LONDON, April 27, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
There's a perfect storm brewing. The global population is growing at a rate of 200,000 people a day…but at the same time the world is losing farmland at breakneck speed from erosion, pollution, climate change and urbanization. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ), Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY), Alamos Gold Inc (NYSE:AGI), Cameco Corporation (NYSE:CCJ), Pretium Resources (NYSE:PVG).
In fact, scientists say that over the last 40 years the world's lost one-third of its arable land. If things keep going at that rate, they predict that by 2050 the earth's population could be too big to feed itself.
So, the world has a choice: either increase crop yields or suffer a bloody food fight that will make World War II look like a schoolyard tussle.
Enter potash. Everyone takes this fundamental element for granted, even though an estimated 7.7 billion people - Earth's entire population - depend on it for survival.
See, potash (along with other potassium-containing compounds) is used in fertilizers. It's an essential element because crops can't grow without it (and humanity can't survive without crops). But there's a problem - while potash isn't scarce, it's terribly expensive to transport.
Until the mid-1990s there was no significant regional source, so countries in Southeast Asia were forced to import most of their potash from Canada and Russia, the world's two largest producers.
Then a little-known Canadian mining company hit on a massive deposit in Thailand, which not only reduced the country's need to import potash, it transformed the firm into a $1 billion company.
Now another tiny mineral explorer from Canada is perfectly positioned to achieve similar success. That company is Vatic Ventures Corp. (VCV, VTTCF) who recently up-listed to the Toronto Venture Exchange.
Last year the outfit acquired 80 percent of Saksrithai Developments Company, a Thai mining company that held a 100 percent interest in two potash prospecting licenses in Thailand. These licenses allow Vatic (VCV, OVTTCF) to drill for potash in an area known as the Khorat Basin, the world's largest undeveloped high-grade potash resource.
The venture is called the Saksrithai Potash Project and odds that it will strike pay dirt are high. The licenses for this project are adjacent to the soon-to-be-online Dan Khun Thot Potash Mine (operated by the Thai Kali Company).
That mine is sitting on top of huge proven reserves, and there's every reason to believe the Saksrithai Potash Project is as well. When it comes to the nascent potash industry in Thailand, few are as knowledgeable as Tyab.
He served as a consultant in the Udon Thani Potash Project that was being developed by Asian Pacific Resources in the mid-1990s. He was also a member of its corporate development team.
The Udon project turned out to be wildly successful, and is Asia's most significant commercial potash discovery to date. After that game-changing discovery, the CEO of Asian Pacific asked Tyab to join him in another Thai-based potash venture.
"So I did the deal with him and he became CEO of Vatic," Tyab said, "and he had this project and rolled it in for shares and now he is aligned with the shareholders…"
That venture is the Saksrithai Project, and the new CEO of Vatic is Dr. Gerald Wright.
Dr. Wright is a 30-year veteran in the industry of mineral exploration and development in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa, and has extensive experience and knowledge of the global potash industry.
And while they're all still importing most of their potash from Canada and Russia, soon they'll be able to slash their imports thanks to Vatic (VCV, VTTCF).
"Location is the key to this," Tyab said, "because potash is sold by the ton so there is at least a $60 per ton transportation advantage to sell into the Asian market (from Thailand)."
Right now there are four companies working to develop Thailand's vast potash reserves. Of those four, Vatic (VCV, VTTCF) offers the most upside for investors due to its ridiculously low valuation.
Right now it's valued at $2.89 million, with shares going for a measly 6 cents. Tyab believes the days of that cheap price are numbered because Vatic (VCV, VTTCF) is about to ramp up its Saksrithai Project.
"We start drilling in May," he said, "and that should be a value transformation because if we get what next door has, we have a very valuable asset."
That prediction is attributed to demand, as annual potash consumption is expected to grow from 60 million tons to 70 million tons by 2020. The reason, of course, is more and more potash is needed to maximize the crop yields of arable land, which is shrinking every year.
And that's good news for Vatic (VCV, VTTCF).
Here are five more reasons experts are watching the developments in Thailand.
1. The company's marketing strategy will focus on meeting the increasing demand of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
These four countries consume about 75 percent of Asian potash imports (excluding China and India) and have a current demand exceeding 5 million tons of potash annually. What's more, that figure is estimated to rise 5 percent a year.
Rice and palm oil are crops that consume huge amounts of potash, and these crops are staples for millions of Southeast Asians. In fact, rice and palm oil cultivation account for about 70 percent of potash usage in Southeast Asia.
3. Potash from Thailand is much easier to mine than elsewhere because deposits are significantly shallower than in other parts of the world.
Thailand's potash beds are only about 300 meters deep, as compared to 1 1/2 kilometers deep in Canada. This means exploration costs are more economical in Thailand. This is obviously a huge plus for Vatic and its shareholders.
