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Argentina Lithium & Energy (TSX-V: LIT)(OTC: PNXLF) CEO Niko Cacos on Long Awaited Drill Program at Rincón West Lithium Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and CEO of Argentina Lithium & Energy, Mr. Niko Cacos. Niko, great to have you back on. How are you, sir?
Niko Cacos: I'm doing extremely well, Gerardo. Thank you very much. And a pleasure to be back on your program as always.
Gerardo Del Real: Always a pleasure to catch up, Niko. We were talking a bit off air. I asked you how excited you were about drilling commencing at Rincon West, and your response to that was?
Niko Cacos: It's like having a baby. Finally.
Gerardo Del Real: I love it, finally. Let's get right into it. You just announced the commencement of exploration drilling at the Rincon West lithium project, which is, of course, in Salta Province, Argentina. Argentina has seen an influx of capital here over the past, well, frankly, over the past several years, but it's really, really picked up over the past six months. I would love to get your thoughts on what it's like to work in Argentina right now and what it's like to finally be drilling a project that I know you're very, very excited about.
Niko Cacos: We're very excited about this project. I mean, just the industry itself, the lithium industry itself, is extremely exciting. We're fortunate enough, of course, to be operating within the Lithium Triangle, which is a region that encompasses part of Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina that produces most of the world's lithium. And Argentina being an under-explored country, represents some opportunities for making some of the biggest discoveries in lithium, and we are extremely excited. We spent the last couple of years really putting together an incredible property portfolio, and we've just begun this year.
We did some geophysics, which helped us to identify the extent of brine aquifers that are beneath these salars, which is like salt lakes. And these brine aquifers is typically how the lithium occurs, so we can detect these using some very sophisticated geophysical techniques. But of course, to ensure that there's lithium there, there's no shortcut to that. You've got to drill. And this is the stage that we're at right now, and we're really excited about this.
Gerardo Del Real: You talked about the importance of using geophysics to really hone in on the targets. Right? And I know that previously you had announced geophysics results, which delineated highly conductive units, is how you describe it, consistent with concentrated brine aquifers over 64% of the property area. And I should remind everyone that the property area is 2,470 hectares. How do you prioritize that many potential targets given the scale of the property that you have here?
Niko Cacos: It's a really good size property. Of course, we've got our expert geology and geophysical team that helps us to prioritize this. We use a really highly sophisticated electromagnetic survey here called trans electromagnetic surveys, and these are really very good at being able to detect concentrated brines. And like I said, we don't know if there's lithium in those yet. But we do take comfort from the fact that this salar, or this salt lake, really there's only two other main players there. One is Rio Tinto, which recently bought their way into there by paying close to a billion dollars. They bought the Rincon Mining Company. And then the other company is Argosy Minerals. Both these companies have significant lithium resources within this lake. So we're hopeful that these brines, of course, will be part of the same system and that there will be some lithium in here. So we're going to have the answer to these questions probably in about a month's time.
Gerardo Del Real: The initial program is... Remind me. I think it's nine holes in 2,500 meters. Is that accurate?
Niko Cacos: That's what we're permitted for. We're permitted for up to nine holes. But we're going to do the first five holes. And this is a slower process than when you're drilling for copper or for a gold type of drilling. It's a slower process. A drill program could take up to a month to complete. But as it goes down, we're going to do one hole at a time, and then we're going to have results coming out, sort of in batches, every two or three weeks.
Gerardo Del Real: A major discovery here would be significant and consequential because you can earn up to 100% interest in this project, correct?
Niko Cacos: That is correct. A discovery here with good quality, good lithium grades, and good flow rate of brine, I think it has the potential to put Argentina lithium amongst the leaders in the industry here.
Gerardo Del Real: You have the right commodity. It's in a major bullish trend. You're in the right neighborhood. You have the right address. You have the right neighbors. All you need is a discovery. Niko, I'm excited to see the initial results. Anything to add to that?
Niko Cacos: Well, you've listed a great list of attributes. However, we also have, I believe, the right team. We're managed by the Grosso Group. We've got a battery of successes that go back over the last 30 years in our expertise in mining in Argentina. I think our track record is phenomenal, and I remain very optimistic that we're going to continue on this optimism.
Gerardo Del Real: I'll be looking forward to the assay results. I'm looking forward, as always, to having you back, Niko. Thank you so much for your time.
Niko Cacos: Great. Thank you.