Atco Mining (CSE: ATCM)(OTC: ATMGF) CEO Etienne Moshevich on New Gravity Anomaly & Newfoundland’s Big Green-Hydrogen Announcement
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO, and the largest shareholder, I might add, of Atco Mining — Mr. Etienne Moshevich. Etienne, great to have you back on. How are you today?
Etienne Moshevich: I'm doing great, Gerardo. Thank you so much for having me on and setting this up. I really appreciate it.
Gerardo Del Real: Listen, let's get right into it. There is a scenario playing out in Newfoundland that I think is underappreciated. I think that it is a trend that is going to continue to accelerate. And I think there is a lot of money to be made from it.
So when I look at Atco Mining and I look at the market cap of sub-C$5 million, and I look at the first-mover advantage that you and a couple of other companies have in the region, and I combine that with how aggressive the government there is approaching this trend and investing in this trend that I think is going to change the face of hydrogen storage in the region… this sub-C$5 million market cap for Atco makes absolutely zero sense to me. And I think that's the opportunity.
Look, I wrote a check to the company a few months back in a financing; I own every share. I plan on adding to that position. So I am biased as all heck. But I really do think there's quite a compelling opportunity at current levels with Atco. I wanted to just reach out, have you on, and let you chat a bit about what's going on out there because it's pretty impressive.
Etienne Moshevich: I really appreciate it. And I totally agree with you. I mean, I'm obviously biased too. I'm the CEO as well as the largest shareholder, like you mentioned, of Atco.
This was a massive update from the government of Newfoundland because the Department of Industry, Energy & Technology announced that it whittled down their list of proposals to nine companies. And they're posted out there so everybody can see. And on CBC News, they were able to find eight of the nine. That's Pattern Energy, Brookfield Renewable Partners, ABO Wind, North Atlantic, Everwind Fuels, Exploits Valley, World Energy GH2, and Fortescue.
And I mean, the biggest thing with this is what we mentioned in our last interview that we had is that the government is saying that their plan is to make their final decisions on which companies are going to get these bids. They said, if any, but I think they just left that for themselves… but they're going to make a decision by the end of August and they put that out there.
And so this summer is going to be a very, very busy month for us and everybody in the area because if, let's say, they're able to give bids to one or more of these companies that are listed here, it's going to attract billions of dollars of investment in that area.
And they're all going to have to store their hydrogen somewhere. And we want to position ourselves with Atco as being the first-mover advantage to be able to be there and to have them store their hydrogen with us in our salt caverns. And that is why it's so important.
We brought on RESPEC Consulting, like we mentioned last time, we brought on RESPEC. And we're going to be getting updates throughout the summer on the confirmation of our salt caverns being there on our Eagle project and Flat Bay project. So they're going through all of the information there.
They're going to be talking about the size of these potential salt caverns. And then, they're also going to be, hopefully, talking about how much hydrogen we could potentially store in each one of these salt caverns. So it's going to be massive.
And so, all of a sudden, if by the end of August, the government of Newfoundland gives out these bids and contracts, these companies start attracting billions of dollars into the area. And then, by the end of the summer, we're going to be able to have all of this information that RESPEC has given us and go to one of these companies, or all of them, and say, ‘Hey, look, this is what we have.’ And maybe cut a deal with one of them. And that is our goal.
So this is absolutely huge for the area. Everybody's saying summer doldrums and that the summer is quiet. Not for us! There's going to be a lot of news flow coming from RESPEC.
There should be a lot of news flow, hopefully, coming from the Newfoundland government, like they mentioned, that, by the end of August, we should be hearing an update. So we're on pins and needles. We're extremely excited. We can't wait. And it's going to be a very, very exciting time for Atco.
Gerardo Del Real: And for those that may be new to the story or listen to this interview and decide they want to go Google “hydrogen storage/Newfoundland,” and they want to find out more about the opportunity, can you explain to everyone just how you were able to put together the land package that you were able to put together and the time that that took?
And then, can you just provide the context as to how many players are in the area… how many companies in the area have the kind of dominant land position that Atco has?
Etienne Moshevich: Totally. So at the beginning, you have to take a risk. And you’ve got to be a first-mover advantage to have that advantage in anything that you do. And so when we started Atco, this was a couple of years ago, when we started Atco, and we acquired land, two projects to the north of where a lot of our projects are right now that we recently acquired to the north, and they were very close to Atlas Salt. The ticker is SALT.
Gerardo Del Real: Great ticker by the way. Kudos to them.
Etienne Moshevich: Yeah, so we acquired those two projects first. And we were saying, you know what, look, if, and at that time, Atlas Salt was so-called Red Moon Resources, it was trading at like, don't quote me on this, but it was like maybe C$0.20 or C$0.25, something like that around that time. And we said, look, you know what, SALT is different. There's a ton of gold stories out there. There's a ton of copper stories out there, a ton of lithium stories out there. Let's do something different. And if somehow Red Moon Resources is going to drill, if something happens with them and they hit, then our projects that we cut a very, very good deal on are going to be worth a lot more money.
And we acquired these projects. We cut a great deal on them and from prospectors that are great prospectors that I've worked with for many years. And then, all of a sudden, Red Moon Resources drilled and they hit, and they changed their name to Atlas Salt. And they went as high as C$4.50 a share.
