A Power-Play on Lithium & Rare Earths as 2024 Approaches

Green-energy metals explorer Monumental Energy Corp. (TSX-V: MNRG)(OTC: MNMRF) — formerly Monumental Minerals and currently trading undiscovered around C$0.05 per share — has announced a strategic investment in New Zealand Energy Corp. (TSX-V: NZ)(OTC: NZERF).

Monumental Energy has now closed on its acquisition of 1,000,000 common shares of NZ at a price of C$0.38 per share for a total subscription price of C$380,000 representing approximately 12.92% of the total issued and outstanding shares of NZ.

New Zealand Energy is making preparations, including permitting, to drill its Tariki-5 gas well at the Tariki Field located on New Zealand’s North Island in the Taranaki Basin — New Zealand’s only commercial oil and gas producing area. As a result of the transaction, Monumental now maintains a significant interest in any potential upside from the project.

A Power-Play on Lithium & Rare Earths as 2024 Approaches

Monumental Energy interim CEO Michelle DeCecco commented on the strategic investment into New Zealand Energy via press release:

“Monumental's investment into NZ is driven by a growth plan that includes strategic alternatives that focus on sustainable, clean energy, analogous to our lithium projects. With an imminent strategy to explore, drill and produce gas into a fully operational production facility, taking a position in NZ was an exceptional opportunity for Monumental Energy.”

As alluded to, Monumental Energy’s flagship projects are the Salar de Laguna Blanca and Salar de Turi lithium brine projects in Chile and the Jemi HREE (Heavy Rare Earth Element) project in Coahuila State, Mexico.

Check out our latest free research reports for in depth analysis on specific market trends. View Reports

The Laguna and Turi projects are situated within the Chile portion of South America’s prolific Lithium Triangle, which is estimated to contain more than half of the world’s lithium supply beneath the many salt flats, or “salars,” that are common to the region. 

At the 75%-owned, 5,200-hectare Laguna project, Monumental has reported favorable lithium grades and ratios. Those grades are from a follow-up shallow brine sampling program across seven auger holes (see below), which produced lithium values up to 405 milligrams per liter — consistent with samples previously collected by Lithium Chile Inc., which holds the other 25%.

Importantly, the ratios of lithium to magnesium within the samples — which ranged from 2.5:1 to 1.8:1 — came in considerably higher than other known projects in the Lithium Triangle. 

Those highly favorable ratios could prove beneficial to any future potential processing from the project as low magnesium brines are widely considered more desirable as the geochemical behavior of magnesium ions can interfere with the lithium purification process. 

Additionally, Monumental holds an option to acquire a 50% interest in the Salar de Turi lithium brine project — where permits and drill locations have already been selected — also from Lithium Chile Inc.

And finally, Monumental Energy is simultaneously advancing its Jemi HREE project in Coahuila State, Mexico, just south of the Texas border, where phase-one drilling has been completed.

The company reports that the recently completed drill program at Jemi was the first in the area with all drill holes targeting prospective areas based on surface geochemistry and 3D aeromagnetic geophysics. Interpretation of the drill results, including assays and core logging, show that Jemi continues to be a highly prospective target for rare earth elements.

Check out our premium publications for more trading recommendations and exclusive coverage on the markets. View Publications

Getting back to lithium, the aptly-named “white petroleum” is the primary metal used in lithium-ion batteries for EVs. Hence, it should be duly noted that the HREEs Monumental Energy is seeking to develop at Jemi are used primarily in the production of high-performance magnets for EVs. 

The US government recently identified lithium and select rare earth elements as “critical metals” as part of a broad strategy to mitigate America’s overreliance on these metals from sources deemed unstable and politically unfriendly — most notably China. 

To that end, President Biden has announced incentives for domestic lithium and REE producers to develop downstream processing and refining of REEs and lithium. Additionally, a bipartisan US Senate bill has passed, making it illegal for US Defense contractors to procure REEs from China, which controls the supply of rare earth metals to the tune of about 85%. 

While still very early-stage, Monumental Energy — with its multiple lithium brine projects in Chile and its Jemi HREE project in Mexico — is positioned to play a potentially significant role in lithium and REE stability and sustainability in the Americas.

Our own Gerardo Del Real of Junior Resource Monthly caught up with Monumental Energy founder Max Sali to go over the New Zealand Energy transaction, plus a look ahead to potential phase-one drilling at the company’s two Chile-based lithium projects in 2024. Please enjoy! 

For more on Monumental Energy, be sure to contact the company’s IR department at 604-367-8117 or via email at info@monumental.energy. Visit the Monumental Energy corporate website and sign up to receive updates directly from the company here

Yours in profits,

Mike Fagan

Mike Fagan
Editor, Resource Stock Digest

Click here to see more from Monumental Energy