MINING NEWS: Natural gas pipelines could hold promise for molybdenum miners
The multi-billion dollar plans for northern gas pipelines could generate some profitable spin-offs in the mining sector.
The Arctic lines will create a heavy demand for molybdenum, which enables high-value steel alloys to withstand extreme temperatures and pressures.
Now fetching US$30 per pound, up tenfold from two years ago, the metal could soar to US$60 given that there is no easy substitute, said Jim David, president of Leeward Capital.
That prospect could also signal a revival of the molybdenum sector, which experienced a sharp lull in the 1980s and 1990s until China stepped up demand to make stainless steel.
The primary sources are Codelco in Chile and Phelps Dodge Mining in Arizona, which together produce more than half of the 250 million pounds consumed annually.
Although Phelps Dodge is operating well under capacity, interest is stirring among junior exploration firms in British Columbia.
Leeward Capital is exploring Nithi Mountain in central British Columbia, just 11 miles from Endako, a privately owned molybdenum mine and processing facility.
Vancouver-based Adanac Moly has brought back to life the Rugby Creek project in northern British Columbia that has lain idle since the 1970s.