And so, all of a sudden, we were looking at our project and we're like, this entire area is going to start to heat up. And this is also around the time where Atlas Salt was one of the few companies in the resource sector that were really doing anything. And they literally went from C$0.10, C$0.15 to C$4.50 per share.
And so we got those [properties]. And then, we went public in October of last year and we brought on Neil McCallum and Dawson Briscoe on the board with us. Dawson is the current CEO of Morien Resources; a great royalty company. And Neil McCallum, I've worked with for many years, and he was instrumental in bringing in the Corvette Project for Patriot Battery Metals. That ticker is PMET.
And I'm sure all of your listeners, and I know you were on that story for a very, very long time, you were early in that deal. And PMET has gone north of C$17 and has done extremely well. And I think it's only going higher. And Neil was the geologist that brought in that project or was instrumental in bringing in that Corvette project to PMET.
So we showed him what we were doing with Atco and he absolutely loved it and decided to come on board. And so, when he came on board with Dawson, we were really going through and just trying to figure out, you know what, we have these two projects to the north. Let's try to expand our land position because Atlas Salt is obviously gaining a lot more attention. And they started talking about spinning out their Fischell’s Brook asset into a totally new company.
And it's not going to be drilled and mined for salt. It's going to be used for hydrogen storage. And so we said, you know what, let's acquire all of the land that we seek. Because with Neil and Dawson and us and our team, we went through previous historical readily available results and information. And a lot of these projects that we were seeing that were available to stake had historic gravity lows on them.
And so what we decided to do was acquire them either through staking or through cutting a deal with the owners of the project. And we’ve amassed, now, over 21,000 hectares in the area. We're the second largest landholder in the area along with Atlas Salt. We're the second, and the third, right next to us, is Vortex Energy. I believe they have just over 17,000 hectares.
Their ticker is VRTX and they've obviously done extremely well going from C$0.10 to close to C$2.40 or just over that a share. So the entire area is gaining a lot of attention. And we're only sitting here at a sub-C$5 million market cap, or a C$4 million market cap right now. And it's absolutely laughable.
We flew an airborne over our Eagle salt project and it showed that we do have a gravity low there. It should have the presence of a salt cavern on that project. And then, we acquired the Flat Bay project recently. That was our newest acquisition because of Neil and our team went through all of the historical data that was available with Flat Bay and it shows us that we could potentially have a presence of another salt dome there.
We acquired that and then we decided to bring on RESPEC who are the same guys that are working with Vortex Energy. And when we showed them everything that we have, they got extremely excited and wanted to come work with us. So we brought them on board and they're going to be going through, as I said, all of our historical data and all of the seismic data that we have.
And they're going to be going through that, and then really giving us their opinion about our salt dome presence on our project; the size of the salt dome that could be a whole 3D model, really showing investors what this salt dome could really potentially look like.
And the biggest thing, which Vortex put out there already, which I think got their market super excited, was how much hydrogen you could potentially store in one of these salt domes. And so that's really going to give a much better idea to the market and as well as some of these players that will hopefully get bids to build wind projects in the area.
So that is why we're extremely excited over this whole thing. But I still can't believe we're sitting at a C$4 million market cap. It's absolutely crazy to me. I'm obviously biased but I don't think we deserve to be here, and I hope we're not going to be here for long.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, you mentioned Neil McCallum; you mentioned Patriot Battery Metals. I still have close to 90% of that original position. When I first wrote that deal up and recommended it to my paid subscriber base and offered the financing to subscribers, it had a market cap of roughly C$5 million to C$6 million. This was back in June of 2021.
I absolutely love speculating on companies that have small market caps, management with a clear vision on how to add value, and a trend that is going to last for years on end regardless of what the Fed does and regardless of what the economy does.
This isn't a trend in Newfoundland that's going away anytime soon. Having the first-mover advantage that Atco has reminds me a bit of Patriot in the sense that, what attracted me to Patriot at that time was that large Corvette district that obviously has now proven itself to be world-class.
But there was a potential for multiple commodities that still exists but lithium is obviously the focus. I knew the lithium trend was going to continue higher. I knew that, eventually, if Patriot Battery Metals was able to prove up a significant discovery that the stock would soar. And obviously, it's worked out very, very, very well.
Atco has a lot of work to do on that front but that work has commenced, and I'm really looking forward to the rerating once the market catches on. Anything to add to that Etienne?
Etienne Moshevich: No, I mean, I think you're 100% correct. We're extremely excited with everything. And right now, everybody looks at Patriot and they see where they're at and how their market cap has grown… but everybody had to start somewhere. And we really believe we're doing absolutely everything we can to enhance shareholder value with Atco.
And all we really have to do is expose the story to the masses because we think we have an incredible, incredible company here, and we're going to be working at it for a long time. And hopefully, it's going to turn out to be a massive success, and hopefully could make all of your subscribers as much money as Patriot once did.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it. If you get that half right, Etienne, we'll all be happy campers! You have a good one, and thanks so much for that thorough update.
Etienne Moshevich: I hope so!
Gerardo Del Real: Alright, thanks again. Cheers!
Etienne Moshevich: Thank you so much, Gerardo. I really appreciate your time. Thank you.
Gerardo Del Real: Very welcome.
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