Archer Exploration to List Non-Graphite Projects Via IPO

Despite finding success with these projects, Archer Exploration has opted to list its non-graphite exploration assets on the ASX through an initial public offering.

Archer Exploration (ASX:AXE) is ramping up to list its non-graphite exploration projects on the ASX through an initial public offering (IPO).

After completing a strategic review of its mineral exploration business, the company said in a press release that while it’s seen success, growth, scale and diversification at its non-graphite exploration properties, it feels an independent ownership model would provide greater benefits.

Accordingly, the company will be pursuing an IPO on the ASX by the end of 2018, with the expectation that it will be completed sometime during the year’s final quarter.

As the company looks to the future, it has now entered into binding share sale agreements with Ballista Resources for the sale of its subsidiaries, SA Exploration and Archer Energy & Resources. Ballista, a newly incorporated public company, is intended to be the IPO listing vehicle.

The company’s non-graphite projects include the Jamieson Tank manganese project, the Blue Hills copper project, the Kechowla manganese-cobalt project, the North Broken Hill cobalt project and the Leigh Creek magnesia project, the last of which was just sold earlier this month.

The sale of Leigh Creek, along with Ballista’s pending ASX listing, will allow Archer to focus on the growth and development of its advanced materials business, with a focus on human health, reliable energy and quantum technology.

Upon completion of the IPO, Archer will receive 48 million shares of Ballista with the intention of distributing some or all of them to Archer shareholders through an in-specie distribution.

Once Ballista is listed, Archer will hold the Campoona graphite mining lease and associated licenses, Sugarloaf farmland, exclusive exploration and graphite mining rights on the Eyre Peninsula tenements, the Carbon Allotropes online marketplace and all graphite- and graphene-related intellectual property.

Archer’s share price was sitting at AU$0.11 at close of day Friday (July 20). It is down 26.67 percent year-to-date, but is up 120 percent over the last year.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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Australia isn't a producer of graphite (yet), but three states in the country are home to millions of tonnes of reserves and resources.

Graphite has been growing in popularity in recent years as its applications as a battery mineral are realised, and as the popularity of electric vehicles grows around the world.

A form of carbon, graphite is a good conductor and is invaluable in electronics. It comes in three different forms, each with their own valuable applications in modern technology, making it a sought-after commodity without which supply lines for many industries around the world would grind to a halt.

Graphite isn't produced in Australia (yet), but the country sits on 1.05 million tonnes of ore reserves, and 7.14 million tonnes of economic demonstrated resources (EDR), as per 2017 government data — and those numbers are way up from the previously disclosed data from Canberra in 2013.

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Sydney, Australia – New Energy Minerals Limited is pleased to provide an update to the market in relation to the Company’s activities for the period ending 31 December 2020. Corporate Update New Project Acquisition The Company has previously announced with the closing of the Balama Sale Transaction on 17 July 2020 that it has no further operations in Mozambique and that the closing also represented a disposal of its …

Sydney, Australia (ABN Newswire) – New Energy Minerals Limited (ASX:NXE) (FRA:GGY) (OTCMKTS:MTTGF) is pleased to provide an update to the market in relation to the Company’s activities for the period ending 31 December 2020.

Corporate Update

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Syrah remains engaged in progressing the feasibility study for the scale-up of the Vidalia facility post-product qualification.

Graphite producer Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR,OTC Pink:SYAAF) said it is temporarily suspending operations at its Vidalia battery materials plant in the US state of Louisiana following a state-wide “Stay at Home Order” to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The order, issued on Sunday (March 22), will be in effect until April 13, with Syrah saying it does not meet criteria for exclusions under this regulation.


“This will delay the distribution of purified natural graphite samples for qualification with potential customers whilst the Stay at Home Order remains in place,” the company said in a press release.

Right now, Syrah’s team is working remotely to progress the feasibility study for the scale-up of the Vidalia facility post-product qualification.

The US plant, which the company purchased for US$1.23 million, produced its first unpurified spherical graphite at the end of 2018, with qualification samples dispatched to target customers in early 2019. The facility has environmental permits in place and an initial milling capacity of 5,000 tonnes per year.

Syrah’s Balama graphite project in Mozambique, which is the largest natural graphite operation outside of China, remains operational at this time.

“The company continues to monitor and assess the international mobility of personnel, the free movement of goods through supply chains and broader market conditions,” Syrah said, adding that it continues to strengthen protocols in response to COVID-19 risks at the asset.

Back in September, the company reduced production volumes to 5,000 tonnes per month at Balama due to volatility in the market. Syrah said it has continued its moderated production strategy into Q1 of this year as planned, seeking to match production volumes with market demand.

