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KWG Encouraged by Federal Budget; Delisting From TSX Venture Exchange Completed

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 4:39 PM on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(April 22, 2015) - KWG Resources Inc. (CSE:KWG)(TSX VENTURE:KWG)(FRANKFURT:KW6)(OTCBB:KWGBF) is extremely encouraged by the Federal Budget tabled by Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver on April 21st. It was announced that the federal government will dedicate $23 million over five years from Natural Resources Canada to “stimulate the technological innovation needed to separate and develop rare earth elements and chromite”. As previously reported, KWG is developing a new method of refining chromite ore into ferrochrome by means of natural gas. The company has filed an international patent application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty that will provide it with the right to file patent applications in over 140 countries around the world. The new process could enable KWG to become the lowest cost producer of ferrochrome in the world, so securing Canada’s involvement in a significant global commodity marketplace.

KWG President Frank Smeenk stated, “We are pleased that the federal government recognizes the immense economic opportunity this new process provides for Canada, and that they are investing in further chromite refining research.”

KWG also announces that its common shares will be delisted from the TSX Venture Exchange (the “TSXV“) effective at the close of business on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. The common shares of the Company will continue to trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) under the symbol “KWG“. The delisting was approved by the Company’s Board of Directors.

As described in KWG‘s Press Releases of March 13, 2015 and March 17, 2015, the delisting became necessary for KWG to satisfy its obligations under the option agreement with Bold Ventures Inc. (“Bold“) (TSX VENTURE:BOL) in respect of the Black Horse claims. KWG’s management and Board determined that it was in the best interests of its shareholders to continue to earn an 80% interest in Bold’s interest in the chromite resources comprising the Black Horse claims and a 20% interest in their non-chromite resources and to husband its cash resources by issuing 35,000,000 shares of KWG rather than making a cash payment of $700,000, especially in light of the difficulty in raising equity in the current markets. As the value of the shares being issued was $0.02 per share (reflecting current market prices), that TSXV policies do not permit listed issuers to issue shares at less than $0.05 each in this type of transaction, and that the TSXV would not grant KWG an exemption from the policy, the KWG Board concluded that it was necessary to delist the Company’s shares from the TSXV to continue its option to earn such interest in the Black Horse claims.

KWG’s common shares have been inter-listed for trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange (“CSE“) and TSXV for a number of years. Recently the CSE market facilities were made available to all of Canada’s discount brokerage trading services. It is anticipated that, following the delisting of KWG’s shares from the TSXV, shareholders, investors and brokers will experience no disruption in their ability to trade such shares through the facilities of the CSE and that trading liquidity will not be adversely affected. In addition, such change in trading markets is not expected to affect KWG’s ability to raise capital. Additionally, KWG shares will continue to be traded on the facilities of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the OTC Market in the USA.

About KWG: KWG has a 30% interest in the Big Daddy chromite deposit and the right to earn 80% of the Black Horse chromite where resources are being defined. KWG also owns 100% of Canada Chrome Corporation which has staked claims and conducted a $15 million surveying and soil testing program, originally for the engineering and construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire from Aroland, Ontario. KWG subsequently acquired patent interests, including a method for the direct reduction of chromite to metalized iron and chrome using natural gas. The company has determined that the reduction method can be employed to metalize finely ground chromite which may be recovered from slurry delivered to Aroland in an underground pipeline constructed within the Canada Chrome claims.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward-Looking Information: This news release contains forward-looking information. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that KWG believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding payments to be made under the option agreement with Bold, and the voluntary delisting of KWG’s common shares from the TSXV) constitute forward-looking information. This forward-looking information reflects the current expectations or beliefs of KWG based on information currently available to it. Forward-looking information is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of KWG to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking information, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on KWG. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things: the delisting of KWG’s shares from the TSXV adversely affecting trading liquidity, trading prices or the ability of KWG to raise equity capital on favourable terms or at all. Forward-looking information speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, KWG disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although KWG believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.

Shares issued and outstanding: 812,983,718

KWG Resources Inc.
Bruce Hodgman
416-642-3575
info@kwgresources.com

Uragold Subsidiary, Quebec Quartz, Signs MOU with Dorfner Anzaplan to Evaluate Potential of its High Purity Quartz Deposit

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 9:49 AM on Monday, April 13th, 2015

Montreal, Quebec / April 13 2015 – Uragold Bay Resources Inc. (“Uragold”) (TSX Venture: UBR) is pleased to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between its 100% owned subsidiary Quebec Quartz and Dorfner Anzaplan (Anzaplan) of Hirschau, Germany regarding the development of property specific beneficiation processes for the production of ultra high purity quartz sands (99.99+% SiO2).

This milestone is in accordance with our go forward plan for Q1/Q2 2015 and was predicated by our press release on March 2, 2015 in which we announced “Major Producer Confirms Interest in Purchasing Significant Tonnage of High Purity Quartz From Uragold Quartz Property in Quebec”.

