Monumental Minerals Corp.
TSX-V: MNRL | OTC: MNMRF
Seizing Control of the Rare Earth Metals Sector from a Rogue Chinese Government
There’s a massive commodity shortage looming for metals critical to our national security…
…and it’s being driven by rogue governments around the world — particularly China!
These metals — which reside on the periodic table with hard-to-pronounce names — are essential to the manufacture of everything from microchips and smartphones to EVs and critical defense technologies.
And that includes America’s fleet of 82 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines!
These vital technologies require specialty metals mostly controlled by the Chinese government called Rare Earth Elements — or REEs for short.
Because of China’s stranglehold on the world’s production of REEs — to the tune of about 85% — there’s a huge financial incentive for the North American mining industry to discover and develop rare earths deposits outside of China that can feed that dire shortage.
The problem is… these types of deposits are extraordinarily “rare” on North American soil.
In fact, to-date, there’s only been a very small handful of rare earths discoveries made anywhere close to where you’re likely standing right now… the most prominent being MP Materials’ Mountain Pass project in southern California.
And that means a massive price-spike in rare earth metals is coming… just like what we saw in 2010 as China’s wanton control and manipulation of the rare earths market reached the mainstream news media resulting in a historic upward run.
Back then, share prices of the very few North American mining companies that had rare earth mineral exploration projects under development went through the roof — some in excess of 1,000%.
That same scenario may be about to unfold again!
We’ve uncovered a newly-listed Canadian mineral exploration firm — currently trading below C$0.50 per share — that’s gained control of the fully-permitted and drill-ready Jemi Heavy Rare Earth Element (HREE) project in Coahuila State, Mexico.
Monumental Minerals: Unlocking the Value of HREEs for the North American Market
Demand for rare earth minerals is set to explode with an estimated Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.8% reaching more than US$19.8 billion by 2026.
That level of demand growth coupled with almost zero North American production is a growing national security concern that Monumental Minerals (TSX-V: MNRL)(OTC: MNMRF) could potentially help solve.
Quickly out of the gate, the company has secured a 100%-interest in the Jemi HREE Project located in Coahuila State, Mexico… just a stone’s throw from the south Texas border.
The project has exposure to known occurrences of several rare earth minerals across thousands of acres of permitted land within a trending mineral belt that contains rare earth elements.
To-date at Jemi, heavy rare earth element mineralized alkaline dykes have been discovered along the margins of an intrusive zone ranging up to 5 meters in width.
Best of all, the project is fully-permitted and drill-ready… which means speculators can expect a steady stream of news flow with which to potentially move the needle higher — starting now!
The Flagship: Jemi HREE Project, Mexico
The 8,800-acre road-accessible Jemi Heavy Rare Earth Element (HREE) Project is located in northern Coahuila State, Mexico, approximately 30 miles south of the south Texas border.
Monumental acquired the property in-full from Discovery Silver (TSX-V: DSV) — whose expertise is on silver exploration projects and not rare earths — in September 2021.
Discovery Silver holds a 10% shareholder interest in Monumental, which is a huge bonus to MNRL/MNMRF shareholders as Discovery will maintain significant skin-in-the-game as the Jemi project progresses under the stewardship of the Monumental team.
Geologically speaking, the Jemi HREE Project lies within the Eastern Mexican Alkaline Province — a northwest-trending belt of Laramide-age intrusions of Cretaceous-age sediments that contain HREE.
That’s a geologic mouthful to be sure! So… we had our own Gerardo Del Real of Junior Resource Monthly sit down with Monumental Minerals CEO Dr. Jamil Sader and founder Max Sali to go over the project details in layman’s terms. That interview is coming right up!
Yet, before we get to that — know this:
Exploration to-date at Jemi has delineated two primary HREE occurrences; one at the Veladora North target area and the other 5 km to the south at the Dyke target area.
Those successes — which have come in the very early exploration stages with less than 5% of the property evaluated for REEs — point to Jemi’s vast exploration upside as well as the timeliness of the opportunity at-hand.
Most importantly, the Jemi project is fully-permitted and drill-ready, which should greatly speed up the time required to get the drills turning.
The present distribution of HREE occurrences at Jemi suggests an association with alkaline intrusive dykes and contact metamorphic zones representing a possible 15-km-long REE underexplored prospective strike length within the project’s boundaries.
