LONDON, April 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
This might be the smartest mining opportunity in 2018. It's not coal, oil, copper. Nor is it silver, gold or platinum. And one little-known miner called Vatic Ventures (VCV.V) with a simple business strategy is sitting on a potential find that could make a real difference in Asia. Mentioned in today's commentary includes: Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE:KGC), Cameco Corporation (NYSE:CCJ), First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG), Pretium Resources (NYSE:PVG), Wheaton Precious Metals Corps. (NYSE: WPM).
Their strategy? Scour the globe with the latest technology for a commodity that is needed right where the commodity is found. In fact, they are hoping to be sitting on one of the largest finds of its kind, in the PERFECT location.
- It has the infrastructure... electricity, water, roads and labor.
- It has incredible local and regional demand from Southeast Asia, India and China.
The commodity? It's critical to rice and other crop production, and it is located in a region experiencing tremendous growth. It's a vital component in fertilizers, and it is crucial for increasing crop yields. Without it, the world's population could go hungry.
The price of potash is hovering around $225 per ton and could well increase over the course of 2018. And as the world's population continues to grow, demand for potash is set to rise higher and higher and higher.
That's where Vatic Ventures Corp. (VCV.V) comes in.
Right now, the potash market is cornered by several major producers - Canada and Russia - where production and transportation costs are high, and reserves are dwindling. To meet future demand, potash miners are seeking out new deposits.
The UN projects the world's population to rise 42% to 10 billion people by 2050, and farmers are going to need a lot of potash to help grow enough food to fill all those stomachs. Potash demand is very likely to rise along with Vatic's chances of success if it finds what it hopes to on its project.
Here are five reasons to keep a close eye on developments in Thailand:
#1 Major Discovery
The Saksrithai potash project in northeastern Thailand is 32 sq. kms of prime real estate, 270 kms from Bangkok, Thailand. So, transportation costs of the potash to end users would be low compared to current transport routes that must cross the world to get into the local market. Local production will also cut down on the premium that is paid by regional potash importers. This is important because potash is shipped by the ton and is very bulky.
Vatic (VCV.V) obtained an 80 percent interest in Saksrithai in early 2017, and immediately proceeded with an initial seismic survey, environmental study and geological survey. Drilling is set to commence around May 1, 2018, and Vatic plans to spend $1.5 million over 15-18 months to prove the project's feasibility.
Thailand is believed to have the world's largest untapped potash deposits. The Khorat Evaporite basin contains billions of tons of sylvanite and carnallite, covering about 300,000 sq km. It was formed millions of years ago and is prime potash mining real estate.
The deposit at Udon Thani, which the CEO of Vatic first developed in the 1990s, was estimated to hold 908 million tons at current prices, worth $206 billion. Recognizing the bonanza, the Thai government put together a steering committee in 2014 to attract investment in potash mining.
Even better, the project at Saskrithai is said to be shallow and easy to mine. So, mining costs are low.
Vatic's property is hoped to be bountiful or more. Its surveys have uncovered promising signs of deposits of high grade, and the potential of the deposit could be as large as the property itself.
#2 Location, Location, Location
The key to Vatic's (VCV.V) future is the location of its big discovery: Thailand.
Nearly all the world's potash comes from a handful of exporters, all of them in Russia, Europe or North America. But the major import markets are in Asia, and one of the biggest markets is Southeast Asia. And that's where Vatic comes in. According to the USGA, "Global scarcity is not the issue with potash-transportation costs are."
Vatic has the solution: its potash exploration property is close to major markets. Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia make up 75 percent of all Asian potash imports, excluding China and India. It will also benefit from the support of the Thai government, which is directly investing in potash, and cheap labor costs.
Thailand currently imports 100 percent of its potash, which means that a Saksrithai find could fill a major hole in the Southeast Asian market. Imports have kept up with demand since 2011, and demand is expected to rise steadily until 2027. And in China and India, potash demand is massive-it's crucial to regional rice and palm oil production.
From the Saksrithai property, Vatic has excellent access to excellent infrastructure: it can drive potash down the road to market with a relatively low transportation investment.
So, thanks to advantages in cost and a superb geographic location, the opportunities for Vatic (VCV.V) to tap major market demand for potash are massive.
#3 Steady Margins, Lower Volatility
The world needs potash: it's a crucial ingredient in fertilizer and is in hot demand all over the world. In 2016, consumption of potash exceeded shipments, indicating a tight market. Supply is expected to quadruple between 2020-2027 to keep up with demand, but there's a chance that delays in bringing new production on-line would lead to a tight market, potentially for the next decade.
Vatic's project in Thailand is on the doorstep of the world's largest potash markets-China and India. Demand for potash has been growing strong at 6 percent per year and shows no signs of slowing down.
In Southeast Asia, demand for potash is off the charts-it's 4.25X local production, requiring mass imports from Russia and Canada. But Vatic's potash play in Thailand is aimed to help meet that demand, at a lower price than competitors.
That means its market is ready when Vatic is ready with product.
#4 Management Team
Vatic Ventures (VCV.V) is a Western company making a play for Thai potash-because it's led by a management team with the skill set needed to pull off a this very promising venture.
CEO Dr. Gerald Wright already has one big success under his belt. He was part of the first Thai potash play by a Western company-Udon Thani, which he helped fund and develop in the mid-1990s. As CEO of Asia Pacific, Wright took a struggling firm to an almost $1 billion valuation, raising over $100 million in the 1990s.
The Board of Directors is dominated by Nasim Tyab, a financier with twenty years of experience in international capital markets, and Barry Coughlan, a Vancouver-based businessman with thirty-years of experience in financing and a string of successful mining ventures under his belt.
As a Western firm to get into Thai potash mining, Vatic has an open field in which to expand-and hopes to seize opportunities other companies haven't recognized yet.
#5 On the Edge of Discovery
Vatic (VCV.V) has already begun picking up steam. In February the company's stock uplisted from the NEX to the TSX Venture Exchange, where it qualifies as a Tier Two stock. This is sure to attract more attention for a company that has a tiny $3.6 million market cap. But then again, the Vatic play could be much, much bigger. Dr. Wright, the CEO, has very high hopes.
The pre-drilling indications are promising, and the nearby potash property is already projected to bring in hundreds of thousands of tons.
The Thai market depends on imports, which local production could be in a great position to undercut, capturing a huge share of the market. Thailand's strategic location makes it the perfect place from which to jump into the lucrative Southeast Asian markets-
Vatic (VCV.V) is one to look at carefully... before the extent of its resources becomes known.
Other companies poised to take advantage of the commodities boom:
Kinross Gold Corporation (NYSE:KGC) is relatively new on the scene, founded in the early 90s, but it certainly isn't lacking drive or experience. In 2015, the company received the highest ranking for of any Canadian miner in Maclean's magazine's annual assessment of socially responsible companies. With over 30 million ounces of proven or probable gold reserves, Kinross makes for a solid bet for investors.
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.
First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG): There's a lot of bullishness around this stock, with earnings growth expected to be high over the next 3-5 years. The optimism is absolutely justified as this Canadian mining company has been operating in Mexico for nearly a decade and has over $770 million in assets including 5 of the most promising locations in the country.
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.
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. (NYSE: WPM) In the volatile mining sector, Wheaton Precious Metals Corps. has risen above its competition by offering regular dividends to investors.
The company has a dividend model based on returning 30 percent of the cash generated through operations over a twelve-month period.
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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