Cypress Development Corp. (TSX-v: CYP) / (OTCQB: CYDVF) / (Frankfurt: C1Z1) killed it with their maiden NI 43-101 compliant lithium resource estimate yesterday!  The whisper number was 4 to 6 million Inferred tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equiv. (“LCE“), (which would have been a tremendous result), but Global Resource Engineering Ltd. determined there’s an estimated 6.54 million metric tonnes LCE.

Perhaps even more exciting than the size of the resource, (we knew it would be large), was something I never even considered, 44% (2.857 M tonnes) of the resource is in the “Indicated” category…. I thought it would 100% Inferred.  That just goes to show how strong the continuity of the lithium zones are in this giant, thick, tabular formation — where 21 of 23 drill holes ended in mineralization.

In the boxed paragraphs above, notice the added level of evidence or “confidence” (highlighted in green) needed to be designated an Indicated resource vs. Inferred.  The sizable Indicated portion will make it easier and less costly to reach PEA stage (expected in Sept/Oct).  Importantly, Cypress is funded through PEA, especially as a wave of options & warrants will likely be exercised on the back of this news.

Putting this into perspective, consider that Lithium Americas’ (formerly Western Lithium) (TSX: LAC) / (NYSE: LAC) clay-hosted Li project (then called Kings Valley) also in Nevada, had the following maiden mineral resource estimate:

It had an impressive 53% of its total resource classified asIndicated, but the absolute size of the resource was 24% & 16%, respectively, the # of tonnes of LCE in Cypress Development’s maiden Indicated & Inferred resource.

Bacanora Minerals’ clay project in Sonora Mexico had the following maiden resource:

Bacanora Minerals’ (London: BCN) maiden resource was 25% the size of Cypress Development’s Inferred resource.  However, Bacanora had no tonnage at all in the Indicatedcategory.

Fast forward to today, Lithium Americas’ project now hosts a combined Measured & Indicated resource just shy of 6 million tonnes LCE, plus an Inferred inventory of about 2.3 million tonnes.  Recall that LAC has a clay-hosted lithium project, also in Nevada.  An entirely new (will replace the prior) Preliminary Feasibility Study (“PFS“) on LAC’s clay project is expected in June.

Likewise, Bacanora’s net attributable resource has soared to 4.1 million tonnes LCE (Measured & Indicated), and 3.2 million tonnes (Inferred).  Bacanora’s BFS-stage clay project is in Sonora Mexico.

Near-term Catalysts to Keep Market on its Toes

Readers should know that there are important near-term catalysts leading up to a PEA as soon as August, (I’ve been saying in September/October).  First and foremost, ongoing metallurgy test results will be released.  The full maiden mineral resource technical report will be filed on sedar this month.  And, assays from up to 30 new drill holes are coming this Spring & Summer.  Management expects to be in talks with prospective strategic partners, but there’s no rush because, as mentioned, Cypress is funded through PEA.

Cypress should be able to substantially upgrade its NI 43-101 compliant Indicated & Inferred resource to the MeasuredIndicated categories, potentially ending up with a resource around the same size and level of confidence (albeit lower grade) as Lithium Americas’ & Bacanora’s.  In fact, in today’s press release management stated that it believes 30 additional drill holes would be sufficient to upgrade the Inferred portion to Indicated.

Cypress’ Indicated-only portion at nearly 3 M tonnes LCE is larger than most hard rock, and many brine projects around the world.  Cypress is trading at and Enterprise Value (“EV“) to tonne LCE ratio of just C$3.5(share price C$0.33 intra-day May 1st) and that’s on a fully-diluted share count.  Compare that to C$18/t for Lithium Americas (I assume 25% of LAC’s EV is attributable to its Nevada clay project), C$27/t for Bacanora, and an average of C$92/t for several other global hard rock and brine projects (most peers in the chart below are more advanced than Cypress).