Patrick Levasseur, President and COO of Uragold stated, “ANZAPLAN will allow us to become a vertically integrated supplier of ultra high purity quartz sands. Along with our recent announcement about interest from a major producer in purchasing significant tonnage of our high purity quartz, our collaboration with Anzaplan represents another major milestone in our quartz strategy. We are now even more focused on determining the full potential of our industry leading quartz portfolio.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF ANZAPLAN

The leading consultancy and engineering company in high purity quartz project valuation, ANZAPLAN has a wide range of international clients in the mining, engineering, and production industries. The company’s’ renowned international reputation in the glass and ceramics industry has steadily extended into the high purity market sectors.

ANZAPLAN offers complete process development for high purity quartz, from the first characterisation of high purity quartz, through application tests up to market introduction. Besides laboratory scale equipment, ANZAPLAN provides a local test plant for the production of high purity quartz samples, which allows production of up to 1,000 kg sample quantities. At ANZAPLAN’s test plant, technical samples are produced for customer tests as well as for end-user approval.

THE ULTRA HIGH PURITY QUARTZ MARKET

Ultra High purity quartz sand has become one of today’s key strategic minerals with applications in pharmaceutical and high-tech industries, semiconductors, telecommunication, optics, microelectronics, and solar applications.

The price of ultra high purity quartz can range from $US 2,000 – $US 10,000 per ton (http://www.ssrg.com.sg/quartz/qtztech/), due to the importance of this mineral to almost every industry in the world. The size of the worldwide market specifically for the 99.99% plus purity material is estimated at 70,000 TPA.

GOAL OF QUEBEC QUARTZ TO ACHIEVE UP TO C$7,000/TON

Beneficiation of Quebec Quartz high purity quartz into refined Ultra High Purity products involves several steps, which need to be adapted to minimize the specific impurities of the individual raw quartz feed for end-use applications. As a result, Ultra High Purity Quartz with impurity levels less than 20 ppm (99.99+% SiO2) may be achieved, creating a valuable raw material that commands up to C$7,000/ton.

PURPOSE OF THE MOU

Quebec Quartz will furnish ANZAPLAN with 150 kg of sample material in the form of quartz lumps, in the following size: 120 kg in 40 – 150 mm, and 30 kg in 150-300 mm, from material to be extracted during our Spring 2015 sample program on the Roncevaux Quartz property

ANZAPLAN will complete quartz processing and beneficiation tests and elaborate on the potential for high value applications, including Ultra High Purity Quartz Sands.

About Quebec Quartz

Quebec Quartz, a 100 % wholly owned subsidiary of Uragold, is the largest holder of distinct High Purity Quartz properties in Quebec. Despite the abundance of quartz, very few deposits are suitable for high purity applications.

Our goal is to transform our High Purity Quartz into Ultra High Purity Quartz Sands to generate significantly greater profits and become a leading supplier of Ultra High Purity Quartz.

Quartz from our Roncevaux property successfully passed the rigorous testing protocol of a major silicon metal producer confirming that our material is highly suited for their silicon metal production plant.

About Uragold Bay Resources Inc.

Uragold Bay Resources is a TSX-V listed Gold and High Purity Quartz exploration junior focused on generating free cash flow from mining operations. Our business model is centered on developing mining projects suited for smaller-scale start-up and that could potentially generate high yield returns. Uragold will reach these goals by developing Quebec’s first paleoplacer mine in 50 years, the Beauce Placer Project and, in partnership with Golden Hope Mines, the Bellechasse-Timmins Gold Deposit.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

For further information contact

Bernard J. Tourillon, Chairman and CEO
Patrick Levasseur, President and COO

Tel: (514) 846-3271
www.uragold.com

Garibaldi to drill high-grade zone at La Patilla

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 5:14 PM on Thursday, April 9th, 2015

TSXV: GGI
OTC: GGIFF
Frankfurt: RQM

VANCOUVER, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Garibaldi Resources Corp. (TSX.V: GGI) (the “Company” or “Garibaldi”) is pleased to report that a diamond drill rig has been mobilized to begin a follow-up program at a high-grade gold zone discovered last year at the La Patilla Property in Sinaloa, Mexico.

The final hole of 2014 drilling at the main zone at La Patilla, LP-14, intersected 10.4 g/t Au over 8.5 meters within a broader 30-meter interval grading 3.1 g/t Au at a depth between 11 and 41 meters.

Immediate objectives of this program are as follows:

  • To offset drill intercepts in the area of LP-14 and test for continuity of the high-grade structure along strike;
  • To test for depth extensions to the mineralized structures identified in the previous program;
  • To test the potential of the La Patilla vein system along strike.

Meanwhile, Garibaldi crews continue to stockpile mineralized material at La Patilla for an initial mill feed test at Gainey Capital’s processing facility approximately 40 miles to the southeast.

Steve Regoci, Garibaldi President and CEO, commented: “From Rodadero to La Patilla we continue moving forward on all fronts in Mexico. The La Patilla gold project has a very opportunistic profile with shallow drill targets and potential for near-term exploitation, so we look forward to building shareholder value as we advance these initiatives. In addition, invaluable exploration protocols gained in Mexico will complement the 2015 launch, now underway, of our fully-funded B.C. projects led by the Grizzly in the prolific Sheslay district.”