“Despite the near-term uncertainty due to COVID-19, the long-term market fundamentals for natural flake graphite remain intact, with ongoing commitment to the decarbonisation of the transport sector via lithium ion powered electric vehicles by supply chain participants and governments,” the company said.

Syrah expects its end-of-quarter cash balance to be broadly aligned to guidance of US$64.6 million.

On Tuesday (March 24), Syrah was trading up 2 percent at AU$0.23. However, the company’s share price has been suffering since the start of the year, and is down more than 50 percent since January.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

WHAT'S IN STORE FOR THE RESOURCE SECTOR IN 2022?

The Investing News Network (INN) spoke with analysts, market watchers and insiders about which trends will impact this sector in the year ahead.
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IG6 and ZEN Energy Sign MOU to Cooperate on Renewable Power Supply at Collie
International Graphite Limited (ASX: IG6) – Admission and Quotation
International Graphite Limited (ASX: IG6) – Admission and Quotation

Western Australia’s International Graphite (ASX:IG6) has signed a non‐binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ZEN Energy with the objective of concluding binding agreements for the purchase of firmed renewable energy from ZEN Energy by International Graphite for its Collie operation


HIGHLIGHTS
  • International Graphite seeks to build commercial scale graphite downstream processing facilities at Collie to produce battery anode materials for electric vehicles
  • ZEN Energy is seeking to build and operate a ‘big battery’ in Collie rated at 200MW of power capacity , and storing up to 800MWh of energy, in support of renewable energy supply contracts with customers in the Collie region
  • MOU lays the foundation for cooperation aimed at reaching renewable energy supply agreements for International Graphite’s downstream processing plant in Collie.

ZEN Energy, whose major shareholder is leading climate change economist Professor Ross Garnaut, is a renewable energy retailer that currently supplies the electricity needs of the South Australian Government, CSIRO’s sites in the eastern states, a set of commercial and industrial businesses in the SACOME Buying Group and twenty‐five local regional councils in New South Wales. ZEN is assessing the feasibility of building a 200MW, 600 to 800MWh battery at Collie, south of Perth. The battery would be around four times the size of Tesla’s big battery in South Australia.

International Graphite is developing downstream graphite processing facilities in Collie. This facility will undertake research and development activities and conduct pilot testing of graphite concentrates for purification and spheroidising of graphite for Battery Anode Material (BAM) applications, as well as produce micronised graphite. It is the Company’s intention to expand the facility to commercial scale production.

The power supply agreement with ZEN Energy would provide a renewables power source to drive the graphite technologies that International Graphite plans to develop at its downstream processing facility. This will help the company achieve its targets for low carbon emissions and facilitate rapid production expansion in the future.

Both International Graphite and ZEN Energy are supported by the Western Australian Government, which awarded International Graphite $2m through the Collie Futures Industry Development Fund toward the establishment of a graphite micronising plant at Collie and up to $1 million for the first stage of ZEN’s big battery feasibility study.1 This investment by the WA Government in both projects demonstrates its commitment to build Collie as a future centre of renewable energy projects in Western Australia.

International Graphite Executive Chairman Phil Hearse said access to renewable energy underpins our ability to deliver highly ESG accredited products into global markets.

“A critical supply of green power gives International Graphite an important advantage, helping ESG and environmental objectives, as well as supporting a new supply chain that will bring jobs to Collie and opportunity to Western Australia,” Mr Hearse said.

ZEN Energy’s big battery would help manage wholesale market risk in a program to supply renewable energy to new and existing industrial projects in Collie. It is expected to be a key feature in a new Collie Battery and Hydrogen Industrial Hub Project, which is the centrepiece in the Western Australian Government’s $100m strategy to create a major renewable energy centre in Collie and transition the local economy away from coal.

ZEN Energy CEO Anthony Garnaut said, “We are committed to creating practical energy supply solutions for customers seeking to grow their business on a sustainable footing.”

“Successful cooperation with International Graphite strengthens the commercial case for a big battery in Collie and provides a practical demonstration of how Australia can become a renewable energy superpower.

“There are additional benefits that a large battery will bring to the Western Australian grid. For example, it will support the continued investment of West Australian households in roof top solar by providing the ability to soak up excess solar energy, reducing the need to curtail residential solar production.”

This announcement has been authorised for release by the Board of Directors of International Graphite.

Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from International Graphite , licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.

IG6:AU

Interested in gold in Australia? Here's a brief overview of what investors should know about where the yellow metal is found in the country.

With gold in focus due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, some experts are expecting its price to reach all-time highs as investors seek traditionally safe-haven investments.

If you’re interested in investing in gold right now, you may want to turn your attention to Australia, which is currently the second largest gold-producing country in the world.

Read on for a breakdown of gold in Australia, including a look at how each state and territory contributes.


