Medallion Resources CEO Mark Saxon discusses the company’s latest progress in the rare earth elements space.
Medallion Resources (TSXV:MDL,OTCQX:MLLOF,FWB:MRDN) CEO Mark Saxon recently joined the Investing News Network to discuss the company’s latest progress in the rare earth elements (REE) space, including his recent appointment as the company’s new CEO.
Saxon has been working with Medallion Resources for years and believes he has a unique opportunity to guide the company through potentially uncertain times moving forward. Because the United States has limited exposure to the REE supply chain, Saxon believes a US-based supplier could radically change the industry while potentially improving America’s economic footing.
Medallion Resources is currently working to develop an REE processing technology capable of taking a low-value feedstock and converting it into a high-value REE product. As the United States continues to work towards resource independence, Medallion Resources is hopeful the company can provide a domestic source of REEs through its technology, leveraging the country’s preference to develop its own resources.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Medallion Resources CEO Mark Saxon. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: What have you learned from your first month as CEO of Medallion Resources?
Medallion Resources CEO Mark Saxon: It has been a very interesting transition to the CEO role of Medallion and I appreciate the board providing me with the opportunity to build upon the work of the former CEO Don Lay. While the limitations on travel have created a unique set of challenges, I have been supporting Medallion as an advisor for the past four years and know the people and the corporate positioning very well.
In the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many current and prospective shareholders and key participants within the North American rare earth element industry on Medallion’s behalf. Following the US-China trade dispute and the global uncertainty of COVID-19, there has been a strong appetite for a US-based REE supplier, and that appetite is putting wind in Medallion’s sails. I believe the company is in the right place at the right time, in a crucial industry.
INN: What originally drew you to the opportunity to lead Medallion?
MS: REEs remain a passion for me after my last role where our team made an important discovery and made rapid progress towards development. It was natural for me to utilize those skills and my industry contacts leading another REE focused company. Medallion has taken a relatively low risk and technology-driven path in the rare earth element industry which I find both interesting and compelling. By applying our proprietary and transferable technology, Medallion can be a first mover in the supply of US domestically sourced magnetic REEs.
The US is poorly placed just at a time when REE-based technology is becoming more essential than ever, and as supply uncertainty from China dramatically escalates. This makes for an exciting time to be leading Medallion and working on solutions for near term REE supply.
INN: What will be your focus for the company moving forward?
MS: Medallion has developed a proprietary processing technology that enables the extraction of REEs from an abundant by-product material, monazite, from mineral sand mining. This means a mine does not need to be built, but instead, we take a widely available low-value feedstock and convert it to a high-value REE product.
Medallion has made excellent technical progress over the past years, and it is now time to increase the scale of our work through pilot plant testing, and choosing a location for the installation of our commercial-scale operation. Furthermore, we are building relationships up and down the supply chain that are essential to the company’s success. Our initial focus is within the US, where raw material security for REEs is low and there is strong interest from government and industry to strengthen supply chains. But we also have our eye on operating in other jurisdictions where monazite is abundant.
Due to the critical nature of the supply chain to industry and defense, we are seeing substantial opportunities for public funding within the US. As Medallion’s technology is well advanced, I believe we are in a strong position to benefit.
INN: How has the COVID-19 pandemic altered the American REE supply chain?
MS: Perhaps the simplest answer is that the US does not currently have many parts of an REE supply chain to disrupt. The only miner of REEs in the US ships an unprocessed mineral concentrate to China, which is where all the processing value-add steps take place. The US then buys back REE magnets or even the finished products or components that contain those magnets, like electric vehicle motors.
Looking forward however, COVID-19 has permanently changed thinking on the importance of supply chain security for REEs and other critical materials. Just-in-time availability and reliance on distant suppliers have been shown not to be strategic in times of crisis, and investment in risk mitigation is clearly required.
Not only does the US lack a presence in the REE supply chain, but access to REE-bearing materials for industry and defense is highly reliant on China, which is by far the dominant player in the supply chain. From both industrial and defense viewpoints, this is not a sensible position, in particular as the demand for REEs grows for renewable energy generation and e-mobility.
INN: How is Medallion positioned to improve US domestic REE sources moving forward?
MS: Medallion has focused on proprietary technology development to utilize a by-product feedstock that is widely available globally including within the US. As there is no need to build a mine, the capital required to execute is modest and the company has the capacity to move quickly to provide a 100-percent US-sourced alternative. All chemicals, equipment and feedstock can be sourced within the US.
This has provided Medallion a clear story and a unique market position that is central to many conversations on US REE security. The recent attention in the markets has allowed the company to complete a small financing to introduce strong and supportive shareholders and provide capital to help achieve our next milestones.
This interview is sponsored by Medallion Resources (TSXV:MDL,OTCQX:MLLOF, Frankfurt:MRDN). This interview provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Medallion Resources in order to help investors learn more about the company. Medallion Resources is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.
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