Corporate Fact Sheet

To view the updated corporate Fact Sheet for Garibaldi Resources, please visit the following URL:

http://www.garibaldiresources.com/i/pdf/GGI_Factsheet.pdf

Qualified Person

Dr. Craig Gibson, Certified Professional Geologist and a director of Garibaldi, is a non-arms-length Qualified Person for the Company’s Mexico projects and the direct manager of the technical programs operated under contract by Prospeccion Y Desorrollo Minera del Norte (ProDeMin). Dr. Gibson has reviewed this news release and approved the contents thereof.

About Garibaldi

Garibaldi Resources Corp. is an active Canadian-based junior exploration company focused on creating shareholder value through discoveries and strategic development of its assets in some of the most prolific mining regions in Mexico and British Columbia.

We seek safe harbor.

GARIBALDI RESOURCES CORP.

Per: “Steve Regoci”

Steve Regoci, President

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider accepts responsibility for the adequacy or the accuracy of this release.

SOURCE Garibaldi Resources Corp.

GARIBALDI RESOURCES CORP., 1150 – 409 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 1T2, Telephone: (604) 488-8851, Web Site: GaribaldiResources.comCopyright CNW Group 2015

Clean Energy Revolution Is Ahead of Schedule

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:16 AM on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

By Noah Smith

The most important piece of news on the energy front isn’t the plunge in oil prices, but the progress that is being made in battery technology. A new study in Nature Climate Change, by Bjorn Nykvist and Mans Nilsson of the Stockholm Environment Institute, shows that electric vehicle batteries have been getting cheaper much faster than expected. From 2007 to 2011, average battery costs for battery-powered electric vehicles fell by about 14 percent a year. For the leading electric vehicle makers, Tesla and Nissan, costs fell by 8 percent a year. This astounding decline puts battery costs right around the level that the International Energy Agency predicted they would reach in 2020. We are six years ahead of the curve. It’s a bit hard to read, but here is the graph from the paper:

battery efficiencyThis puts the electric vehicle industry at a very interesting inflection point. Back in 2011, McKinsey & Co. made a chart showing which kind of vehicle would be the most economical at various prices for gasoline and batteries:

competitive
Looking at this graph, we can see the incredible progress made just since 2011. Battery prices per kilowatt-hour have fallen from about $550 when the graph was made to about $450 now. For Tesla and Nissan, the gray rectangle (which represents current prices) is even farther to the left, to about the $300 range, where the economics really starts to change and battery-powered vehicles become feasible.

QuickTake Batteries

But in the past year, the price of gasoline has fallen as well, and is now in the $2.50 range even in expensive markets. A glut of oil, and a possible thaw in U.S.-Iran relations, have moved the gray rectangle down into the dark blue area where internal combustion engines reign supreme.

Still, if battery prices keep falling, the gray rectangle will keep moving to the left. The Swedish researchers believe that Tesla’s new factories will be able to achieve the 30 percent cost reduction the company promises, simply from economies of scale and incremental improvements in the manufacturing process. That, combined with a rebound in gas prices to the $3 range, would be enough to make battery-powered vehicles an economic alternative to internal combustion vehicles in most regions.

But this isn’t the only piece of good energy news. Investment in renewable energy is powering ahead.

The United Nations Environment Programme recently released a report showing that global investment in renewable energy, which had dipped a bit between 2011 and 2013, rebounded in 2014 to a near all-time high of $270 billion. But the report also notes that since renewable costs — especially solar costs — are falling so fast, the amount of renewable energy capacity added in 2014 was easily an all-time high. China, the U.S. and Japan are leading the way in renewable investment. Renewables went from 8.5 percent to 9.1 percent of global electricity generation just in 2014.

That’s still fairly slow in an absolute sense. Adding 0.6 percentage point a year to the renewable share would mean the point where renewables take half of the electricity market wouldn’t come until after 2080. But as solar costs fall, we can expect that shift to accelerate. In particular, forecasts are for solar to become the cheapest source of energy — at least when the sun is shining — in many parts of the world in the 2020s.

Each of these trends — cheaper batteries and cheaper solar electricity — is good on its own, and on the margin will help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, with all the geopolitical drawbacks and climate harm they entail. But together, the two cost trends will add up to nothing less than a revolution in the way humankind interacts with the planet and powers civilization.

You see, the two trends reinforce each other. Cheaper batteries mean that cars can switch from gasoline to the electrical grid. But currently, much of the grid is powered by coal. With cheap solar replacing coal at a rapid clip, that will be less and less of an issue. As for solar, its main drawback is intermittency. But with battery costs dropping, innovative manufacturers such as Tesla will be able to make cheap batteries for home electricity use, allowing solar power to run your house 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

So instead of thinking of solar and batteries as two independent things, we should think of them as one single unified technology package. Solar-plus-batteries is set to begin a dramatic transformation of human civilization. The transformation has already begun, but will really pick up steam during the next decade. That is great news, because cheap energy powers our economy, and because clean energy will help stop climate change.