The graph below, from a recent Lithium Americas’ corporate presentation, shows where clay-hosted lithium projects fit into the conventional world of hard rock (mostly in western Australia) and brine (mostly in Chile & Argentina).  Generically speaking, clay is right in the middle on both operating costs and lithium grade.  What the chart doesn’t show is that the most significant clay projects (BCN’s, LAC’s and now CYP’s) are quite sizable – much larger than the average conventional lithium project.

To recap, this is a major advancement for Cypress.  It puts them on the map, not just U.S. & North American maps, but global maps.  A KEY TAKEAWAY is that the amount of TIME & CASH needed to drill out the entire resource for a Bank Feasibility Study (“BFS“) next year should be relatively low, especially compared to the time & capital deployed by Lithium Americas & Bacanora to get to PFS & BFS, respectively.  Cypress is now (in my opinion only) in a position to deliver a BFS in mid-to-late 2019 at a total cost (including company overhead) of < C$10 million.

Also of major importance in today’s press release, 

  • Preliminary test work conducted at SGS Canada Inc (Lakefield) and Continental Metallurgical Services, LLC has shown the material exhibits high lithium extractions with short leach times. Lithium extractions of greater than 80% can be achieved in 4 to 8 hours using conventional dilute sulfuric acid leaching.  Currently, Hazen Research Inc is conducting additional leach tests and preliminary results confirm high lithium extractions for new mineral zones.
  • The presence of acid leachable lithium presents a significant cost savings by avoiding calcine and regrind of material during processing.  Preliminary results also show the consumption of sulfuric acid and other reagents are relatively low.
  • The production of high-purity lithium carbonate was demonstrated in the laboratory using conventional recovery methods.
  • The large tonnage of the deposit lends potential to target higher-grade lithium mineralization for the PEA…. {since the scale is so large, there’s a chance the Company can capture higher-grade lithium values (in a subset of the overall resource) for the upcoming PEA}

Improvements in metallurgy to, “greater than 80% extraction” (I’m assuming in the low 80%’s) was reported in the press release.  The last news on that front had stated, “up to 80%.”  Also noteworthy was that management produced a small amount of high-purity lithium carbonate using conventional recovery methods.

Bottom line, there’s an increasing chance that due to favorable mineralogy, Cypress Development Corp. (TSX-v:CYP) / (OTCQB: CYDVF) / (Frankfurt: C1Z1) will be able to avoid certain significant steps in Bacanora’s process flow sheet.  That could mean NOT having to do a pilot plant, potentially saving ten(s) of millions in cap-ex and 1-2 years of project development / construction time.

Cypress’ resource is at or near surface, down to over 120 meters (and is mostly open at depth), the anticipated strip ratio is essentially zero (call it 0.1 to 1).  By contrast, Bacanora’s strip ratio is expected to be 3.9 to 1.  That represents a huge difference in mining costs.  As a reminder, the biggest advantage the Company has over both Lithium Americas & Bacanora is that over 75% of its resource is hosted in non-refractory clay.  That’s why management believes it might not need to operate a pilot plant (avoiding calcine & regrind of material during processing would make the flow sheet a conventional leach process).

Management has delivered a blockbuster maiden resource, > 6 million tonnes of LCE (combined Indicated & Inferred).  Therefore, Cypress need never worry again about resource size, they already have huge scale and could potentially reach BFS-stage much faster and considerably cheaper than LAC & BCN did. 

Disclosures: The content of this article is for information only. Readers fully understand and agree that nothing contained herein, written by Peter Epstein of Epstein Research [ER](together, [ER]) about Cypress Development Corp.including but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts, calculations, etc. is to be considered implicit or explicit investment advice. Nothing contained herein is a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security. [ER] is not responsible under any circumstances for investment actions taken by the reader. [ER] has never been, and is not currently, a registered or licensed financial advisor or broker/dealer, investment advisor, stockbroker, trader, money manager, compliance or legal officer, and does not perform market making activities. [ER] is not directly employed by any company, group, organization, party or person. The shares of Cypress Development Corp. are highly speculative, not suitable for all investors. Readers understand and agree that investments in small cap stocks can result in a 100% loss of invested funds. It is assumed and agreed upon by readers that they will consult with their own licensed / registered financial advisors before making investment decisions.

