko's Quatre Milles East Graphite Property is road accessible and is located approximately 175 km northwest of Montreal and 17 km due north of the village of Sainte-Veronique, Quebec. The property consists of 28 contiguous claims totaling approximately 1,600 hectares.
The property was originally staked and explored by Graphicor in the summer of 1989 based on the results of a regional helicopter-borne EM survey. Graphicor's historical drill program indicated a near-surface, road-accessible target.

"Multiple drill holes with significant results bodes well for the concept of a near-surface, open pit scenario," stated Gill, "The impurities in the graphite add conductivity increasing their utility in the graphene technology space."
"We anticipate graphene-enabled materials to revolutionize 3D printing," states Dr. Elena Polyakova, CEO of Graphene Labs, "There will be strong demand from airspace, automotive, semi-conductor and advanced manufacturing industries."
Lomiko currently owns 15% of Graphene Labs. It may increase that position pending the achievement of further technological milestones.
"We are in the middle of a perfect storm," states Gill, "The Graphene technology space is exploding. And inside there is a potentially disruptive invention called 3-D printing. There is great synergy for us as a resource company and a downstream technology investor."

Lomiko Metals is currently trading at .06 with a market cap of $4.9 million.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Who will be the worlds lowest cost Graphite producer?

Mason Graphite Making Case for Being World's Lowest Cost Graphite Producer

SOURCE: — Since the recent shutdown of last producing graphite mine in Canada (the TIMCAL graphite mine), the country's mining sector is gearing up to see who the next producer will be. With a direct capital cost requirement of only $89.9 million, Mason Graphite's [TSX.V: LLG] Lac Gueret Graphite Project is looking to be not only Canada's next producer, but one of the world's lowest cost producers as well. 

Rated highest in resource grade (including 22 years of production at 27.4% Cgr), Mason has a distinct advantage over its peers when it comes to production costs. Lac Gueret is slated for an annual production rate of 50,000 tons per year, but those tons are going to be the lowest cost in Canada, and possibly the world. 

Thanks to the highest ultra-high overall grade in the world of 20.40% Cg (compared to Canada's current 2nd highest grade held by Focus Graphite [TSX.V: FMS], Mason is given the benefit of a very low startup cost as well as a decently high internal rate of return (33.7%). 

Given the graphite market's unique demands, beyond just the grade buyers are looking for high-purity values as well. Synthetic graphite is known to have the highest purity in the world, but the costs to produce it are sky high. Mason has already proven in testing that they can run their flake graphite through a purification process that will bring their supply up to 99.9% purity (synthetic levels) for a quarter of the cost.

Unlike most other mineable commodities, graphite is not an openly traded mineral. Because of this, producers must foster special relationships with direct buyers. Not every buyer will look for the same product, hence the producer must find a specific fit for each buyer's tastes. Mason Graphite's management team brings over five decades of experience, complete with many years of valuable client relationships.
Going forward there is a market for 100% of mined graphite material in all forms. Mason, like many of its peers, is currently in the process of conducting a market study to identify all potential end-users in every potential marketplace.

Being next in line is more important than ever, given global leader China's dwindling production numbers—China currently produces 70% of the world's supply. Now, the world's increasing appetite for graphite-based end products is growing at a steady rate with no real end in sight.

Thanks to graphite's integral role in the making of rechargeable batteries used in consumer electronics and the growing market for electric and hybrid cars, demand for the commodity is set to continue growing. A surge in the use of lithium batteries translates to an even larger increase in graphite demand, as each li-ion battery uses between 20-30 times more graphite than lithium. 

Global demand for the flake form of graphite already doubled between 2000-2010. Within the battery market alone, demand for graphite is expected to rise from 125,000 tons in 2010 to 320,000-640,000 tons in 2020 (for an astounding growth rate of 10-18%).

On top of this growth is the progress regarding a new form of graphite called graphene, which is a derivative only one atom thick and is drawing interest across the globe for its unique characteristics.

 Discovered only a few years ago, graphene's lighter-than-plastic and 200-times-stronger-than-steel nature made it the darling of the scientific community, netting its discoverers with a Nobel Prize in 2010.