4. The seismic data interpretation of Vatic's licenses is extremely positive.
Initial review of that data demonstrates the Saksrithai Project has structural continuity with the adjacent Dan Khun Thot Potash Project, which is under construction and where significant economic ore grades have been identified.
So, it's highly likely that Saksrithai will produce volumes of economically viable potash.
5. Vatic (VCV, VTTCF) management has extensive exploration experience:
Dr. Gerald Wright has been CEO and a Director since 2017. Dr. Wright is a Professional Engineer (Province of BC) and holds a Doctorate in Engineering from Queen's University, Belfast.
He was co-founder of the Crew Group of Companies and has over 30 years experience in the minerals exploration and development industry in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa.
He also served as a Senior Officer and Director of a number of public and private companies and has extensive experience and knowledge of the global potash industry - particularly the resources underlying Thailand's Khorat Plateau.
In addition, he was CEO of Asia Pacific Resources Ltd. for 12 years, during which time he was directly responsible for the acquisition, financing and development of that company's Udon Thani project - Asia's most significant commercial potash discovery to date.
Nasim Tyab has been a Director since 2011. Tyab is a businessman with a background in management, corporate development and public company finance. He has over 25 years experience guiding public companies in the minerals and energy sectors. He's also served as President of Oracle Energy Corp. since 2000 and was the President of Senco Sensors, Inc. from 1995 to 2001.
Thomas Wilson has been Chief Financial Officer since 2011. Wilson has over 35 years of corporate experience in all areas of financial management and administration, including corporate governance, government and securities compliance, and financial administration.
5 More Companies To Watch As Commodities Explode In 2018:
Turquoise Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ) is a mid-cap Canadian mineral exploration and development company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. Its focus is on the Pacific Rim where it is in the process of developing several large mines. The company mines a diversified set of metals/minerals including Coal, Gold, Copper, Molybdenum, Silver, Rhenium, Uranium, Lead and Zinc.
Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY), a significant gold miner is about to complete its Cerro Moro project in Argentina, giving its investors something major to look out for. The company plans to ramp up its gold production by 20% through 2019 and its silver production by a whopping 200%.
Despite a small drop in 2017 gold production, the company still managed to beat analyst expectations.
Alamos Gold Inc (NYSE:AGI) is a Canadian mining monster. The company is engaged in exploration, development, and acquisition of precious metals. Alamos' properties are spread across Canada and Mexico, and its gold operations are booming.
The company is nearly the $3-billion market cap level, and as the bitcoin boom slows, investors are returning to precious metals in a hurry.
Cameco Corporation (NYSE:CCJ) is the world's largest publicly traded uranium company, accounting for nearly 18 percent of the world's uranium production. Cameco made it onto this list of miners due to its mining expertise and wide range of assets. Cameco's operations are primarily based in North America, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.
Pretium Resources (NYSE:PVG): This impressive Canadian company is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of precious metal resource properties in the Americas. Pretium has an impressive portfolio and if you can catch the stock while the price is right, there could be huge opportunity for upside.
By. Ian Jenkins
**IMPORTANT! BY READING OUR CONTENT YOU EXPLICITLY AGREE TO THE FOLLOWING. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
This news release contains forward-looking information which is subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements in this release include that the Thailand potash resource will prove as large and as high grade as hoped; that the potash reserves can be mined; that Vatic will have sufficient funds to develop the potash fields to the point of profitability; that the price for potash will rise; that the Thai project will be able to produce potash as currently scheduled; that Vatic's potash will enjoy lower costs to market; that Vatic's exploration and operating costs will be lower than other potash projects; that the potash when produced by Vatic will be high quality suitable for standard use; and that Vatic will be able to carry out its business plans. These forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking information. Risks that could change or prevent these statements from coming to fruition include that Vatic may not get Thai approval for its mining, production and sale/export of potash; Vatic may not be able to pay the costs of development; aspects or all of the property's development may not be successful, production of potash may not be cost effective as expected; there is substantial political risk in Thailand, which have the potential of harming production and assets or having assets expropriated; Vatic may not raise sufficient funds to carry out its plans, changing costs for extraction and processing; increased capital costs; the timing and content of upcoming work programs; geological interpretations and technological results based on current data that may change with more detailed information or testing; potential process methods and resource recoveries assumptions based on limited test work with further test work may not be viable; world potash prices may drop; the availability of labour, equipment and markets for the products produced; and despite the current expected viability of its projects, that the potash reserves are not proven or cannot be economically produced on its properties, or that the required permits to build and operate the envisaged facilities cannot be obtained. Currently, Vatic has no revenues. The forward-looking information contained herein is given as of the date hereof and the Company assumes no responsibility to update or revise such information to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
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