Advantage Lithium (TSX-V: AAL) CEO David Sidoo on Drilling Success in Clayton Valley & New Projects in Argentina
Gerardo Del Real : This is Gerardo Del Real with Research Stock Digest. Joining me today is President and CEO of Advantage Lithium (TSX-V: AAL)(OTC: AVLIF), Mr. David Sidoo. Dave, thank you so much for joining me today.
David Sidoo: Thank you very much. I really appreciate being here and updating all your readers and shareholders and stuff on our activities with Advantage Lithium.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's talk about it, because you've been busy. The last time we spoke, you talked about the experienced team that Advantage Lithium has been able to put together, and we talked a little bit about the portfolio of projects that Advantage was advancing. Since then, there's been a lot of activity that I'd like to ask you about. I'm going to go in order if that's okay with you?
David Sidoo: Sounds good.
Gerardo Del Real: On October 21st, you announced that you had closed a previously announced financing for approximately C$5 million. Then, on October 26th, you announced that Mr. Callum Grant had been appointed to the Board of Directors. Can you share with us a little bit about his experience, because it leads into the closing of your latest acquisition, the Stella Marys Project, that I'd like to go over as well?
David Sidoo: It's a great question that you ask, and when I first spoke to you I think it was a week or two ago, I talked about our team and how important that is for execution, and having the right people on you team that have done projects before and built assets. Callum Grant is a great person to add to our team, and I'll tell you why. He's an important addition. He's not just a Lithium expert. He's also an Argentinian expert. He lives part time in Buenos Aries. Him and his wife have been there for a number of years. He knows the region quite well. He knows all of the major Lithium players and all of the properties there, and he's extremely well connected as you can imagine.
Now, that's so important because there's such a rush right now of all these juniors trying to get into Argentina because it's a favorable place to work. There's some great assets, some great exploration, exploitation assets there. You've got to have the right person that can get the minutiae of detailed data together and pick out the stars that you can go after that are undervalued that other people aren't looking at or maybe not on their radar when this rush is happening. You can quickly as a junior spend your money on assets that have zero value, and I would liken that to be moose pasture, as opposed to having someone strategic that understands the assets and where to get the right deals and have the connections with those people.
Callum has that experience. Callum worked for Enirgi Group, whose largest shareholder is Sentient, a billion dollar fund out of the US. Enirgi's developed a great asset base there in Argentina. Callum worked quite closely with Enirgi in some of their special projects. When we go to Argentina, we meet with the top people in every major company. Callum knows them all, they respect him, and he knows the assets. Putting him on our board, having him strategically advise us in Argentina, I think is really going to help us, and you hopefully will see in the next month the advantage of having someone like Callum on our board.
Gerardo Del Real: I think we're already seeing it. I don't think it's a coincidence that two days after the announcement that Mr. Callum Grant had been appointed to the board, you announced that you had signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Stella Marys Project, which, of course, is in Argentina's Lithium Triangle. Now that project, you mentioned strategic value, that project seems to have strong strategic value. What can you tell us about Stella Marys?
David Sidoo: Two days later, on October 28th, you're right, we did announce that. Stella Marys, it's a strategic asset that we picked up. It sits right alongside Orocobre's (TSX: ORL) Salinas Grandes resource. It's a near-surface deposit with good grade and very good chemistry, all of which is very important for economics of putting something into production. The region itself has very good infrastructure. As I mentioned before, the Argentinian government is very supportive of the mining sector and the lithium sector in particular. The industry there and the government wants to see their lithium industry grow, because the incredible opportunities created by all this demand.
If you look at the Stella Marys asset that we picked up, it's shallow. It's got very high grades. One of the holes that was drilled on the Orocobre and Stella Marys boundary had purportedly some of the highest grades that you've seen in Argentina. Period. Callum Grant and Doug Leishman, who's also strategic advisor to us, visited the Stella Marys property when they were in Argentina last week. They walked the property. There's good road. There's good infrastructure. It's very shallow resource. You don't have to spend a lot of money. They looked at some other assets there that could be potential acquisitions. They've seen the property. We've touched and felt it. We know there's infrastructure. There's power there.