Of course, opponents of the renewable revolution continue to downplay these remarkable developments. The takeoff of solar-plus-batteries has only begun to ramp up the exponential curve, and market shares are still small. But it has begun, and it doesn’t look like we’re going back.

To contact the author on this story:
Noah Smith at nsmith150@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor on this story:
James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.net

Source: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-04-08/clean-energy-revolution-is-way-ahead-of-schedule

Avalon Rare Metals (TSX and NYSE MKT: AVL) Offers Investors Exposure to Heavy Rare Earths, Tin and Lithium in their Unique Holdings in Canada

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 11:05 AM on Monday, April 6th, 2015

By Dr. Allen Alper

on 4/5/2015
Avalon Rare Metals (TSX and NYSE MKT: AVL) is currently pursuing three advanced projects that consist of critical raw materials such as heavy rare earths, tin and lithium at several different locations in Canada. Their Nechalacho Project contains exceptional heavy rare earth enrichment. Their East Kemptville Project was North America’s only primary tin producer with a significant unmined resource awaiting renewed production. Separation Rapids is the largest undeveloped petalite deposit in the world, a unique high-purity lithium mineral used in glass-ceramics. 

Don Bubar, President and CEO of Avalon Rare Metals (TSX and NYSE MKT: AVL), took a few minutes to speak with Metals News while visiting the PDAC 2015. He said, “We have a number of things going on. As you know, we have been known mainly as a rare earth story for the last six or seven years. The rare earth market has gone quiet since the big spike we saw in prices in 2010 and 2011. It has also gone quiet in terms of investor interest in Avalon. But we are well positioned to ‘hit the pause button’ until investor interest returns because we have completed our feasibility study and all of the related work at the Nechalacho project site in the Northwest Territories.” 

The pause at Nechalacho allows the company to focus on its two other advanced projects. Said Bubar, “We wanted to redirect our energies to where there is more interest in the underlying commodities and we have two other such projects in our portfolio – our Separation Rapids lithium project in Ontario and our East Kemptville tin project in Nova Scotia. Both of these are advanced projects and both tin and lithium are seeing more market interest than the rare earths are at the present time. So we are diverting our attention to those projects for the time being until we see some renewed interest in rare earths.” 

Nechalacho is still a critical part of the company’s long term plan. Mr. Bubar said, “For Nechalacho, it has always been about the heavy rare earth enrichment of the deposit. As all of your readers know, the more advanced projects like those in California and Australia are dominantly light rare earth deposits. The need in the market for additional supply outside China is for the heavy rare earths, which Nechalacho has always been in a position to offer with its relatively high grade resource. We remain the most advanced heavy rare earth development project outside of China.” 

 

The other projects on which Avalon is focused expose them to the tin and lithium markets which are seeing increasing demand and prices. Said Bubar, “In terms of the other projects, East Kemptville was a producing tin mine in the late 1980’s. It was North America’s only primary tin producer and it only closed down in 1992 because of a collapse in tin prices at the time which was related to the international tin cartel being disbanded, but most of the reserves they identified originally were never mined. Since then, there has been a fundamental change in the tin market. Now the demand is mainly related to a new use in lead-free solders, primarily for electronics applications and now accounts for over 50% of global demand. We have seen steadily rising prices over the last ten years or so and all the analysts are projecting that there is likely to be a deficit in the tin market over the next few years as in the face of diminishing supplies. Lots of people are aware of that. The advantage that East Kemptville has is that, as a brownfields site, it offers a potentially shorter timeline to production. Most of the work to be done is around managing the existing environmental liability that is related to the past operation, then pumping out the pit and building a new mill. If all goes well, we could be in production there in as little as three years which is relatively fast given the timelines that are typically associated with bringing a new greenfields project online. We just published a new economic study – we called it a conceptual redevelopment study – to confirm that there is a sufficiently strong business case to move forward with further work there. The study produced a Capex estimate of about $200 million Canadian.” 

 

The project also benefits from excellent infrastructure. Said Bubar, “There is a paved road and grid electrical power to the site. There is a community about 50 kilometers away that would welcome some new jobs in this economically- depressed part of the province. The study estimated it would generate 187 full-time jobs. Because we haven’t done quite enough metallurgical work to produce a NI 43-101 compliant PEA, investors will have to wait for the next iteration in order to see the details of the economic model. But we did disclose that the project can generate a healthy operating margin with annual revenues forecast to be double annual operating costs. ” 

Mr. Bubar said, “Our next steps are doing definition drilling on the deposit to bring more of the resource from the inferred category to the indicated category and to recover a bulk sample for metallurgical testing and flow-sheet design. There is also lots of room to expand the resource. Right now, our mineral tenure there is held under a special license which is up for renewal right now. Then we have to work through the process to secure full surface tenure from the surface rights owners before we can move into feasibility study work. We anticipate that will happen in 2015. Basically, this is an asset that we have had in the background for ten years, but have not had the opportunity to move forward until now.” 

