VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 16, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rich Geruson on behalf of NexOptic Technology Corp. (“NexOptic”) (TSX VENTURE: NXO) (OTCQB: NXOPF) (FSE: E3O1) and Jenny-Claire Ganasi on behalf of Selten Metal Corp. (“Selten Metal,” and together with NexOptic, the “Companies'') jointly announce today that they have entered a Definitive Agreement (the “Agreement”) whereby NexOptic has granted to Selten Metal the option to earn up to a 100% interest in its wholly owned, THOR Heavy & Light Rare Earth Element Project (“THOR”).
Consisting of approximately 2184 hectares, 1280 of which were recently staked by NexOptic, the THOR Project is situated 120km from Las Vegas in an active mining region in Southern Nevada, 27km from what was once the largest rare-earth element (“REE”) mine in the world (1952), Mountain Pass. In 2017 Mountain Pass reopened as the largest REE mine in the Western Hemisphere, and the only REE mine in North America (MP Materials).
“The merits of the project and its ideal location has us excited to continue working to fully unlock THOR’s significant potential,” said Selten Metal Corp. CEO, Jenny-Claire Ganasi. “Selten Metal is comprised of a growing team of rare earth geological experts, and other industry professionals.”
“With today’s announcement, we’re able to leverage an otherwise unutilized asset for the benefit of all NexOptic shareholders without financial risk,” said NexOptic Chairman, Richard Geruson. “The quality of Selten Metal’s management, the diversity and depth of their rare earth geological expertise and, equally as important to us, their commitment to the environment, is what gives me full confidence that we’ve optioned THOR to a highly qualified and responsible partner.”
Then, Now & to Come: Exploration & Drilling of THOR
In 2016, Elissa Resources Ltd., a Canadian mineral exploration company operating solely in the United States in the pursuit of critical metals, completed a change of business in accordance with the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange and changed its name to NexOptic Technology Corp. (see NexOptic news release February 19, 2016). NexOptic subsequently kept the THOR Project in good financial standing with Nevada’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) while it pursued its new focus, the advancement of technologies for optical performance.
NexOptic recently commissioned a 43-101 report on its THOR Project, and in so doing, sampled a small number of project areas. Returned assays ranged from anomalous up to 2.4% TREO (“total rare earth oxide”) on surface. This is encouraging as it helps to substantiate historical rare earth surface discoveries at THOR from anomalous to 12.4% TREO (not 43-101 compliant) back in 2010 when all 15 of the naturally occurring rare earth elements were discovered in multiple locations throughout the project.
A drilled REE discovery in 2010 on a section of the project called the Lopez Trend had the project operators at the time hypothesising that the Lopez Trend could possibly represent part of the eastern limb of a very large, perhaps overturned fold. This would leave the nose and similarly sized western limb of the fold, known as the Santos Trend, largely concealed by shallow alluvial cover. If so, the total strike length of units equivalent to the REE-bearing host exposed along the Lopez Trend could be 6km or more (please see Elissa Resources news release, February 14, 2013).
The reader is cautioned that all data on the THOR Project referenced herein is historical in nature. Selten has not undertaken any independent investigation of the drilling, nor has it independently analyzed the results of the historical exploration work in order to verify the results. Selten considers these historical results relevant as Selten will use this data as a guide to plan future exploration programs. Selten also considers the data to be reliable for these purposes; however, the company's future exploration work will include verification of the data through drilling.
All scientific and technical information in this news release has been prepared by, or approved by Jim Guilinger, PGeo. Mr. Guilinger is a qualified person for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
Mineralization on any other properties referred to herein is not necessarily indicative of mineralization on the THOR Project.
About Rare Earths
Critical to the climate economy including electric vehicles and wind power, rare earth elements are increasingly used in the manufacturing of countless everyday products like smartphones and other electronics and medical devices that we all benefit from daily.