At the time this interview was posted, Peter Epstein owned shares and/or stock options in Cypress Development Corp. and the Company was an advertiser on [ER]. Readers understand and agree that they must conduct their own due diligence above and beyond reading this article. While the author believes he’s diligent in screening out companies that, for any reasons whatsoever, are unattractive investment opportunities, he cannot guarantee that his efforts will (or have been) successful. [ER] is not responsible for any perceived, or actual, errors including, but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts & financial calculations, or for the completeness of this article or future content. [ER] is not expected or required to subsequently follow or cover events & news, or write about any particular company or topic. [ER] is not an expert in any company, industry sector or investment topic. 

How can I say there will be millions of tonnes of LCE?  Given the dimensions of the mineralized zones, average zone thickness and lithium grade — an educated guess gets one to at least 4 million tonnes LCE.  I could play around with the math, but suffice it to say that whether the figure is 4 or 5 or 6 million tonnes, it would be a very large resource by global standards, {see chart below}.  NOTE:  {LAC’s Nevada clay project is shown in chart at 25% of LAC’s market cap…. its flagship asset is a JV with SQM in Argentina}

Make no mistake, Cypress is earlier-stage than the others, and its deposit is hosted in clay, meaning it’s unconventional (not a brine or hard rock pegmatite deposit).  So, a discount to peers is warranted.  But, is the current discount, as shown by [EV/tonne], too large?

News from Lithium Americas to Draw Attention to Nevada in June

Lithium Americas (TSX: LAC) has a clay-hosted lithium project, also in Nevada, with a recently updated Measured, Indicated & Inferred (“MI&I“) resource of 8.3 million tonnes LCE.  An entirely new (will replace the prior) Preliminary Feasibility Study (“PFS“) on LAC’s clay project is expected in June.  This report will contain valuable information directly applicable to Cypress’ Preliminary Economic Assessment (“PEA“), expected in September/October.

I believe that if LAC’s PFS is strong, they will spinout their Nevada clay project to try to attract market valuations like those of Bacanora Minerals (London: BCN) and Australian-listed Global Geoscience (ASX: GSC), which have an average market cap of ~C$400 M.

LAC has a ~C$600 M market cap, but the majority of that valuation is attributable to the company’s Argentinian JV brine project with SQM.  Therefore, a direct valuation comparison with Cypress is difficult to do.

To be clear, there’s no meaningful commercial-scale production anywhere in the world from clay-hosted, or other unconventional lithium deposits.  But, Lithium Americas and Bacanora have done a tremendous amount of work over the past decade, including pilot plants, on their Nevada & Sonora Mexico clay projects, respectively.  Standing on the shoulders of LAC & BCN, Cypress is benefiting greatly from this prior and ongoing body of work.

It’s worth noting that the Cypress’ Li grades are significantly lower than those of Bacanora’s & Lithium Americas’ clay projects.  However, what if, due to favorable geology, Cypress is sitting on a lithium resource that’s easier to extract & process?  That may actually be the case, but it’s still too soon to know.

Suffice it to say that management is looking into various scenarios, and they’re excited about early findings.  For one, management notes that its deposit does not contain significant amounts of hectorite or smectite, clay minerals that require high temperature calcining to extract lithium, and have made Lithium Americas’ and Bacanora’s projects challenging to advance into production.  NOTE:  {Bacanora appears to be over the hump, production is expected in 2020}

Cypress believes its deposit contains clay minerals in which the lithium is soluble by conventional acid leaching.  If true, it would eliminate significant steps in its process flow sheet.

Bottom line, there’s a decent chance that due to unique mineralogy, Cypress will be able to avoid certain steps in Bacanora’s process flow sheet.  That could mean not having to do a pilot plant, potentially saving ten(s) of millions in cap-ex and 1-2 years of development time.  Again, LAC & BCN led the path, having done an incredible amount of leg work on metallurgy.  Therefore, Cypress could potentially reach BFS-stage faster and considerably cheaper than LAC & BCN. 

