On the brink of failure: what will it take to re-build the United States?
Vancouver, BC / June 9, 2014 / When a student comes home during term review and exposes a GPA falling in the D range, panic often ensues—something has gone wrong, something needs to be corrected. Their grade, like all grades, serves as a signal that drastic action must be taken to re-build their academic standing.
Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) releases its own version of a report card, and in 2013 the nation's infrastructure earned a D+ (poor) GPA. A disconcerting grade, considering the eminent and progressive civil construction schemas that America was once home to. Beginning in the 1980s serious concern arose as to the dilapidated state of America's roadways, tunnels, bridges, dams, waterways, and energy systems, but economic and political conditions have continuously inhibited would-be plans and progress.
Financing gargantuan, inter-jurisdictional projects, such as wide-scale infrastructure re-development is a challenging prospect, especially when the estimated cost of upgrades, according to the ASCE, will require a $3.6 trillion investment within the next six years. The magnitude of this figure comes after years of neglect and bi-partisan quarrelling which has resulted in an in ability for any one jurisdiction to commit to an execute any long-ranging, impactful, infrastructure goals.
In outlining President Obama's current infrastructure proposals, Aviva Shen writes, "Last year was characterized by a slew of bridge collapses and train derailments that threw the urgency of the infrastructure crisis in stark relief. About 8,000 bridges are at risk of collapsing at any moment, according to the AP, yet continue to carry more than 29 million drivers a day."
Often, desperation and necessity are the harbinger of innovation. As vital transport and communication networks continue to crack and crumble, innovative financing schemes are being generated, and when mass-scale infrastructure projects become solvent entire markets will re-arrange, as they help allocate the industrial construction materials that will assist in re-defining a nation.
As the logistical climate improves, with relation to large infrastructure projects, it will take sound leadership, financial innovation, and public demand to raise the capitalnecessary to re-build that which is faltering.
Various financing options, such as tolling, public-private partnerships, a National Infrastructure Bank and programs that encourage private investment, such as TIFIA, its new counterpart WIFIA, and the revival of the Build America Bonds program, are only bolstered by public support and the will of governmental leaders to address the issue of failing infrastructure.
Currently the US Treasury is able to borrow at close to zero rates of interest, and this provides a rare opportunity to allocate the magnitude of funds required to impact the infrastructure blight. A component of the revenue may be generated through personal taxation, a view supported by the HNTB's America THINKS survey which polled a random nationwide sample of 1,124 Americans in 2011, 74% of which in the short-term, are willing to take on an increased tax burden, if the revenue generated isdesignated for long-term transportation improvements.
Recently, John K. Delaney, of Maryland's 6th Congressional District co-wrote an article entitled, Crumbling U.S. Infrastructure Needs Money. Delaney has proposed a bill to congress entitled, The Partnership to Build America Act, which is designed to aid in the rebuilding of, "our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible way,"… and "is a private sector driven solution to our public infrastructure needs." Currently, the bill has strong bipartisan support in Congress with 32 Democratic and 32 Republican cosponsors in the House, and seven Republican and six Democratic cosponsors in the Senate.
As leadership further consolidates its stance, financing is made available to various districts, and the logistical challenge of executing mass-construction projects is solved a new breed of materials will be required. The industrial, environmental, and economic landscape has shifted since America first developed as an industrial power, so its second coming is going to have to be one that is as forward-thinking as the first. During this process it will be essential to use materials and construction methods that redefine public infrastructure as a durable, strong, resilient, and sustainable endeavour, thus allowing the nation to re-imagine itself within a similar mould.
Concrete's second coming, developing a HSC (high-strength cement using Metakaolin)
i-Minerals Inc. (TSX.V: IMA; OTCQX: IMAHF) Helmer-Bovill property, located in North Central Idaho, hosts a variety of coveted industrial minerals, and has entered advanced stages of exploration.
This property, once in production, is slated to alter the scape of a market that is demonstrating increased demand for the range of minerals present within the mine. Garnering increased excitement within the market for industrial minerals is the presence of kaolin, and its by-product metakaolin at the Helmer-Bovill property. A myriad of applications exist for metakaolin, but as of late this versatile clay composite is demonstrating value through its use as a pozzolan within the manufacture of concrete.