As the company adds new projects, Avalon still wants to remain on the rare earth stage. Said Bubar, “Avalon still trades primarily as a rare earth company. As we move East Kemptville forward and tin gets more recognition in the marketplace we should see East Kemptville start to contribute to our market valuation. 

Separation Rapids was our original rare metals project, we acquired in 1996 not long after I started running Avalon. 

 

We have held onto it because you have to be opportunistic about bringing industrial minerals projects like these into production. We now see the market is looking for new supply sources of petalite for glasses and ceramics. That is an ideal situation for us as we are the only potential new supplier of size at the moment. The lithium chemical market is also evolving very quickly because of growing demand for rechargeable batteries. The next step is for us to do more sampling for process development work and prove that we can produce high purity lithium minerals and chemicals for these markets. 

Over the 20 years I have been running this Company, We have always offered exposure to a broad range of rare metals and minerals, being ready to supply new demand as it arises. We think this diversification of rare metals assets is a good reason to invest in Avalon.” 

http://avalonraremetals.com/

130 Adelaide St. W, Suite 1901
Toronto, ON M5H 3P5
Tel: (416) 364-4938
Fax: (416) 364-5162
office@avalonraremetals.com

Source: metalsnews.com

CSR Bulletin: Avalon ranked in top half of Corporate Knights’ 2015 Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:03 PM on Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Avalon Rare Metals Inc. is pleased to announce that it has placed 17th in Corporate Knights’ Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada 2015 ranking, from a universe of 187 eligible small and mid-cap organizations in 2015.

Corporate Knights is an award-winning magazine and website that reports on sustainability and corporate social responsibility for a wide readership across Canada and in the US. The Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada ranking was first launched in 2014 in order to examine the sustainability performance of small to mid-cap organizations in Canada. As the magazine explains, “Corporate Knights considers the Future 40 as a kind of farm team that feeds future sustainability leaders into the big leagues of our Best 50 ranking.”

The full ranking can be viewed in Corporate Knights’ 2015 spring edition, released on April 1 online at www.corporateknights.com. The Corporate Knights magazine can be found as an insert in The Globe and Mail and the Washington Post.

Avalon is proud of its commitment to sustainability and has reported annually on its sustainability performance since 2011. Avalon’s most current 2014 Sustainability Report, along with past reports, can be found on the company website here:
www.avalonraremetals.com/sustainability/sustainability_reporting/. The full methodology for this year’s ranking is available from Corporate Knights here: www.corporateknights.com/2015-future-40-methodology/.

Avalon is a leader among junior mineral development companies in adopting best practices to reduce its environmental footprint, protect water resources and engage with local communities. Acting sustainably enhances shareholder value by reducing risk for all stakeholders, saving money, improving community and government relations, aiding in permitting, reducing local opposition to project advancement and optimizing opportunities for individual and community prosperity.

Don Bubar, Avalon’s President and CEO, comments, “This is well-earned recognition for our sustainability team under the leadership Mark Wiseman, VP, Sustainability. We remain committed to best practice in environmental and social responsibility, wherever we operate.”

About Avalon Rare Metals Inc.
Avalon Rare Metals Inc. is a mineral development company focused on rare metal deposits in Canada, with three advanced stage projects. Its 100%-owned Nechalacho Deposit, Thor Lake, NWT is exceptional in its large size and enrichment in the scarce “heavy” rare earth elements, key to enabling advances in clean technology and other growing high-tech applications. Avalon is also advancing its Separation Rapids Lithium Minerals Project, Kenora, ON and its East Kemptville Tin-Indium Project, Yarmouth, NS. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship are corporate cornerstones.

INDUSTRY BULLETIN: CBS ’60 Minutes’ airs segment on rare earths security of supply

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 4:51 PM on Friday, March 27th, 2015

In our ongoing efforts to provide you with broader communications and industry information, this Bulletin brings to your attention a twenty-minute program segment on CBS’ 60 Minutes broadcast on March 22, 2015 entitled “Modern life’s devices under China’s grip?” The video and transcript can be found at:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rare-earth-elements-china-monopoly-60-minutes-lesley-stahl/

The program focuses on the security of supply issue created by China’s virtual monopoly on rare earths production. One of the key points raised is that the US defense technologies increasingly rely on rare earths, putting US national security at risk to supply shortages. The segment closed with a comment on the current financial challenges facing the only current US producer, Molycorp.

However, the program did not make the distinction between the light and heavy rare earth elements and the fact that the heavy rare earth elements such as Dysprosium, Terbium, Europium, Lutetium and Yttrium are even more vulnerable to supply shortages, since neither Molycorp nor Australia’s Lynas Corp. are producing significant quantities of these heavy rare earths. This remains the market opportunity that Avalon Rare Metals intends to serve with its Nechalacho Heavy Rare Earths Project in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Other commentary on this subject provided by Avalon can be found in previous Industry Bulletins “Avalon comments on World Trade Organization ruling on China – rare earths dispute” (April 7, 2014) and “Avalon comments on China abolishing the rare earth export quota system and implementing a new export license process” (January 7, 2015).