Cypress has a strong management team and Board.  If the maiden mineral resource report delineates millions of tonnes of LCE, the Company should be able to attract additional high-quality execs and advisers as needed.

Cypress is fully-funded through PEA.  Additional funding through delivery of a BFS (assuming no pilot plant is necessarywould probably amount to less than C$10 M.  Conceivably, Cypress could publish a BFS in 2h 2019.  I recognize that I’m getting ahead of myself with talk of a BFS next year, but it’s not a long shot, it’s a perfectly reasonable possibility.

Bacanora Minerals has Blazed a Path for Cypress

In reading Bacanora’s Sonora project (December, 2017) BFS, I noticed that the life-of-mine strip ratio is expected to be 3.4:1.  That compares to virtually no waste removal for Cypress’ deposit, call it a strip ratio of 0.1:1.  Offsetting this strip ratio advantage, Bacanora has a much higher lithium grade, but the combination of virtually no waste removal, favorable mineralogy, and project location represent substantial advantages for Cypress.

What if Cypress could develop a flow sheet with operating costs in the same ballpark as Bacanora’s?  In my opinion, that would mean an after-tax NPV well into the hundreds of millions of CAD$.  Alas, we will have to wait for Cypress’ PEA this Fall.

Cypress at C$0.30 per share is trading at an Enterprise Value (“EV“) (market cap + debt – cash) of between C$3.5 – C$5.2 per tonne of LCE (assuming a maiden resource of 4 to 6 million tonnes).  Cypress’ fully-diluted EV is ~C$21 M, with zero debt and ~C$3 M in cash (assumes all warrants & options are exercised).  The best comp is clearly Bacanora, trading at an EV/t ratio of ~C$28.  It has a MI&I resource of 7.3 million tonnes and a strong BFS (after-tax NPV(8%) of ~C$1 billion).

Bacanora’s BFS incorporated an US$11,000/t price.  Also in the BFS, a corporate tax rate of 30% (vs. 21% in the U.S.), a mining royalty of 7.5% (no Federal or State royalties for Cypress), and a 3% gross revenue royalty to an investor in BCN (no private royalties payable by Cypress).  Conducting business in Nevada, (USA) has its advantages….

There are several near-term industry catalysts for unconventional lithium juniors.  Bacanora expects to be in production by 2020.  Lithium Americas is publishing a new PFS, in June (replacing the old).  In my opinion, LAC might spinout its clay project in 2h 2018.  If it does, there would be 3 main publicly-listed, unconventional junior peers, each with market caps over C$100 million.

Good news from LAC, BCN or GSC.ax is good news for Cypress.  This lithium industry segment de-risking would arguably have the greatest impact on Cypress because it has a dramatically lower valuation to begin with.

Global Geoscience & Lithium X Corp. Suggest Possible Upside in Cypress

Global Geoscience is publishing a PFS on its unconventional asset, a lithium/boron project with economics of something like 55%/45% lithium/boron.  That PFS will be big news because the company did not first generate a PEA, as is typically done.  GSC.ax believes that there will be no need for roasting or calcining, which may also be the case with Cypress.  As the market has come to understand that GSC.ax will reach production in 2 years, it now trades at an EV/t ratio of C$114.

Notice on the chart above that Lithium X Corp (PFS stage) was taken out by a Chinese group at an EV/t ratio of C$120.  Think about that for a moment, GSC.ax is trading at C$114/t, Lithium X was acquired for C$120/t, Bacanora is trading atC$28/t…. should Cypress be valued at C$3.5 – $5.2/t?  While clearly not an apples to apples comparison, the dramatic difference in valuations might be excessive.  I leave it for readers to decide.