Gold in Australia: Australia's place in the world

As mentioned, Australia is currently the second largest gold-producing country globally, just behind China. Gold production in the country reached a high of 330 tonnes in 2021, up from 328 tonnes the previous year.

“There are three countries that combine the rule of law with significant gold production: Canada, the US and Australia. Outside of these three, there’s not much gold, or there’s not much protection for individual investors and companies,” Kevin McElligott, managing director of Australia at Franco-Nevada (TSX:FNV,NYSE:FNV), explained to the Investing News Network in a 2019 email interview.

According to the Office of the Chief Economist, Australian gold mine production is forecast to rise at an average annual rate of 8 percent from 2020 to 2021 and 2022 to 2023. Anticipated production of 374 tonnes by 2022 to 2023 will be propelled by both production from new mines and existing mine expansions.

Western Australia is the centre of gold exploration activity in the country, accounting for 70 percent, or AU$1.07 billion, of total gold exploration expenditure. In 2022, the Fraser Institute named Western Australia the best mining jurisdiction in the world. Its Pilbara region is a big part of why the state is attracting attention.

In recent years, Pilbara exploration activity has seen renewed interest and helped increase the country’s consistent gold output. Covering more than half a million square kilometres, the region has attracted major miners like Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO,LSE:RIO,NYSE:RIO) and BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP).

Western Australia accounts for the bulk of the country's gold output, and the geology of the Pilbara Craton has been compared to South Africa’s Kaapvaal Craton and Witwatersrand Basin. Witwatersrand is home to the Earth’s largest known gold reserves and is responsible for over 40 percent of worldwide gold production.

Both the Pilbara and Witwatersrand are similar in age and composition, sitting on top of the Archean granite-greenstone basement. The Pilbara area hosts numerous small mesothermal gold deposits containing conglomerate gold — mineralization known to hold large, high-grade gold nuggets.

Gold in Australia: Production by region

Click through the links below to learn more about gold mining in Australia's states and territories. The data used is from Geoscience Australia, and the 2018 gold production numbers are the latest available.

Gold in Australia: Western Australia

As mentioned, Western Australia is a gold powerhouse, and its output stands well above that of its fellow Australian states and territories, measuring at 211 tonnes in 2018.

Gold in Australia: New South Wales

New South Wales has a long history with gold, being the home of the first Australian gold rush in the mid-1800s, which helped kickstart the then-colony’s burgeoning economy. Gold found in Central New South Wales triggered an obsession with mining that burned for decades. In 2018, the state's production was 39 tonnes.

Gold in Australia: Queensland

Queensland may be best known for its coal exports, but the state is dotted with active mines, with a modest collection that produce gold. It put out 18 tonnes of the yellow metal in 2018.

Gold in Australia: Northern Territory

The Northern Territory produced only 15 tonnes of gold in 2018, but over its lifetime more than 20 million ounces have been pulled out of the ground in the region. The Pine Creek, Tennant Creek and Tanami goldfields are the primarily places where this metal has been extracted.

Gold in Australia: Victoria

Victoria also has a strong gold-mining history, although today it's a smaller-scale producer. In 2018, 13 of the 315 tonnes of gold mined in Australia came from Victoria from seven active mines — most of which are located within regions known for vast historical output of the yellow metal

Gold in Australia: South Australia

South Australia isn't a major gold miner, although it accounts for over a quarter of the country’s gold resources — in 2018, just 8 tonnes of gold were mined in the state. However, the area has potential, with a major geological region — the Gawler Craton — identified by the government and mineral explorers as being of extreme interest.

Gold in Australia: Tasmania

Tasmania is geologically diverse with a number of major operating mines, but it is not a significant gold producer. Its output of the precious metal clocked in at only 1 tonne in 2018.

This is an updated version of an article originally published by the Investing News Network in 2019.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Matthew Flood, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

hydrogen symbol with globe

Wondering about the future of hydrogen in Australia? Here's an overview of investing in hydrogen in the country.

Hydrogen has long been touted as the most important clean energy source of the future. However, 99 percent of hydrogen produced today is derived from power generated by coal or gas.

Thanks to technological advances and massive new investments made by the public and private sector, the industry is now making the critical transition towards clean "green" hydrogen — in other words, hydrogen that is produced via zero-carbon and low-carbon energy sources.

Australia, like most western nations, is determined to decarbonise its economy as part of the global transition toward renewables. Many industries now face strict targets for reducing emissions as part of the drive to lessen the carbon footprint left by Australia's steel and coal industries.


Although hydrogen is generally seen as a long-term investment play given the many years it takes to build new plants and add capacity in the market, last year saw investors rush to get in on the ground floor of the rapidly expanding Australian green energy market as smaller players began to make their mark.

