Coffee with Samso Episode 180 is with Brett Hazelden, Managing Director and CEO of OD6 Metals Limited (ASX: OD6) to explain the highly anticipated Mineral Resource Estimate.
As investors gain a deeper understanding of the Rare Earth market, it becomes crucial for companies in this sector to demonstrate progress in their endeavors. The recent release of the mineral resource by OD6 is a significant milestone, as it provides tangible evidence of their commitment to delivering value to shareholders.
A Recap of the OD6 Metals Limited (ASX: OD6) Story
OD6 Metals is a company based in the southern region of Western Australia that specializes in Rare Earths Elements (REE). It is situated just north of the town of Esperance. During the time of this Coffee with Samso interview, the company had a market capitalisation of approximately AUD26M, with a share price of around AUD0.25.
OD6 Metals is currently focused on two projects: Grass Patch and Splinter Rock. These projects have undergone drilling campaigns to identify potential resources. The most recent presentation of the company includes Figure 1, which highlights the recent investments made by OD6 Metals.
(Source: OD6 Presentation July 2023)
The Word According To Brett Hazelden
In this episode of Coffee with Samso, Brett discusses the significance of the Maiden Resource and its role in shaping the OD6 story. The 344Mt @ 1308ppm TREO serves as a baseline for further work in establishing a mining proposition.
It is important to clarify that the Rare Earth players in the market are poised to address any misunderstandings or misinformation. One common misconception in the market is the perceived difference between ‘Ionic’ and ‘Non-Ionic’ clay REE deposits. In reality, there is no physical noticeable difference between the two types. The only distinguishing factor is their leaching ability.
Brett provides a clear explanation of why it is crucial for the market to understand that multiple factors contribute to a leachable product. The economics of the entire process must be taken into consideration.
Key Points in the Unlocking of the Downstream Process
In my opinion, the main focus of the OD6 Metals story at this stage is the metallurgical aspects of the resource. The recent announcement of the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) is a positive step in confirming the existence of the resource and its “good” grade. However, it’s important to note that there is still limited factual evidence on the exact grade that will be viable.
The choice of a high cut off grade indicates that OD6 recognizes the need for a high grade to make the processing economically feasible. This demonstrates the company’s understanding that extracting the resource is not an easy task.
Brett’s emphasis on the technical challenges involved in extraction is a good sign. During the Coffee with Samso interview, Brett highlights the significance of the high grade nature of the Splinter Rock Resource. In our industry, we often say “Grade is King” for a reason. The chosen cut off grade sets a baseline requirement for OD6 to make the project economically viable.
It’s commendable that Brett openly discusses the need to balance all parameters, including economics and ESG factors. I appreciate that he doesn’t shy away from acknowledging the challenges involved.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that the current resource of 344MT @1,308ppm TREO represents only 5% of the total potential in the Splinter Rock project. This means that OD6 Metals still has a significant upside and room for growth.
The OD6 story is work in progress with the potential to achieve great success. Let me explain what I mean by that. In a recent Coffee with Samso episode, Brett highlighted the presence of a valuable resource in Splinter Rock. Not only did he emphasize the abundance of this resource, but he also mentioned that it has one of the highest known resource grades.
As the story continues to unfold, the market is still trying to understand the true potential of the “Alluvial” Rare Earth story. It’s important to note that this story is still in its early stages, and the final verdict on its success is yet to be determined.
There have been comments suggesting that only an “ionic” style would work, and that the “clay” styles would not be effective. However, based on my conversations with various individuals, I strongly believe that the real story will surprise many.
What I find intriguing is that investors often perceive the business process as rocket science. However, as many Samso followers know, I like to use food analogies. The process of making money in business is no different from selling pancakes or muffins.
The Rare Earth market is now in the spotlight due to the geopolitical situation that demands “Western” sources. This need creates a more realistic opportunity for Esperance to become a region known for Rare Earth production. OD6 is in a prime position to capitalise on this opportunity, thanks to its large resource and high-grade nature.
Balancing the leachability and the cost of extraction is a matter of time and careful consideration. It’s important for investors to remember that mining is a long-term endeavor, measured in years and decades. Successful individuals like Warren Buffett invest with a long-term perspective, and that’s why we often quote them.
01:19 Splinter Rock Mineral Resource
01:55 1000ppm cutoff grade at Splinter Rock
04:40 How should investors look at the Maiden Mineral Resource?
05:55 Is the extraction process the more important discussion?
12:58 The larger the volume, the larger the area?
14:30 How much bigger can the resource get in terms of numbers?
17:49 The challenge of the mining sector
22:22 The geological consistency of the MagREO percentage
23:50 The significance of the hosting base rock in terms of chemistry
24:33 Possibility of grade variability?
26:13 Discussion about the rare earths market
27:19 The cost of mining soft rock and hard rock
29:03 Discussion about the current equity market
31:32 News flow
35:26 Main takeaway about the Maiden Mineral Resource