Li-FT Power (CSE: LIFT) CEO Francis MacDonald on Hitting Wide Intervals of Spodumene Pegmatite Below Fi Southwest Outcrop, Yellowknife Lithium Project, NWT
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Li-FT Power, Mr. Francis MacDonald. Francis, congrats. We chatted really briefly off air, and then I stopped you and said I actually want to get this on the record, but I'm congratulating you because I know that with the news that you just published, it's a big step towards de-risking what arguably could be viewed as one of the more significant risks to this very, very aggressive drilling program. Important news release. Congrats on the work. You want to provide the context?
Francis MacDonald: Sure, thanks a lot Gerardo, and yes, it is an important news release.
So what we released today were visual results from six drill holes, the initial six drill holes at our Yellowknife Lithium Project, and those holes were into one of the outcropping pegmatites, and there's been a ton of historic work that's been done on these. It was done in the '70s and '80s and also in the 1950s before that, and all of the historic work was indicating that there was economic grades of lithium on surface. We were drilling directly underneath these, so we intersected the pegmatite 50 meters below surface, and we had one cut at 150 meters as well, and what we found there was we've intersected significant spodumene mineralization, and it's similar to what was reported in the historic work.
For me it's a big deal because these are our first holes in here. Just telling you about this. You never know with historic work sometimes. You don't know what people put in the sample bag, did they high-grade the samples, what did they actually do? The quality control in the '70s and '80s isn't what it is today, and it's great. We're seeing similar amounts of dyke material in the drill core that we see at surface, and we're also seeing grades that match the historic work that was done in the '70s and '80s.
Gerardo Del Real: You had a... it was a funny tweet actually, but it was appropriate, right, and you had an image, right, you had a picture showing it, but you said point drill where you see the pegmatite, that's lithium, lithium bearing, right, spodumene pegmatite bearing. I thought it was funny, but how is the program going now that it's commenced? How are things playing along? Has it been as easy as that thus far?
Francis MacDonald: From a drill targeting perspective, yes, and it really was that easy. It was just point the drill underneath the best channel samples and we're hitting... On those holes that come across, it's 40 meter intersects of locally up to 50% spodumene. Over the entire interval it'll be less than that. It'll be averaged out to be 20 or 25% spodumene probably. There wasn't too much crazy geological thinking going into it. It was pretty simple. Drill underneath the best results at surface.
Gerardo Del Real: No, listen, sometimes the best plan is the simple one. How are things in regards to the labs? I know some of the labs in different regions, specifically James Bay, where there was just a lot of activity before the unfortunate fires here recently, but how are the labs working with you and what are you expecting as far as turnaround time on the assays?
Francis MacDonald: Yeah, sure. We're lucky because there is a prep lab in Yellowknife, and so a lot of the time at labs, that's the bottleneck, is because the labs are getting samples from all over the place and the prep is the most time-consuming process, and that would be crushing the rocks, grinding the rocks down. We've got that in Yellowknife and there's not that much throughput in it right now, so we're expecting about four weeks' turnaround, and we're going to look at rushing some of the first holes as well, just to try and get some news out quicker.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent, excellent. Well listen, exciting times. You want to tell everybody just how aggressive you're being with this drill program? It's one of the more aggressive ones out there.
Francis MacDonald: Yeah, so we're planning 45,000 meters of drilling for this summer. We have two drill rigs going right now. We'll be scaling up to four at the end of this month, and then by mid-July we'll scale up to six drill rigs, and it's just going to be a complete barrage this summer. We're drilling off seven different lithium pegmatites, and the idea is to drill them enough to get to a inferred resource spacing, so that's the plan. It's a go big or go home strategy, but the key part of this, and this is the ethos in the company, is that we are in a race and we need to get up to production as soon as possible before people beat us to it, so that's the strategy. Just go big, do it quickly, try and move this as quickly as possible.
Gerardo Del Real: I love that the company is aware that there is a race, and I'm also glad that the company is in a rush to capture the sweet part of this cycle. Obviously we all believe there's still years left, but you definitely want to position ahead of a market that can change on you, so congrats to you and the team for this strategy, for being aggressive, for raising the capital needed to do it, and so far, so good. You checked the first box. Let's see what the second one looks like.
Francis MacDonald: That's right. I'm eagerly awaiting assay results as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to having you back on as soon as you have them in hand, Francis. Thank you so much.
Francis MacDonald: Thanks a lot, Gerardo.Click here to see more from Li-FT Power