A relatively unknown mineral, silica, has been key to the development of solar technology for years…

Now its finding new use in the development of electric vehicle batteries, allowing for a longer driving range, faster charging, and greater energy storage.

And while known global supplies of silica are dwindling, Homerun Resources (TSXV: HMR, OTCQB: HMRFF) is actively developing what could be one of the richest sources in the Americas.

In 1954, the United States invented solar panel technology – and for many years dominated the industry. Somewhere along the course of the last 70 years, we relinquished that lead. Today China manufactures 70% of the world’s solar panels. That includes all the components necessary for their production. The same goes for electric vehicle production… Only in that instance, China has an even greater share of market, producing 77% of the worlds batteries for electric vehicles (EV).i And dominance of the materials necessary for these new initiatives expands far beyond lithium – into cobalt, graphite, nickel, and copper. But there’s a lesser-known resource that’s getting a lot of attention lately, for its essential use in the manufacturing of computer chips, solar panels and just recently, electric vehicle batteries. That resource is silica – essentially sand. When you look at recent news, it’s easy to see why.

A Primary Building Block Of The Modern World

“”Silica Sand Is The World’s Second-Most Consumed Resource After Water, And It Is Running Out. Not Only Is It The Foundational Ingredient Of The Modern City, But It Is Also A Critical Material For The Earth’s Renewable Transition.””

Though little considered, silica spans a multitude of uses – from industrial, to military, to commercial product development.

This versatile mineral plays an integral role in the development of many of our everyday items and experiences.

  • Critical to the construction industry, structurally stable silica is widely used in the fabrication of concrete structures and brickwork
  • Highly conductive, with naturally high thermal and chemical resistance, silica is used in the development of processing chips, semiconductors, and optical fibers…
  • Durable, light, and transparent, silica is used in the development of everything from interactive smart phone screens, to windows and mirrors, and even in optics used for military applications

But lately, silica is getting the most attention for its critical role in the transition to clean, sustainable energy sources. Most people don’t realize this, but silica is a prime component in nearly every new technology driving the clean energy movement forward:

  • Photovoltaic Solar Panels: Silica sand is a key ingredient in the production of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. It is used to manufacture high-purity silicon, which is then transformed into solar cells that capture sunlight and convert it into electricity.
  • Concentrated Solar Power: Silica sand also plays a vital role in concentrated solar power (CSP) systems. In CSP plants, silica sand is used as a heat transfer fluid that absorbs and stores solar energy.
  • Wind Turbine Manufacturing: Silica sand is widely used in the wind energy industry, particularly in the manufacture of wind turbine components. It is also used as a molding material for casting metal parts such as turbine blades, bushings and other critical components.
  • Geothermal Reservoirs: Silica sand plays an essential role in geothermal energy production by acting as a proppant in geothermal reservoirs. In this application, silica sand is injected into geothermal wells under high pressure to create fractures in rock formations.
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps: Silica sand is also used in geothermal heat pump systems, where it acts as a thermal energy storage medium. In these systems, drilled holes filled with silica sand are used to exchange heat with the ground, providing efficient heating and cooling for residential and commercial buildings.
  • EV Batteries: A relatively new development, research is currently underway for batteries that are made with silicon as a replacement for graphite.

Next Step In EV Technologies: The Silicon-Anode Battery

One of silica’s most interesting properties is that it acts as a semiconductor, which has made it highly useful in the development of computers and other electronic devices.

But recently this unique quality has been the subject of intense research – for use in the manufacturing of electric vehicle batteries.

So far research has shown batteries made with silicon instead of graphite can enable significantly higher energy density and faster charging.

According to a claim by one of the companies working on the technology, Amprius Technologies,

“Silicon-anode has 10 times higher energy density than graphite.”

The same company has also demonstrated that a silicon-anode battery can charge a battery to 80% in just under 6 minutes. As one would expect, it’s drawing the attention of automotive manufacturers across the globe. Porsche, Mercedes, and GM are already betting on silicon-anode batteries. Mercedes has penned a supply agreement with Sila Nanotechnologies. While Porsche has invested in Washington state based Group14 Technologies.ii

This new critical use poses a significant challenge for silica producers to keep up an already stressed supply chain.