Now graphene's application is being developed all over the globe, including for the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin which used it for a filter that can distill ocean water to be drinkable with limited power. It's believed to be 1000 times more conductive than copper, giving it the possible capability of delivering an electric car over 1000kms on one battery charge. And a graphene-based battery not only lasts longer, but can recharge faster and many more times over. 

As miraculous as it sounds, there's still a large learning curve to go for graphene. Despite having over 9000 patents filed for its use, graphene is still not commercially in the market. However, looking at its rise in interest, one could liken graphene's current status to the impact silicon's development made in ushering in the technology revolution. 

We're still many years away from graphene being in the hands of the common man, but with a projected mine life for Mason ahead with 22 years at 27.4% Cg there could absolutely be some significant overlap when the graphene revolution takes hold.

But even without graphene on the market, Mason's operations still look to be highly profitable. According to a calculation done by TD Securities, a 20% grade of graphite in the ground is worth the equivalent of 9g/t gold—using the conservative $1,750/ton price, which is likely to be more with the rate that China is waning. Mason will be far above that grade for its first 22 years and will remain above it for the life of the mine. It's one of the main reasons that Mason is able to shuffle past pre-feasibility, as any price over $1,100 pretty much removes the need.

In comparison, the recently shutdown TimCal mine had an average grade of 6% Cg. As well, Mason's deposit is an outcrop at surface that runs constant, requiring far less waste. TimCal's strip ratio was 3-4 times that at Mason's Lac Gueret. If TimCal could produce for as long as it did under those conditions, than the time is right for Lac Gueret.


At the helm for Mason Graphite is CEO Benoit Gascon, who spent 20 years with the outfit that is now TimCal (formerly "StratMin"). During the last 6 years of his tenure, Gascon was put in charge as CEO to turn the operation around. Prior to that it wasn't doing well, mostly because graphite prices weren't as healthy as they are today.
Under his charge, the operation was turned around. Gascon removed the middle man (ie. the reseller of graphite). Though the resellers were doing a fine job, the move was to establish better communication with the buyers themselves to find out what they required to be produced.

This shifted Gascon around the world and back to meet with the company's hundreds of buyers. The result was a change in the company's methods of production from four to 50 distinct types of graphite. This increase in diversity significantly helped ramp up the company's revenue. Through the process he developed personal rapport with many of the world's graphite buyers, many of whom are still in business today. 

Gascon was also instrumental in orchestrating the deal that saw Imerys SA fully acquire StratMin to form TimCal Graphite & Carbon. Mason represents Gascon's official return to the graphite world, along with a team that includes his former CFO from StratMin and a series of metal and mining powerhouses that flanks him. But more importantly, Gascon comes with a Rolodex stacked with graphite contacts primed for when Mason starts producing. 

Mason's Lac Gueret has about as good a chance as any company looking to become Canada's next graphite producer. It's led by a team of experienced graphite and mining men, and requires probably the least amount of capital to get into production. 

The operation resides in the friendly mining district of Quebec, and the property contains much of the needed infrastructure to get things really rolling. Construction is set to take place throughout 2015, with production coming in the fourth quarter of that year.

On first glance, its 50,000 tons per year don't appear to be that large. However, given the production costs, once in production it will be an extremely profitable mine. Given its low capex, short turnaround time, and ultra-high grade deposits, Lac Gueret is one of the lowest risk graphite projects on the scene.
In the near future, look for the company to announce the filing of its environmental base line study. This news will pretty much launch the permitting process for Lac Gueret. Permitting is almost always the most serious aspect of a mine's development, and it's never easy. However, the property comes without nearby residents, and resides in a very friendly jurisdiction.
Raising the money for the mine shouldn't be a problem given the company's backing. Mason Graphite has the support of high profile individuals such as Jim Rogers and Larry King, and more importantly the support of the Forbes Manhattan Group.
Next on deck for the group should be the release of a resource publication expected for later this month. Should the result be good news, look to the resource announcement to be the next catalyst for this group as they start the drum beat towards graphite production.