Why is there a shortage of barite?
- Pharmaceutical barite demand increases as the world population ages. Currently there is only one company in China producing pharmaceutical grade barite. The North American market is forced to buy higher priced barium precipitate to use in contrast suspension products. Currently the pharmaceutical market is 100% reliant on imports into North America.
- Industrial grade barite demand has increased due to increased demand for plastics and paints, the automotive industry and increased demand for barium based chemicals.
- China has begun to consume domestically more barite every year due to its growing pharmaceutical, industrial & oil and gas industry.
- High grade industrial barite has been in short supply for a long time. It is very rare to find clean barite that makes industrial specification. The majority of barite deposits world wide contain heavy metals.
What is your competition?
- The barium contrast market is currently dominated by three companies. The largest supplier is Bracco Pharmaceuticals who control 50% of the world market and 100% of the North American market.
Why are your projects competitive?
- We are competing against foreign overseas barite supply which has a history of grade issues and supply issues. We are located in North America and we have excellent logistics advantage.
- Voyageur grades are very high which will allow our company to sell a premium product.
- By owning our own source of barite allows Voyageur to be highly competitive.
Why is barite important to the pharmaceutical sector?
- Because it blocks radiation it is used in X-rays (looks opaque on X-ray film), CT and other diagnostic tests. Barium is used in medicine to diagnose gastrointestinal problems.
How do you relate a bottle of barium contrast to value of ore at Frances Creek?
- The end product we are selling is sold by grams of barite per bottle. Barite is the main ingredient and makes up to 98% of the ingredients in a bottle. Voyageur may make a barium contrast product that contains 100 grams of barite. If the bottle is sold for $5.25 per bottle the following calculation can be used to determine the selling price of barite per tonne:
- $5.25/100grams = $0.0525/gram
- $0.0525/gram x 1,000,000 = $52,500 per tonne
- Voyageurs ore body contains 36.5% BaSO4. Therefore the value of the ore can be calculated by multiplying the % by the sales price:
- $52,500 x 36.5% = $19,162 per tonne of ore
Why is Lithium a good investment?
- “The age of electrification across the transportation sector, the solar panel revolution, and Tesla’s battery gigafactory are igniting a battle for the cheapest battery. That will transform lithium into a boom-time mineral and the hottest commodity on the energy investor’s radar….” USA Today
- Lithium is in a long term bull market. The main drivers to this demand cycle are electronics, electric storage systems and the new boom in electric vehicle production.
- GigaFactories – Tesla building 3 more lithium ion battery factories, China building 7 currently with more planned in the future.
- The demand for lithium ion batteries for EV’s is expected to increase seven fold within the next 7 years.
- Voyageur is focused on high grade lithium deposits as grade is key to long term success in the lithium mining business.
What is the difference between lithium projects in Utah versus Nevada?
- The lithium project along the Roberts Rupture will not require the use of fresh water. The brine naturally flow to surface and can be processed without using other water sources.
- The lithium grades along the Roberts Rupture are some of the highest grades reported in the USA.
- The grades of other minerals in the brine water allow for increased economic potential as new technology allows for the extraction of other minerals besides lithium. This increases the economics of the Utah brine plays.
Is the mining environmentally friendly?
- Barite (Barytes, Barium Sulfate) is the naturally occurring mineral. Its main properties are its high specific gravity (4.5) and very low solubility. It is non-toxic and also chemically and physically un-reactive.
- These properties allow mining to have a low environmental impact as there are no heavy metals or toxic minerals that will leach or cause harm to the environment.
- Tailings – our tailings (dolomite) will be SOLD as road gravel.
- Processing – water and gravity.
- Disturbance – minimal surface disturbance and underground mining.