Monumental Minerals (TSX-V: MNRL)(OTC: MNMRF) Founder & Director Max Sali on Advancing Two Key Metals Projects, Heavy Rare Earths & Lithium, in an Emerging Commodities Super-Bull Market
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the founder of Monumental Minerals — Mr. Max Sali. Max, how are you today?
Max Sali: Gerardo, doing very well. Thank you very much.
Gerardo Del Real: Interesting times, interesting markets. We just got a Fed rate hike of 75 basis points. We talked a bit off air about how the major indices responded. But we also talked a bit about the sectors that I would much rather be in going into the second half of the year. It's not the tech space; it's not consumer staples.
It's absolutely the critical metals space!
And whether it's uranium or lithium or rare earths, I would much rather have capital allocated in companies that are exploring for and developing the materials that these companies are going to need in order to be successful. The bottom line is, once they rebound, everything else will rebound. But they can't rebound without the stuff that makes the stuff!
You just had a press release from Monumental speaking to some of the heavy rare earth oxide grades that you're getting from Jemi in Mexico. That's a heavy rare earth project. You also, of course, have a lithium project that I really like. So I thought I'd reach out and get an overview of where things stand right now.
Max Sali: Yeah, so about two weeks ago, a video came out; there was a conference in Miami, and the guys from Mountain Pass, MP Materials, were there and they presented. And it's actually a very good video. I think it's on their social media. And I've watched it about ten times. It's the best way to explain the need for rare earths going forward and how valuable they are.
And one thing to note, too, is the ratio of lights-to-heavies at Mountain Pass is 300-to-1. At Jemi, the ratio of lights-to-heavies is 1-to-1… so much, much greater. And the US government actually gave Mountain Pass US$35 million to try and produce these heavies when they really don't even have any!
And so trying to find a deposit like Jemi — well, not a deposit but an early-stage project that could turn into a heavy rare earth deposit — is something that we do have right now. We got some results back from the grab samples that Jamil and the team took in late-April — and the numbers are good.
Obviously, they are just grab samples. But what this allows us to do now is we will have phase-two of the exploration program starting in about two weeks. We do have someone engaged that was already onsite multiple times. And what they're going to do now is, you have this big property… you kind of narrow it down into sections… and then you narrow it down again to define your drill targets.
And so what will happen is this next round of exploration, we'll be able to choose those drill targets, and we'll be able to get a rig onsite for Jemi, I would say, sometime in late-August, September, which should be fantastic for us.
On the lithium side, Jamil is in Chile right now. We were down there together in early-April. And now, getting back down there again, he's meeting with the drilling companies. He's meeting with an ESG group. He's meeting with legals. He's meeting with the technical team.
He's meeting with the gentleman that actually, you may not remember, but his name is Frits Reidel, and he was a technical advisor for Advantage Lithium. And his firm actually did the tech reports, the 43-101, the resource, and the PEA — so very, very advanced and knowledgeable in the lithium brine space. And we're very happy to be working with him again as he did such a phenomenal job for us at Advantage.
So the markets are what they are but we're going as quickly as we can and being as methodical as we can… and it's so great to have this much energy running into two projects.
Gerardo Del Real: You're in good jurisdictions. You are in the right metals. You have a second-half chock-full of catalysts. Where's the market cap at right now, Max?
Max Sali: Too low. Market cap is probably under C$10 million today at C$0.32. We are cashed up. We can do whatever we need to do at least for another year without having to go back to the market. We've raised with very, very good funds with good individuals. So from that point, we're not worried.
Looking at someone that invests in the same space — and you and I have a lot of the same holdings — I would be worried right now if I was a company with no money trying to announce a financing. And so that risk is off. We've taken care of that. The money is in the bank. And we are putting that money into the ground as quickly as we can to be able to bring some results to the market.
Gerardo Del Real: Fantastic! That's always the opportunity. It's buy-low, sell-high, people. You can't do one without doing the other. Max, anything to add to that?
Max Sali: I saw an article last week, and it said this feels like June 2008. I don't know if you saw that one. It was from a gold bug. And reading that article about where the price of gas is right now, where nat gas is, oil, and just the market — I agree with that.
I wasn't fully aware of what was going on in '08. I got into the markets about 2009. But if we're set up for that again, we're going to see one of the biggest runs in commodities, I think, ever. And getting good companies now at these valuations could turn some individuals into very wealthy individuals over the next cycle.
Gerardo Del Real: I think you're spot on. I think that commodity super bull is absolutely already going… although the recent volatility has tempered spirits just a tad bit. I don't think that's going to last in that sector. Max, thanks for your time as always. Appreciate it!
Max Sali: Thank you very much, Gerardo.