General Base Metals
Atco Mining (CSE: ATCM)(OTC: ATMGF) Director Neil McCallum on Flat Bay Salt Dome Property Acquisition in Newfoundland, Canada
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the director of Atco Mining — Mr. Neil McCallum. Neil, you have been busy. How are you today?
Neil McCallum: Really good, thanks.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into it. The last time you and I spoke, you mentioned that you had a project that you were really excited to bring into the portfolio. But you didn't want to say anything about the project because you weren't sure if you were going to be able to make it work.
We now know that Atco has acquired the Flat Bay project, which, again, I know is a project that you're familiar with and that you're excited about. So I wanted to have you on just to talk about, one, why it's so strategic and, then, two, the flexibility that it's going to provide Atco here moving forward with another very, very compelling property.
Neil McCallum: Yes, we've been keeping our eye on this for a while. It was one of those claims that was coming open, and we're really happy to have it into our portfolio. It fits really well with everything else we've been doing in the St. George's Basin in terms of finding these structures for salt dome targets.
And it has a good amount of historical data that we're wrapping up and can add into our exploration plan for future exploration. So it fits right within our package and right within the same area as Triple Point and their advanced project. So it just fits with what we're already doing very well.
Gerardo Del Real: So once the acquisition is completed, I understand that Atco will be 100%-owner of the project, correct?
Neil McCallum: Yes, that’s correct.
Gerardo Del Real: How large is the project?
Neil McCallum: Our total land package is roughly 21,000 hectares. This particular one is 1,000 hectares, which brings our total to around 22,600 hectares in the whole region, which makes us a pretty strategic one.
Gerardo Del Real: How does that compare to Atlas Salt’s spinout company [Triple Point Resources]? Atlas has had a really good couple of weeks in the market. I know Triple Point holds, I want to say, roughly 22,000 hectares.
So when you talk about having a land holding that's pretty significant in the area, we're talking significant with companies that are more advanced but also that command market caps at many, many multiples of where Atco is at right now.
Neil McCallum: Exactly… we're just shy of their number now. So we're creeping up there, and we're going to have a very similar land package in what's all very similar ground. It's the St. George's Bay Basin, and there seems to be multiple salt domes there… so we're happy to have another one to add to the portfolio.
Gerardo Del Real: How important to you was it that this project already has a historically mapped gravity low?
Neil McCallum: Yes, that's the fundamental part of the exploration for these. So we've already nailed that down without having to do any work of our own. And so we're going to be adding that in.
You have the basic gravity low, and then you can do some 3D modeling and some other interesting things. There's also, in this region, some seismic work that had been done a long time ago that’s more aligned for the oil and gas industry but it's something that can be used, as well, for our purposes, which is looking for salt dome targets.
Gerardo Del Real: Tell me a bit about just how eager the local government is to really, really allocate significant capital towards its infrastructure as it relates to the salt domes and, obviously, the hydrogen storage angle, which I know is something that's important to the local government. How supportive have those conversations been?
Neil McCallum: That's exactly right. This area seems to be getting the most attention in all of Newfoundland. They're putting together the wind rights and the wind leasing right now, making sure that that's an equitable process.
So they have to do their due diligence and getting all of the bids in process. Not only is there the bidding process that they are supportive of having companies bid on… but then there's the hydrogen production — and that's just going super well.
There's a lot of attention in investing… we're not talking a few million dollars… we're talking billions of dollars in investment in the area. So I think that there's a lot of support in the local community of Stephenville for this type of thing. And the salt domes fit into that story quite well.
Gerardo Del Real: You've established a pretty dominant and compelling land position. You have a government that's eager, as I mentioned, to continue to develop this sector. When do we find out whether you have the goods or not? And, of course, I'm referring to the drilling.
Neil McCallum: We're still advancing our exploration — and drilling will come eventually… so just stay tuned for that.
Gerardo Del Real: Staying tuned… looking forward to having you back on. I know you're always on the hunt for compelling projects. Congrats on getting this one. I know it was quite a bit of work and one that you were eager to bring into the fold — so awesome, awesome work, Neil. And we'll have you on again soon.
Neil McCallum: Really good, Gerardo. Thank you.
Click here to see more from Atco Mining