Atlas Mining Company (ALMI)
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producing revenues from timber and mining
Mining is now preparing to bring their high-value halloysite
clay to the marketplace
Mr. Jacobson: It
was funny because I have been on the board of directors of Atlas Mining Company since
about the mid eighties. Our company really didnt do anything; it was a very small
company, which owned property up in northern Idaho. Once a year the directors would get
together, and because I was the secretary treasurer, I did a report on what we were doing,
which was virtually nothing. Every year we would sit around and talk about the good old
days and how great things were
CEOCFOinterviews: What is halloysite clay?
Mr. Jacobson: Halloysite
clay is similar to a kaolin clay, but it is the Cadillac of the industry. It
is a clay
CEOCFOinterviews: Where are you now in that process?
Mr. Jacobson: Right now we are in the process of getting our halloysite mine into production and have ordered processing equipment. We have all of the underground mining equipment we need except for one or two pieces of equipment that we will be picking up at the time we need it, and we are mobilizing men and equipment to the mine site as we speak. We will be starting production and the development work over the next 30-45 days. We have the people committed on buying and we have the ability to mine it and we have the processing plant to process it. All of these things have to be put into place, which we are working on as we speak. I am very exciting and I think this is going to be a fine year for our company as a result.
CEOCFOinterviews: Financially, do you have all you need in-place to get all the parts together and go in?
Mr. Jacobson: Yes, as a small company we do work from our back pocket quite a bit. We have some money that we raised from an SB2 offering last year. We have some financing commitments on our equipment and some other funding commitments, and we think that once we start our production that the sales will ensure that we can continue going. With these commitments, we think we will be fine.
CEOCFOinterviews: Will you tell us about the nanotechnology?
Mr. Jacobson: That is the most fun part of this whole thing. When we first looked at this clay, we were looking at the established existing customers for halloysite clay. The Japanese gentleman told us that the clay was unique, and we did some research and found out that the Montana State University through a technology link with the U.S. government, was trying to sell a technology called microtubular technology. They introduced me to Dr Ron Price who was the scientist who invented this technology that was patented by the U.S. government. We sent him samples of our clay and he came back and said wow! I have been making these microtubules synthetically and it is very expensive to make them and your clay works, it is the only natural product that we have found that will work substantially on the microtubules process. A microtubules is a microscopic element and it is tubular, what they do is suck the air out of it and then they inject these tubes with whatever type of material they want to. In the case of the U.S navy, they are looking for a paint that will keep the barnacles off their ships, and they are taking these microtubules, sucking the air out, inject the tubes with an anti-fungicide, which would kill barnacles and then they mix it with their paint. As the paint wears out the anti-barnacle agent comes out and that keeps the barnacles off the ship. Speaking of nano-technology, because of the fact that the size of some of our halloysite is one micron or smaller, we have opened some doors up with some other nano ceramic type of people that are interested in using it. We are very interested in this market and we think it is going to be a high-value market, and we think that our clay is going to fit very will into this market.
CEOCFOinterviews: Will you tell us about the ingestible benefits of halloysite?
Mr. Jacobson: It fits in with the microtubular technology. Halloysite clay is a nontoxic clay. Every time you chew on a Tums or take some Pepto-Bismol, the majority of what you are eating is clay. Because of the microtubules of our clay, we have the ability to inject these microtubules with certain kinds of agents, whether they are vitamins, medicines or whatever, so as you ingest them and they break down in your system similar to time-released type of a system. We have just gotten into the ingestible stuff; we know that this is a long road because it has to do with government regulations. We have found that the natural vitamin industry has a lot of interest in our product, as well as people looking for different types of topical applications. For example, if you have a wound that you do not want to have to keep reopening to put new medicine on. If you are able to inject some of your antibiotics into the clay, put it into your medicine and apply it to your wound, you may not have to redress that wound because you have that medicine releasing into your system over a longer time period. Dr. Price said to me, Im the kind of guy that likes to save a dollar, and my wife has an expensive perfume, and I got the idea if I inject my wifes perfume into the clay it may last longer. So he takes his wifes perfume to work, and puts the clay into the vacuum chamber, sucks the air out, and injects some of his wifes perfume into the clay. He then rubs the clay on his jacket and the smell of his wifes perfume stayed on his jacket for three or four days. As the clay broke down, the perfume smell came back out. Things like that are being looked at as well as household applications. Ever notice when you take your towels out of the dryer the fresh smell of the fabric softener sheet, and then a month later when you take that towel out of the closet, it doesnt have that same smell? Using our clay, you could make the smell of your fresh towels stay longer in the closet.