The World Is Running Out Of Sand

Widespread construction due to industrialization, population growth, and urbanization has already tripled the global rate of sand use —far exceeding the natural rate at which sand is being replenished by the weathering of rocks.

The construction industry alone consumes roughly 40 to 50 billion tons of sand annually, enough to build a wall of 27 meters high by 27 meters wide that wraps around the planet every year.

Add to that modern uses in energy storage, batteries, solar and wind energy, and electronics, and it’s not surprising some scientists are claiming it constitutes one of the greatest sustainability challenges of the 21st century

The IMARC Group projects the silica market will shoot up at a CAGR of 5.6%, moving from a value of $22.9 billion in 2022 to reach a value of $30.29 billion by 2028.iii

A number of silica stocks are already realizing the impact of this growing demand, seeing strong appreciation over just a handful of years. 

During the span of time between January 2020 and October 2023…

  • Diatreme Resources Ltd. shot up 144%…
  • Canadian Premium Sand Inc. has climbed 420%…
  • Metallica Minerals Ltd. is up 238%…
  • And U.S. Silica Holdings Inc. has soared 1,366%.

And the supply squeeze is still in its early innings – as market demand continues to grow, both exploration and production will need to ramp up significantly over the next decade.

Establishing A New Silica Supply Chain Across The Americas

For too many years the United States had only focused on oil and gas for energy. Meanwhile, China recognized the potential of renewable sustainable green energy, and led the way. But that’s changing quickly… According to the International Energy Agency, global spending on solar energy production in 2023 will outpace spending on oil production for the first time in history. That’s $380 billion invested on solar production, compared with $370 billion on oil production. iv The US Department of Energy has been clear on their stance: The dominance of critical minerals under China’s control poses a significant risk to the U.S. market. That’s in large part due to Beijing’s documented human rights violations and unpredictable trade relationship with the United States. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further amplified concerns about energy security.v In an effort to bolster domestic critical mineral supply chains, the U.S. administration passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IR Act) in August of 2022. viThis $369 billion dollar legislation is expected to usher in the largest, most ambitious infrastructure investment in American history. The bill provides a range of tax credits, grants, and concessional loans for energy technology investments, with the majority directed towards renewable energy and battery storage.
  • An additional $110 Billion is expected to be invested in solar by 2030.vii
  • Over $36 billion is funnelling into in the EV industry.viii]
  • And $160 billion is earmarked for the expansion of wind power.
Now keep in mind, purely domestic supply is not going to be enough to satisfy the coming silica demand. As a result, the United States is angling towards strategic partnerships with neighbors both to the North and the South. It’s why the Department of Defense awarded Canadian miner, Graphite One, a grant of $37.5 million to develop an Alaska mining project. And it’s why the US government recently invested $30 million in TechMet, a nickel and cobalt mine in Brazil. ix Companies operating in the Americas, that can supply both essential minerals and finished products at a competitive global cost, will be the likely targets of these fiscal incentives. Homerun Resources (TSXV: HMR, OTCQB: HMRFF) is preparing to do just that, with two high-potential projects – one in Brazil and one in British Columbia.

Early-Entry Explorer Aims To Solve A Critical Market Problem

Quartz sand resources in the Santa Maria Eterna Formation in Bahia, Brazil.
Unlike the typical exploration stage resource company, Homerun Resources is preparing to move into the production phase immediately, having just secured a substantial supply of silica in Brazil. According to a recent press release, the company has entered into supply agreements with two Brazilian companies, that are mining a particularly high-grade of silica sand, called High Purity Quartz (HPQ). HPQ is unique in that it is 99.5 – 99.999% pure – a standard that meets the requirements for use in the manufacturing of electronics, solar panels, and batteries, along with a myriad of other commercial, industrial, and consumer products.x Homerun‘s CEO, Brian Leeners commented, “This supply agreement is part of the Company‘s plan to build a globally distributed book of high purity quartz (HPQ) silica sand. By accessing a reliable and abundant source of high purity quartz, we can ensure a stable supply chain and secure a competitive advantage in meeting the increasing global market demand.” He went on to say, “Moving a resource project from early-stage to development-stage and then to mining stage takes a lot of time. Homerun has taken a different approach by securing a high-quality product to supply customers immediately.xi The supply agreement is backed by a fully permitted operation with an annual allowance of up to 2.5M tonnes and an indicated resource of 94M tonnes with an average grade of 99.88% SiO2.xii While Homerun will begin generating revenues by selling raw silica sand, infrastructure plans are in development for a vertically integrated market approach.