The project also has geologic similarities to several well-known resource and development-stage North American mineral projects, including Bokan (Alaska), Kipawa (Quebec), Strange Lake (Quebec), and Nechalacho (Northwest Territories).
An Abundance of Heavy Rare Earths Elements (HREEs)
An important characteristic of the Jemi HREE Project is its heavy rare earth minerals signature, which includes a combination of dysprosium and terbium — among other rare earth elements.
Compared to the light rare earth minerals — such as what MP Materials is mining in the California desert — these heavies are some of the most critical to our defense sector and, henceforth, our national security. They’re also used in the production of high-performance magnets for EVs.
In fact, dysprosium currently resides on the US Department of Defense’s strategic metals stockpile list. And with over 95% of this critical element coming from China — and with almost zero North American production — Monumental’s Jemi project could quickly be elevated as a critical North American future potential source.
Take a look at Jemi’s emerging HREE signature below, and then ask yourself the question: What happens to America’s critical defense infrastructure if China decides to shut down the entire HREE supply chain?
Dysprosium (Dy): A heavy rare earth element characterized by a bright silver-metallic appearance with advanced applications in the control rods for nuclear reactors, high-performance magnets for EVs, lasers, hard disks, and wind turbines.
According to the US Department of Energy, expected uses along with the absence of any immediately appropriate substitute make dysprosium the single most critical element for emerging clean energy technologies.
Terbium (Tb): Also a soft silvery metal, terbium has advanced applications in electronic consumer devices, x-ray technology, and high-efficiency lighting sources.
And similar to dysprosium, terbium is also a key element in the manufacture of high-performance magnets for EVs.
Hence, the answer to the above question is clear: America must take immediate steps to mitigate its overreliance on China for its supply of rare earth elements —particularly the heavies such as dysprosium and terbium.
Salar de Laguna Blanca Lithium Project, Chile
On 9 March 2022, Monumental Minerals entered into an LOI with Lithium Chile, Inc. to acquire up to 75% of the 12,850-acre Salar de Laguna Blanca lithium-brine project, Chile.
The pending acquisition complements the company’s flagship Jemi project as both projects are focused on metals critical to the green-energy revolution. Of course, lithium — aka “the white petroleum” — is the primary metal used in lithium-ion batteries for EVs.
The Laguna Blanca lithium-brine project, which also boasts the potential for cesium production, is located within the prolific Lithium Triangle of Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia — 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.
Monumental Minerals CEO, Dr. Jamil Sader — whom you’re about to hear from directly (along with founder, Max Sali) via our exclusive interview — commented via press release:
Over the past year, the spot price for lithium has increased by over 550% with select REEs turning in an equally impressive price performance.
“The Laguna Blanca lithium asset is a strategic acquisition for Monumental Minerals and has the potential to become a significant cesium-lithium deposit in the region. Lithium grades determined to date are consistent with those from mines currently in production in the region, and it has the added benefit of potentially economic cesium, a critical metal necessary for 5G communication. The Project is complementary to the Company’s flagship Jemi heavy rare earth element project in Coahuila, Mexico, and the strength of these two assets well position Monumental to take advantage of the global shift of decarbonization, and to add significant value for shareholders.”
The US government recently identified lithium and select rare earth elements (REEs) as “critical metals” as part of a broad strategy to mitigate our nation’s reliance on these metals from sources deemed unstable and politically unfriendly.
To that end, President Biden has now announced incentives for domestic lithium and REE producers to develop downstream processing and refining of REEs and lithium.
Additionally, a bipartisan US Senate bill recently passed, which would make 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 early-stage, Monumental Minerals — with its Jemi HREE project in Mexico and its pending acquisition of the Laguna Blanca lithium-brine project in Chile — is positioned to play a potentially significant role in REE and lithium stability and sustainability in the Americas.
Strong Leadership Team
In the junior exploration sector, it’s all about the people running the show… and Monumental Minerals has put together a broadly-experienced team of mining professionals with a proven track record of success.
Dr. Sader obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Ottawa and, as the current president of MineScience Advisors, brings over 20 years of experience in the mineral resource industry. Dr. Sader has held international senior technical and management positions at MMG Resources, Anglo American, and Bureau Veritas Minerals. His extensive experience, from field geologist to senior management, provides him a deep technical understanding across many facets of base, precious, and critical metals.
