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Buzz on the Bullboards: 2021’s Highlights


Stockhouse Editorial
1 Comment| December 16, 2021

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2021 was another year of ups, downs, and everything in between, but it was also a year marked by continued global economic uncertainty and a shakeup of some of the hottest investment sectors.

I took notice when I realized how often I had been updating my templates. Remember when the TSX was just 17,000? How about 21? Both happened this year.

Markets recovered and hit new records after falling steeply in 2020. From new COVID-19 variants to supply chain disruptions, the markets saw it all this year. Gold prices rallied, cannabis stocks fell, and small-cap investors found as many success stories as they did failures.

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Monument Mining Commences 2nd Phase Drilling Program at the Murchison Gold Project (Australia)


As the largest investor hub in Canada, Stockhouse received amazing amounts of traffic to the investor discussion Bullboards. Here are the top six most-viewed company Bullboards in our most popular sectors.

One 2021 success story was federally regulated producer of cannabis oil Nextleaf Solutions Ltd. (CSE.OILS, OTC: OILFF, Forum), that distributes CBD and THC vapes and distilled oils under its award-winning prohibition-era brand, Glacial Gold. The company owns 17 US patents and has been issued 95 patents globally.

Nextleaf has updated its BC adult-use sales and introduced Distilled CBD 100 and 200 Oil in BC, Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia.

Key metrics for November 2021:

  • Nextleaf is a top 10 supplier of vape cartridges and bottled oils
  • Glacial Gold is the #7 brand in oils sales
  • Glacial Gold is the #8 brand in vape cartridges by unit
  • Glacial Gold has multiple products in the top 20 best selling SKUs in British Columbia within the vape and oils categories

“Glacial Gold is capturing market share with our portfolio of large format vape and oil products,” said Nextleaf co-founder and CEO, Paul Pedersen.

“By leveraging Nextleaf’s competitive advantage producing low-cost, high-purity distillate on an industrial scale, we are able to offer Glacial Gold CBD and THC products at disruptive price points.”

Glacial Gold CBD and THC distillates are produced through the company’s patented, automated closed-loop, chilled-alcohol extraction plant at Nextleaf Labs Ltd.

Nextleaf has shipped the initial order of Glacial Gold products to the company’s distribution partner in Saskatchewan and expects nine Glacial Gold™ CBD and THC Vapes and Distilled Oils to be available at private cannabis retailers across Saskatchewan by the end of December 2021.

The company has received its first purchase order from the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation and expects select Glacial Gold products to be available across Nova Scotia in the new year.

Glacial Gold Distilled CBD 200 Oil is a first in Canada, with the highest amount of CBD in a single unit (5700 mg), highest potency of CBD available in an ingestible oil format (200 mg/g = 20%), and best dollar value per milligram for CBD in Canada.

Nextleaf has completed its first shipments of Glacial Gold Distilled CBD 100 Oil and Distilled CBD 200 Oil and expects both products to be available by the end of December 2021 at BC Cannabis Stores and private cannabis retailers across British Columbia and Saskatchewan.


(Image via Nextleaf Solutions Ltd.)

HEXO Corp. (TSX: HEXO, Forum) announced “The Path Forward” this week – a new strategic plan to solidify itself as Canada’s leading cannabis company and position it to capitalize on international opportunities. The plan utilizes HEXO’s current assets, including its recent acquisitions and unique capabilities to drive accelerated growth and become cash flow positive within the next four quarters. This plan is underpinned by actions to strengthen its balance sheet, its executive team and its corporate governance.

Q1 2022 Highlights:

  • Total net revenue increased 29% to $50.2 million from $38.7 million in Q4 2021, and up 70% from the comparative quarter of fiscal 2021.
  • The company closed its acquisitions of Redecan and 48North which contributed net revenues of $13.5 Million and $1.1 Million respectively during the two months ended October 31, 2022.
  • The company’s total non-beverage gross margin before adjustments increased to 28% from 25% in the previous quarter.
  • Revising expected synergies from acquisitions to over $50M from previously reported $35M.
  • Forecasting positive cash flow within the next four quarters based on incremental cash flow of $37.5 million in fiscal 2022 and an additional $135 million in 2023 for a total of $175 million over the two years.

This comes as the licensed producer of cannabis products just appointed John K. Bell as Chair of the Board of Directors.

Scott Cooper, President and CEO of HEXO commented on the appointment.

“A key priority for the company is to enhance its corporate governance and John brings a tremendous amount of experience to this role. John’s strong financial background and experience in the cannabis sector make him ideally suited as we move forward with our new plan to solidify our position as Canada’s leading cannabis company.”

