As our lithium-dependent energy revolution unfolds, prices soar and supply remains euphorically tight, a savvy newcomer is the first to cast a much wider exploration net over America’s ground-zero lithium state of Nevada, hedging smart geological bets that there’s lithium beyond Clayton Valley.
The lithium space is becoming a frantic game of who can get their hands on the choicest new mining acreage and who can launch new production fastest. And in North America, it’s all going down in the state of Nevada, which is the staging ground for a U.S. lithium boom that will feed the manufacturing beasts for everything from EVs, battery gigafactories, powerwalls and energy storage solutions to the long and growing list of consumer electronics that we use every day.
Lithium demand just for electric vehicles is set to rise by 70,000 tons every time EV market share jumps only 1 percent. And this fails to account for the brilliant launch of Tesla’s Model 3 EV on 31 March, which saw 325,000 advance sales worth $14 million in only one week, definitively bringing the electric car into our mainstream. Considering only the EV market—and ignoring the already steadily rising demand for lithium for consumer electronics and the need for massive power storage solutions—the lithium market could triple by 2025.
All of this has made a previously dusty and unattractive area of Nevada—Clayton Valley—one of the most important and significant places in America. But while everyone’s narrowly focused their attention on Clayton Valley, Nevada’s geothermal footprint tells a story of much greater potential.
This is where Nevada Energy Metals (TSX-V:BFF) could become a great play for the savvy lithium investor. The company has a unique strategy that focuses not only what’s in the obvious Clayton Valley, but what’s “hiding in plain” site elsewhere in Nevada.
“The lithium business is not a flash in the pan; it is here to stay, and I am looking at it like the start of the oil boom in the U.S. when there were oil derricks up to every 50 feet,” industry veteran Malcolm Bell, advisory board member and head of acquisitions for Nevada Energy Metals, told Oilprice.com.
And because Nevada Energy Metals views the lithium game as anything but a “flash in the pan”, it’s changing the structure of the game entirely. In the process, it’s making the lithium playing field in Nevada much more attractive to investors seeking a foothold here. The company has set itself up as a “project generator”—not a one-off explorer in Clayton Valley.
Geology has everything to do with it, and the geothermal footprints are large.
“There are enough locations that have geological similarities to Clayton Valley that are in other parts of Nevada State,” Bells says.
Nevada Energy Metals is all about pure plays in Nevada. No royalties and “no guns to their heads”. It’s about smart management, casting a wider exploration net to stake out future lithium supplies. And it’s about bringing together a brain trust of geologists to get to the bottom of what many believe is a state that contains a lot more lithium than we ever imagined.
This isn’t a one-trick pony—this is the makings of a unique junior exploration company with a number of quality exploration targets to diversify and reduce the inherent risk to investors.
The corporate objectives are a lithium investors’ dream: to reduce risk not only by owning 100 percent of most projects, but by having a diversified portfolio of projects that goes beyond the obvious and taps into more of Nevada’s future potential.
At the end of the day, we’re looking at a well managed company and a loyal following of investors with a mandate to be the primary Nevada project generator, negotiating joint venture partnerships to make all future exploration expenditures. And in the meantime, the company will be able to cherry pick a handful of projects to develop 100 percent in-house. The most poignant way to describe this company is as an incubator of lithium assets backed by a team of veterans who know how to locate and explore targets—as well as how to raise money.
Just for starters, Nevada Energy Metals has four key properties: Clayton Valley BFF-1, Alkali Lake, San Emidio, and Teels Marsh West.
The Clayton Valley BFF-1 Lithium Project is now abutting Albermarle’s (NYSE:ALB) Silver Peak Mine—the only brine-based lithium-producing mine in America. It’s also the area where some other new entrants are clustering, including Pure Energy Minerals. And needless to say, this is also right in the backyard of Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) battery gigafactory and the epicenter of the electric vehicle revolution.
The company’s Alkali Lake 60-40 earn-in agreement with other lithium-hopeful Dajin Resources Corp. (CVE:DJI) is likewise near Silver Peak, 12 kilometers from Albermarle’s solar evaporation ponds and 20 kilometers from Pure Energy’s (CVE:PE) project.
Alkali Lake is one of the big trump cards in the Nevada lithium game. While everyone knows there’s lithium at Silver Peak, Alkali is a highly prospective play just waiting to be tapped into. Geological findings here show two deep-seated—both textbook fault-bounded and enclosed—with the Alkali Hot Springs, which is an active geothermal system. All of this makes for prime lithium hunting ground. And BFF is fully funded to carry out exploration here, having recently closed a CDN$900,000 private placement.
And then we have Teels Marsh West, about 48 miles outside of the Clayton Valley area, where Nevada Energy Metals has staked 100 pacer claims covering an impressive 2,000 acres. And it’s 100 percent wholly-owned, with no royalties. This is another of Nevada’s highly prospective brine-based lithium exploration grounds, tectonically active and bounded by faults.
The company’s portfolio grew further on 26 April, with the expansion of its San Emidio property in the San Emidio Desert by 69 claims to its land position, which now includes an impressive 155 claims. Here, historical results show high lithium value in brine from a depth of 1.5 meters.
Not only is it scooping up property with an eye on becoming a “lithium property fund” with a diversified portfolio of potential lithium targets, it’s also scooping up top management, with Malcolm Bell recently joining the new advisory board, and more experts in various fields to follow, including corporate compliance expert Bill Macdonald and Jeremy Poirier, who brings an impressive track record of capital raising and asset acquisition.
In the meantime, it’s rapidly increasing its exposure to this market audience and is already listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, the OTC Markets (OTC Pink: SSMLF), Blue Skyed, the Frankfurt/Xetra exchange (Frankfurt: A2AFBV).
Nevada Energy Metals is now firmly in the lithium boom spotlight--and it has the exploration experience and funding to see its unique vision through to the end.
The rush to stake out new lithium to feed the unstoppable energy revolution is unfolding on an open playing field, where creative vision could reshape the entire market. Nevada Energy Metals is pinning its big-portfolio/reduced risk strategy on a sure thing: Lithium is here to stay and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger. But it’s also pinning its strategy on some compelling geology, which suggests that we’ve only just begun to tap into Nevada’s “white petroleum”.
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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