"The history of Eureka lies in its future." - Lambert Molinelli, 1878


The author/editor of the Eureka Miner owns common shares of local mining stocks, General Moly (GMO) and Newmont Mining (NEM); together with benchmark miner Freeport-McMoRan (FCX). Please do your own research, markets can turn on you faster than a feral cat.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Sun Shines on Molybdenum & General Moly (GMO)

Morning Miners!

It is 5:55 AM. Scott took back his double-dip TGIF coffee and restocked the break room with good ole Red Label. Have a cup and let's close this week on a high note. Gold got a nice bounce above $1208/oz on euro weakness and our miners should have a good day as fear slowly recedes from the marketplace. We'll check on them in a moment but I can't wait to tell you a great molybdenum story, that versatile transition metal that lives just 21 miles north of town in General Moly's Mt. Hope.

This Report's favorite London correspondent, Claudia Carpenter of Bloomberg News, e-mailed the ole Colonel a lead late last night (early her time) on the progress of a growing alternative energy application for Miss Moly. Here is a Bloomberg article by her colleagues down under:

Molybdenum, Silver Link Near 12-Year High From Solar Panels: Chart of Day (By Lee J. Miller and Rebecca Keenan, Bloomberg News, 7/7/2010)

Molybdenum is used in in thin-film CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium, and Selenium) based solar cells which promise a real cost advantage over other competing technologies. As shown in this diagram, a thin layer of molybdenum (Mo) lies above the cell substrate and serves as an electrode on which the the CIGS layer is deposited:

The thin-film in CIGS solar cells are minuscule — angstroms to microns thick. More common silicon solar cells use a wafer of silicon that is a 10 story building in thickness compared to these thin films. The potential to dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing with a high production yield is explained in this 2008 article from Renewable Energy World:

Why Thin-Film CIGS Solar Cells Are Poised for Big Growth (Greg Howard, Renewable Energy World, 1/7/2008)

The recent Bloomberg story reports much progress has already been made. They quote Mark Pervan, head of commodity research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. in Melbourne:

"The solar panel market is particularly strong at the moment, and there's been an uplift for both silver and molybdenum demand for panels...I see this strong correlation continuing, and I think it will tighten up going forward."

These observations are supported by another article published in May of this year from the International Business Times:

New Markets for Molybdenum (Michael Montgomery, International Business Times, 5/5/2010)

In this piece, Anthony David, for Critical Strategic Metals, reiterates the potential advantages of this application:

"Molybdenum is also being utilized prominently in thin-film CIGS solar panels which are expected to be substantially less expensive than traditional solar cells due to their much lower material and potentially lower fabrication costs..."

A persistent theme of this Report is the importance of Northern Nevada's strategic metals (e.g. molybdenum, rhenium, vanadium, lithium) to the emerging alternative energy industry. Molybdenum use in solar panels is one of many examples. Here is a summary of Eureka Miner articles on this exciting story that may greatly benefit our future:

The Next Big Thing in Northern Nevada (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 9/28/2009)

A Big Step into the Future for Eureka County (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 10/23/2009)

A Silver Lining for the Silver State? (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 11/16/2009)

What's in a Battery for Eureka County? (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 11/23/2009)

More News on US Gold & Western Lithium (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 01/12/2010)

A Third Tank on Our Hill? Lithium & Vanadium Updatee (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 03/22/2010)

Rhenium - Will the Sun Shine on One of Earth's Rarest Elements? (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 4/29/2010)

Is There Rhenium in Them Thar Hills? (The Eureka Miner's Market Report, 05/11/2010)

Enough talk, let's walk the walk:

Our newly minted Eureka Miner's Index (EMI - what's this?) remains just sub-par at 99.67, up from yesterday's 89.33 and a big improvement from the 6/7/10 low of 50.7. Remember an EMI greater than 100 is good times for metals & miners.

4-WD is ON - rough roads in the marketplace; The VIX or "fear index" is above 25; metals & miners remain on shaky timber with benchmark FCX trading in the the mid-$60s well below its 200-day average of $76 (our new warning level), 10-year Treasurys are safely below 4% preserving a low-interest rate environment

The GREEN light is turned back on for Commodity Reflation with copper trading above $3/lb

The GREEN light is turned on for Stable Markets the VIX below the 30 level (what's this?)

The YELLOW light is on Investor Confidence as further market corrections are probable but less likely

The GREEN light remains turned on our Fuel Gauge with oil below $80

A ORANGE light is ON for possible adverse regulation/legislation: Mine Safety Violations, Miner's claim fee, Miner taxation, Cortez Hills, mercury emissions &
General Moly Mt. Hope Water Rights

Otherwise, all lights are green on the Eureka Outlook Dashboard (upper right, what's this?)

NYMEX/COMEX: Oil is up $0.04 in early trading to $75.48 (August contract, most active); Gold is up $12.3 to $1208.4 (August contract, most active); Silver is up $0.208 to $18.080 (July contract, most active); Copper is up $0.0240 to $3.0395 (September contract, most active)

Western Molybdenum Oxide is at $16.00; European Molybdenum Oxide is at $14.00; LME moly 3-month seller's contract is $14.97, LME cash seller is $14.74

The DOW is down 8.25 points to 10,030.74; the S&P 500 is down 1.34 to 1068.91. The miners are having a good day:

Barrick (ABX) $43.63 up 2.47%
Newmont (NEM) $61.69 up 2.24%
US Gold (UXG) $4.86 down 1.46%
General Moly (Eureka Moly, LLC) (GMO) $3.13 up 0.32%
Thompson Creek (TC) $9.37 up 0.64%
Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) $64.00 up 1.33% (a bellwether mining stock spanning copper, gold & molybdenum)

The Steels are mixed, (a "tell" for General Moly & Thompson Creek):

ArcelorMittal (MT) $29.63 down 0.24% - global steel producer
POSCO (PKX) $105.45 up 1.74% - South Korean integrated steel producer

The Eureka Miner's Grubstake Portfolio is is up 1.04% to $1,366,956.21 (what's this?).


Colonel Possum

Write Colonel Possum at colonelpossum@gmail.com for answers to your questions or to request e-mail updates on the market

Headline photograph by Mariana Titus
CIGS Solar Cell Diagram - The International NanoScience Community (Sanjay)
Solar Panel Array - UberReview

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