CEOCFOinterviews: What challenges do you face getting production started and how are you prepared for the bumps in the road?
Mr. Jacobson: It is funny because no matter what, there are going to be problems. Last year we were able to go onto the property in the beginning of March, because the whether was so good. This year we had our last snowstorm about the beginning of April. It has been a frustration for us. We know that the mining methods that we are going to use have not been used on this property before. The type of deposit that it is, it will not withstand being left open for a long time and we are going to have to be very careful to make sure that we get in and back out again and make sure that we can keep up the integrity of the underground workings we are doing a new processing system that is not tried and proven over the years, although we have utilized this system at least two maybe three times by processing bulk samples through it and we feel comfortable that it will work, we will still have some learning to do. The manufacturer is very supportive and they are very willing to work with us to make sure that the processing system does work for us. We know that every buyer has a different demand and request on the size and the brightness and the moisture content. These are all things we will have to address as we move along. We might have a catalytic converter manufacturer that wants some products and his request is different from a fertilizer manufacturer or an insecticide manufacturer that doesnt care if there is a little iron in it. We might have a ceramic insulator company that wants the purest stuff. We have to be careful to supply the right product to the right people.
CEOCFOinterviews: How do you know how this will work out?
Mr. Jacobson: We are a hard rock underground mining company. We have not had that much experience in the industrial mineral area, so I went to Macon Georgia and I met an industrial minerals distributor. We spent a lot of time together, I learned a lot from him, and he will be helping us sell product. He is the one who has established many relationships for us with existing types of users. The distributor in Japan does the same thing. We have the ability through these distributors to market the product very easily. These people have indicated to us that they think they will be able to sell 8-10 thousand tons the first year. Then you look at the newer technologies, the nano and microtubular stuff. We have done most of this on our own because of the fact that these are all new technologies that we may make direct sales on. Those would be the fun ones to do because then we would not be competing with anybody but will be opening up a whole new world of uses and we think those would be the ones we would like to target in the future.
CEOCFOinterviews: This all sounds so very promising; I am surprised that people are not banging on your door to be included.
Mr. Jacobson: Nothing is a sure thing in the mining business. Mining, up until just recently, because the metal prices have been so good lately, has not been a good investment. That is one reason why we looked for the very unique types of situations like this clay situation. We have had some inquiries from people about our company and inquiries about joint venture relationships, and I am sure that we will probably have some conversations in the future. However, we are a publicly traded company and we have been around since 1924. We have over 1,700 shareholders and these people deserve to have the best they can out of this situation. I am not going to sell the company down the road to somebody today, when I know tomorrow it will mean a lot more to our shareholders.
CEOCFOinterviews: Is there anything that potential investors should know that they might not realize when they first look at the company?
Mr. Jacobson: When you first look at the company you are going to notice that our financial statement is not that strong because we are a small company and we do not put the dollar values of our potential in our financial statement. We have a minimum deposit of 300 thousand tons of halloysite clay, and probably more. It has a minimum retail value of $450.00 dollars a ton and we expect it will probably be at least $600.00 or better by the time we get into some of these newer technologies. We look at the value of 300 thousand tons at $450.00 dollar a ton minimum price, and that is a 135 million dollar value. If you take that into consideration, with the amount of stock we have outstanding right now, we have a potential of about three-dollars-a-share revenue stream based just in that one property. Then you look at the fact that we have a twenty-cent stock on the market today and we have a lot of upside potential.
CEOCFOinterviews: So in closing, what should readers remember about Atlas Mining?
Mr. Jacobson: Even
though Atlas Mining is a small company, we are looking at getting our halloysite clay
property into production this year, but we are not going to stop with just that, we are
going to move forward and take on other properties and projects. We will continue to grow.
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