In any event, by the time the PEA comes out in Sept./Oct., readers will know considerably more about Cypress’ metallurgy and process flow sheet.  There need not be additional equity raises before delivery of a PEA, especially as in-the-money-warrants get exercised.  The stars seem to be aligned for Cypress Development Corp. (TSX-V: CYP) / (OTCQB: CYDVF) / (Frankfurt: C1Z1).  Readers should consider taking a closer look, here are links to additional information:

corporate presentation     latest news     capital structure     the project     photo gallery

Disclosures: The content of this article is for information only. Readers fully understand and agree that nothing contained herein, written by Peter Epstein of Epstein Research [ER](together, [ER]) about Cypress Development Corp.including but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts, calculations, etc. is to be considered implicit or explicit investment advice. Nothing contained herein is a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security. [ER] is not responsible under any circumstances for investment actions taken by the reader. [ER] has never been, and is not currently, a registered or licensed financial advisor or broker/dealer, investment advisor, stockbroker, trader, money manager, compliance or legal officer, and does not perform market making activities. [ER] is not directly employed by any company, group, organization, party or person. The shares of Cypress Development Corp. are highly speculative, not suitable for all investors. Readers understand and agree that investments in small cap stocks can result in a 100% loss of invested funds. It is assumed and agreed upon by readers that they will consult with their own licensed / registered financial advisors before making investment decisions.

At the time this interview was posted, Peter Epstein owned shares and/or stock options in Cypress Development Corp. and the Company was an advertiser on [ER]. Readers understand and agree that they must conduct their own due diligence above and beyond reading this article. While the author believes he’s diligent in screening out companies that, for any reasons whatsoever, are unattractive investment opportunities, he cannot guarantee that his efforts will (or have been) successful. [ER] is not responsible for any perceived, or actual, errors including, but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts & financial calculations, or for the completeness of this article or future content. [ER] is not expected or required to subsequently follow or cover events & news, or write about any particular company or topic. [ER] is not an expert in any company, industry sector or investment topic. 

By now, most readers invested in the Lithium (“Li“) sector know about brine deposits, especially those located in South America’s “Lithium Triangle” (Chile, Argentina & Bolivia).  And, many are familiar with conventional hard rock mining for Li, most of which takes place in western Australia.

However, readers likely know very little about a third source of potential Li supply; from claystone deposits.  One small company betting on a technology solution to unlock its mineral wealth is Cypress Development Corp. (TSX-V: CYP) / (OTCBB: CYDVF).  49.5 M shares outstanding @ C$0.185 = C$ 9 M market cap.  C$1.5 M in cash

Cypress controls 100% of the contiguous Dean and Glory claim blocks covering an area totaling 4,220 acres in Clayton Valley, Nevada, immediately east of Albemarle’s Silver Peak Li operations and Pure Energy Minerals’ project (PEA-stage, C$330 M after-tax NPV(8%) on its southwest boundary.  Management believes that the consistent nature of the currently known Li mineralization is highly encouraging for both the potential size and potential resource extraction methodologies.  (see corporate presentation, but please return!)

To date, all of Cypress’ drilling has been on the Dean property where a 9-hole drill program was completed earlier this year.  But, a recent press release explains that Cypress plans to drill 12 holes totaling 4,000 feet.  The 2017 fall program will be divided between the Dean and Glory projects…. Upcoming drill results represent an important near-term catalyst for the company.

 Li Prices up 200% — a Game Changer For Unconventional Li Deposits 

What readers have probably heard about what I call “unconventional Li deposits” (i.e. not brine or hard rock) is true, there’s currently no meaningful commercial-scale production from claystone deposits anywhere in the world.  However, it’s very important to recognize one crucial observation…. Li prices have roughly tripled in just the past 2 years. In fact, spot prices in China have quadrupled, (see chart below) currently perched above US$ 20k/metric tonne, at or near all-time highs.

Today’s very strong Li prices are a game changer, greatly incentivizing the world to invent a better mousetrap.  The exciting thing in my view is that more and more mousetraps are being built and tested.  Not just methods to extract Li from claystone, but dozens of Li brine processing technologies, some of which could be amenable to unconventional Li deposits.

Simply put, if or when a commercial technology or technologies to exploit unconventional Li deposits is developed, the value of claystone properties such as those held by Cypress could soar.

We’ve seen this movie before….  Consider the oil shale industry 10-15 years ago when the benefits of horizontal drilling were first becoming known.  Speculators started grabbing acres surrounding known fracking hotspots, (not knowing how much, if any, hydrocarbon abundance was in place) initially paying $100-$200/acre.  Within a few years, the best located acres were trading at $10,000-$20,000/acre.