John Bell added,

“HEXO has a strong foundation with unique capabilities and assets based on its recent acquisitions to accelerate growth and build market share. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the board and the leadership team as they strengthen their balance sheet and implement their new strategic plan for growth.”

John Bell, FCA, FCPA, ICD.D has a distinguished 40-year career of business success including executive management, corporate governance, financing and M&A. John is currently Chairman of Stack Capital, Pure Jamaican Limited and a board member of Cure Pharmaceutical. John was also a member and Chair of the Board at Canopy Growth between 2014 and 2020.

Nanaimo BC-based cannabis licensed producer Tilray Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY, Forum) announced the acquisition of Breckenridge Distillery – a leading distilled spirits platform located in Breckenridge Colorado. The distillery is widely known for its award-winning bourbon whiskey collection and innovative craft spirits portfolio. Tilray expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to EBITDA.

The company said this new brand was developed to provide a broader spectrum of formats and unique cannabinoid ratios at a better price point while offering medical patients a full comprehensive assortment of products, including flower, oils, and pre-rolls for their health and wellness regiment.

Irwin D. Simon, Tilray’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:

"Tilray’s strength lies in our ability to identify and significantly expand leading CPG lifestyle brands that resonate powerfully with consumers. Breckenridge Distillery is an iconic addition to our platform in this respect based on its portfolio of award-winning spirits, passionate consumer engagement, and a strong sales and distribution network. We see tremendous potential for Breckenridge and our existing SweetWater brand to complement each other, expanding their respective reach and driving further profitable growth in our beverage alcohol segment.”



PyroGenesis Canada Inc. (TSX-V.PYR, Forum) will soon launch a new hydrogen production process with zero carbon emissions.

The process is expected to compete with conventional technologies and is now entering a testing phase to convert methane to hydrogen.

The conventional ZCE process, water electrolysis, is extremely expensive, entails high energy usage and uses rare earth materials, while PyroGenesis’ technology boasts a theoretical electricity cost that is three times lower to produce the same amount of hydrogen. The technology would also be easily scalable, and its capital cost per hydrogen production unit is comparable to that of steam methane reforming technology.

The combustion of ZCE hydrogen for heating in industrial processes and transportation generates water vapour as a combustion byproduct, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

In the iron and steel manufacturing industries alone, the consumption of ZCE hydrogen is projected to increase from 0.5 million tons per year in 2020 to 12.5 million tons in 2030.

The company has filed international patent application No. PCT/CA2021/000099 with the World Intellectual Property Organization entitled, “Hydrogen production from hydrocarbons by plasma pyrolysis”.

P. Peter Pascali, CEO and Chair of PyroGenesis, stated,

“The conventional method to produce hydrogen is called steam methane reforming, which produces greenhouse gases as a result. Another technology used to produce hydrogen is called water electrolysis. It has been around for many years and is considered to be a ZCE technology.

PyroGenesis’ new technology is expected to combine the best of both worlds; it is expected to be cheaper than any existing hydrogen process while at the same time producing ZCE hydrogen. The hydrogen generated by this process is referred to as turquoise hydrogen.

The company does not expect that this new process would compete with its iron ore pelletization offering, where fossil fuel burners are replaced with plasma torches, but, in fact, would complement these plasma torch offerings by providing a hydrogen alternative elsewhere in the manufacturing process.”

A technology-focused company with exposure to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Datametrex AI Ltd. (TSX-V: DM, Forum) has secured rights to distribute the new 1POT Professional Device and 1copy COVID-19 MDx Kit Professional.

Together, the 1POT and MDx Kit provide an accurate result eight times faster than a conventional RT-PCR test through the 1POT Professional app, opening doors to rapid and convenient COVID-19 testing in places such as hospitals, clinics, and schools where healthcare professionals are present.


(Image via Datametrex AI Ltd.)

“The company is pleased with this new state-of-the-art testing system, opening the door to new revenue streams. A regular lab-based PCR test can be substituted with the MDx kit,” said Andrew Ryu, Datametrex chairman.

Marshall Gunter, Chief Executive Officer added,

“With the new mutations of the virus popping up around the world including the highly contagious Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant, management feels that constant COVID-19 testing will be essential for the immediate future as part of the response to keep people secure and healthy. It is now time to join with Datametrex and the MDx Kit to expand COVID-19 testing for your neighbourhood and effectively prevent the further spread of the global pandemic.”

The MDx Kit has CE marking certification for European Economic Area countries, which covers the 27 member states of the EU, the 4 members of EFTA, plus Turkey and the United Kingdom.


