– Progress Update on Re-obtaining Mt. Hope Water Rights & ROD
LAKEWOOD, Colo., March 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — General Moly, Inc. (the “Company” or “General Moly”) (NYSE American and TSX: GMO), the only western-exchange listed, pure-play molybdenum mineral development company, reports that the global molybdenum spot price has increased 25 percent year to date to $12.83 per pound.
The current molybdenum (“moly”) price provided by Platts almost tripled from its low of $4.30 in October 2015. In 2017, moly was the second best performing metal after cobalt amongst BMO Capital Market’s Global Commodities’ universe of metals and mining. (See Appendix Figure 3 for the moly price chart.)
Of the broader industrial metal complex, moly is most akin to nickel, which is a smaller component of the most common industrial metals indexes, the Bloomberg Commodities’ Industrial Metals Index (“BCOMIN”) and the S&P GSCI Industrial Metals Index (“SPGSINTR”). Both indexes are up over 45 percent for the past two years. Other components of these indexes include copper, aluminum and zinc, with the addition of lead in SPGSINTR.
Figure 1: Table of Price Changes (as of February 28, 2018)
|Symbol||Symbol||YTD Change||1 Year Change||2017 Change||2 Year Change||5 Year Change|
|S&P GSCI Commodities Total Return Index||SPGSCITR||0%||7.0%||5.8%||26.7%||-47.8%|
|S&P GSCI Industrial Metals Index||SPGSINTR||-2.8%||13.8%||29.1%||45.0%||-7.6%|
|Bloomberg Industrial Metals Index||BCOMIN||-2.2%||14.2%||28.1%||47.0%||-8.9%|
|S&P 500 Index||SPX||1.5%||14.8%||19.4%||40.5%||79.2%|
Source: Platts for molybdenum reference. Bloomberg for all index references.
Compelling market factors that the Company believes foreshadow an industrial metals resurgence include a synchronized global market expansion, further growth in China and a late stage business cycle with high metals’ demand.
Bruce D. Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of General Moly, said, “Moly can be called a late stage industrial metal. We believe the moly price recovery, which began slowly in 2016, has accelerated in the past few months and still has future appreciation potential.”
Global Economic Expansion Continues
Global manufacturing was off to a strong start, with the J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (“Global PMI”) for January 2018 at 54.4, marking the 23rd consecutive month of expansion. The JPM and IHS Markit Global PMI for the last month of 2017 also was at a near seven-year high at 54.5.
The World Bank projects global economic expansion at a solid 3.1 percent for 2018, after a better than anticipated 3 percent growth in 2017, “as the recovery in investment, manufacturing and trade continues, and as commodity-exporting developing economies benefit from firming commodity prices,” according to the World Bank’s January 2018 news release.
Figure 2: Commodity Price Indexes Rise for Energy and Metals
China Continues to Grow; Toughens Steel Rebar Standards
China is forecast to grow at a slower pace of 6.4 percent in 2018 compared with a robust 6.8 percent in 2017. However, today’s Chinese economy is massive and consuming more in aggregate. In addition, India is projected to grow at 7.3% in 2018 versus 6.7 percent in 2017, stated the World Bank.
More than 70 percent of moly’s first use is for steel production. China uses approximately a third of global moly and produces more than one-third of global moly supply, according to the CPM Group, a leading commodities research and consulting firm in New York. China is also the world’s largest steel producer.
China recently issued tougher regulations raising the standards for domestic steel rebar and long steel products, according to news reports. There is a higher concentration of moly used in long products such as rebar, rods and billets compared with flat products such as coils, sheet and slabs. Higher grade long steel products will require more moly for strength.
Late Stage Business Cycle Positive for Industrial Metals
Commodity prices have historically outperformed during the mature part of the business cycle, which is where an increasing number of portfolio managers believe the U.S. and global economy are at. Global economic expansion drives demand and price for industrial metals in general.
Molybdenum Supply Constriction Ahead
In its October 2017 molybdenum market update, the CPM Group estimates that the supply and demand will near equilibrium in 2018 with a slight surplus and anticipates that the market in 2019 will tip into deficit, which will be exacerbated in 2020 and 2021. Such timing would align with the potential development of the Company’s Mt. Hope Project in central Nevada, upon a sustained improvement in the moly price.
Other Business Developments – Water Permit Hearing Scheduled & Supplemental EIS Update
In other developments for the Company, the Nevada State Engineer has scheduled a hearing beginning September 11, 2018 on the Company’s new change applications for water permits at the Mt. Hope Project. The hearing is scheduled for eight days in Carson City. The Company intends to submit evidence of its ability to protect senior water right holders while it pumps the water necessary for production at the Mt. Hope molybdenum project. A decision from the State Engineer is anticipated by early 2019.
In regards to progress with the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for the Mt. Hope Project, the Company continues to work with the Bureau of Land Management to address concerns from the 2016 Order of the U.S. Circuit Court for the Ninth Circuit in its review of the 2012 EIS.
The Company has completed updated air quality and cumulative impact studies, and is working to address questions posed by the Court concerning the potential existence of public water reserves. The Company anticipates moving forward with a draft Supplemental EIS in compliance with public review and comment under the National Environmental Policy Act in the spring 2018, followed by an anticipated Record of Decision (“ROD”) approving the Supplemental EIS by early 2019.
About General Moly
General Moly is a U.S.-based, molybdenum mineral exploration and development company listed on the NYSE American (“NYSE AMER”), recently known as the NYSE MKT and former American Stock Exchange, and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol GMO. The Company’s primary asset, an 80% interest in the Mt. Hope Project located in central Nevada, is considered one of the world’s largest and highest grade molybdenum deposits. Combined with the Company’s wholly-owned Liberty Project, a molybdenum and copper property also located in central Nevada, General Moly’s goal is to become the largest primary molybdenum producer in the world.
Molybdenum is a metallic element used primarily as an alloy agent in steel manufacturing. When added to steel, molybdenum enhances steel strength, resistance to corrosion and extreme temperature performance. In the chemical and petrochemical industries, molybdenum is used in catalysts, especially for cleaner burning fuels by removing sulfur from liquid fuels, and in corrosion inhibitors, high performance lubricants and polymers.
Statements herein that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended and are intended to be covered by the safe harbor created by such sections. Such forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected, anticipated, expected, or implied by the Company. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to metals price and production volatility, global economic conditions, currency fluctuations, increased production costs and variances in ore grade or recovery rates from those assumed in mining plans, exploration risks and results, political, operational and project development risks, including the Company’s ability to obtain a re-grant of its water permits and Record of Decision, ability to maintain required federal and state permits to continue construction, and commence production of molybdenum, copper, silver, lead or zinc, ability to identify any economic mineral reserves of copper, silver, lead or zinc; ability of the Company to obtain approval of its joint venture partner at the Mt. Hope Project in order to mine for copper, silver, lead or zinc, ability to raise required project financing or funding to pursue an exploration program related to potential copper, silver lead or zinc deposits at Mt. Hope, ability to respond to adverse governmental regulation and judicial outcomes, and ability to maintain and /or adjust estimates related to cost of production, capital, operating and exploration expenditures. For a detailed discussion of risks and other factors that may impact these forward looking statements, please refer to the Risk Factors and other discussion contained in the Company’s quarterly and annual periodic reports on Forms 10-Q and 10-K, on file with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements.
Appendix Figure 3: Molybdenum Weekly Spot Price – 1/4/2007-2/23/2018