September 21, 2022 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Rover Metals Inc. is moving quickly as it eyes the all-important critical metals and minerals sector with a district-scale claystone lithium project in Nevada.
Rover Metals Corp. (ROVR:TSX.V; ROVMF:OTCQB; 4X0:FRA) is continuing its pivot from gold to critical metals and minerals by signing a letter of intent to option a 100% ownership interest in a district-scale claystone lithium project in Nevada.
The company just announced last week that it had closed on its deal involving the Indian Mountain Lake copper and zinc project in the Northwest Territories.
Rover does not plan to exit from its Cabin and Up Town gold projects but said it is trying to get ahead of the curve in a world that’s hungry for the metals and elements needed for electric vehicles (EVs), solar power, and many military applications.
China has about 85% of the world’s rare earth element (REE) processing capability and processes most of the world’s lithium, as well.
“The western world does not like to be beholden to the Chinese,” rare earths expert Michael Thomsen, executive chairman and founding director of North American Strategic Minerals Inc., told Streetwise Reports. “The European and the U.S. governments … are scrambling for other sources. That presents an opportunity for mining companies that are willing to take a look at a different commodity. It’s not surprising that … groups are switching from precious metals and base metals to rare earths.”
Rover said it has verified high-grade lithium surface samples at the project of 780 parts per million lithium (ppm Li), 910 ppm Li, and 710 ppm Li. Further analysis of samples using handheld laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy found results of 1,218 ppm Li, 778 ppm Li, and 724 ppm Li, the company said.
Chief Executive Officer and Director Judson Culter said the company is readying a US$200,000 reverse-circulation drill program to follow up on those high-grade samples. That exploration money will also be the company’s required earn-in to a 100% ownership of the project.
The greenfields lithium project includes hydro power lines, direct road access, and a nearby town with a readily available workforce, the company said.
The company owns the Cabin and Up Town gold projects outright, so Culter said it made sense to hold onto those projects. But Rover announced it would be dropping its acquisition plans for the Tobin gold project, which is also in Nevada.
Lithium and other critical elements like the copper and zinc at Indian Mountain Lake are needed in massive quantities for the world’s shift to green energy. Lithium is a major component of EV batteries, and REEs are used in purifying water, MRIs, fertilizers, weapons, research, wind turbines, computers, and permanent magnet motors for EVs.
China only has less than a quarter of the world’s lithium resources but controlled about two-thirds of the world’s lithium processing and refining capacity in 2021, Rystad Energy said.
One out of five vehicles sold worldwide could be an EV in less than two years, and Ford and General Motors have set a goal of achieving 40-50% of their sales from EVs in the U.S. by 2030.
The climate and energy package just passed by the United States is bringing new urgency to EV metals and minerals. To qualify for tax credits, a significant percentage of batteries and minerals in batteries must come from the U.S. or Canada, a regional trade-treaty country.
“Lithium aligns with our energy strategy and our goal of working toward a greener future by supplying the U.S. automotive industry,” Culter said. “Nevada is the best mining jurisdiction in the U.S. if you can get a good project.”
Thomsen said making a pivot like Rover’s is not difficult to do. “If you have people with good experience, they can go out and identify good gold systems and (also) go out and identify potential rare earth systems. … As long as you have some people with experienced eyes looking at the rocks,” he said.
Culter and family members own about 12 million shares of Rover, and directors Keith Minty and Louis Covello own about 1 million and about 400,000, respectively. There are no institutional shareholders, and the rest are retail.
Rover’s market cap is CA$3.94 million, and it has 157.56 million shares outstanding, 149.5 million of them free-floating. It trades in a 52-week range of CA$0.08 and CA$0.02.
1) Steve Sobek wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC. He or members of his household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. He or members of his household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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