About Avalon Rare Metals Inc.

Avalon Rare Metals Inc. is a mineral development company focused on rare metal deposits in Canada, with three advanced stage projects. Its 100%-owned Nechalacho Deposit, Thor Lake, NWT is exceptional in its large size and enrichment in the scarce “heavy” rare earth elements, key to enabling advances in clean technology and other growing high-tech applications. Avalon is also advancing its Separation Rapids Lithium Minerals Project, Kenora, ON and its East Kemptville Tin-Indium Project, Yarmouth, NS. Social responsibility and environmental stewardship are corporate cornerstones.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: KWG Discusses Ring Of Fire & Talks With Noront Resources

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:21 AM on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Welcome to our CEO Interview, a production of AGORACOM in which we speak with small cap executives. With us today is Frank C. Smeenk President & Chief Executive Officer of KWG Resources Inc. Mr. Smeenk discusses recent conversation with Noront Resources after proposed acquisition of Cliffs Chromite was announced.

Hub On AGORACOM / Corporate Website / Watch Interview Now

KWG and Noront to Talk After Proposed Acquisition of Cliffs Chromite Announced

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 3:22 PM on Monday, March 23rd, 2015

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(March 23, 2015) - KWG Resources Inc. (“KWG”) (CSE:KWG)(TSX VENTURE:KWG)(FRANKFURT:KW6)(OTCBB:KWGBF) is pleased to have been invited to talks with Noront Resources Ltd. (“Noront“) when informed this morning of the proposed purchase by Noront of the Ring of Fire assets of Cliffs Quebec Iron Mining ULC.

“This is positive news for us,” said KWG CEO Frank Smeenk. “Noront CEO Al Coutts has invited us to discuss our future plans to develop our properties in partnership with the First Nations. We are delighted with this evolution of the Ring of Fire’s opportunities and are hopeful that our relationship with our Big Daddy joint venture partner will become more constructive and collaborative. We think that the transportation and processing options we have developed can now be pursued in concert with our two governments and the First Nations constituencies to see the mineral assets of both Noront and KWG go into production.”

About KWG: KWG has a 30% interest in the Big Daddy chromite deposit and the right to earn 80% of the Black Horse chromite where resources are being defined. KWG also owns 100% of Canada Chrome Corporation which has staked claims and conducted a $15 million surveying and soil testing program, originally for the engineering and construction of a railroad to the Ring of Fire from Aroland, Ontario. KWG subsequently acquired patent interests, including a method for the direct reduction of chromite to metalized iron and chrome using natural gas. The company has determined that the reduction method can be employed to metalize finely ground chromite which may be recovered from slurry delivered to Aroland in an underground pipeline constructed within the Canada Chrome claims.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

FORWARD -LOOKING INFORMATION

This press release contains forward-looking information which is not comprised of historical facts. Forward-looking information involves risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events, results, performance and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained in this press release relates, but may not be limited to, the occurrence of future discussions between KWG and Noront and any resulting development partnerships.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such forward-looking information include, but are not limited to, a decision by KWG, Noront or both parties not to proceed with future discussions and the decision by KWG, Noront or both parties not to proceed with a development partnership as a result of such discussions, as well as certain other risks set out in the Company’s public documents, including its annual information form dated June 3, 2014, filed under the Company’s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

The forward-looking information in this press release reflects the current expectations, assumptions and/or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. In connection with the forward-looking information contained in this press release, the Company has made assumptions about the benefits of discussions with Norton as well as the benefits of a future development partnership with Noront. The Company has also assumed that no significant events occur outside of the Company’s normal course of business. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking information are reasonable, forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such information due to the inherent uncertainty therein.

Shares issued and outstanding: 778,163,798

KWG Resources Inc.
Bruce Hodgman
Vice-President
416-642-3575
info@kwgresources.com

Modern life’s devices under China’s grip?

Posted by AGORACOM-JC at 8:57 AM on Monday, March 23rd, 2015

From smartphones to cars and defense missiles, modern U.S. life depends on rare earth elements but China dominates the industry

Editor’s Note: In September 2014, while we were working on this story, a Pentagon spokesman emailed us to say:

“The Department of Defense is confident in the ability of the defense industry to remain supplied with all necessary rare earths for U.S. defense acquisition programs. The Department continuously monitors and assesses its raw materials requirements, and if necessary, will again take action to ensure their availability to the defense industrial base.”

That confidence is at odds with the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s Office, which issued a report on July 3, 2014 that concluded:

“DoD [Department of Defense] lacked a comprehensive and reliable process to assess REE supply and demand…. [and] As a result, DoD may not have identified all REEs with expected shortfalls, increasing the risk that those shortfalls will adversely affect critical weapons systems production in the DIB, and overall DoD readiness.”


The following is a script from “Rare Earth Elements” which aired on March 22, 2015. Lesley Stahl is the correspondent. Graham Messick and Kevin Livelli, producers.

