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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Applied Minerals Inc (OTCMKTS: AMNL) Big Move as Co Receives DOE Award to Develop its Halloysite Clay-Derived Silicon for Use in Lithium-Ion Batteries

Applied Minerals Inc (OTCMKTS: AMNL) is making an explosive move up the charts since reversing off $0.003 lows earlier this year. The stock has been on fire over the past week easily doubling and now making a break for copperland. AMNL has a history of big moves skyrocketing from just over a penny to highs over $0.14 in early 2021. AMNL is quickly attracting a fast-growing shareholder base with some pretty big players jumping on board. Trading at a just a $2.2 million market valuation OS is just 366,967,696 shares. 

On October 3 AMNL announced it has received a U.S. DOE Phase II, Release 2 STTR Award to continue the development of the commercialization of halloysite clay-derived porous silicon as a replacement for graphite to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. The award amount is $1,150,000. Brigham Young University (“BYU”) and Argonne National Laboratory (“ANL”) are AMI’s partners for the Phase II work. The Phase II project has a term of two years. 


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Applied Minerals Inc (OTCMKTS: AMNL) is the owner of the Dragon Mine property in Eureka, UT, and is a producer of halloysite. Halloysite is aluminosilicate clay that possesses a naturally formed tubular structure. The Company markets its halloysite clay into a number of high-value application areas including catalysts and molecular sieves, polymer reinforcement, flame retardant additives, controlled release, construction products and lithium-ion battery minerals. Applied Minerals sells its halloysite products under the DRAGONITE trade name. 

The Company’s halloysite clay, which it markets under the DRAGONITE™ trade name, is an aluminosilicate mineral with a hollow tubular shape. DRAGONITE can utilize halloysite’s shape, high surface area, and reactivity to add significant functionality to a number of applications. Applied Minerals’s iron oxide, which it markets under the AMIRON™ trade name, is a high purity product. The Company has sold it for use in cement as well as an absorbent for hydrogen sulfide gas contained in natural gas. 

Applied Minerals 267-acre Dragon Mine, located in the Tintic Mining District of Utah, is one of, if not the, largest measured resources of halloysite clay in the western hemisphere. The Dragon Mine also contains a relatively large resource of natural iron oxcide. Significant capital has been spent to characterize the property to enable Applied Minerals to supply commercial quantities of halloysite clay and iron oxide to customers operating in an array of industries. AMI believes the Dragon Mine is one of the few commercial sources of halloysite clay that possesses the necessary level of purity to meet the needs of the high-value, halloysite clay-based applications being developed today. 

Applied Minerals past drilling program, targeted over 25-acre area, identified a measured resource of approximately 2,000,000 tons of clay material, of which approximately 500,000 tons are high-grade halloysiye clay.Iron Oxide. The Company’s past drilling program also identified a measured resource of approximately 3,300,000 tons of high-purity natural iron oxide. Further exploration of the 267-acre Dragon Mine is possible. Currently pure halloysite clay sells for up to $5,000 per tonne. 

Earlier this year Applied Minerals sold off its Iron Oxide Assets to BMI Minerals Company and Brady McCasland, Inc. for net proceeds of $1,860,000. This was an important event that has enabled the Company to significantly improve its liquidity position, continue the sale of its DRAGONITE halloysite clay products to current customers, focus on the marketing of its products to prospective customers and carry on the development of its halloysite clay for use as a lithium-ion battery material. AMI believes its improved financial position will re-start or accelerate the commercialization of certain halloysite clay-based products that prospective customers had previously paused.  

Applied Minerals has identified, two relatively new application markets for its halloysite clay products that present the Company with attractive commercial opportunities. (1) A prospective customer has developed a novel metal surface coating technology that utilizes halloysite clay to carry and release anticorrosion, antibacterial and antiviral agents. This technology is expected to have wide applicability in the infrastructure and healthcare industries. AMI expects the need for such a technology could be significant as the estimated annual direct cost of corrosion to U.S. infrastructure is in excess of $250 billion and the estimated annual direct cost of healthcare-associated infections occurring in U.S. healthcare facilities exceeds $30 billion. 

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The second application market involves the utilization of halloysite as a nucleation additive in foamed plastics and as an ethylene scavenger in plastic film. Previous development work related to these applications produced marginal results. However, prospective customers have recently developed processes that (i) produce desired mechanical and aesthetic improvements in foamed plastics using halloysite and (ii) improve the performance of halloysite as an ethylene scavenger in films. Improved ethylene scavenging in film is critical for extending the shelf life of fresh foods. 

On October 3 AMNL announced it has received a U.S. DOE Phase II, Release 2 STTR Award to continue the development of the commercialization of halloysite clay-derived porous silicon as a replacement for graphite to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. The award amount is $1,150,000. Brigham Young University (“BYU”) and Argonne National Laboratory (“ANL”) are AMI’s partners for the Phase II work. The Phase II project has a term of two years.

The Phase II award will be used to (i) optimize and scale-up the process developed by BYU to synthesize porous silicon from halloysite, (ii) test halloysite-derived silicon powder formulations with prospective partners and customers, (iii) transfer the halloysite-derived silicon technology to AMI, (iv) perform an extensive techno-econometric analysis as part of the development of a commercialization plan, and (v) generate and protect intellectual property. ANL will provide application-testing support for the project. As part of the Phase II application, AMI entered into a license agreement with BYU related to its development of a process to synthesize porous silicon from halloysite clay.

The Phase II application process required, among other things, a market analysis by a third-party consultant funded under AMI’s Phase I award. According to the analysis, the total annual demand for energy storage capacity provided by lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow from approximately 300 Gwh to 2,500 Gwh by 2030. The graphite anode represents approximately 22% of the mass of a lithium-ion battery cell. Assuming a 10% – 50% replacement rate for graphite, the total potential demand for silicon-derived halloysite could be 875 million lbs. – 4 billion lbs. annually by 2030. Silicon has been shown to have 10x the theoretical storage capacity of graphite. The price of synthetic graphite can exceed $20,000 per ton.

The Company will continue to search for an industry partner to assist it in accelerating the commercialization of its halloysite-derived silicon project. Additionally, AMI believes an attractive commercial opportunity exists for the use of halloysite clay as a coating for the separator of a lithium-ion battery to improve both conductivity and thermal stability. A large, high-purity source of halloysite clay, such as that found at the Dragon Mine, is critical for the commercialization of halloysite as a lithium-ion battery mineral. 

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Currently trading at a $2.2 million market valuation AMNL has just 366,967,696 shares outstanding and a float of 108,698,374 shares. The stock has a history of big moves skyrocketing from just over a penny to highs over $0.14 in early 2021. After many months of declines AMNL has reversed northbound more than doubling over the past week and now looking to make a move into copperland. AMNL is quickly attracting a fast-growing shareholder base with some pretty big players jumping on board. The stock is getting noticed after the Company announced it has received a U.S. DOE Phase II, Release 2 STTR Award in the amount of $1.15 million to continue the development of the commercialization of halloysite clay-derived porous silicon as a replacement for graphite to increase the energy density of lithium-ion batteries. This puts AMNL into the booming EV space and makes this a stock to watch. From current $2.2m valuation, AMNL has a lot of room to grow. We will be updating on AMNL when more details emerge so make sure you are subscribed to Microcapdaily.

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Disclosure: we hold no position in AMNL either long or short and we have not been compensated for this article.

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