What the "Buzz"

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Extreme Vehicle Battery Technologies Corp. (CSE: ACDC, Forum) and its partner Daymak are pleased to introduce the Avvenire Spiritus powered by an IONiX Pro battery system.

The Avvenire Spiritus will be unveiled at an exclusive event in Toronto on Friday, December 17th at 11 AM EST. The IONiX Pro battery system will utilize EV Battery’s patented battery management system technology.

The Avvenire Spiritus is a 3-wheel, 2-seat EV which can offer a quick acceleration of 60 MPH time of 1.8 seconds. It will come in two models, the Spiritus Deluxe and the Spiritus Ultimate.

The IONiX Pro Home SmartWall will also be unveiled. The IONiX SmartWall allows users to monitor their homes remotely and features additional maintenance and repair functions. It has a capacity of 15kW and can be stacked in parallel with other devices.

IONiX Pro Managing Director, Robert Abenante, commented,

“[T]he Spiritus is only the beginning, as we have under contract the right to power the whole Avvenire line.”

Daymak is a Toronto-based developer and distributor of personal light electric vehicles.



Nevada Copper Corp. (TSX: NCU, Forum) is a Canadian-based mining company engaged in the exploration, and development of copper and other mineral properties located in the United States.

The miner provided an operations update and an overview of milestones achieved at its Pumpkin Hollow Project.

Randy Buffington, President and Chief Executive Officer commented on the company’s progress.

“I am very pleased with the progress the company has made in H2 of this year. Our mining rates, a key metric for ramp-up production advancement, have been increasing month over month. We are now seeing the efficiencies generated from the advanced management systems implemented in Q3 of this year. The building blocks are in place for increased mining rates and production as we move into H1 of next year.”

Operations:

  • Equipment availabilities materially improved:
  • 14% improvement in total fleet availability since the beginning of Q4, 2021. Additional equipment expected to be added in Q4, 2021
  • Contractor performance improved:
  • Productivity increased by 31% between October and November resulting in substantial improvement in operating efficiency and cost reductions
  • Increased mining development rates:
  • Rates achieved in December are currently 50% higher than August Commissioning of additional bolters planned to deliver a further 50% increase in development rates in the coming weeks
  • Consistent mill performance:
  • Milling operations have performed well throughout 2021, with batch processing reaching 4700tpd, recoveries over 90% and concentrate quality performing in-line with design specifications
  • Dike crossing completion:
  • First crossing of the water bearing dike was completed in August 2021, and the second crossing is anticipated to occur later this year. No further crossings are required during the ramp up to 3ktpd expected in H1, 2022
  • Ventilation infrastructure in place:
  • All underground ventilation infrastructure was completed in H1 2021. Final addition of surface ventilation fans remains on schedule, with commissioning planned to be completed in January, 2022, with ventilation no longer expected to be a constraint to production rates.

Corporate:

  • Transformational financing completed:
  • Closed $125M (CAD) public equity offering in November 2021
  • The financing provides additional liquidity to fund exploration and expansion studies at the company’s open pit project in addition to the ramp-up of Underground Mine.
  • Significantly enhanced balance sheet flexibility:
  • Long term debt reduced by approximately 30% during Q4 2021
  • First debt repayment under the Company’s senior credit facility with KfW-IPEX Bank deferred by 2 years to July 2024
  • Hiring of key management positions:
  • CEO Randy Buffington brings substantial operational and development experience in both underground and open pit mines in Nevada and internationally.
  • 8 key operational management positions added in H2 2021, resulting in operational improvement and enhanced planning and execution systems.

Development:

  • Developed program for Open Pit Project resource extension and feasibility study:
  • The budget and execution plan have been defined and the company expects that drilling to support the updated open pit feasibility study will commence in Q2 2022, potentially sooner depending on drill rig availability.
  • Open Pit Project decarbonization program advanced:
  • Solar power studies were completed in 2021, which show:
  • Pumpkin Hollow benefits from ample sun and land to support a large solar project with the capacity to meet a significant portion of the Open Pit Project’s power requirements;
  • The solar potential at the site is up to 200MW;
  • The already low grid power costs in Nevada could be further reduced through an on-site solar plant; and
  • A third-party solar project provides an option to remove upfront power infrastructure costs from the Open Pit Project.
  • Electric fleet study for mobile mining equipment fleet electrification at the Open Pit Project was completed by US-based energy and sustainability consultant Sprout Energy, which concluded:
  • Scope 1 carbon emissions over the life of mine could be reduced by approximately 10% of total estimated emissions; and
  • Fuel and maintenance costs could be reduced by up to approximately $200M (USD) over the life of mine.