In 2021, the ASX hydrogen sector saw some exponential gains in the share prices of several up-and-coming players, including Province Resources (ASX:PRL), Pure Hydrogen (ASX:PH2), Sparc Technologies (ASX:SPN), Environmental Clean Technologies (ASX:ECT) and QEM (ASX:QEM). These five companies led the way in driving interest in the kind of opportunity that the Australian hydrogen industry represents, both in the short and long term. Several key public/private partnerships also played a role in stimulating market interest.

Hydrogen investing in Australia: What is hydrogen and how is it used?

Hydrogen is the most abundant element on Earth. It is a colourless gas that can be burned to generate electricity, or alternatively can be combined with oxygen atoms in fuel cells. Hydrogen can be produced in gas or liquid form, and has the ability to replace fossil fuels in household heating, transportation and industrial manufacturing processes like steelmaking, which consumes massive amounts of power.

As a fuel, the great advantage of hydrogen is that it produces no carbon emissions, only water as a by-product. First discovered 250 years ago by English physicist Henry Cavendish, hydrogen was initially used in combination with oxygen to power internal combustion engines, hydrogen gas blowpipes and hydrogen gas lamps. It was later used in the construction of hydrogen-lifted airships and German Zeppelins until passenger service was abandoned after the tragic 1937 explosion of the Hindenburg Zeppelin in New Jersey, which killed 36 people.

Currently, the hydrogen market is valued at over US$100 billion, with the material being used widely as an industrial chemical, mainly by the petroleum industry for the production of ammonia, a principal ingredient in the manufacturing of nitrate fertiliser.

There is also growing demand for hydrogen by companies anxious to harness its properties as an effective means of storing power. But none of these applications for hydrogen compare to its extraordinary potential as a viable clean energy fuel for transportation ― particularly in trucks, airplanes and ships.

These essential means of transportation are difficult to decarbonise due to the weight of batteries and their inability to hold sufficient charge for long-haul trips. Hydrogen, however, offers a much lighter alternative as a clean-burning fuel that would go a long way to eliminating carbon emissions in the transport sector.

Hydrogen investing in Australia: Big players and government investment 

Aside from the smaller-cap companies mentioned above, several major Australian energy companies, including Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG,OTCQX:FSUMF), Origin Energy (ASX:ORG,OTC Pink:OGFGF) and Wesfarmers (ASX:WES,OTC Pink:WFAFF), are now rapidly expanding their investment in the hydrogen sector.

Clearly, if hydrogen is now in the process of realizing its potential as a replacement for oil- and coal-generated electricity, the leading steel, coal and gas producers may be well-positioned to bring about this shift in the energy mix. They possess the requisite financial might and technological/engineering expertise to become dominant players in the hydrogen sector as they assume their role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Aiding this growth in Australia's hydrogen industry is government support. The EU, for example, paid nearly half of the US$23 million cost of Shell’s (LSE:SHEL,NYSE:SHEL) Rhineland project, while Queensland has partnered with Fortescue on a AU$1 billion hydrogen project in Gladstone.

Last year alone saw a doubling in the number of newly announced large-scale hydrogen projects to over 500, as per a Hydrogen Council report. Nearly 75 percent of these long-term plant, port and pipeline projects are expected to be completed by the end of the decade, with 40 percent already funded or under construction.

Meanwhile, the Australian government is in the process of investing AU$1.4 billion in its domestic hydrogen industry as part of a growing global drive towards net-zero emissions. Australia's National Hydrogen Strategy intends to grow this industry and position Australia as a major player by 2030.

Aside from that, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has set out an Australian technology roadmap that intends to pour a total of AU$20 billion into clean hydrogen, energy storage, low-emission steel and aluminium, carbon capture and storage and solar.

In June 2021, Morrison announced a joint hydrogen development program with Germany under which Australia will gain access to highly advanced German hydrogen technology, strengthening Australia's ambitions of becoming a leading hydrogen exporter. This will help Australia build up its capacity to export significant quantities of hydrogen to Germany as part of the European country's policy to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

Australia will also be partnering with Japan (to develop new hydrogen fuel cell technology and establish the world's first clean liquefied hydrogen export pilot project), Singapore (to accelerate low-emission technologies) and Korea (to collaborate on hydrogen supply chain research and low- and zero-emission technology).

Hydrogen investing in Australia: Long-term outlook

The promise of Australia's hydrogen market is strong — indeed, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency believes the space could be worth up to AU$10 billion annually by 2040, at which time the country would be putting out over 3 million tonnes of renewable hydrogen on a yearly basis.

But putting matters into perspective, proposed long-term investments in transitioning towards hydrogen are still dwarfed by Big Oil's average annual expenditure on developing new fields.

In today's early stages, investors looking to enter Australia's hydrogen space have plenty of choices, whether they want to start with the larger players or try their hand at determining which earlier-stage stocks will be successful.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Harold Von Kursk, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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