Mr. Sali has been in the capital markets since 2009 and was a founding shareholder and corporate developer for Advantage Lithium, which was acquired by Orocobre for $66 million in 2020. Max is a director, founder, and former CEO of Defense Metals, a rare earth metals company with current operations in British Columbia. He is also the CEO, founder, and director of New Placer Dome Gold, a Nevada-focused gold exploration company.
Mr. Raffle, B.Sc., P.Geo., serves as lead geologist and QP for Monumental Minerals. Kris is also a director of First Legacy Mining and a principal geologist with APEX Geoscience Ltd. Kris boasts over 18 years of North America-focused base and precious metals exploration experience.
Exclusive Interview with Monumental Minerals CEO Dr. Jamil Sader and Founder Max Sali
Our own Gerardo Del Real of Junior Resource Monthly sat down with newly-appointed CEO Dr. Jamil Sader and founder Max Sali for an in-depth discussion on the company’s emerging position in the green-energy metals space.
Inside, the guys delve into the company’s focus on heavy rare earths at Jemi, plus lithium-cesium at Laguna Blanca, along with next-steps in the multi-project exploration process. Enjoy!
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the founder of Monumental Minerals and the newly-appointed CEO of Monumental Minerals — Mr. Jamil Sader and Mr. Max Sali. Max, Jamil, how are you?
Max Sali: Fantastic.
Dr. Jamil Sader: Very good to be here. Thank you.
Gerardo Del Real: It's great to have you both here. Let me start with you, Max. You're the founder of Monumental. You and I have had conversations about the critical metals space for the past year; we've talked rare earths. You and I initially met... oh God, I want to say, maybe, and I'm dating myself here now, maybe five or six years ago, maybe longer than that… in Argentina, looking at several lithium projects.
And even then, it was clear that the macro trend, as it related to the electrification and decarbonization of everything, was only going in one direction, right? And so here we are, fast-forward to 2022, and you just signed an LOI to acquire up to 75% of the drill-ready Salar de Laguna Blanca project from Lithium Chile.
And so I've got to ask you… tell me how long you've been working on this because I know, behind the scenes, it's something that you've been very excited about for quite some time.
Max Sali: Well, as you know, I met you when I was doing corporate development for Advantage Lithium in Argentina. I think you're right, it was about five years ago, 2017. We had the Cauchari project. That company was sold to Orocobre at the time, at the bottom of the market, for $70 million. It was an all-stock transaction. Orocobre, when we received the shares, was about $2.00, $2.25, and they ran to $12. So anyone that held on did extremely well in that transaction.
And I've always wanted to get back into lithium… I’ve always been an investor in lithium. When things went sour for a few years, in 2018 and 2019, I was buying stuff at the bottom and making some big gains. And obviously, now, with Monumental, the rare earths aspect is an amazing project. That took a while to get done.
But what I've been working on for six months is adding something to that company. And I think lithium brine was the right addition, as you said, with the macro world going now in that direction. And so looking at projects, as you know, the reason why it attracted me to Lithium Chile is I've been watching the company for a long time.
I met the CEO, Steve Cochrane, when I was working at Advantage. He was working for Fission Uranium. We were in the same office. And so I followed the story for a while. And I think he's the third largest landholder besides SQM and Albemarle in Chile. And what specific asset I liked was the lithium-brine-cesium asset he had; Salar de Laguna Blanca.
And this asset, what's interesting is that it's only a six-hour drive, which is not far in that part of the world, from Cauchari, which is Advance Lithium. So it's in the Lithium Triangle. And the best thing, personally, that I like is the brine. All of these hard rock deposits and all of this stuff in Nevada where water is an issue, or you're going to have to come up with new technology — brine always works best.
And the cesium aspect is very interesting, too, as we are originally a rare earths company. So I think the mix is perfect. The closest producing salar to Laguna Blanca is Salar de Atacama, which is one of the biggest producing salars of lithium in the world. And that's something that, hopefully, one day we can see at Laguna Blanca.
Gerardo Del Real: Jamil, with your technical expertise, give me the overview of how this fits in well with the flagship, which is the Jemi project, right?
