Co. Applies for Bulk Sample at Rare Tellurium Project
Source: Streetwise Reports
May 23, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) First Tellurium Corp.'s Deer Horn project in British Columbia is known to have the only positive preliminary economic assessment for a tellurium project in North America. It has applied to take a 10,000-tonne bulk sample at the site.
First Tellurium Corp. (FTEL:CSE) is submitting a permit application to the British Columbia Ministry of Mines and Energy to take a 10,000-tonne bulk sample from its flagship Deer Horn project.
First Tellurium has secured a contract with Lorax Environment Services Ltd. to provide services in cooperation with Moose Mountain Technical Services to apply for the permit. Deer Horn is known to have the only positive preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for a tellurium (Te) project in North America.
The stock has been a quarterly pick several times for asset manager Chen Lin, author of the What's Chen Buying? What's Chen Selling? newsletter. In December 2022, Chen wrote that the stock could "have a huge 2023" if the United States supported tellurium mining this year.
The U.S. military is providing US$250 million for critical metals projects, including tellurium, and Canada's federal 2023 budget earmarked CA$1.5 billion for a critical minerals infrastructure fund.
"We will hit the jackpot as FTEL is the only pure play in tellurium," Chen wrote.
To attempt to take advantage of some of the funding, First Tellurium has even registered as a federal lobbyist. Deer Horn was named by First Solar Inc. (FSLR:NYSE) as one of only four world-class Te projects.
"There's a very decent chance tellurium will breakout this year because First Solar is using 60% to 70% of worldwide production to make a solar panel," Chen wrote. "Their production has grown rapidly."
First Solar plans to double its solar panel manufacturing capacity and spend US$1.36 billion to lessen China's dominance of the market, according to S&P Global.
The Catalyst: Deer Horn a Key Tellurium Project
Tellurium's (Te) use as a semiconductor in solar photovoltaic (solar PV) panels has increased.
Recent International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts show that solar PV technology will generate more power by 2027 than any other source. Te and silver (Ag), also in demand for solar PV, are abundant at Deer Horn.
The market for Te is expected to grow by about 60 metric tons from 2020 to 2024, according to research by Technavio.
"Factors such as increasing urban population, rise in disposable income, strong supply chain, and high internet penetration are driving the growth of the global consumer electronics market," the research firm said in a release. "The increase in demand for consumer electronics will, in turn, drive the demand for tellurium over the forecast period."
Deer Horn was noted as a key tellurium project in a U.S. geological report on critical minerals in the country, the company said.
"The Deer Horn intermediate-sulfidation epithermal deposit in west-central British Columbia, Canada, contains high gold and silver grades with abundant base metal sulfides and telluride minerals," the report stated.
Massive Shortage of Tellurium Looming
One of the least common elements on the planet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, most rocks contain an average of about three parts per billion Te, making it eight times less abundant than gold. In addition to solar panels and thermoelectric applications, it's also used in lithium batteries and is used for vulcanizing rubber, tinting glass, and manufacturing rewritable CDs and DVDs.
Both the U.S. and Canada are trying to reduce dependence on China for such critical metals. U.S. President Joe Biden has banned solar panels coming from a Chinese company that uses forced labor.
First Tellurium Chairman Tony Fogarassy attended OECD's 2023 Forum on Responsible Mineral Supply Chains in Paris as part of First Tellurium's outreach on critical minerals.
"We know there's a looming, massive shortage of critical minerals needed for batteries, electric vehicles, solar power - any technology related to climate change and carbon reduction," Fogarassy said. "Canada is seen as a prime future supplier of critical minerals due to its stable political and economic structure, and also its world-leading knowledge about exploration and mining."
Company Looks to Confirm, Enlarge Zone Extension
Deer Horn's PEA was calculated on 450 meters of a 2.4-kilometer gold-silver-tellurium vein system. Sampling in 2022 identified a possible 1.1-kilometer extension of the system, the company has said.
First Tellurium is drilling this year to confirm and enlarge the zone extension and to conduct infill drilling to expand the current resource.
The company will also test new targets and do mapping and aerial surveys of the 5,133-hectare property, which features more than tellurium, according to President and Chief Executive Officer Tyrone Docherty.
"Our Deer Horn project also contains significant showings of silver and copper, both essential green metals, along with the critical metals bismuth and tungsten," he said.
In addition, the company's Klondike Tellurium Project in Colorado is considered America's top Te exploration project and was previously owned by First Solar as a potential source of raw Te for its solar panels, Docherty said. [OWNERSHIP_CHART-10739]
In March, technical analyst Clive Maund rated First Tellurium as an immediate Buy.
Ownership and Share Structure
According to the company, 11% of First Tellurium is owned by management and insiders.
Docherty owns 10.6% or 7.7 million shares, Director Josef Anthony Steve Fogarassy has 1.38% or 1 million shares, and Director Lyle Allen Schwabe has 0.73% or 0.53 million shares. There are no institutional investors, and the rest is retail.
The company has a market cap of CA$10.34 million, with about 73 million shares outstanding and 63.4 million free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.25 and CA$0.085.
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