COMMON QUESTIONS

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.

Why is there a shortage of barite?

  • The oil and gas drilling market has grown substantially worldwide due to the demand for energy. The barite demand tracks with energy demand. There has been limited exploration for new barite deposits and new mines are required to increase supply.
  • Industrial grade barite demand has increased due to increased demand for plastics and paints, the automotive industry and increased demand for barium based chemicals.
  • The market that was controlled by China and India is unable to provide the supply to overcome the demand.
  • China has begun to consume domestically more barite every year due to its growing oil and gas industry. China shale gas industry is poised to consume over half of Chinese barite production.
  • China is the largest producer of barite in the world. When China begins to consume 100% of its production there will be serious worldwide supply issues.
  • 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.

 

What is your competition?

  • For the Industrial market there are a few small producers in Mexico and a small low grade producer in Georgia USA. The majority of industrial barite is supplied by China. There are no high grade industrial barite producers in Canada or the USA.
  • For oil field grade barite the majority comes from China and India. There is one small barite mine in the Yukon which historically produces 20,000-30,000 tonnes per year.  In Nevada there are five mines and all are controlled by the energy service sector. All of these mines are currently shut down, many  permanently. The US imports over 80% of its barite from Asia
  • Canada imports over 90% of its barite from Asia.
  • This is why barite is a Critical & Strategic Mineral.

 

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 in the heart of the Western Canadian oil patch so we have excellent logistics advantage.
  • Voyageur grades are very high which will allow our company to sell a premium product.
  • Our cost to produce is approximately equivalent to our competitor’s logistic costs to land product in Canada. This provides Voyageur with a big competitive advantage.

 

What is barite used for besides drilling oil and gas wells?

  • Industrial barite is used as filler for paints, polymers and plastics. It is used in the manufacturing of brake pads, vehicle floor mats and mud flaps. Barite is used for radiation shielding in nuclear power plants. Barite is used in lighting and electrical storage industry. Barite is used by the chemical industry to manufacture barium carbonate and barium based chemicals and acids. Clean high grade barite is a high end product that is used by the pharmaceutical industry for human ingestion in several applications.

 

Why is barite important to the energy service sector?

  • Barite is used for weight/pressure control in  oil and  gas wells. It is a critical component of every over pressured wells drilling fluid matrix.
  • Barite is used as a lost leader to secure drilling fluid contracts. These contracts allow the energy service company to sell high margin products and services to the oil and gas companies.
  • Energy Service companies who own their own mines are more competitive than those companies who do not.

 

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.

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