Nick Hodge is out with a new promo that’s catching the attention of Gumshoe readers — it’s all about the “sixth element” and a company with a massive stockpile of it that should make us all rich.
I don’t want to spoil the whole surprise, of course — what fun would that be? — but yes, we can cut to the chase just a little bit and say that this is indeed another graphene/graphite tease.
Graphite, as you’re probably know, is a form of carbon that’s used for pencil lead, for lubrication, in lithium-ion batteries, and in steel furnaces, among other things. And the high quality, large flake variety of graphite is a raw ingredient that can be used to make graphene.
Graphene is a nanomaterial, essentially it’s a sheet of graphite that’s only one atom thick — and it is conductive, transparent, and extraordinarily strong and flexible. So it really does fit the bill as a “wonder material” that could be a building block of the next wave of incredible advancements — it’s been compare to plastic and the silicon chip as regards the potential impact it might have across all parts of the economy. So yes, it’s big … but it’s new, and no one’s quite sure how to cost-effectively make it in large quantities yet, or what applications will actually turn out to be the critical consumers of graphene.
I’ve been quite skeptical of the graphite exploration companies as they’ve been teased over the past couple years — the story is compared to the “rare earths” story, because most graphite is produced by China (though they don’t have quite as much of a lock on it as they do on rare earths), and most of the stocks experienced a real boom and bust period as they were touted for their graphene potential and collapsed with faltering steel demand and/or the slowdown in investor interest when the newsletters backed off on promoting the graphite/graphene story for a little while.
Most of the “real” graphite exploration stocks — those with a real, at least partly defined asset — peaked out in early 2012 and have come down hard since then, including several that were actively teased by a handful of newsletters (Northern Graphite (NGC.V, NGPHF), Flinders Resources (FDR.V, FLNXF) and Focus Graphite (FMS.V, FCSMF). And most of those assets were either long-known deposits or existing, shuttered mines — projects that had been delayed or closed because of low graphite prices in years past.
Here’s how Nick Hodge introduces us to his latest graphite “story stock”:
“The ‘Sixth Element’
“This ‘inside info’ from a world-renowned explorer could be worth $484,000 to you…
“but only if you heed this advice before May 31st….
“… a call I recently got was different.
“It was from a man with noticeable conviction in his voice — a man I’d never talked to before.
“He told me he’d tracked me down because he had a story to tell…
“About a massive $8.6 billion plus ‘wonder mineral’ discovery in the wilds of Alaska — and the sub-50-cent company that uncovered it.
“It’s a mineral, he said, that many call the ‘Sixth Element’ because of its placement on the periodic table.
“I was intrigued, of course. I’m always on the lookout for early advantage opportunities for my readers.
“And as I quickly learned, this one has the potential to be an enormous moneymaker for quick-moving investors.
“Fact is, it’s extremely rare to come across an exploration company with a market cap in the tens of millions that is sitting on a discovery potentially worth over $8.6 billion.”
“Potentially” is a important word there, of course — much different than “currently.” Discoveries are great, but before you fill your head with the big numbers you get from multiplying “price per tone” by the “potential” size of the resource there’s a long row to hoe in exploring and defining a resource to become more certain about what’s there … and, more importantly still, to contemplate whether the “potential” mine can be permitted and built, how much it will cost, how and where the ore will be refined to become sellable, and how you can get that refined product to the end markets who will pay for it.
Most of you know all that already, of course — ore is worth more on a ship bound for China than it is a couple thousand feet underground in a remote part of the world — but I just wanted to point out that the big numbers that newsletters almost all toss around in their teasers are based on the somewhat justifiable but simplistic math of “this is how much stuff might be underground” multiplied by “this is what people are paying for the refined version of this mineral right now.”