Dr. Jamil Sader: Yeah, there's definitely a lot of synergies between the two. First and foremost, both of these projects, Jemi and Laguna Blanca, are targeted projects to provide metals and raw materials that are required for EVs.
And I've got a diagram up here in front of me that shows that, in the next 10 to 15 years, almost every vehicle manufacturer will have between 50% and 100% of their vehicles as EVs. And they need to get that raw material from somewhere. And having been positioned to have these two projects that may be able to provide the auto industry with those raw materials, I think, is a huge benefit.
In terms of the project itself, I think that, in addition to the lithium, which has some pretty nice grades up to 1,230 milligrams per liter in the brines and up to 1,450 PPM in the sediments, the cesium is another really interesting story. And it's one you don't really see very often; I don't think I've ever seen it before in a salar setting.
Max alluded to the cesium and the fact that it's needed for 5G. But it's also quite needed for drilling fluids in the oil and gas industry, which, as we see currently, that industry is on a tear.
Gerardo Del Real: On a tear is putting it mildly… we're seeing commodity markets literally break! We saw the nickel market explode to the upside here the past three days. There are exchanges that are shut down for days on end. We're seeing simultaneous bans on exports and imports — on the same commodities, by the way — by the US and then countered by Russia. We could be into a prolonged resource war that doesn't last days or months, the way we've seen in past mini bull cycles, but that lasts for years on end.
How do you go about, Jamil, developing both of these projects that, obviously, have the potential to help contribute and then to ease some of the supply crunch that is already here, right?
The demand portion of it is only going to get more pronounced; the supply crunch already exists in several commodity markets. And I think, with rare earths with Jemi, and with lithium with Laguna Blanca, you're positioning yourself pretty well. How do you unlock the value from both projects?
Dr. Jamil Sader: So really, it needs some good technical work. Starting with the Lithium Chile Laguna Blanca project, Lithium Chile has done some amazing work to date. They've sampled a lot of the salar for surface brines and for sediments. And they've also done a geophysics survey, an EM survey, or “electromagnetic” survey.
Basically, what that does is it's looking for the saltiest water underground. So the saltier the water, typically, the higher the lithium content in this context. And they've identified a 100 to 200 meter thick unit with a surface footprint that's about 10 square kilometers.
And really, what we want to do is start with that. And like Max said, the project is drill-ready so what we'll do to be starting this project is putting some drill holes into the salar to see what we've got, and to see how extensive this is, and to confirm some of these geophysical targets.
In terms of Jemi… I was actually just talking with our geophysical contractor today… we'll be getting some preliminary results, I'm thinking, in the next week. And from those, we'll be using those to make decisions of where we go look in the field. And again, just like Lithium Chile and Laguna Blanca, Jemi is drill-ready and drill permitted so we hope to have drills turning there by the end of Q2.
Gerardo Del Real: So just to be clear, it sounds like multiple drill programs this year: one for lithium; one for rare earths. Anything to add to that, Max?
Max Sali: Yeah, the nice things about, like you said, these projects are the drill permitted, drill-ready projects. In Chile, getting along with the community… as you are aware… we were in Argentina together… is huge. And there have been a number of companies that have approached Lithium Chile to do a deal — and they've just rejected the other companies.
I get along very well with Steve. He's got good community relations. And to have a truck-mounted drill rig go and drill 50 to 100-meter holes out in Laguna Blanca that the locals have approved is a huge thing. Because, as we know, if they don’t approve it… I don't care how you can have the Salar de Atacama… if the locals don't like it — good luck — right?
And the same with Jemi; the locals are okay with what we're doing. And they don't have to be the world's biggest projects. Because of the grade, they can be very, very economic. And so the community relations with both parties on both assets is good for us. And I think, with the market, who would not want us to get drilling right away… and that's what we have the ability to do.
Gerardo Del Real: Both lithium and rare earths projects have the potential to add value very, very quickly. Jamil, with the market cap, where it's at, I know that you had something to add to that with the market cap where it's at. You’ve got to be excited about advancing both of these projects given the tiny market cap Monumental is being given credit for.
