MONTREAL -- Just back from the mecca of ice hockey. We have plenty of ideas on titanium dioxide processors, graphite developers and even that CABO VERDE beachfront and casino developer now trading, pre-split, on the Bulletin Boards USA.
A lot of lucre is at stake at Argex Titanium ($RGX:CA) (ARGEF) , which is many months into a $300 million raise (likely all debt) for a Montreal-area plant that could disrupt the cartel of a half-dozen companies creating the world's most valuable whiter-shade-of-pale.
It's a special situation for TiO2, a whitener in paints, coatings, pigments, metals, even the middle of OREO cookies at one time.
The $120 million company could be on the cusp of a run of chemical processing plants that revise the tired-old and inferior process of creating titanium dioxide. Quelle horreur -- for Du Pont and other pigment developers.
All the chemistry, and the proprietary process for using ilmenite in a solvent extraction process to arrive at nearly pure titanium dioxide, hurts the head. [Remember, TCR might have a superior intelligent quotient, but its author, TC, does not.]
"Once our first industrial plant is built, RGX will be in the strongest position possible to decide the next step of its strategic growth: licensing, constructing new plants, retro-fitting existing plants, strategic regional alliances or some combination thereof," says Roy Bonnell, CEO and a founder of Argex, once an iron ore and vanadium prospector.
TCR got lucky. We were part of a group that was granted limited access to Argex's pilot plant, a jog from the St. Lawrence River and freshly planted rail. That Valleyfield, Quebec, part -- which included a non-disclosure on certain elements of the tour -- included a spell with two team leaders on the technology end: Enrico Di Cesare and Peter Waugh.
The two -- metallurgical engineers, pigment development veterans -- know as much about the several processes of creating the ultimate white additive, including the usual chloride process of making synthetic rutile, the feedstock for titanium dioxide, as anyone in the world. No jive.
This is a technical development in a business of rapid growth. PPG Industries (PPG) is a partner. If Argex succeeds in ramping up a 50,000-metric-ton yearly plant here in this industrial sliver of Montreal, it will have created a profit pill for shareholders and (future) partners, and a poison pill for its competitors, which include Du Pont de Nemours (DD) .
Titanium dioxide is found in pills, by the way, in cosmetics and in so many other products, it will make your head spin. It does mine. I do not own RGX shares.
After hearing Mr. Bonnell and his chief talking officer, er, I mean, financial officer, Glen Kayll, a veteran technology exec, present the Argex dynamic at corporate headquarters, across from McGill University's music conservatory in Montreal, I am looking at a purchase of RGX/ARGEF.
But first, some sonic-white aspirin please, with my titanium dioxide.
Check out the companies presenting in Hong Kong Thursday and Friday at the Precious Metals Summit in Hong Kong. It's live webcasting. This i ncludes Wellgreen Platinum's Greg Johnson and Orca Gold's Simon Jackson. I own Orca via the Canaco disastrous run of mistakes by managers there. I am glad I do, thus far -- on Orca, which is active in Africa's Sudan.
News ahead for Prophecy Coal? Bitterroot Resources? NuLegacy Gold ($NUG:CA)? Sometime soon, we gather . How is that for covering our bases? I own them all, and Nevada's NUGis one of our TCR 7.
Of Interest: Golden Valley Mines ($GZZ) is trying to determine why FINRA in the USA stripped its GLVMF ticker on the USA Pinks. It is an administrative issue that makes it more challenging for Americans to purchase Golden Valley Mines shares.
CEO Glenn Mullan tells me the proxy ticker (not a listing) is on its way to being restored this week.
Nothing appears to have changed with Malartic joint venture unit Abitibi Royalties (RZZ:CA) (ATBYF) . Golden Valley owns two-thirds of Abitibi Royalties.
I shared a sparkling water with Golden Valley Mines' Mr. Mullan at the Habs-Rangers game Tuesday evening at Bell Centre, Montreal. He says the next six to eight weeks will provide what could be potent Malartic data that determines the value of surging Abitibi Royalties ($RZZ), the Osisko Mining partner at CHL Malartic.
Osisko's annual general meeting is Friday in Montreal. A new Osisko company that supposedly offers a 5 percent net smelter return from Quebec's Canadian Malartic is in the works as a spinoff. That is, according to one chart distributed to Osisko shareholders.
The Malartic stake in this brewing Osisko spinoff is also in this presentation.
The proposed new-co and its Malartic corporate structuring might pose a possible question mark for Mr. Mullan's RZZ.
I am attaching that flow chart of the way Osisko ($OSK:CA), pending merger approval with Yamana (AUY) and Agnico-Eagle (AEM) , is supposed to look. If you can decipher what this all means for Abitibi Royalties's CHL Malartic joint venture and probable net smelter return provider, please clue me in.
Mr. Mullan tells me he is looking at all of this. RZZ and GZZ shares in Canada have had a rapid rise this spring against all probable odds. I own both, and TCR has been researching the two companies since July 2011. As I told Mr. Mullan, who is a member of the TCR family, I will hold my Abitibi Royalty shares until Quebec merges with Turks & Caicos. Or is purchased outright -- whichever arrives first.
There is no truth to talk that Mr. Mullan will be holding Golden Valley Mines' and Abitibi Royalties' annual general meeting at Bell Centre Saturday evening, during the seventh game of the NHL playoff. "We can expect a rousing effort this evening in NY from the Habs, and again, I hope, on Saturday back in Montreal," he says. [See below footsie-note] *
Notes -- The pre-Cabo Verde Capital ticker is WTARD and is extremely illiquid. That's OTC USA. I do not own it and have no idea what will happen when it starts trading as CABO in June. But I will give you our thoughts. ... Sysorex is still very much a special situation that will continue to show great sales growth quarter to quarter . It is SYRX on the OTC and I own it. ... Those who want an INSTITUTIONAL proxy analysis (Glass Lewis) of the way Serafino Iacono has inflated executive salaries and sown conflicts of interest at Gran Colombia Gold ($GCM:CA), please let us know. Mr. Iacono attended fewer than 75 percent of his own company's board meetings. He's co-chairman (read -- two salaries for the work of one exec) of GCM, which was until two weeks ago one of our TCR featured companies. I still own the gosh-forsaken shares.
I will be meeting several companies, including Sysorex and American Sands Energy, at the LD Micro confab in west Los Angeles next Wednesday.
What I am purchasing this week: After selling some of my American Sands Energy (AMSE) earlier in the month for a profit, I look again to be a buyer. This is the one that trades at a fraction of its Utah neighbor, U.S. Oil Sands. The company has a water-free technology to process oil sands at low cost .
TCR Blips members ($20 extra): Yours for the asking: Cantor Fitzgerald report on Argex Titanium; a report on an extremely speculative China traditional medicine company that trades in the USA; an informal update from Prophecy Coal inn Mongolia; more data on real estate developer Cabo Verde Capital; a research report on American Sands Energy. New! TCR Blips
*As for hockey mecca, I attended the Canadiens-Rangers game Tuesday evening, one of the most entertaining in recent memory, with KeReport's Cory Fleck and Nouveau Monde's ($NOU:CA) Eric Desaulniers. Go HABS. ... The above quotation from Mr. Mullan about the Habs' playoff game this evening against the NY Rangers was made in Quebecois French and is likely riddled with translation errors, but still generally accurate.
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