There's also very, very strong local support with the locals there, which is very strategic and is important. A lot of these junior companies will realize to get a permit to actually drill and do exploration work, you have to have strong relationships with the locals there. The family we bought it from has strong relationships with the locals. They are the ones that took Callum and Doug up to the property. Introduced them to all the locals. It's very strategic, it's near a world-class asset, and we're pleased with this project. We're looking at conducting some exploration work there, some surface sampling, and we're also trying to dig up some data from Eramet which is the French company that worked on the property. Having Callum on the board now and his presence, we think the sky's the limit for us in terms of acquiring other assets in Argentina. Quality assets.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned being next to a world-class asset and the benefit there. Yesterday, you announced some very exciting news out of Nevada. Your JV at Clayton Valley Northeast hit lithium brines on the very first hole, and that's exciting news because you and your JV partner Nevada Sunrise (TSX-V: NEV)(OTC: NVSGF) are the only lithium explorers in Clayton Valley other than Albemarle with access to certified water rights, which obviously is a huge deal. Can you share the details of the release yesterday and how that's progressing?
David Sidoo: Sure. The market responded really well to the news. I think we were up probably 15% in the last couple days. Pretty good volume. We're really pleased with the results so far. Being so close to North America's only lithium mine we were quite optimistic, but now that we have proof that Clayton Northeast hosts lithium brine, the grades we encountered there are on par with some of the grades published by Albemarle. That was also every encouraging for us, so we feel like we're in the right wheelhouse, in the right aquifer, and on the right side of the aquifer. We've got more results to come from that hole, which is still in progress.
When we announced the news, we're also drilling two more hole. When you have lithium brine, it doesn't take that many holes to reach a point where you can progress toward a potential resource. It could be as few as half a dozen good holes like the one we had on the first one. It's not like a hard rock deposit, where in some areas that can end up need literally hundreds of holes in hard rock. Hitting on our first hole's very encouraging, particularly when we've had a total of six holes fully permitted and targeted.
The funny thing is is you see where we're drilling our asset and where we're having success, and all the drillers are high-fiving, you see Albemarle's trucks going by every day. They're looking over their shoulder going, "Who are these guys?" They know we're having success. I bet they're probably buying our stock. If they were smart, they probably would.
Gerardo Del Real: That's great. I encourage everybody listening to go to the Advantage Lithium website. There's a great picture on the homepage of exactly where you're drilling and where their operation is. I think that it just provides perfect context.
David Sidoo: Excellent. That's a good point.
Gerardo Del Real: Lastly, I just want to say you're very well cashed up, you have a very experienced team, you are onto early success as Clayton Valley Northeast, anything that you'd like to add David? Maybe something that I missed? What can we expect here in the next couple of weeks and months?
David Sidoo: We're going to continue to drill our holes and have some results from Clayton Valley obviously. We're looking also right now to add to some of our acreage down there. Nevada Sunrise and Warren Stanyer said there's some opportunities for us to look at some stuff strategic around us there that we might about to fill in some of the footprint around there, so we put in some bids down there and acquired another I think 100, 150, maybe 200 acres additional to where we're on at Clayton Valley Northeast. That's positive.
We're also looking to continue to build our team, and to continue to execute. One of the things that we're really looking at down the road here is increasing our footprint in Argentina, and we're working really, really hard there. I think what some of the projects that have been presented to us and some of the things we've looked at, we're working really hard to increase that land position there strategically and continue to do our sampling in Stella Marys. Build a 43-101 report on that, a resource report, so we understand what the potential resource could be there. Ross McElroy, our head geologist, is putting together a team that's going to start doing some work in Mexico, doing some grab samples and some surface assaying. Probably a little bit of geophysics. I've given Ross the green light to go ahead and do that.
I think it's the same sort of format that I've done in all my projects that have been successful. We've got a great team. We've got a great set of assets, we're going to add to those assets, and we're going to fund those assets. You're right. We've got enough money now for the next couple years to execute what we want to, and I believe in the next twelve to eighteen months you're going to see the price of lithium get even stronger. I see all these other countries right now starting to build infrastructure for these EVs, electric vehicles, and that's the next step investors should start to understand and learn and read about.
If you start reading the Wall Street Journal, you look at the USA Today, you listen to Goldman Sachs, the UK, Norway, China, they're starting to build infrastructure for electric vehicles to charge them, and that's very significant. If they're going to put money into infrastructure, you know this boom has just started.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. I must say that I'm impressed with the portfolio of assets that you've been able to bring together in just such a short amount of time and obviously the world class management team, David. I'm excited for the next round of news, and I can't wait to see what you do here in the next twelve to eighteen months.
David Sidoo: Thanks a lot for keeping in touch with us. Any time we have any news, feel free to get ahold of Dave Matthews or myself and we'll update you and your readers any time.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, David, thank you so much for your time.
David Sidoo: Take care. Thank you.
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