Chairman's Message - Fall 2020 / Winter 2021
On behalf of the management and directors, I am pleased to update you on the key milestones completed to date and the goals and objectives for New Age Metals (NAM) for 2020 and beyond.
The company aims to ensure that we are actively communicating with investors and other stakeholders to the best of our abilities, and we want you to know that we are available to hear your questions or concerns. If you would like to call the company to ask questions, the number to best reach us at is our Rockport field office (1-613-659-2773). Alternatively, you can reach us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you in a timely manner.
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In January, the Company announced that it engaged IBK Capital Corp. to assist the Company in evaluating strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value. The Company closed a $2,000,000 financing on February 3, 2020. Eric Sprott, a renowned Canadian junior resource investor, became a strategic shareholder and now owns approximately 9.8% of the Company’s current issued and outstanding shares. Part of the proceeds from this financing are being allocated to the 2020 exploration and development program on our 100% owned River Valley Palladium Project which is focused on following up on recommendations from the 2019 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), see press release dated February 27, 2020 and November 5, 2020 for more information about the three-phase exploration and development program.
In 2019 we were able to complete two major objectives for our River Valley Palladium Project. An updated NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Estimate and our first economic study on the project, a Preliminary Economic Assessment. Management was proud to publish the Project’s first PEA, on August 8, 2019. The study concluded that there is a case for an open pit mining scenario at River Valley with 14 years of mine life with an estimated annual average payable Palladium Equivalent production of 119,000 ounces. Recommendations were made to proceed with project exploration and development activities with the objective of advancing the project on to a Prefeasibility Study.
River Valley Project Overview
NAM’s 2020 plan for River Valley focuses on following-up on the recommendations of the 2019 PEA. Management developed a three-phase exploration and development plan for the year. Phase One consisted of a 1,600 metre, eight-hole drilling program in the Northern Area of the project that successfully expanded the boundaries of the Pine Zone discovery. Phase Two, which started in July, included the recommencement of drill testing further geophysical targets in the Northern area of the project, identified in the 2017/2018 induced polarization surveys. A Winter 2021 drill program will continue to focus on these targets. Furthermore, environmental baseline studies and an archaeological study were initiated during this phase. Results for these programs are expected in the first quarter of 2021.
Phase Three marks the beginning of a rhodium evaluation program which will focus on the northern area of the Project, where initial production would potentially begin as determined in the 2019 PEA Study. This potential metal credit may be significant at current pricing (November 16, 2020 bid price = USD $12,000/oz) and our objective is to complete sufficient re-assaying and metallurgy to prove that rhodium could provide up to 5% of the Project’s payable metal package. In October 2020 approximately 300 samples were collected from our historical drill core and pulps. These samples have been submitted for assay and are expected to be announced before the end of the year. The Mineral Resource Estimation work completed to date shows over 25,000 ounces of rhodium in the Measured plus Indicated resource classification and an additional 20,000 ounces in the Inferred classification. However, the assaying to date is insufficient to allow for a rhodium credit and inclusion as a payable metal in the PEA or further studies
Figure 1: Northwest portion (Northern area) of the River Valley Project with superimposed 2018 merged IP at -100 level. Retrieved from River Valley geophysical review by Geoscience North (Alan King, P. Geo, M.Sc.) Black circles indicate potential drill targets.
We are encouraged about the economics surrounding PGMs as analysts continue to see ongoing deficits being forecasted for Palladium. As of November 16, 2020, the spot price of Palladium is US$2,206/Oz which represents about a 30% increase in the past twelve months. It is important to note that the River Valley Project’s PEA used a Palladium price of US$1,200/oz. The automotive industry is the primary driver of palladium and platinum demand, a consideration that has become more pronounced due to the ever-increasing loadings of these precious metals in ICE vehicles as a result of increasingly strict emissions standards internationally. Platinum and Palladium, outside of their extensive uses in catalytic converters (which reduce toxic gases and pollutants in exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine into less-toxic pollutants by catalyzing a chemical reaction) are precious metals like gold and silver, and as such, are also considered a store of value.
The effects from COVID-19 have been felt worldwide and the mining industry has been no exception. The uncertainty, lost productivity and mounting debt around the world has resulted in soaring precious metal prices. Investors with interest in both the common shares of junior companies with advanced stage projects like River Valley, and those who would purchase the physical metal are beginning to take notice of these changing economic indicators. This is evident from the record inflows of funds into precious metal ETF’s and equities. Recent acquisitions in North America (Impala Platinum’s takeover of North American Palladium, and Sibanye’s takeover of Stillwater) signal that major South African PGM players have interest in diversifying their operations into safer socio-economic jurisdictions, as well as solidifying their long-term belief in PGM’s.
Genesis Platinum Group Metal, Base Metal Project, Alaska
The Genesis PGM PGM-Cu-Ni Project is an under explored, highly prospective multi-prospect drill ready property. On October 8, 2019 the Company announced that the summers exploration efforts had doubled the strike length of prospective mineralization at the Project. The work program contributed to a new total of 23 exploration targets on the project and recommendations for next stages of work include further prospecting, geologic mapping and geochemical sampling followed by prioritization of target areas for future drilling.
In 2020 NAM’s management continued to seek an option/joint-venture partner for this road accessible PGM-Cu-Ni Project using the Prospector Generator business model.. COVID-19 prevented property visits which in turn hindered any finalization of a potential option / joint venture deal. The Company paid for all holding costs in 2020 and the project remains in good standing. The stable land status, ease of access and superb infrastructure make this project prospective for year-around exploration, and development.
Figure 3: Location of the Genesis PGM-Cu-Ni Project, Nelchina Mining District, Alaska.
Exploration Plans for Lithium Division 2020
The Company has eight Lithium and Rare Element Projects in the Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field, located in South East Manitoba and situated around the Tanco Mine. The world-class Tanco Pegmatite is a highly fractionated lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT)–type pegmatite that has historically been mined (Tanco Mine) since 1969 for Li, Ta, Cs, Rb and Be ores. The Tanco Pegmatite is a very rich tantalum and cesium deposit with it being the world's most significant and richest known source of cesium representing more than two-thirds of the world's reserve.
In 2020, the company conducted a follow-up round of surface exploration work on its Lithium One Project to generate future drill targets. This program was co-funded by a grant from Manitoba Chamber of Commerce’s, Manitoba Mineral Development Fund (MMDF). Over 80 samples have been sent to a laboratory in Saskatchewan and results are expected in December. In 2018 samples were taken from the known Silverleaf and Annie pegmatites and not only returned significant Li20 assays of up to 4.1% but heightened levels of Rubidium Oxide (Rb2O).
The Company continues to solicit potential option/joint venture partner(s) to continue the development of its Lithium division.
Figure 3: Map showing the eight Manitoba, 100% owned Lithium and Rare Element Projects.
I would personally like to acknowledge our directors, management team and technical team for their ongoing hard work and dedication to our Company. On behalf of our board of directors, I would like to thank you, our shareholders and interested parties for your continued interest and support.
Chairman & CEO
NEW AGE METALS INC.
Harry Barr, Chairman & CEO
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