Infinity Stone Ventures (CSE: GEMS)(OTC: GEMSF) CEO Zayn Kalyan on Unlocking Key Battery Metals Via Multiple High-Potential Projects in the Tier-One Jurisdictions of Ontario and Quebec, Canada
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Infinity Stone Ventures — Mr. Zayn Kalyan. Zayn, it's great to have you on. How are you today?
Zayn Kalyan: Doing well. Thanks for having me, Gerardo.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into it. I am typically very weary of area plays, right? And so when you and I had a conversation about potentially talking about this story, I asked you for a corporate deck, and we had a good thorough back and forth. And the more I dug into the portfolio, the more I dug into the jurisdiction, the more I dug into what your process is for unlocking value — the more intrigued I actually got.
And so I wanted to have you on to talk about the portfolio. Obviously the project that gets the most attention is the one adjacent to Patriot Battery Metals' Corvette lithium district, which is emerging as one of the best, if not the best, lithium discoveries here in recent time.
And so that's all good and dandy, but look, you have a very impressive portfolio in the right commodity mix in the right part of the world. So I wanted to get into the whole of that… but I wanted to talk a bit about your background first. So thanks for coming on Zayn.
Zayn Kalyan: I'm happy to be here. Just to give a little bit of my background, I've been in the corporate finance merchant banking space since 2014… so that would be eight years almost. And really, kind of focused on transactions in a number of different sectors, across tech, and clean tech, and blockchain. And more recently, really gotten back to our roots in the natural resource and mineral exploration space.
So Michael Townsend, the executive chairman of Infinity Stone, and myself, we have a merchant bank based in Vancouver called Altus Capital Partners. And towards the beginning of this year, we were looking at a number of different avenues to get into the battery metals space.
And Michael had a lot of deal flow, and we were able to put together a portfolio relatively quickly starting in March. Really strong battery metals, early-stage exploration projects focused primarily on lithium to start but then building out a portfolio with graphite, manganese, and copper-cobalt on top of that.
So lithium really has been the focus of our portfolio, and we've seen a lot of rapid appreciation in our share price over the past six weeks or eight weeks. And really, that's been driven by our focus on hard rock lithium in Quebec.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's talk about why hard rock lithium… and this is obviously a softball question, right? Lithium is my favorite commodity right now here for the near term. But why did it pique your interest? And why did the property, and properties that you've been able to bring into the company, why did those stick out to you?
Zayn Kalyan: We were initially focused in Ontario but as we kind of dug a little deeper and really started to understand the space, we did see particular value in Quebec. And Quebec is one of the best mining jurisdictions in the world to operate in. The Fraser Institute ranks it at number six in the world. Ontario is number 11. So they're still both very, very great places to operate.
But Quebec has just had so much growth in the hard rock lithium space. Patriot Battery Metals is a name that a lot of people are familiar with. Really seen a lot with their Corvette discovery… seen a lot of growth in their share price over the past year. And we like to compare ourselves to Patriot in saying that we're about a year behind where they were.
So last August, last September, they closed their financing at about a C$10 million; just north of a C$10 million valuation. Today, we're in about the same boat. We closed our financing in August. We closed a C$2.1 million financing in September. And we've been able to really rapidly build a lot of value in a very short period of time.
And we have a property in that James Bay region, some of it directly adjacent to Patriot, some of it in a parallel trend. And we're active in exploration there. We've had a team up there as recently as two weeks ago, and we're continuing to do more work up there as we speak.
But then beyond that, we do have projects in Quebec as well that are closer to infrastructure, located only an hour and forty minutes, two hours away from Montreal. One of the lithium pegmatite projects that we have has the Trans-Canada Highway running directly through the middle of the property, which makes it very accessible and very cheap, a lot cheaper to operate, but still a lot of potential upside there.
So I think the Patriot or James Bay project, which we term the Camaro project, has really been the driver of growth in the company and what I'd call probably our flagship. But at the same time, we have lots of prospective value in our projects that are located closer to infrastructure.
Gerardo Del Real: Where do you plan on allocating the bulk of your attention — in terms of time and in terms of capital — to get a better understanding of what exactly it is that you actually have as it relates to your many projects?
Zayn Kalyan: So I think that's probably one of the most important questions. A lot of people see our portfolio and see that we have seven projects, probably four to five of which we're actually focused on and actively deploying capital on. But the first question people always bring up is, ‘Well, where's your focus? How do you guys plan to really build a company with being spread thinner across all these projects?’
But really, the way we view it is it's a de-risked opportunity for the investors. We're actively spending money, and because we're operating in such great jurisdictions, we're able to really get a lot of bang for our buck and be efficient in the way that we deploy capital.