What do cars, precision-guided missiles and the television you’re watching right now have in common? They all depend on something called rare earth elements, unusual metals that are sprinkled inside almost every piece of high-tech you can think of. Most people have never heard of them. But we have become so reliant on rare earths that a few years ago, an intense global power struggle broke out over their free flow. The reason is that one country has a virtual monopoly – roughly 90 percent — of the mining, refining and processing of rare earths — China. And in 2010, it used that power to disrupt the world’s supply. It’s especially troubling, because it was the United States that started the rare earth revolution in the first place.

Rare earth elements: Not so rare after all

It all began here at this mine in Mountain Pass, California, an hour west of Las Vegas, when geologists first identified rare earth elements deep in the Mojave Desert. They were considered geological oddities, until the 60s when it was discovered that one of these elements, “europium,” enhanced the color red in TV sets and soon the rare earth industry was born.Constantine Karayannopoulos: Rare earth chemistry is fascinating. There’s so many more things that we could be doing with rare earths.

Constantine Karayannopoulos, chairman of Molycorp, which has owned and operated the Mountain Pass mine for six decades, took us to the heart of the operation.

mountainpass.jpg

Mine in Mountain Pass, California
CBS News

Lesley Stahl: Is this considered a big mine?Constantine Karayannopoulos: In terms of rare earth standards, yes. It’s one of the biggest in the world.

Lesley Stahl: Are we actually walking on rare earth elements right now?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: We’re physically on the ore body.

Lesley Stahl: We are right on it?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: It starts at the top of the mine, then comes down and we’re walking on it and it goes in that direction.

So what are rare earth elements? If you ever took high school chemistry you learned that they’re clumped together at the end of the periodic table…atomic numbers 57 through 71… and they have difficult-to-pronounce Greek or Scandanavian names.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Lanthanum, cerium, neodymium, praseodymium, samarium, terbium…

Some of them are phosphorescent. Erbium amplifies light, and is used in fiber-optic cables. Gadolinium has magnetic properties and is used in MRI machines and X-rays. As for neodymium? You may be carrying some of it in your pocket.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Next time your phone vibrates, think of us because the vibration motor is a small motor that contains a tiny neodymium magnet in it.

Karayannopoulos showed us around a new model home to illustrate that rare earths are making our appliances energy efficient like state-of-the-art refrigerators, touch screen thermostats, energy efficient light bulbs, the air conditioning systems. They’re also in our cars in the form of catalytic converters, sensors and hybrid car batteries.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Hybrids, in particular use a lot more because they contain electric motors that would not function without rare earths.

A Prius has roughly 25 pounds of rare earths. And they’re hidden in plain sight in our every day lives, in our computers and gadgets, even the lights and cameras we used to film this story are chock full of rare earths.

Lesley Stahl: What I’m getting from you is that modern life depends on these elements.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Absolutely.

Despite their name – rare earths are not rare. Small amounts can be found in your backyard. They’re trapped in what looks like ordinary rock.

But there are only a few places on earth with concentrations high enough to mine.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Rare earths normally are found in very, very low concentrations. This is probably running something in the 25 percent grade.

Lesley Stahl: That’s good?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Which is remarkable. To anyone who has ever worked with rare earths, this is a thing of beauty.

But getting the rare earths out of that rock is nasty business requiring toxic acids and lots of water. In fact, the mine was shut down by the state of California in 1998 after radioactive water seeped into the surrounding Mojave Desert from an underground pipe. The mine lay dormant for a decade, giving China an opportunity.

Dan McGroarty: The Chinese made a very conscious decision to enter that industry.

Dan McGroarty was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and today advises the U.S. government on critical materials. When the Molycorp mine closed, he says China was already well on its way to becoming the king of rare earths.

Dan McGroarty: There’s a point at which the lines cross. The United States production declines. Chinese production’s ramping up. Those lines cross somewhere around 1986.

Lesley Stahl: So how did they pull it off? What were the factors that allowed them to basically take this away from us?

Dan McGroarty: Well, the advantage of lower labor costs, would be a place to start. Also, environmentally, very, almost no environmental constraints around mining–safety considerations for the miners doing mining, in huge contrast to the United States. So, that translates directly into lower pricing. And lower pricing can push other people out of the market.

Lesley Stahl: And that’s basically what happened?

Dan McGroarty: That’s basically what happened.

The Chinese also had orders from the top. In a little-noticed speech in 1992, Deng Xiaoping signaled China’s intention to corner the market.

Lesley Stahl: What exactly did he say?

Dan McGroarty: ‘The Middle East has oil. China has rare earths.’

Lesley Stahl: He actually said that, Deng Xiaoping.

Dan McGroarty: Actually said that. I think it’s fair to say, at that point, people in the rest of the world, who had been saying, ‘What are – what is he talking about?’

Lesley Stahl: Just went right over our heads.

Dan McGroarty: I think so.

Lesley Stahl: Did we just not foresee what they foresaw?

Dan McGroarty: It’s extraordinary if they actually foresaw all the uses. Our designers and developers advanced the miniaturized applications for laptops and cell phones while the Chinese were going after the metals and materials out of which these things are actually built.

Lesley Stahl: How did they get the know-how?

