The 5G revolution, American military defense, and even time itself are
dependent on this one critical metal that China monopolizes and that the U.S.
is desperate to get more of.
The metal is Cesium, and it's quite possible you've never even heard of
it--yet, global dominance, which depends on technological superiority, can't
happen without it.
In fact, there are 16 metals in total that are absolutely critical to high-tech
industries, military applications and telecommunications--and China controls the supply of every single one because it
controls 96% of production.
That includes cesium, for which China has a monopoly on stockpiles, mines
aren't really producing anymore, and the United States has none, leaving North America's only hope
Time Is Running Out for This Most Strategic of Metals
Cesium is so secretive and obscure that it's nearly impossible to track its
real market price.
It's strategic in and of itself, but its rarity makes it even more critical.
The supreme technological war of global dominance can't be won without these
metals, so whoever controls them has the upper hand.
Cesium is described by the German Institute for Strategic Metals (ISE) as "the most electropositive of all stable
elements in the periodic table", and the heaviest of the stable metals.
Cesium is "extremely pyrophoric, ignites spontaneously when in contact
with air, and explodes violently in water or ice at any temperature above -116
The strategic metal's applications in the healthcare industry are expected to
soar as laboratories already use cesium compounds in medical imaging, cancer
therapy, positron emission tomography (PET) and others.
The latest market analysis by Technavio predicts the cesium market will grow by 1.66
thousand MT between 2020 and 2014, driven by everything from catalyst
promoters, glass amplifiers, photoelectric cell components, crystals in
scintillation counters, and getters in vacuum tubes.
Much cesium demand also comes from the oil and gas industry, which uses cesium formate brines in
drilling fluids to prevent blow-outs in high-temperature, over-pressurized
In terms of world dominance, the "cesium standard" is the key. This
is the standard by which the accurate commercially available atomic clocks
measure time, and it's vital for the data transmission infrastructure of mobile
networks, GPS and the internet.
That means it has serious defense applications as well, including in infrared
detectors, optics, night vision goggles and much, much more. A cesium laser has even been invested for use in missile
defense and other technological applications.
So, imagine China being able to starve manufacturers of something like cesium,
which would seriously disrupt U.S. industry and hinder the development of
critical military equipment.
That's why, finally, in December 2019, the United States and Canada agreed on a
strategy to reduce the need for rare-earth metals mined or
controlled by China.
Wide Open Playing Field
The only company in the cesium supply chain right now is Chinese, and one of
the only companies on the radar for potential commercial cesium supplies in
North America is Canadian junior Power
Metals, which is hoping to prove that it's sitting on the world's fourth
deposit of the critical metal.
The company discovered the pegmatites at West Joe Dyke in August 2018, intersecting high-grade
cesium mineralization in six drill holes when it was targeting lithium instead.
So, the focus now is not on what has been lost to China, but the promise of new
North American critical cesium.
Dr. Julie Selway, a key geologist for the Ontario Geological Survey during
the tantalum boom of the early 2000s, and now VP of exploration for Power
Metals, says the three properties the company is drilling are likely to have
similar finds as the strategically important Sinclair mine in Australia.
"They are shipping their resource, which they say is higher than 10%
cesium-oxide, and ours have some that are between 12% and 14% of
cesium-oxide," Selway--one of the world's most renowned experts on pegmatites--told
Power Metals has intersected cesium (Cs) mineralization in 6 drill holes on
West Joe Dyke, with "exceptionally high-grade" Li and Ta intervals.
They also found Cs mineralization in drill core in the first new dyke below
Main Dyke, as well as in the drill core in Northeast Dyke.
On February 20th, Power Metals announced its exploration
plans, and will begin stripping and channel sampling on West Joe Dyke in the Q2
of this year already. That's when they'll expose, sample and assay the cesium
mineralization on surface outcrops to find more cesium-bearing pegmatite dykes
This is one big chance to one-up Beijing, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, has tried to manipulate the market so
critical metals such as Cesium are cheaper in China than outside the country.
What this did was prompt some major manufacturers and tech industries to set up
shop in China, where they could get supplies at a lower cost.
You might not have heard of cesium before, but you will hear about it soon because
North America needs its own supply if it's going to win the war for global
technological dominance--and the front line of defense could end up being West Joe
Dyke, and a junior explorer that not only thinks strategically, but may be
sitting on one of the only deposits that China doesn't control.
Other companies shaking up China's rare-earth dominance:
Teck Resources (NYSE:TECK, TSX:TECK)
Teck could be one of the best-diversified miners out there, with a broad
portfolio of Copper, Zinc, Energy, Gold, Silver and Molybdenum assets. Its free
cash flow and a lower volatility outlook for base metals in combination with a
potential trade war breakthrough could send the stock higher in H2 of this
Teck's share price stabilized last year and many investment banks now see the
stock as undervalued. Low prices for Canadian crude and disappointing base
metals prices weighed on Q4 earnings.
Despite its struggles, however, Teck Resources recently received a favorable
investment rating from Fitch and Moody's, and will likely benefit from its
upgraded score. "Having investment grade ratings is very important to us
and confirms the strong financial position of the company," said Don Lindsay,
President and CEO. "We are very pleased to receive this second credit
Hill Resources (NYSE:TRQ ,TSX:TRQ)
Turqouise 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. One of the fortes
of Turquoise hill is its good relationship with mining giant Rio Tinto.
Turquoise has seen its share price languish last year, and the successful
development of its world-class Oyu Tolgoi project in Mongolia is of utmost
important to the future of this miner.
Resources (NYSE:PVG, TSX: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. Additionally, construction
and engineering activities at its top location continue to advance, and
commercial production is targeted for this year.
With Pretium's variety of assets, this mining giant is a key figure in Canada's
resource realm. Investors know a good thing when they see it and have
definitely taken note of this company's ambitious and forward-looking drive.
International (NYSE:MGA, TSX:MG)
Based in Aurora, Ontario, Magna is a global automotive supplier is gutsy and
innovative--and definitely tuned to the obvious future--clean transportation. A
great catalyst is its development of a combo electric/hydrogen vehicle--a fuel
cell range-extended EV (FCREEV). It's not going to produce them (for now, at
least) but plans to use the model to show off its engineering and design
prowess and produce elements of the electric drivetrain and contract
manufacturing. It's insightful, forward-thinking and smart value/low cost for
Eagle Mines Ltd (NYSE:AEM, TSX:AEM)
Canadian based gold producer, Agnico Eagle Mines is an especially noteworthy
company for investors. Why? Between 1991-2010, the company paid out dividends
every year. With operations in Quebec, Mexico, and Finland, the company also is
taking place in exploration activities in Europe, Latin America, and the United
While Agnico primarily focuses on gold, it made this list because it's a prime
example of sustainability and environmental consciousness, and that means
everything in a world rapidly shifting away from traditional mining.