Discovery Delineation (3) or Infill/Metallurgy (4)
Flagship Project (3-4)
PEA (5) or PFS (6)
Flagship Project (5-6)
Feasibility/Permitting (7) or Construction (8)
Flagship Project (7-8)
Flagship Project (9)
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Positive Mkt Signal
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Back to America: The junior resource sector has tended to avoid the United States except for Nevada and a handful of other western states since the nineties in part because other parts of the world with under-explored potential opened up but also because a "not-in-my-backyard" mentality entrenched lengthy permitting obstacles and timelines not just for mine development but even exploration. The emergence of globalized trade after the end of the Cold War enabled Americans to benefit from cheap raw materials mined in jurisdictions that had a greater abundance of rich mineral deposits and environmental rules that were either minimal or unenforced due to corruption. Developing countries such as China volunteered themselves as the environmental cost dumping toilet for the benefit of developed countries. But as a middle class emerges in China there is an inevitable shift from the goal of boosting "quantity in life" to enhancing "quality of life". The greatest threat to the Communist Party of China is pollution and so it is no surprise that a crackdown on environmental pollution has begun which will curtail the growth of Chinese metal supply and perhaps even shrink it. At the same time China and the United States are squaring off ahead of the decade when China's economy will rival that of the United States. The Trump administration has adopted a strategy of trade protectionism which threatens to collapse the institution of globalized trade or at least break it down into regional trading zones. It appears to be a pre-emptive move to stop China from becoming an equal rival to America for global domination. But the current attitude of America against everybody else carries the risk that the rest of the world will learn to operate without reliance on the United States. The temptation is to dismiss the current policies as something that will change in a few years, but the reality is that a nation with a fraction of the world's population in a world where other nations have embraced hybrid capitalism where state involvement allows the sacrifice of "local" profit for "general" strategic benefits cannot in the long run remain dominant. We are no longer dealing with the Cold War scenario of two empires carving up the world into client states whose output supports each empire's survival needs. Globalized trade subsidized super-power wealth because developing nations accepted the dumping of costs into their backyards as the price of development; it is not possible to return to a scenario where nations accept cost dumping as the price of "protection". Ppolicies which favor development of domestic output, be it in manufacturing or raw material extraction, make a lot of strategic sense in a context of fragmented global trade. A moderation of the environmental permitting system is already underway in the United States, triggered perhaps by emotional antipathy, but ultimately a strategic necessity in a future where the United States may no longer be the sole super-power. Resource nationalism and growing political instability are turning much of the global playground of the resource juniors in recent decades into anathema for risk capital. Back to America, whether to explore for metals that feed a reshored manufacturing sector or build domestic gold resources that would come in handy in a future where the US dollar is no longer the sole reserve currency, is an important emerging trend for investors interested in the junior resource sector.