Atco Mining (CSE: ATCM)(OTC: ATMGF) Director Neil McCallum on Uranium Drilling at Atlantic & Capitalizing on the Clean Energy Boom


Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today from Atco Mining is director and technical wiz, Mr. Neil McCallum. Neil, how are you today?

Neil McCallum: I'm doing great, thanks.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, I had a really good conversation yesterday from the good folks over at Standard Uranium, which went ahead and ran the drill program for Atco Mining over at the Atlantic Project. They couldn't be happier with the first pass program and what they were able to tap into being under budget, being on target, actually exceeding the meterage and really vectoring towards what we're all hoping is a significant discovery. So, immediately I thought, "Well, man, let me call Neil and see if he's just as excited,” because I'm not a geo, although I did understand a good portion of the release. There was a lot in there that was very technical in nature, and I figured what's better than one brilliant technical mind? Two, right? So, here you are.

Neil McCallum: Yeah, I get that, for sure. We even tried to pare it down to take a little bit of technical details out, just so that it is digestible. We're getting the highlights out there in a way that people can understand. A lot of folks are somewhat new to the uranium space, so we wanted to make sure that we're getting that in a way that people can understand. I think we did a good job. The key points that I think that I'm really happy about that you touched on there are we succeeded in hitting the targets that we had set out to test. So, those being the major ingredients for a uranium deposit. You need that conductive zone. We definitely hit that in most of our holes, realizing that some of the previous operators didn't even get to that step. We knew that those conductive corridors were there based on the geophysics, but they weren't able to hit it in the drilling.

It's always difficult to actually hit those conductors, oftentimes because it's blind drilling. This is depending on how deep the basement is. In the Athabasca Basin, you could be drilling 100 meters to your target, or in some cases, luckily we don't have to go this deep, but upwards of 800 or 900. So, luckily we're not that deep at Atlantic. So, again, yeah, we hit those targets. We're trying to get a good understanding of that ground gravity survey that we did. That's an excellent targeting tool. We're seeing significant structures and everything that we want to see near to uranium mineralization. To that point, we did hit some anomalous uranium zones near the unconformity, suggesting that there might be something nearby.

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, excellent. Let me ask you this. For those that are not familiar with drilling for uranium in this part of the world, can you explain the setting and then why there's a very specific and methodical approach that needs to be taken to vector in towards a deposit, if one exists, right?

Neil McCallum: Yeah, exactly. So, one key factor for uranium in the Athabasca Basin is that the deposits that we're looking for are very small. They are not large targets and they're blind. They're all subsurface, for the most part, unless you're near the edge of the basin. So, we're looking for very small targets. They might only be 20 to 30 meters wide, but we're drilling at them from a few hundred meters away. So, being able to hit those, first of all, the conductive corridors is really key.

The deposits will have a halo around them to give us some indication that we're nearby. Part of the geochem sampling that we've done on the project will tell us how close we are or not. We know that we're close based on some clay work. Oftentimes, these deposit systems will have alteration coming through, altering the rocks. Some of those are quite distinctive based on the bodies of knowledge out there. They only occur near uranium deposits. So, part of that is a clay type of graphite that we ended up hitting. These are all good signs.

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Gerardo Del Real: What comes next for Atlantic and for ATCO? Listen, I'm a biased shareholder. I've written three checks now. I haven't sold a share. Actually, I haven't even deposited the certificates, I don't believe. I think they're sitting in my safe, right? This for me has always been a mid- to long-term play, and that for me typically means at least a couple of years to let the investment thesis play out. The investment thesis has evolved to include uranium, but the initial thesis was the hydrogen storage and the wind energy play in Newfoundland, right? That has stalled. It's still very present. I want to remind everyone.

It stalled a bit while the government does its due diligence, as it should when it's considering tens of billions of dollars of investment capital coming into the region. I applaud them for taking their time to get it right because it's hard to take it back once the build out starts. But how is that coming along? Then, what do you see for ATCO here moving forward, being a director and being involved, obviously, in a lot of the project generation ideas?

Neil McCallum: Absolutely. So, touching on the original thesis of hydrogen storage in the salt domes, that is still happening. We're getting approvals for that along the way. This is all very positive, but again, the few unknowns. We don't know when that final approval and the breaking ground is going to happen. So, we have to have momentum in the company and uranium is the right place, the right time, and the right team to allocate some capital. Right now, Atlantic is a great project. We didn't hit off scale uranium, but we think that there's definitely a pathway toward finding something there in terms of the targets that we haven't even tested yet. So, it's a relatively small project, but there's definitely room to find something there in areas that we haven't yet tested. We're going to continue targeting on that project just to get the thesis going, and we're going to build value in other ways too, in that code. Stay tuned, for sure.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, listen, I want to remind everybody that we are absolutely in a commodity super cycle. We're starting to see the volatility that comes with that. Gold typically leads the way. I don't think it's a coincidence that you had gold surging past the $2,400 level today and then getting dumped from the 24, 25 level down to the $2,360 level in about two minutes. This is what happens in commodity super cycles, folks. Copper's running. Lithium's bottomed. Uranium has a long runway, and here is little Atco with a market cap today of just under 3 million Canadian, give or take. Those market caps in these types of cycles can go to 20 and 50 and 100 million really quick. Now, some of that obviously requires luck and a lot of hard work, but definitely a happy shareholder, confident in the team's ability to add value, especially from a baseline of two and a half to $3 million. Anything to add to that, Neil?

Neil McCallum: No, I think you nailed it. I think that one of the main things to think about for uranium is that we're definitely still early days. Having the access to projects and teams is going to be the key. We're not entering blindly and without a team, without a project, so we're definitely strategically allocating that capital to realize the uranium boom.

Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Neil, looking forward to having you back on. Always appreciate your time and your insights. Hopefully, we're chatting again soon.

Neil McCallum: Yeah, of course. Take care.

Gerardo Del Real: All right, you as well. Cheers.

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