Dr. Jamil Sader: Absolutely. So with these projects, I really think that this is going to add value for shareholders. And I really think that, again, given the market for raw materials for EVs and the electrification of our world and the price appreciation of both lithium and rare earths — I really expect to see the market cap of our company grow a lot.
Gerardo Del Real: I'm looking forward to an exciting year. It's already an exciting time in the commodities space… I've been waiting for 2022 for years on end… and it seems like it's all happening simultaneously! So definitely exciting times. Max, Jamil — a pleasure to have you on as always.
Max Sali: Thank you so much as always.
Dr. Jamil Sader: Thank you very much.
Gerardo Del Real: Alright, cheers, guys!
A Monumental Opportunity
Monumental Minerals Corp. (TSX-V: MNRL)(OTC: MNMRF) is advancing the flagship, 100%-owned Jemi HREE Project in Coahuila State, Mexico, not far from the Texas border.
And the timing is absolutely critical!
Global demand for REEs — and in particular HREEs — is continuing to increase as a result of advancements in clean energy (including nuclear), EVs, consumer electronics, and state-of-the-art defense systems.
China’s hostile control of the global rare earths market is a direct threat to America’s national security… and the situation is becoming increasingly dire by the day.
China — which controls a staggering 85% of the world’s capacity to process rare earth ores into material manufacturers can use — recently hiked its annual rare earth output quotas by 20% year-on-year.
That’s the highest level on record… and it signals that an already tight supply of rare earth metals is only getting tighter.
In other words, you don’t need a crystal ball to foretell China’s hardline stance as it relates to rare earths exports: they’ll do whatever serves their best interests at any given time!
You may even recall the rare earths full-court-press China put on Japan back in 2010 during a diplomatic dust-up following the infamous Senkaku boat collision incident. That rogue action sent rare earth metals prices — as well as select small-cap US rare earths stocks — many multiples higher.
Turning to today… indicators point to history repeating itself again… which means now is an opportune time to be looking at North America-focused small-cap rare earths explorers such as Monumental Minerals.
A quick glance at global headlines confirms the obvious: More Chinese muscle-flexing is on the near-term horizon!
In early-October 2021, China hastened its warning to the United States to cut all military ties with Taiwan while simultaneously sending a record 38 warplanes into the island’s sovereign airspace.
That was quickly followed by a joint military exercise with Russia whereby a flotilla of 10 Chinese and Russian warships circled Japan's main island in what can only be described as a not-so subtle shot across the bow!
President Xi then completed the personal trifecta with the late-October test-launch of a nuke-capable, hypersonic missile capable of reaching the US mainland without detection… not to mention the 300 or so suspected missile silos the regime is currently constructing under a cloak of secrecy.
With China-US diplomacy devolving towards the breaking point — and with the communist regime responsible for roughly 80% of our rare earth metals imports — the United States simply cannot rely on the current status quo.
These metals are far too important to our national security!
America must seize control of its own rare earth resources… and that’s what makes the present Monumental Minerals opportunity so… well, “monumental!”
And as any junior resource speculator worth his or her salt knows… the largest percentage gains invariably occur during the early-stages of exploration as indicators of potentially viable mineralization are confirmed through various exploration methodologies.
Monumental Minerals is just now entering that crucial stage at its flagship, 100%-owned Jemi HREE Project. And having a drill-permitted property is yet another factor why this project could advance rather quickly.
Also, as discussed in detail, the company is in the process of further strengthening its position in the green-energy metals exploration space — particularly as it relates to the global EV megatrend — with the pending acquisition of the Salar de Laguna Blanca lithium-brine project from Lithium Chile, Inc.
Turning to the balance sheet, Monumental boasts an exceptionally tight share structure with approximately 23.5 million shares outstanding for a current market cap below C$10 million.
Also noteworthy, at an ownership stake of around 16%, management has significant skin-in-the-game, which, for speculators, shows that the company’s principals have just as much, or more, riding on the success of the company’s projects as do shareholders.
Now is the time to commence your own due diligence on Monumental Minerals Corp. The company’s shares trade on the Toronto Venture Exchange under the symbol MNRL and on the US-OTC Bulletin Board Exchange under the symbol MNMRF.
A great place to start is the company’s corporate website.
And be sure to follow our exclusive interviews with upper management and much more.
— Resource Stock Digest ResearchClick here to see more from Monumental Minerals