General Base Metals
Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. (TSX-V: LIT)(OTC: PNXLF) CEO Niko Cacos on Building a Large Lithium Exploration Presence in Argentina’s Prolific Lithium Triangle Nearby to Major Operators
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president & CEO of Argentina Lithium — Mr. Niko Cacos. Niko, how are you today?
Niko Cacos: I'm doing very well. And Gerardo… much better knowing I'm on the air with a famous person like you!
Gerardo Del Real: Oh, nah… I appreciate the kind words! As Mr. Nick Hodge, co-owner of Resource Stock Digest, likes to say, “Just a blind squirrel trying to find nuts!” Niko, that's it!
Niko Cacos: You’ve found one!
Gerardo Del Real: There you go! Well, listen, you’ve found one here!
Apparently, you just optioned additional properties at the Salar de Antofalla, which, of course, is renowned for its lithium production and prospectivity. Definitely, definitely in the right neighborhood.
You optioned a total of 5,380 acres that's situated adjacent to the company's 9,000 hectares. And that's 5,380 ‘hectares’ — let me correct myself — that's adjacent to the company's 9,000 hectares of 100% held claims. Obviously, this has been the strategy since day one.
We talked about it the last time you were on. Walk me through these properties and what was so attractive about them.
Niko Cacos: Well, first and foremost, they're in the Salar de Antofalla. This is a salar that's within the Lithium Triangle that's probably the most high-profile salar in Argentina because we have another neighbor there based in the same salar.
Gerardo Del Real: Small neighbor…
Niko Cacos: Yeah, a BIG neighbor; the Albemarle Corporation, which is a major lithium producer, especially over in Chile. And they have a very significant package there. And they've actually stated that their lithium resource in the southern portion of the same salar is expected to be certified as the largest in Argentina.
So we're in the right neighborhood. And we're in the right timing right now, too. Because of COVID, a lot of companies have been staying away from Argentina. But us being managed by the Grosso Group, we have a very significant presence of some very talented people in Argentina.
And they're always out there looking for exemplary opportunities. And this is just the first small step, and, I think, we’ll be pleasantly surprised in the next few weeks. I'm hoping to have a few more. And I think we're going to have a very significant and meaningful package of lithium projects on which we can begin some work.
Gerardo Del Real: Yeah, excellent work. And we talked last time about the importance of the network that you and the team brings, specifically in Argentina. And I think this is a testament to that.
Obviously, the option agreement was executed with a group of three local vendors. And again, when you have a neighbor the quality of Albemarle — it speaks volumes to the quality of the properties, right? Now, these properties, I understand, have had some work done in the past; some exploration work. Can you speak to that a bit?
Niko Cacos: Yeah, they have had some work done in the past. They've had some anomalies up to over 61 milligrams per liter of lithium. So there are definitely prospects. We're already beginning to start our planning for some work on these properties.
Probably, end of September, early-October we should be making plans to get into there and start executing, basically, some of our exploration strategies with some of the lithium experts that we have on-staff already.
Gerardo Del Real: A well-structured deal, Niko. Total cash payments of US$4 million over 42 months. But interesting that only US$600,000 of that is due in the first 18 months. Good, good structure there. Gives you some time to really get in there and assess the properties, right?
Niko Cacos: Absolutely. This is probably the most prospective salar in Argentina. You look at what our neighbor has done in that area, and they've gotten what's considered economic lithium.
So our challenge, of course, is to get in there with our experts and outline an exploration strategy that can identify the same pathfinders. And the key to that, of course, is knowing that there is potential in this salar. So this is positioning us very, very nicely for lithium in Argentina.
Gerardo Del Real: It sounds like you have other deals you're working on. I wouldn't ask you to speculate on those now because I know those are likely in the final stages. You mentioned coming back on in a couple of weeks. Would love to have you back on if something is consummated there.
Niko Cacos: The moment we get something, Gerardo, I'll let you know and be very, very happy to be here to talk about it.
Gerardo Del Real: Niko, always great catching up! Thanks again, and we'll chat soon.
Niko Cacos: Awesome! Thank you.Click here to see more from Argentina Lithium & Energy