Appia Energy Corp.‘s (CSE: API | OTCQB: APAAF) (‘Appia’) stock price has been on a tremendous run the past year, up 364%, as shown below. Today I take a look at why the stock has done so well, and what’s next for Appia Energy, potentially soon to be renamed Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp. (retaining the same stock tickers).
Appia Energy Corp. 1 year stock price performance
The reasons why Appia has had a great past year are multiple but would include:
- Rising prices for rare earths, and to a lesser degree uranium.
- Greater recognition by investors on Appia’s potential.
- Successful exploration by Appia on their Alces Lake project and progress towards next stage development.
Regarding higher rare earth prices, on March 3, 2021 Appia stated:
“In the oxide form, the Shanghai Metals Market quoted February 28 prices per kg in US$ are: Nd $105, up over 100% year over year (“YoY”), Pr $74.95 up over 18% in one month, Dy $424.95 up nearly 100% YoY, Tb $1468.02 up nearly 200% YoY. There is an unusually high concentration of gallium at Alces Lake compared with other deposits and the price of Gd Oxide increased by 18% in one month to $35.93.”
A lot of investors may not yet know about the surge in rare earth prices, but here at InvestorIntel, we have been warning for some time to expect higher prices for critical metals. This is because we are just at the beginning of a new era of renewable low carbon energy (wind, solar, nuclear) and electric vehicles (EVs), which all need critical metals.
This leads to the reason for Appia’s proposed name change. Appia Energy is focused on rare earths (Alces Lake Project) and uranium (Athabasca Basin uranium prospects).
Appia state the reason for the name change as:
“In order to better identify the Company’s focus on the Alces Lake Project and the Athabasca Basin uranium prospects. The Property hosts some of the highest-grade total and critical rare earth elements (“CREE”) and gallium mineralization in the world. CREE is defined here as those rare earth elements that are in short-supply and high-demand for use in permanent magnets and modern electronic applications such as electric vehicles and wind turbines, (i.e: neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr) dysprosium (Dy), and terbium (Tb)).”
Appia’s Alces Lake Project (100% owned)
The Alces Lake Project is unique for its exceptional high grade rare earths (2nd highest globally with average grade 16.65 wt% TREO and 3.85 wt% CREO) hosted in the favorable monazite ore. Critical rare earth elements (‘CREE’) at the Alces Lake Project include neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr) dysprosium (Dy), terbium (Tb). There is also considerable gallium (Ga). The property has huge potential exploration upside, over a 45 km regional trend, as less than 1% of the Property has been explored with diamond drilling.
Note: TREO is Total Rare Earth Oxides and CREO is Critical Rare Earth Oxides.
Appia Energy Corp.’s Alces Lake has the 2nd highest global average grade at 16.65 wt% TREO hosted in monazite ore (some super high grade zones shown below)
The Alces Lake project area is 17,577 hectares and is 100% owned by Appia. The project is located close to an old mining camp with existing support services, such as transportation (15 km from the nearest trail), energy infrastructure (hydroelectric power), a 1,200 m airstrip that receives daily scheduled services and access to heavy equipment.
The Property is located in Saskatchewan, the same provincial jurisdiction that plans to develop a “first-of-its-kind” rare earth processing facility in Canada, scheduled to become operational in 2022. This means Appia may have the opportunity to fast track early stage production of rare earths, at a low CapEx. I wrote about that previously here. Appia state: “Appia would “ideally” consider a surface and near-surface operation to start production, smaller than open pit scenario, easier to permit and manage, potentially low CAPEX/OPEX.”
Appia’s goal is to maintain a small environmental foot-print with a possible low CapEx start and initially use the Saskatchewan Research Council Rare Earths Processing facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
What’s ahead for Appia Energy in 2021
Appia plans to continue to further rapidly develop their Alces Lake Project under newly appointed President Mr. Frederick Kozak. Mr Kozak is a highly experienced capital markets and resource executive with a background in geological engineering, business, and as an equities analyst at Canaccord Genuity & Haywood Securities. This boosts the team at Appia as they expand exploration and begin the next steps towards production.
During the Summer of 2021, Appia intend to drill in excess of 5,000 metres at their Alces Lake Project with a goal to further grow their rare earths resource, in particular, to potentially discover further high grade rare earth oxide occurrences. Appia has also commenced bench-scale metallurgical testing at the SRC facilities. The intent is to refine the extraction process to separate the rare earths oxide and ultimately produce Nd and Pr oxides, gallium oxide, as well as uranium oxide.
Appia also intend to further exploration for high-grade uranium in the prolific Athabasca Basin on Appia’s Loranger, North Wollaston, and Eastside properties.
Appia Energy now has a new President, and if approved on May 18, 2021, will change its name to Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp.
After a blockbuster past year Appia is now positioning for a solid 2021. If things go well I would expect we would also see an upgrade from the CSE to the TSXV, and a further re-rating for Appia.