Pure Energy Minerals – Avoid This Stock for Now (May 10, 2016)

Pure Energy

Well, you can’t win them all… As I mentioned in past articles and comments, Pure Energy Minerals (PE.V) is a highly speculative junior lithium stock, which is focused on brine solutions in Clayton Valley. Naturally, with Tesla (TSLA) nearby, there’s a lot of appeal with these juniors, and as a speculation, we’re all hoping to find one that will eventually become a major supplier to the Gigafactory.

Unfortunately, the odds of Pure Energy Minerals succeeding in the short-term diminished this morning. The company released some less than inspiring drill results.



VANCOUVER, BC–(May 10, 2016 ) – Pure Energy Minerals Limited (TSX VENTURE: PE) (FRANKFURT: A111EG) (OTCQB: HMGLF) (the “Company” or “Pure Energy”) announces the results of well sampling from the phase 2 drill program at its Clayton Valley South (“CVS”) Lithium Brine Project, located near Silver Peak, Nevada (the “Project”). The phase 2 drill program consisted of three wells: CV-4, CV-5, and CV-6, which were major step outs to the south, extending up to 6 kilometres (3.7 miles) beyond the previous limit of drilling. The technical team designed these wells to target lower grade brines of the southern resource area from approximately 150 to 500 metres (500 to 1600 feet) below surface. The results from wells CV-4, 5, and 6 included no significant lithium values, but the data indicate the presence of an active geothermal system that may have a significant impact on fluid compositions in portions of the southern resource area.

Phase 3 drilling continues, as Harris Exploration Drilling has advanced CV-3 to approximately 427 metres (1,400 feet) below surface. The new well was collared approximately 200 metres (660 feet) east-southeast of CV-1; it will serve the dual purpose of a deep exploration well and a monitoring well for future pumping tests. The drillers are using rotary coring techniques to take CV-3 towards a target depth of 490 metres (1,600 feet) below surface, and there are sufficient supplies on site to advance the well deeper if conditions permit. Core recovery has been excellent (>95%) so far, recovering multiple representative sections of core from various aquifers for testing of physical and hydrogeological properties at accredited laboratories.

Patrick Highsmith, Pure Energy Minerals CEO commented, “We now have a better understanding of the basin geology, and the geothermal system we encountered with this drilling in the southern resource area is a complexity. Drilling continues in the northern resource area and the results so far are encouraging. Subject to the completion of our ongoing drill program and updated mineral resource, we anticipate the southern resource area to contract, but due to the low-grade assumptions in that area, it should have a positive impact on the average grade of the estimated inferred resource. If that is the case, we believe higher average grades will bode well for the potential processing economics in the future.”


The message is loud and clear… “no significant lithium values“. You can make a press release as lengthy and wordy as you want, but that’s the key takeaway from today’s announcement.


Such is the nature of a speculation, especially with an early stage story. Fortunately for myself, this was my smallest lithium position, but a bad pick is a bad pick. I cut my losses after the news release, selling all of my shares, and losing about ~$1,400 in total, exiting out at C$0.61/share. My cost basis was C$0.905/share.

For me, there’s no point in waiting for this story to turn around… There are just so many better alternatives out there right now, so I’m just going to take my lumps and move on. No need to get emotional here, because I’ve always accepted upfront that I’m never going to get every pick right. Obviously, this painful lesson is just another one that helps reaffirm my strong held belief that one ought to focus more on the proven and de-risked stories first before they venture off into the much earlier stage exploration stuff.

For myself, I’m going to uncomplicate matters, and stick primarily with the advanced stage spodumene stories… Irregardless of how Pure Energy Minerals played out for me, I was already starting to learn about how difficult brine projects can be, and more often times than not, things can (and do) go wrong… If you’re going to do it, you’re probably going to need to take the Lithium Americas (LAC.TO) approach, which is to partner with an industry leader like SQM who has the expertise to make sure its done right… Even then, there are no guarantees (ask Orocobre and Toyota), but I’m starting to really understand now why Lithium Americas was willing to sell off 50% of their Cauchari-Olaroz brine project in Argentina to SQM for “only” $25 million.

Anyway, it’s back to Australian spodumene for me… Keep it simple, stupid.

Down the road, yes, I’ll probably keep on speculating on some early stage stories (as I alerted subscribers last night, there’s another early stage story that I particularly like at the moment)… I won’t let this failure deter me, but again, my main focus will be to target after advanced staged projects that have a real legitimate chance of getting into full-scale commercial production sooner rather than later. Out of all of my lithium holdings, Pure Energy Minerals was without a doubt the story farthest away from achieving that goal.

Without a solid foundation in place, no, I shouldn’t go chasing after more “home runs” that have just as great a chance of “striking out”.


As always, live and learn.

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4 years ago

I also hold GXY and PLS. I got in on these in January this year. I only started reading your blog (off a Hot Copper post link) and have really enjoyed your commentary on lithium. As you know there has been a boom of juniors/specs coming onto the scene in North America and Australia. Fortunately, IMO we have picked the two best stocks on the Aussie market. GXP is ramping up production and has Sal De Vida to develop over the next 2 to 5 years and PLS is very likely to be the next hard rock giant (along with… Read more »


[…] blank, as long as the fundamentals of each lithium stock I own aren’t deteriorating (e.g. the latest drill program revealed no significant lithium values), why sweat the […]

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor
3 years ago


I’m currently holding PE but wondering if CRE is a much better play. What do you think about the prospects of PE?