Unlike outright speculation on oil shale, in Cypress’ case we already know there’s Li in the ground, possibly high-grade compared to brine deposits, possibly large tonnage compared to hard rock deposits.  What we don’t know yet is if it’s technically and environmentally feasible to separate the Li from the clay, mud and other materials and profitably sell it.  So, again, that’s the primary risk of investing in Cypress Development Corp.  A big risk, but a known risk that can be weighed against other risks that Li juniors face.

There is another notable risk factor.  Access to water in Nevada is extremely important.  In Clayton Valley, and many other arid parts of the State, it can be very difficult to obtain water rights.  However, Cypress might not have the same risk exposure as peers looking to exploit traditional brine resources.  The Company does not propose to tap Li-saturated brine that a neighboring party could claim to own or control.

Cypress will need access to process water, not the minerals (lithium/boron/potassium) in the water– a big difference.  And, the amount of water required would presumably be far less (and probably recyclable) because Cypress would not be filling giant solar evaporation ponds like Albemarle’s nearby Silver Peak processing facilities.

Neighbor Lithium Americas’ Delivering New PFS in Mid-2018…

So, how close is the industry to solving these complex technical & environmental challenges of commercial extraction of Li from claystone deposits?  In my opinion, closer than many might guess, but with the important caveat that each deposit is unique.  For example, Lithium Americas (TSX: LAC) / (OTCQX: LACDF) has a clay deposit, the Lithium Nevada project, (formerly Kings Valley) that was actively explored, developed and promoted in 2009-2013, when the company was called Western Lithium USA Corp.

A Preliminary Feasibility Study (“PFS“) on Kings Valley was completed in 2012, and a pilot plant running Kings Valley ore operated successfully in Germany for years.  A substantial amount of effort and capital was deployed, but with a Li price in the US$5,000/t area, LAC decided not to pursue the project.  Fast forward to 2017, LAC is developing a new production flow sheet that will incorporate a number of operational improvements, but by far the biggest enhancement to the project’s actual economics will be a much higher long-term Li price assumption.

As I write this, LAC just committed to delivering a brand new PFS by June 30, 2018, and commented,

“While proprietary, much of our work relies on the application of commercially available solutions that could be deployed quickly and reliably.”  Also, according to LAC management, “…the Lithium Nevada Project’s Li clay resource is the largest known lithium resource in the U.S.”  

This suggests, in my opinion, that LAC will be putting out a PFS next year that contains a Net Present Value (“NPV”) in the hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars.  The market will take notice, and since LAC’s market cap is currently ~C$ 1 billion (due almost entirely to the company’s JV with SQM on a world-class Li brine project in Argentina), LAC should meet with success in attracting global battery & car manufacturers, among others, to the table to talk about strategic investments and off-take agreements.

Will Global Geoscience & Bacanora Prove Clay Deposits Economic? 

Bacanora Minerals (TSX-V: BCN) has done a tremendous amount of work on unconventional Li deposits.  In its case, in Mexico, on the Sonora Lithium clay deposit.  Management is close to delivering a Bank Feasibility Study (“BFS“).  Bacanora has been operating a pilot plant for over 2 years and reportedly has the kinks worked out.  Japanese trading giant Hanwa is a strong financial backer and has a robust off-take agreement in place with Bacanora.

Nevada neighbor Global Geoscience Ltd. (ASX- GSC) is an Australian-listed junior with a clay deposit in Nevada.  It is finishing up a PFS on its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project that has an estimated 3.4 million tonnes of Li carbonate.  Unlike Cypress’s project, Rhyolite Ridge’s economics rely on the co-production of boric acid.  This is not necessarily a good or bad thing; it just highlights that each project is unique.  GSC shares have nearly quadrupled in the past year

Bacanora’s market cap is ~C$ 190 M.  Global Geoscience’s market cap is ~C$ 310 M. Both are making steady progress towards unlocking the value of their unconventional Li deposits.  I believe that positive developments for these and other unconventional Li companies will provide a flow of really good news for Cypress.  The Company has about 49.5 M shares outstanding post the recently closed capital raise.  Its market cap is just ~C$ 9 M.