Phased Plan To Multiple Revenue Streams

The company is poised to begin monetization of its Brazilian Silica by year end.

Phase 1: Completed

Homerun has secured a reliable, immediate source of high-grade silica sand, positioning the company as a supplier of HPQ in the critical minerals market.

Phase 2: Anticipated Completion in 2024

The company’s HPQ Silica can be sold in its natural state but will have a wider initial market if it is washed, sized, and graded. Homerun is finalizing logistics for storage and processing of this silica sand as we speak.

Phase 3: Long-Term Objectives

 While Homerun will begin generating revenues by selling its raw Silica sand, the company is developing its plan to target specific vertical markets with a focus on energy transition, including solar, batteries and energy storage.  The company intends to use its own HPQ silica to manufacture solar panel glass. Based on material and labour costs in Brazil, the company expects to supply a finished product that will have a competitive edge in a growing global market.

Average HPQ Pricing Offers High Margins xiii

Due to Homerun’s high-quality source of silica, they will need less costly processing than other global suppliers to achieve an ultimate purity of 99.997%. This offers an obvious competitive advantage with higher margins. 

  • Low Grade HPQ 99.80% – Sells for $225 USD per tonne.
  • Medium Grade HPQ 99.95% – Sells for $300 USD per tonne.
  • High Grade HPQ 99.997% – Sells for $5,000 USD per tonne.

Now consider: The cost per tonne of raw material through Homerun’s recent supply agreement is only $20. Combined with processing and transportation costs, the total export cost per tonne will range from $40-$50.xiv

The Bahia silica resource property is also in close proximity to both the Ilheus port and the Aratu Camacari Port, allowing for economic storage and expedient shipping.

Now keep in mind that’s just one of the company’s anticipated silica supply streams.

Another project in British Columbia is undergoing exploration with positive findings, according to a recently released NI 43-101 Technical Report.

A Decades-Old History Of Silica Production

The Tatooine Silica Project covers an area approximately 5,100 hectares in size, located adjacent to the community of Brisco, in the Kootenay region of British Columbia.

This mountainous region has been the source of a wide variety of essential resources, including silver, gold, coal, and copper… just to name a few.

And Brisco specifically has a long history with silica, with the Brisco Silica Deposit actively mined going back as early as 1964.

This highly coveted swath of land…

  • Was historically responsible for producing a total of 62,450 tonnes of quartzite silica.
  • Hosts some of the highest-grade deposits on the planet, with samples coming in at 98.66% purity. And is best known for the Moberly Mine, a silica mine which was responsible for more than 84,000 metric tonnes during its operations…xv and sits just 65 kilometers from Homerun Resources Tatooine project.

The Tatooine project is also significantly de-risked.  Since major exploration has already taken place nearby…

It means the location boasts a trained work force and excellent infrastructure including rail, highways and high-voltage power lines crossing parts of the claim boundary.

And the company has reported no obvious impediments to exploration and development are present, meaning they could move quickly and aggressively should coming assay results signal a potential discovery.

According to the NI 43-101 Technical Report, exploration so far is looking very positive. Geochemical analysis of multiple samples taken in this quartzite unit has demonstrated consistent, high-purity silica grades, exceeding 98%.

It may not be the golden city of El Dorado.  But when it comes to silica, it’s about as close as you can get.

As the global demand for silica soars over the next 5 years, this newly re-activated silica hotspot, and specifically Homerun Resources, could offer investors a key opportunity to participate in the boom.

Key Team Members

Brian Leeners, CEO:

Brian received both his B.Comm. and LL.B. degrees from the University of British Columbia in 1992. Since that time, he’s been focused on the management of venture capital firm focused on developing companies in materials and technology sectors. Nexvu provides hands-on business development strategy and expertise for start-up and growth phase companies. Nexvu has been directly responsible for raising in excess of US$100 million.

Antionio Vitor, Country Manager Brazil:

Antionio has vast experience in project management with large scale corporations including Transpetro, PwC, and Shell. He has over 10 years’ experience in large scale mining. He was involved in various mining projects including AMA Gold, Hawkings Graphite, 3 A Rare Earths and Copper and Palmeres Rare Earths. He is a graduate in Business Administration and holds an MBA. Antionio is a member in good standing with the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC).