Exploration:

  • Undertook further property reconnaissance on the Copper Ridge Area, which is located to the northeast of the Open Pit.
  • Defined target exploration plan: Initiated further refinement and interpretation of the newer geophysics in key areas such as Tedeboy, Tedeboy porphyry and Copper Ridge.
  • Initial grab sampling and mapping of these areas have resulted in areas with high grade copper samples. Surface mapping and sampling are planned for Q1 of 2022, supporting the commencement of drilling in Q2 2022.

Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. (TSX: IVN, Forum) announced that the Phase 2 concentrator plant at Kamoa Kakula is now 70% complete.

The 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) is well on track to begin operations in the second quarter of 2022. After the Phase 1 concentrator plant reached steady-state design capacity, Ivanhoe increased its 2021 production guidance for contained copper in concentrate produced from the plant. The company now expects to produce from 92,500 to 100,000 tonnes of copper concentrate.

Engineering, procurement, and fabrication activities all are effectively complete for the Phase 2 concentrator plant, and the main focus is now on completing the steel structure and installing platework, equipment, and piping.

With electrical work advancing on schedule, more than 580 truckloads of Phase 2 construction equipment and materials already have been delivered to site.

The company announced today that the final piece of major equipment for the Phase 2 concentrator plant, the high-pressure grinding rolls (HPGR), has been lifted into position.


(The Phase 2 HPGR being lifted into place. Image via Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.)

Now that the Phase 2 concentrator plant is nearing completion, Ivanhoe Mines and its joint venture partners at Kamoa Kakula are ramping up mining operations in preparation.

From October 21 to November 20, the company mined a total of 548,000 tonnes grading 5.46% copper from its Kakula and Kansoko mines.

“548,000 tonnes of ore mined is a major increase compared to our previous monthly record of 409,000 tonnes mined,” said Kamoa Copper CEO Mark Farren. “We expect to see continued growth in monthly mine production as we introduce additional mining crews to fill the second concentrator.”

Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal projects in Southern Africa. The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River Global Limited, and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

HPQ Silicon Resources Inc. (TSX-V: HPQ, Forum) is a Quebec-based innovative silicon solutions company that is developing a unique portfolio of high value-added silicon products sought after by battery and electric vehicle manufacturers.

The company is working with EBH2 Systems SA, a Swiss company, to develop a low-cost electrolysis technology that can extract “green hydrogen” from virtually any water source, including saltwater.

Validation testing was run by two PhDs with over 30 years of experience in the field of renewable energy and with first-hand experience developing hydrogen processes.

The first round of testing is now complete, confirming that the EBH2 Green Hydrogen Reactors can be used to power a generator or any kind of fuel system to produce electricity.

Mechanical equipment issues limited the scope of the testing, but researchers were able to confirm that the technology has potential for hydrogen generation. Thus, HPQ has decided to keep its exclusive options with EBH2 open until it completes further validation tests.

According to a report by US investment bank and financial services firm Jefferies, the International Energy Agency expects to see 180GW of demand for electrolyzers in use by 2030 and by 2050 a whopping 850GW in demand.

With only 200MW of capacity from the global supply of electrolysers, it is clear that the current supply will not be able to meet the demand for green hydrogen by 2030.

Bernard Tourillon, CEO of HPQ Silicon, commented,

“EBH2 Systems SA, with their proprietary low-cost electrolyser technology, present HPQ with one of these game changing synergetic opportunities that we simply could not overlook.”

“We are getting even closer,” added Mr. Tourillon, “to the point where EBH2 technology will be validated and when that occurs HPQ will be very well positioned to enter the hydrogen market with a system that can efficiently produce green hydrogen, on demand.”



Finally, we close out by looking at two December occurrences that potentially shake-up the markets. The first is tax-loss selling season, in which investors sell off some losing stocks to offset capital gains made in the year, and we polled Stockhouse users to see how they participate.

For the rest of the year, our Investor Pulse Poll looks at an effect called the “Santa Claus Rally.” While many enjoy holiday breaks over the end of December, the still-active public markets have shown a propensity for stock prices to increase into the start of the new year. Do you believe we’ll see a “Santa Claus Rally,” or that the rally even exists at all? Head to the homepage or click the image below to cast your vote.


(Click image to go to the poll)

That does it for the last edition of Buzz on the Bullboards for 2021. We’re already getting excited for what 2022 will bring to Stockhouse, from new hot sectors and rising small-cap opportunities to the crazy shakeups and out-of-nowhere stories that captivate the markets. For previous editions of Buzz on the Bullboards: click here.


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FULL DISCLOSURE: Extreme Vehicle Battery Technologies Corp. and PyroGenesis Canada Inc. are clients of Stockhouse Publishing.


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