 I strongly believe that with big news from Lithium Americas, Bacanora Minerals and Global Geoscience next year, Cypress will be on the radar screens of a number of global Li players, both financial & strategic companies. 

 MGX Minerals (TSX-V: XMG) is another technology-backed unconventional Li deposit winner that grabbed the attention of investors in 2017.  Its stock price is up ~500% in the past year.  MGX is harnessing technology to extract Li from oilfield brine wastewater.  Like LAC, BCN & GSC, MGX is not in operation.  MGX’s market cap is about C$ 80 M.

Cypress; in the Right Place at the Right Time and a Cheap Valuation

First Cypress has to prove up an attractive maiden resource, then it simply needs to continue following in the footsteps of Lithium Americas, Bacanora & Global Geoscience as those companies publish a PFS and/or a BFS, lock-in large strategic/financial partners and off-take agreements.  But fear not, none of the clay deposits will be in large-scale production anytime soon, so they won’t even put a dent in a possible supply crunch around the turn of the decade, and won’t put a cap on Li prices!

Make no mistake, Cypress’ projects are earlier-stage than the companies I’ve mentioned, but in some respects might not be higher risk.  For example, the Dean and Glory projects would probably have lower strip ratios than many global Li projects (both conventional & unconventional).

 Management Team is Amazing for a Small Company

Typically, small companies have trouble attracting big talent, but not so in this case.  Why? Because smart people saw the opportunity, they saw what I’m describing in this article, basically, they saw the writing on the wall…. there’s not going to be enough Lithium!  All potential commercial-scale Li sources will be pursued to the ends of the earth.  And, with the Li price at US$20k/t+ vs. US$5k/t, the “when” can’t come fast enough.

That’s why Bill Willoughby, PE, PhD joined the Company this year.  What better person to have as CEO than a rock star, PhD mining Engineer during a once in a lifetime opportunity like this?  (the paradigm shift from ICE- powered to EV).  Bill has nearly 30 years’ experience at natural resource development companies.  Will this be his greatest success to date?  Dr. Willoughby was kind enough to provide the following quote, an exclusive for this article,

 “We feel our project is unique due to its location and physical traits. To our knowledge, Clayton Valley has the only deposits of lithium claystone that are situated next to an existing brine operation. Besides location, our deposit is shallow, flat-lying soft rock in which the lithium appears readily soluble. With the large apparent size, we’ve seen from our drilling and the lateral extent of the deposit, we believe all these factors combine to a unique opportunity to develop a significant new source of lithium.”

In addition, the Cypress team has used, and continues to work with, very well-known and respected ALS / Chemex in Reno, NV and SGS lab in Ontario.

 Cypress is sitting on Libearing property that could be worth a hell of a lot more than its C$ 9 M market cap.  This will not be an overnight success, a near-term commercial-scale producer, but actual production is not what’s required for a higher valuation.  What’s needed is a credible path towards that end, management is on that path and working diligently.

All 9 previous holes at Dean encountered significant Li values within claystone, which ranged up to 1,790 ppm Li (1,790 mg/L Li) and averaged 900 ppm Li (900 mg/L Li) throughout the average drill-depth of 243 feet.  Mineralization outcrops at surface, and average Li mineralization thickness is greater than 210 feet.  The program covered an area measuring about 12,000 feet in length by 4,000 feet in width.  The Li-bearing claystone is considered open in all directions.

South of the Dean claim block, extensive sampling by Cypress on the Glory claims identified Li mineralization in surface exposures of claystone which ranged up to 3,800 ppm Li (3,800 mg/L Li) over 9,500 feet along the same trend encountered on the adjoining Dean claims.  Results suggest a strong possibility of continuous mineralized volume of a highly leachable Li-rich claystone at surface on the Glory project.