Known as the lanthanide series on the periodic table, there are 15 naturally occurring and chemically related minerals, collectively called rare earths. Although these rare earth elements can be found broadly dissipated all over the world, what makes them “rare” is finding them in enough concentration within a single location to make their extraction economically viable. China dominates the rare earth supply chain, from the mining to separation and refining and all the way through to the processing of rare earth elements. Other countries are realizing the importance of securing their own domestic and regional sources of these critical rare earth elements.
According to Adamas Intelligence, the value of global rare earth oxide consumption is expected to rise five-fold by 2030, from US $3 billion in 2020 to US $16 billion. Global shortages by 2030 of neodymium alone will be roughly the amount needed for some 25 to 30 million electric vehicle motors not to mention wind power.
The Terms of the Transaction
Pursuant to the Definitive Agreement NexOptic has granted to Selten Metal options to acquire up to a 100% interest in THOR. In order to acquire an initial 75% interest in and to the THOR project, Selten must: (a) make a cash payment of $1,100,000 to NexOptic within 45 business days from the execution of the Agreement, (b) upon the date of any listing of Selten, or its successor, on a recognized stock exchange in Canada (the “Listing Date”), issue to NexOptic such number of common shares in its capital as will represent 9.5% of the issued and outstanding Selten shares post issuance, (c) issue to NexOptic an additional 500,000 shares on the date which is 12 months following the Listing Date and (d) issue to NexOptic a further additional 500,000 shares on the date which is 24 months following the Listing Date. If a Listing Date does not occur within 24 months of the date of the definitive option agreement, the initial option will terminate.
Upon the exercise of the initial option, Selten will be granted the further option to acquire the remaining 25% interest in THOR, by issuing to NexOptic an additional number of Selten shares in its capital as represents 9.5% of the issued and outstanding Selten shares post-issuance, in which issuance shall occur upon the date which is either 36 months following the Listing Date or 48 months following the Listing Date, at the discretion of Selten.
In the event Selten fails to exercise the second option as provided above, Selten and NexOptic will form a joint venture on the THOR Project with the initial participating interests being 75% and 25% respectively and Selten acting as the initial operator.
In connection with the execution of the Definitive Agreement, Paul McKenzie, NexOptic’s CEO is joining the board of directors of Selten.
THOR is subject to a 2% net smelter returns royalty held by a private entity, of which each 1% may be purchased by NexOptic at any time for $500,000, such that the entire royalty may be acquired for $1,000,000.
What You Need to Know About Selten Metal Corp
German for “rare,” the word “Selten” represents the Company’s desire to become a leading producer of heavy and light rare earth elements in the United States—as US sourced rare earths are becoming increasingly critical to the climate economy, and for global geopolitical stability. For more information visit www.seltenmetal.com
What You Need to Know About NexOptic
NexOptic is an innovative imaging AI company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada with operations in Seoul, South Korea, offering world-leading patented and patent pending AI solutions for imaging known as ALIIS™ (All Light Intelligent Imaging Solutions). NexOptic simultaneously influences the imaging and AI industries and is a Preferred Partner in the NVIDIA Partner Network, a member of the Arm® AI Partner Program, and a member of the Qualcomm® Platform Solutions Ecosystem. For more information, visit www.nexoptic.com
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (together, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Generally, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of terminology such as “plans,” “expects,” “estimates,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “believes” or variations of such words, or statements that certain actions, events or results “may,” “could,” “would,” “might,” “will be taken,” “occur,” or “be achieved.” Forward-looking statements in this news release include, without limitation, statements respecting the Definitive Agreement, expectations regarding demand for REE, and the plans regarding exploration on the THOR Project. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in NexOptic’s filings with Canadian securities regulators, that could cause actual results, performance, prospects and opportunities to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although NexOptic believes that the assumptions and factors used in preparing these forward-looking statements are reasonable based upon the information currently available to management as of the date hereof, actual results and developments may differ materially from those contemplated by these statements. Readers are therefore cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements, which only apply as of the date of this news release, and no assurance can be given that such events will occur in the disclosed times frames or at all. Except where required by applicable law, the Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
For further information please contact:
Tel: +1 (604) 669-7330 x 202
Selten Metal Corp