So as an example, on two of the properties in Quebec — the Galaxy Lithium Project and the Zen-Whoberi Copper-Cobalt-Nickel Project (and there's actually gold there as well) — we're paying C$100 per meter for drilling, which is probably some of the cheapest drilling in the world. And that really allows us to deploy a reasonable amount of capital, spread that across the projects, but still derive value.
And once we get those initial results and we get those initial assays back, we’ll have a better understanding as to where the value can be. Also, it’s contingent as to where the market is too. And lithium, obviously, has been very, very hot. But we do think we're at the base of a lot of growth in graphite as well.
It allows us to then say, ‘Okay, these are the two projects. So this is the one project that we want to go all in on.’ And at the same time, with the value that we've put into the other projects, we can then look at maybe JV-ing them or spinning them out, optioning them out to other partners. Or maybe even just spinning them out and dividend-ing out a share to all of the shareholders as well.
So it gives us some optionality. But really, the focus right now is on deploying a reasonable amount of capital on all of the projects, driving some initial value, figuring out where we want to focus — and then we'll build from there.
Gerardo Del Real: When do you anticipate we'll start seeing some of those initial results from the next phase of exploration?
Zayn Kalyan: So we have quite a few assays in the lab. We probably have about 110 samples in the lab right now; receiving results in the next 30 to 45 days across those. The majority of those coming from our Camaro project adjacent to Patriot in James Bay; some of those coming from our Galaxy project as well.
We are active today on the Galaxy project as we speak. We have a team up there taking samples of all 30 pegmatites on that property. So those will probably be about 45 days away from now as well. Beyond that, I'd say that the results will start to flow over the next, call it, two to three months.
And I think that also gives a lot of opportunity to the investor too as we have a pipeline of 14 press releases that we're actively working on. So we have a lot of catalysts, a lot of active work that's being done on all of the projects. So it gives a lot of great news flow. Investors are always up to date as to what we're doing. And as I said, it de-risks the opportunity.
So the other big thing that we have in the works right now is what we're doing on the Rockstone Graphite Project. We will be drilling there very, very shortly. We're going to be announcing our drill program here in the next, call it, week to two weeks. We have received our permits, and we're excited to see what we can do there.
And that's a great project because it's probably one of the strongest drilling results that we have; we’ve termed it the Discovery Hole. One of the key drill holes was 25% graphite over 24 meters. And that's a historical drill hole.
And what we're going to be doing with our program in the next two weeks, we'll be working to twin that existing hole as well as do a couple of adjacent holes to really build up more indication there.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned being or alluding to yourself as being one year behind Patriot. Obviously, a lot of work to do… and Mother Nature is going to dictate how successful you are on that front moving forward. But you are still early-stage despite a strong share price. Where's the market cap right now?
Zayn Kalyan: Currently, we're about C$25 million in market cap. We think that, even in looking at some of the other companies, this is a little bit below where we'd like to be just in terms of comparative value. But as you said, it’s still early days. But I think there's lots of potential upside as we get more results out of the Camaro (James Bay) project as well as the other projects.
So I think it's a great entry point in our minds. Really, a fair valuation given the comps that are out there today. And I think we'll be able to really continue to build value, whether it's on the Galaxy project, the Camaro project, or the Rockstone project. We have lots in the works!
Gerardo Del Real: I love seeing management teams that have skin in the game. What's that look like for you, Zayn?
Zayn Kalyan: That's a great thing that makes our structure unique, I'd say, is that management has been very active. We all take minimal salaries, if any salary for that matter. Michael Townsend is the largest individual shareholder; he holds just north of 17% of the company. He's been buying in excess of C$700,000 in stock out of the market over the past six months.
And we're actively buying… we're very active, long-term holders of the company. The structure is very tight in that sense as well in that a lot of the float is concentrated with one or two brokers who are very supportive of the deal. And that's enabled us to really build a lot of momentum in the market.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent! Zayn, thank you for the time. Again, you have the right commodity mix. I love lithium, I love graphite, I love copper — and I love Ontario and Quebec. I'm curious to see what Mother Nature left behind… and really looking forward to starting to get a clearer picture as you get some of those assays from the samples that you've taken. Anything else to add to that, Zayn?
Zayn Kalyan: No, I think that's great. Really appreciate the time today, and we look forward to giving further updates here in the immediate short-term.
Gerardo Del Real: Awesome. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.
Zayn Kalyan: Thanks, Gerardo. Appreciate it.Click here to see more from Infinity Stone Ventures