Dan McGroarty: An enormous amount of investment. It’s kind of like the Chinese moon shot, the moon program.

China poured billions into the industry, ignoring the consequences. We obtained this video from a freelance cameraman showing the area near Baotou, China’s rare earth capital, where the air, land and water are so saturated with chemical toxins, the Chinese have had to relocate entire villages. This is one of the few places where rare earths are turned into metals, which are then alloyed — or blended — into things like permanent magnets.

Ed Richardson: These are magnets that once you magnetize them, they stay that way.

Ed Richardson, president of the U.S. Magnetic Materials Association, says the most important use of rare earths is in magnets. Only a small amount can produce magnets able to lift a thousand times their weight.

Ed Richardson: This is a cell phone.

He showed us how miniaturized rare earth magnets can be.

Ed Richardson: So I’m going to take it apart layer by layer and we’re going to get to the point where we can actually see the magnets, the rare earth magnets that are inside there.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, let me see this.

Ed Richardson: There’s three little magnets in there.

Lesley Stahl: Oh, one, two, three.

Ed Richardson: Right. If you put the paperclip you can see how it sticks.

Lesley Stahl: And this little tiny thing is the speaker.

Ed Richardson: Right. This is how devices have gotten small, very powerful, because the magnets are so powerful, you don’t have to use much of it.

The U.S. developed this technology, but China bought most of it right out from under us. For instance, in 1995, China bought the biggest American rare earth magnet company, “Magnequench” which was based in Indiana.

Ed Richardson: When they bought the factory, they now had the patents. They now had the equipment. And they actually had some of the Magnequench employees in the United States go to China and teach the people how to make the products.

Lesley Stahl: Did we not understand the strategic importance of keeping that industry here?

Ed Richardson: We didn’t get it and unfortunately the technology was transferred to China before that technology was appreciated. And now, we’re seeing so many, for instance, defense systems that are dependent on it.

Lesley Stahl: Does that make us dependent on China for our defense systems?

Ed Richardson: Oh, we are very dependent on China.

Lesley Stahl: We are dependent on China for our weaponry.

Ed Richardson: Right.

A prime example of that is the new F-35 fighter jet, the most technologically advanced weapons system in history. Each one contains nearly half a ton of rare earths. Former White House Official Dan McGroarty says that’s just for starters.

Dan McGroarty: The guidance systems on weapons system and tomahawk cruise missile, any of the smart bombs have rare earths in them. Lasers. I’d be hard-pressed to name anything that we would consider worth building today and going forward that would not have a rare earth compound in it.

Lesley Stahl: Because of this. Because of the monopoly on rare earths, does China threaten our national security?

Dan McGroarty: Unchecked, yes.

What finally woke up the U.S. government was an incident at sea in 2010. A Chinese fishing trawler rammed a Japanese coast guard ship in a territorial dispute.

The Japanese seized the boat’s captain… and two weeks later, China stopped shipping rare earths to Japan.

Dan McGroarty: The Chinese cut them off. And for 30 to 40 days, the rare earths did not flow to Japan. So it was a real shot across the bow for the Japanese that this is something that you have to be worried with.

It was a wake up call. Finally, 20 years after Deng Xiaoping’s speech, rare earths were on the U.S. radar screen.

[President Obama: This case involves something called rare earth materials…]

President Obama announced a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization against China for creating shortages for foreign buyers and last August the WTO ruled against Beijing.

No one in the Obama administration would talk to us on camera about rare earths and our dependence on China… including the Department of Energy… the Pentagon… or the U.S. trade representative. Even the private sector didn’t want to discuss the problem.

Lesley Stahl: We tried to get interviews with heads of companies that use the magnets and other products coming out of China, and they would not talk to us. Is there fear in high-tech companies that if they say something negative, maybe China won’t sell them what they need?

Dan McGroarty: I think that there is grave concern in these companies, but perhaps not a willingness to talk about that on a street corner.

So what is the U.S. doing to restore the industry here? Out in California, Molycorp was allowed to re-open after it developed new technology that protects the environment. But even when it’s at full capacity, the mine will only produce a fraction of the world’s supply of rare earths.

The Pentagon has begun stockpiling rare earths, and industry is researching new technologies that would replace them.

Lesley Stahl: Do you get any help from the U.S. government? They want to have a rare earth industry here.

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Encouragement, yeah.

Lesley Stahl: Encouragement, that’s it?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: Yeah.

The government is not offering incentives like tax breaks or subsidies that would lure businesses into the market.

Lesley Stahl: What needs to change to bring more of the industry back to the United States?

Constantine Karayannopoulos: First of all, we need to take a long-term view. It took 20 years to lose the dominant position– at least 20 years. And it’s probably going to take us 10, 15 years, if we execute, for some of these supply chains to start coming back.

But trouble is once again looming for the U.S. rare earth industry. Since restarting operations two years ago, Molycorp’s mountain pass mine has yet to turn a profit, and so deeply in debt that just last week, its own auditor warned it may not be able to stay in business.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rare-earth-elements-china-monopoly-60-minutes-lesley-stahl/