I mentioned the transmutations that small companies can go through back in 2008's "Chameleons on the Pink Sheets":
...A classic history would be a Vancouver "junior resource" company in 1979, after the collapse of the oil and gold markets became a solar deal in '81 , an Aloe Vera deal to the yuppies mid '80's, a biotech in '86 ("we're the next Amgen"or "A cure for AIDS"), then on to neutraceuticals or spas, Indian casinos, software, then the great "i", "e-" and ".com" gold rush. Someday I'll get around to checking if some lunatic scammer actually went with "e-iTrade.com"."Rare earth"miner" Qiao Xing Universal Resources (XING) was in the telecom biz until Nov. 30, 2009.
The next group of parasites were the "homeland security" companies, then land deals. The "resource" scams never went away and became more prominent in 2002 after gold had moved off its $252 bear market low. We're in the Green boom (happy Earth day by the way) now, who knows what's next....
Today in EuroInvestor:
...The recently re-named Homeland Security Network, Inc. (Pink Sheets:HYSN), doing business as Global Ecology Corporation (GEC) announced today
In the case of Northern, well, rare earth deposits often occur in conjunction with uranium and if you can get a higher multiple at the cost of changing your stationary, go for it.
One quick note: although this post has a "jokey" tone to it Northern is partnered with French nuclear giant Areva. That in itself doesn't make Northern a buy but it means that someone with mining experience has decided to take the gamble.
Here's the announcement of the change in focus and name change.