Monumental Minerals (TSX-V: MNRL)(OTCQB: MNMRF) CEO Dr. Jamil Sader on Advancing Multiple Early-Stage Lithium and Rare Earths Projects in a Rising Market for Both Metals
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Monumental Minerals — Mr. Jamil Sader. That will be ‘Dr.’ Mr. Jamil! How are you, sir?
Dr. Jamil Sader: I'm doing great, Gerardo. How are you doing?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. We had a chance to chat briefly off air. You mentioned what a busy summer it's been, and so I wanted to reach out. I had a subscriber to one of my paid services through Digest Publishing reach out to me asking about rare earths and whether or not there was a company that had a good share structure, a good management team, and an asset or assets in a stable jurisdiction. And then, obviously, immediately, I thought of Monumental.
I had a good conversation with founder, Max Sali, about getting you on. So I'm glad that he was able to quarterback and put this together. It's a long-winded way of saying thank you for your time. What have you been doing all summer? I know it's been busy for you.
Dr. Jamil Sader: Yeah, it's been really busy, Gerardo. So you talk about rare earths, and our project in Mexico, the Jemi Heavy Rare Earth Project, again, like you said, it's a great location, stable jurisdiction, close to a hub for rare earth processing, or growing hub, which is Texas.
And that project is moving along really, really well actually. We have a geological exploration project that's underway. They'll be doing mapping, some sampling, and basically we're going to be taking an approximately 8 sq km area and bringing that down to the size of a drill pad — exactly where we want to drill. So that project is really a big focus for us and it's moving forward really well.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. Far from a one-trick-pony, you also provide really good exposure to lithium. I know it's been busy on that front. Can you share any of the recent activity there?
Dr. Jamil Sader: Absolutely. So there's some really big news that's just come out for us. And that is the signing of a new joint venture agreement with Lithium Chile for another salar in the lithium triangle in Chile. This is a project that just kind of came up.
Lithium Chile has several projects on-the-go but, of course, can't work on them all at the same time. So this was an opportunity that presented itself to us. And Lithium Chile is a friendly and familiar joint venture partner so it works really, really well for us. It's got really good infrastructure and it's got a lot of history and a lot of exploration history to it.
Gerardo Del Real: It's clear to me, Jamil, just by the way the company is structured, the share structure, the people involved, the types of assets that you're pursuing, the diversification of critical metals assets to include heavy rare earths and lithium — it's clear to me that you're looking to build a real company, not just ride the lithium or the rare earths wave.
Can you speak a bit to the acceleration of the decoupling from Chinese critical metal supply chains? Because I see a concerted effort around the world, be it in Canada, be it in the US, be it in Australia, of companies and regions really working together to expedite that process. I think Monumental will benefit greatly from that. But I'd love for you to just touch on that and provide a little bit of your macro take, which, of course, you're so familiar with.
Dr. Jamil Sader: Yeah, and Gerardo, you're absolutely right. There is this push by Western countries and political groups to decouple from China. China is probably about 15 years ahead of these other countries, namely the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the rest of Europe — and they control so much of that critical metal supply chain; everything from shoveled to manufactured products.
And with some of the recent political actions that we've seen from both the Chinese and from, let's just say, the US government — one particularly notable event is Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which was not seen favorable by any means by China — there really is this worry that China could either squeeze or just completely turn off the taps.
And it's really, really important, I think, that the rest of the world and the rest of the developed world starts to look for new sources or start to develop their own supply chains or their own manufacturing chains to prevent and to insulate themselves against these possible actions that might be carried out by either Chinese corporations or by the Chinese government.
Gerardo Del Real: What comes next for Monumental, Jamil?
Dr. Jamil Sader: It's going to be a busy fall for us. We have, obviously, this new project. The project is called Turi. As far as we understand right now, there are permits and drill locations that are already selected. So that one is something we'd like to move forward very quickly.
With Laguna Blanca, we are well into the community relations aspect of it, and we have an extraordinarily qualified person that's helping us out with that. Those community relations are moving forward very well, and we expect to be working and drilling at Laguna Blanca by Q4.
We also have the work at Jemi. And that geological mapping and sampling program that's underway right now, as I was saying, that's going to narrow things down from about an 8 sq km area to the size of a drill pad or several drill pads. We are hoping to be able to move forward with drilling on that project later this year as well. So it's going to be a very busy end of the year for us.
Gerardo Del Real: I know it was a busy summer behind the scenes, setting up the catalysts that now we have to look forward to. It sounds like it's going to be an incredibly busy fourth quarter. I suspect with people back in the office post Labor Day, Monumental is likely to catch a pretty healthy bid, especially if you have early success with the drill bit. Jamil, thank you so much for your time. I appreciate it. Let's catch up soon.
Jamil Sader: Thank you so much, Gerardo. Really appreciate it.Click here to see more from Monumental Minerals