The goal of the work on both properties is to substantiate the potential to produce Li directly from the mineralized claystone with a low-cost and environmentally friendly approach, without the need for roasting or other costly mining and complex treatments.  Cypress is proceeding with additional leach studies to determine the amount of Li extraction possible from the claystone and provide further data on the feasibility of a large-scale leach extraction method.

So, to recap so far; in my opinion it seems reasonable that Cypress will be able to come up with a maiden mineral resource estimate in the next 6 months.  Further, based on historical samples, drilling and other exploration, there’s reason to believe that the maiden resource could be sizable and relatively high-grade.  The claystone mineralization is soft and near-surface, so there’s no doubt that ore would be easy and low-cost to extract.  The main risk is that there is no known technology that can process Cypress’ Li deposits cost effectively and in an environmentally friendly manner.

From the latest Cypress press release, quote,

Cypress believes its claystone deposit in Clayton Valley has the potential to contain a significant resource of lithium, and may have physical and logistical features that could make it a productive, long-term source of lithium.  In addition to the ongoing drilling program, Cypress is continuing studies to determine the exact nature and distribution of the lithium mineralization in the claystone, and identify an effective means of extraction.”

 Conclusion

Boy this time next year, there could be two half-billion dollar Li clay projects in Nevada! Either or both project owners might have lined top Battery or EV manufacturers to drive them forward.  Notice I haven’t even mentioned Nevada’s Tesla, there’s no need, it could be anyone, literally dozens and dozens of companies.  If so, will tiny Cypress Development Corp. (TSX-V: CYP) / (OTCBB: CYDVF) still be valued at C$ 9 M?

Although years away from commercial-scale production, Cypress is year(s) ahead of unconventional Li deposits that have not been staked, permitted for initial exploration, sampled or had preliminary testing or metallurgy done….  Remember, each deposit is unique, and most high-grade Li deposits might not be nearly as amenable as Cypress’ Dean and Glory projects to potential exploitation due to distance from infrastructure, depth of deposit, grade, continuity, chemistry (concentration of coincident deleterious elements) jurisdiction, and other factors.

 Cypress Development is a company worthy of further investigation by readers.  Here are some places to go for further information.

Corporate Presentation                                                               

JuniorStockReview by Brian Leni P.Eng

Ahead of the Herd article by Rick Mills

The Stateside Report by Vince Marciano

Energy & Gold Ltd. Website by Scott Armstrong

Disclosures:  The content of this interview is for illustrative and informational purposes only.  Readers fully understand and agree that nothing contained herein, written by Peter Epstein of Epstein Research[ER] including but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts, estimates, calculations, etc. is to be considered implicit or explicit, investment advice. Further, nothing contained herein is a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any security.  Mr. Epstein and [ER] are not responsible for investment actions taken by the reader.  Mr. Epstein and [ER] have never been, and are not currently, a registered or licensed financial advisor or broker/dealer, investment advisor, stockbroker, trader, money manager, compliance or legal officer, and they do not perform market making activities. Mr. Epstein and [ER] are not directly employed by any company, group, organization, party or person. Shares of Cypress Development Corp. are highly speculative, not suitable for all investors. Readers understand and agree that investments in small cap stocks can result in a 100% loss of invested funds. It is assumed and agreed upon by readers that they consult with their own licensed or registered financial advisors before making investment decisions.

At the time this article was posted, Peter Epstein owned shares in Cypress Development Corp. and the Company was an advertiser on [ER].  By virtue of ownership of the Company’s shares and it being an advertiser on [ER], Peter Epstein is biased in his views on the Company.  Readers understand and agree that they must conduct their own research, above and beyond reading this article. While the author believes he’s diligent in screening out companies that are unattractive investment opportunities, he cannot guarantee that his efforts will (or have been) successful. Mr. Epstein & [ER] are not responsible for any perceived, or actual, errors including, but not limited to, commentary, opinions, views, assumptions, reported facts & financial calculations, or for the completeness of this article. Mr. Epstein & [ER] are not expected or required to subsequently follow or cover events & news, or write about any particular company or topic. Mr. Epstein and [ER] are not experts in any company, industry sector or investment topic.

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