Dr. Mauro Cesar Terence, Chief Technology Officer:

Dr. Mauro graduated from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie in 1994. He holds a Masters in Nuclear Engineering from the Universidade de Sao Paulo and a Doctorate in Nuclear Engineering. He is an expert in material and metallurgical engineering specializing in advanced materials, nanomaterials, biomaterials, ceramics, blends, and polymers.

Carlos Basthos Geologist QP Brazil:

Carlos has 37 years’ experience as a geologist working in Brazil. He was the technician responsible for Vale‘s largest kaolin project in Pará, as well as bauxite. He worked in project management and geology positions at CODELCO, Alcoa, Vale and Ferbasa. He graduated as geologist from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and holds a Master´s degree from the Federal University of Pará. He is registered as a Qualified Person at CBRR, in Brazil.

Alastair Neil, Business Development and Materials Consultant:

Alastair is the President of Trinity Management a consulting firm with over 25 years’ experience in business development and the commercialization of technologies and specialty materials. He brings valuable business expertise and relationships in international markets including Asia, North America and Europe focused on strategic metals and critical materials. He graduated in Materials Science Engineering for the University of Western Ontario and holds an MBA from York University.

5 Reasons To Consider Homerun Resources (TSXV: HMR, OTCQB: HMRFF)

  1. Strong and Experienced Management – The Homerun team consists of experts in their fields, from financing to mining, logistics, sales, and material science
  2. Large Addressable Market – The global silica market is expected to reach USD 30.29 billion by 2028. Demand for HPQ for solar manufacturing, batteries and energy storage is increasing globally with the United States actively seeking new suppliers outside of China.
  3. High-Quality, Low-Cost Materials – Homerun’s raw material cost of only $20 USD per tonne can instigate an immediate market. The cost to provide an even higher grade of processed product is estimated to be under $50 USD per tonne.
  4. Reliable Abundant Supply – The fully permitted Brazilian property has a current annual allowance of 2.5m tonnes. The total indicated resource of the mine is 94M tonnes.
  5. Exceptional Performance – In only 10 months’ time the company has managed to obtain tier one projects, attract exceptional management and is ready to move towards monetization.

Learn More About Homerun Resources (TSXV: HMR, OTCQB: HMRFF) at your brokerage today!

Learn More About Homerun Resources (TSXV: HMR, OTCQB: HMRFF) at your brokerage today!

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i https://www.visualcapitalist.com/chinas-dominance-in-battery-manufacturing/
ii https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/22/why-porsche-mercedes-and-gm-are-betting-on-silicon-anode-batteries.html
iii https://www.imarcgroup.com/silica-sand-manufacturing-plant
iv https://www.ft.com/content/fd8e7175-9423-4042-a6f7-c404afdfcda4
v https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/a-decade-into-tariffs-us-solar-manufacturing-is-still-deep-in-asia-s-shadow-70236202
vi https://edition.cnn.com/2022/08/16/politics/biden-inflation-reduction-act-signing/index.html
vii https://www.rystadenergy.com/news/inflation-reduction-act-will-attract-an-extra-270-billion-in-us-wind-and-solar-in
viii https://electrificationcoalition.org/after-one-year-the-inflation-reduction-act-is-spurring-private-investments-in-the-electric-vehicle-industry/
ix https://valorinternational.globo.com/economy/news/2022/11/15/us-unveils-investment-in-nickel-cobalt-in-brazil.ghtml
x https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3153656/rare-form-quartz-key-xinjiangs-solar-boom-and-almost-all-it-us
xi https://www.rockstone-research.com/index.php/en/research-reports/6116-The-Energy-Transition-is-Running-Low-on-High-Purity-Silica-Sand-The-Elephant-in-the-Room
xii https://www.rockstone-research.com/index.php/en/research-reports/6140-Homerun-in-Bahia-At-the-forefront-of-one-of-the-worlds-highest-quality-silica-sand-districts
xiii https://homerunresources.com/corporate-presentation/
xiv https://finance.yahoo.com/news/homerun-resources-inc-executes-formal-123100786.html
xv https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Moberly-silica-processing-plant-owned-and-operated-by-Heemskirk-Canada-Limited_fig11_242618368

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