Since the adoption of modern environmental standards, the production of concrete has been blighted due to the high amount of emissions it generates. Fortunately, alternatives do exist, ones that not only mitigate the environmental consequences of concrete, but also make it a more durable, stronger, and longer-lasting construction implement.
This is done through the addition of pozzolanic materials to concrete mixtures. Traditionally silica fumes, fly ash, slag, rice husk ash has been used as a cement replacement material for developing HSC that is superior to conventional, pozzolan-free, admixtures.
Most recently the 8-20% addition of metakaolin to Portland Cement, an essential ingredient in concrete, has increased kaolin's domestic and international demand.Metakaolin as an additive produces a highly attractive compound thatdemonstrates increased strength and durability, reduced permeability, all the while decreasing the weight and acid resistance of finished products. In addition, when added to primary ingredients, metakaolin increases the durability and length of use for surfaces that are subject to extreme wear and tear.
As a result of its attractive and functional qualities, metakaolin is currently sought throughout markets in Western North America, and the demandfor this additive is expected to increase dramatically, as the aforementioned infrastructure needs are addressed.
This valuable additive has not been fully utilized up until now because of economic considerations. Transportation costs associated with bringing metakaolin to the Pacific Northwest from traditional zones of production (i.e. Georgia) have madeit a high cost alternative to other pozzolans.
The Helmer-Bovill deposit has the potential to eradicate economic and logistical restrictions with regard to the use of kaolin and meta-kaolin throughout America's industrial core, allowing the true potential of pozzolanic metakaolin to be realized, and for its demand to be fulfilled.
The various qualities of metakaolin, when used as a pozzolan and in other applications, prime it to be viewed as the epitome of twenty-first century building materials, for it is being derived from a local source, thus demonstrating sustainable and economical qualities; it is an environmental alternative for an industry and economy attempting to become more green; and it boasts a myriad of properties that make it superior to conventional pozzolans.
The market is ready, and the financial and political atmosphere is preparing itself for re-construction on a mass-scale, and with the right materials this upcoming era could be the one that redefines both America, and the way nations choose to re-build themselves.
Jun 03, 2014 I-Minerals Updated Pre-Feasibility Study of its Bovill Kaolin Project Yields $212 million After Tax NPV and 30.5% IRR.Vancouver, B.C. (June 3, 2014) - I-Minerals Inc. (TSX.V: IMA; OTCQX: IMAHF)For an updated mineral estimate please visit Capital News Desk
I-Minerals Helmer-Bovill Project, Idaho
Founded in 2001,i-Minerals, Inc. (Other OTC: IMAHF, TSXV: IMA.V) is an advanced stage exploration and mining company focused on developing deposits in the Helmer-Bovill property located in north central Idaho. The Company has eleven mineral leases on the property that includes three deposits: "Bovill Kaolin" (formerly known as the WBL pit area), "WBL Tailings" and "Kelly's Basin." In its initial years, the Company was focused on finding sodium feldspar deposits (includes two main products: kaolin and halloysite) in the WBL Tailings area. However, in 2011, current CEO, Mr. Thomas Conway took over reins of the Company and IMAHF made a strategic shift and began developing the Bovill Kaolin deposit that hosts a variety of industrial minerals including halloysite, kaolin, quartz, K-spar and metakaolin. The deposit that is spread across ~1000 acres, has a higher mineral product mix, superior Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR), lower capital costs (production does not involve crushing, blasting or mining which helps reduce capital costs) and a shorter payback period. Per the NI 43-101 technical report (effective date: November 2012), the Company's Bovill Kaolin deposit has proven-probable reserves of 5.4 million tons.
Conducted by Kelton Research the survey used an e-mail invitation and onlinequestionnaire. Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population ages 18 and over. The margin of error is +/- 2.9 percent.
Disclaimer:The information contained is not intended to be advice, nor a recommendation and/or guidance for investment decisions. Our Web site and our newsletter are services of Capital News Desk. A licensed financial advisor should be consulted prior to making any investment decision. Expressions of opinion are those of the author's only and are subject to change without notice.
SOURCE: Capital News Desk