General Base Metals
Argentina Lithium & Energy Corp. (TSX-V: LIT)(OTC: PNXLF) CEO Niko Cacos on Current and Emerging Lithium Acquisition, Exploration & Development Opportunities in South America’s Prolific Lithium Triangle
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 always feel much better when I'm on the program with you, Gerardo!
Gerardo Del Real: I appreciate that, Niko! Listen, I think that your timing with Argentina Lithium is excellent. I think we are in the early stages of a developing megatrend that is irreversible, right; the electrification of everything.
I think Argentina, despite its social and economic chaos, is a phenomenal country to explore for lithium. And, obviously, the Grosso Group has a pedigree and a history where it basically pioneered mining in Argentina.
So with all of that being said, I would love for you to provide an overview of the company. And then, let's get into some of the projects that you have now and the strategy moving forward.
Niko Cacos: It would be my pleasure. Argentina Lithium is basically focused on exploring the very prolific Lithium Triangle, specifically in Argentina. Now, the Lithium Triangle, itself, encompasses three countries: Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina. And it produces approximately half of the world's lithium and hosts more than 60% of global lithium reserves.
And a lot of this activity has been focused in the past on Chile. Now, the Argentine portion of that triangle is very, very much underexplored, and this is where the opportunity really stands out. And this is what Argentina Lithium is really focused on right now.
There's a lot of incredible opportunities that we're examining, and we're trying to see how we can get in there. And I think the second point that you touched in that opening there was that we're managed by the Grosso Group.
The Grosso Group, you're absolutely right, pioneered mining in Argentina nearly 30 years ago and has been very successful; has made four world-class discoveries in Argentina.
And right now, we're hoping to replicate that with lithium.
Gerardo Del Real: You have a tiny market cap, and you just finished an oversubscribed financing. Can you walk me through the share structure and the balance sheet briefly?
Niko Cacos: Absolutely. Our market cap is C$5 or C$6 million right now. We're a small market cap company because we're still at the early stages. We've been quiet in the last year because of all of the known reasons that have been around globally.
But we're seeing within this backdrop of incredible demand for lithium — especially happening in the United States — as the new administration there is very much focused on increasing clean energy… and that requires a lot of lithium.
We've announced a small financing, which was oversubscribed, and we're going to use the proceeds of that, basically, to acquire new projects within the Lithium Triangle — some of the better opportunities that we're looking at right now.
And that leaves us with a very small number of shares outstanding — just over 40 million shares. And this is the ground floor, basically, for Argentina Lithium.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned wanting to acquire new projects. The Rolodex is extensive, right — or the ‘contact list’ as it may be now — because of the team and the background there.
Tell me what types of projects you're looking for. What's the criteria when the team is evaluating projects that it wants to advance?
Niko Cacos: Well, the projects right now that we're looking… and our Rolodex is huge, I have to say… after three decades there, yes, we know a few people… but the projects that we're looking at acquiring are all within the high Andes in these ‘salars,’ or salt lake brine lakes, so to speak.
And one of the key criteria is we're looking to see projects that have perhaps been picked up and companies had to leave for other reasons, not for technical reasons, that have got some values of lithium, some discoveries already there.
So there's a bunch that we're looking at right now and, well, stay tuned!
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent! So I'm going to assume that the next several quarters, with the financing you just closed, are going to be focused on mergers and acquisitions, correct?
Niko Cacos: Yep, the next couple of quarters, we're making acquisitions. I expect to see, and I'm hopeful to see, our exploration work programs recommence in September of this year so that we're going to become very, very active — very, very quickly.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic! Niko, you have the team; you're in the right country given the history of success there; you have a solid cash position, solid share structure… I'm looking forward to seeing the team execute. Anything else to add to that?
Niko Cacos: No. I think lithium is a great space. I think Goldman Sachs described it the other day as ‘the new oil.’ And we are probably one of the most prospective countries in the world to make new lithium discoveries.
And I'm really looking forward to come back and update you and your listeners as to what we've done in that intervening time.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it, Niko. I don't often agree with Goldman Sachs, but in this case, I think they are absolutely correct! Looking forward to chatting. You take care now.
Niko Cacos: Alright, take care. Thank you.
Gerardo Del Real: Thanks, Niko.Click here to see more from Argentina Lithium & Energy