“I’m a strong believer that our futures will be determined by our ability to transfer to battery and sustainable technologies, and that this is one of the biggest investment opportunities of the century.”
The company has built up a portfolio of projects in the USA, Canada and Australia, largely focussed on nickel and cobalt, which it expects to be key components in the trend it identifies.
Central to its development plans at the moment is a C$500,000 capital raise that’s designed to allow the company to take its interest in two projects in Nevada, Lovelock and Treasure Box, up to 85%. That raise in turn will be preceded by a share consolidation, which requires exchange, though not shareholder, approval.
It’s a tough time to be implemented such significant steps, with the coronavirus crisis raging in the world at large, but Mitchell Smith is confident that the quality of the assets and the opportunity they present to the company will win out.
“Our focus is going to be on the Nevada assets in the immediate future,” he says.
“We believe there’s a really strong opportunity to de-risk these projects and unlock value for both Lovelock and Treasure Box.”
Together, they represent a significant landholding and, as such, the plan is to create the first property-wide geological interpretation and model of the ground.
“That will then give us the ability to do an inaugural drill programme,” says Smith.
For investors, that will be the really interesting moment. Historically, these projects have returned grades as high as 14% cobalt and 12% nickel.
“We’d like to be able to test that,” continues Smith.
If the projects live up to their potential, it’s likely to be transformative for Global Energy Metals, especially in the current context.
Because, with coronavirus raging and supply chains increasingly in doubt, a renewed focus has been placed on where metals are sourced from. To be fair, the supply of critical metals into the North American economy had already been a hot-button issue for some time, but now it’s absolutely red-hot.
And in Global Energy Metals’s case the issue is particularly pertinent, since you can count the number of existing North American cobalt projects on one hand. Where is the US going to get its future cobalt supply when international supply lines are in jeopardy? Answer – from the Lovelock and Treasure Box projects owned by Global Energy Metals.
“End users domiciled in North America want to have more of a closed loop when it comes to supply and refinement,” says Smith.
“They don’t want to continue to rely on foreign countries like the DRC and China.”
With that in mind, Global Energy Metals is also keeping its ear to the ground for other projects with the potential to match up to Lovelock and Treasure Box. The company already has a well-defined asset in Australia, called Millennium, which looks to have considerable upside potential. Millennium recently caught the attention of Electric Royalties, who endorsed the project and neighbouring Mount Isa assets through a royalty acquisition that will provide funding to develop the Australian projects.
But you get the feeling now, though, that Smith and his team, including new board appointee Christopher Ecclestone, are looking closer to home.
“We think battery metals are becoming one of the biggest investment trends of the century, and we are building Global Energy Metals to provide our investors with exposure to this trend,” says Smith.
“We’re focussed on the top tier and safest mining jurisdictions, and if electrification is going to come to fruition like I believe it is, you’re going to see massive growth in our sector.”
What’s more, the recent market turmoil has left the shares looking somewhat oversold. Once investors get their eyes out the coronavirus headlights, it seems clear that the old adage that the “trend is your friend” will come to the fore again.
The bounce back for Global Energy Metals could be significant.