The Evolving Specialty Metals Landscape                           Richard Karn       Managing Editor, The Emerging Trends ...
What is the fundamental difference   between these elements?
GEOLOGY FOR LIBERAL ARTISTS            elements having a higher atomic number than            iron (Z>26) cannot be formed...
Planetesimals were formed out of dust and ice particles;  consequently, planets were built up by collisions of planetesima...
Various transportation and concentration mechanisms over countless cyclescreate accumulations of these elements in compoun...
Source: USGS
Specialty Metals Experiencing        Supply Threat
48 Specialty Metals Experiencing Supply Threat              (number of threats)Sovereign Risk Scarcity No Substitute By-pr...
Specialty Metal Demand Drivers Endless pursuit of higher quality, ever more efficient devices at ever  lower prices Tech...
Ruthenium HDD example                                           HDD Capacity Growth                                     (N...
Global Transition from Sulphides to Laterites              Nickel Laterite and Sulphide Global Resources and Production (2...
New Nickel (Ni) Laterite Processing Technology with potential to:     Render low grade nickel deposits economic     Impr...
Technology Basics In physics, the higher the frequency of microwave energy, the shorter the  wavelength and the higher th...
Corroboration by Professor Pickles (2005)                        (being replicated by ANSTO today)Source: Challenges in Ex...
Q&AFor more information on these subjects, please contact me directly or                                visit:            ...
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Building a Portfolio in Strategic Metals by Richard Karn, The Emerging Trends Report

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This was presented at Mines and Money Australia (www.minesandmoney.com/australia) in October 2012.

Building a portfolio in strategic metals – How market forces are creating opportunities across the periodic table

Identifying key metals with growing demand and supply-side constraints
How resource nationalism and bureaucratic red tape are threatening Western supply chains
Why Australia’s unique geology affords it the opportunity to become a leading supplier of strategic metals
Key picks for the strategic metals and projects to watch–and why

Richard Karn,
Managing Director,
The Emerging Trends Report

Published in: Business
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Building a Portfolio in Strategic Metals by Richard Karn, The Emerging Trends Report

  1. 1. The Evolving Specialty Metals Landscape Richard Karn Managing Editor, The Emerging Trends Report Pty Ltd (ABN: 59149144963) MD & Exec Director, Strategic Specialty Metals Pty Ltd (ABN:29149028188) CEO, Scandium Developments International Pty Ltd (ABN: 71121053736) Mines & Money, October 2012
  2. 2. What is the fundamental difference between these elements?
  3. 3. GEOLOGY FOR LIBERAL ARTISTS elements having a higher atomic number than iron (Z>26) cannot be formed by nuclear fusion processes in stars created by neutron or proton absorption of already existing bigger nuclei & occur exclusively in massive stars during the end of their life cycle a supernova explosion both creates these elements and distributes them through space as ash in an interstellar cloud solar system formed by condensation, contraction and subsequent collapse of an interstellar cloud > 99% of the matter of the solar system was concentrated in the sun the rest is contained in planets, meteorites and comets
  4. 4. Planetesimals were formed out of dust and ice particles; consequently, planets were built up by collisions of planetesimals.The material remaining outside the sun has undergone one or more of the followingprocesses: oxidation, accretion, melting, segregation, and fractional crystallisation.
  5. 5. Various transportation and concentration mechanisms over countless cyclescreate accumulations of these elements in compounds that sometimes areeconomic to mine—most are notThe probability of elements > 26 forming then, is low--as is their relativeabundance
  6. 6. Source: USGS
  7. 7. Specialty Metals Experiencing Supply Threat
  8. 8. 48 Specialty Metals Experiencing Supply Threat (number of threats)Sovereign Risk Scarcity No Substitute By-product Dissipative Use antimony (5) beryllium (3) bismuth (3) cobalt (3) fluorspar (2) gallium (3) germanium (3) graphite (3) hafnium (2) indium (3) lithium (2) magnesia (3)manganese (2) molybdenum (2) niobium (4) 6 PGMs (5) 15 REEs (4) rhenium (3) scandium (3) selenium (4) silicon (2) silver (3) tantalum (2) tellurium (4) tin (3) titanium (2) tungsten (3) vanadium (2) zirconium (3) 8
  9. 9. Specialty Metal Demand Drivers Endless pursuit of higher quality, ever more efficient devices at ever lower prices Technology-enabled explosion in material science R&D Unique performance characteristics in tech alloys Limited substitution + trace amounts used = price inelastic Scarcity or byproduct sourcing = supply inelastic Many have dissipative uses because there are no recycling protocols Specialty metal demand trajectory is discovery-driven and largely independent of GDP (unlike oil, base metals, lumber etc) …cycle back to top and repeat—faster. www.emergingtrendsreport.com
  10. 10. Ruthenium HDD example HDD Capacity Growth (Note that the vertical axis is logarithmic, so the ‘fit’ to reflect growth in HDD capacity reflects exponential growth. ) The Great Stabilizer: - 3G and 4G super alloys (Ni, Co, V, W, Mo + Re/Ru) - perpendicular bit stacking HDDs - solar/artificial photosynthesis - nano-lattice for targeted drug delivery
  11. 11. Global Transition from Sulphides to Laterites Nickel Laterite and Sulphide Global Resources and Production (2006 & 2011) 27% 42% 56% 73% 58% 44% Total Resources Production 2006 Production 2011 Laterites Sulphides Source: Inco, Cru Analysis October 2006, AME Group Nickel Market Report 2012  Resource constraints driving move to Laterites: Sulphide deposits in decline  Laterites are currently more expensive to process than Sulphides  Australia has a myriad of low grade Ni (laterite) deposits: Micro Nickel renders them economic 11
  12. 12. New Nickel (Ni) Laterite Processing Technology with potential to:  Render low grade nickel deposits economic  Improve economics of existing nickel laterite operations (HPAL/ Heap Leach) Robust Economics: Dramatically reduced CAPEX & OPEX 3 Revenue Streams:  Produce and market nickel concentrate directly to smelters  Potential to turn dirt (low grade Ni-Co) into economic nickel deposits  Royalty stream from retrofitted HPAL plants Small environmental footprint with no emissions Patent protection in major jurisdictions, including USA and Australia Proof of concept demonstrated at ANSTO (2012) and Queenstown Univ (2005) 12
  13. 13. Technology Basics In physics, the higher the frequency of microwave energy, the shorter the wavelength and the higher the energy density process uses millmeter wave energy to selectively heat and break the oxygen bonds joining Ni & Co to the Fe matrix in laterite ore Aided by a reductant, process converts metallic oxides of Ni & Co to metals The process to convert metallic oxides to metals requires < 1 minute <5% of laterite ore responds, resulting in low energy consumption Ni & Co metals recovered via magnetic separation and sold as concentrate Recovery of >95% of contained nickel expected Gangue material is largely unresponsive & consumes little/no energy No wet chemistry, no re-agents & reduced emissions Small footprint, no tailings storage facilities & immediate remediation 13
  14. 14. Corroboration by Professor Pickles (2005) (being replicated by ANSTO today)Source: Challenges in Extraction & Production 2005 14
  15. 15. Q&AFor more information on these subjects, please contact me directly or visit: www.emergingtrendsreport.com www.s-d-i.net Thank You
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