Monumental Minerals (TSX-V: MNRL)(OTCQB: MNMRF) CEO Jamil Sader on Preparing Jemi Rare Earth Project for Discovery Drilling
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the CEO of Monumental Minerals, Dr. Jamil Sader. Jamil, great to have you back on. I know you've been busy. How are you, sir?
Jamil Sader: I'm doing really well. How are you, Gerardo?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. Thank you for asking.
Listen, let's get right into it. I personally, as a speculator in the resource space, like to gravitate towards early stage exploration stories with teams that do quality exploration work before spending money with the drill bit. And I'll give you a perfect example of that. I was fortunate enough to participate in a 16 cent financing in a company called Patriot Battery Metals. And the reason I participated in that is because I knew the team well. I knew the CEO. I knew the technical acumen of the team. And they gave me as a speculator, multiple shots on goal. They had a gold property that seemed prospective. And then they had a lithium belt that I really was excited about. And sure enough, long story short, that company made what seems to be one of the most important lithium discoveries in the past decade or so. And those 16 cent shares have hit a recent high, as high as $10 a share in just over 12 months, 13, 14 months.
And so I say all that to say that Monumental just completed its reconnaissance exploration program. And you're defining, you're at that stage now where you're defining drill targets at the Jemi Heavy Rare Earth Element Project in Mexico. And I wanted to talk about how that process is playing out, because this is usually the most overlooked part of the discovery process is what happens before the drill goes to drilling, right?
Jamil Sader: Absolutely. So when we did a site visit in April to the project, what we realized is that, we realized it was quite complicated geologically speaking. And to be able to just randomly throw in to start a drill program was going to be premature. And we really didn't have an idea of where we wanted to drill. And so what we decided is that it was really important to understand technically, to really understand the geology, the geophysics, the geochemistry, so that we could really capitalize on the money that we have for drilling, and that we could put those drills in the best possible locations.
Gerardo Del Real: Tell me about the targets you're looking to delineate, the rare earth, the tantalum, and I think there's another couple of elements that the project is prospective for. There's a pretty large mix here. And I think it's probably important for you to give everyone a brief primer on why the heavy rare earths are also very, very important in the global scramble to secure these minerals, right?
Jamil Sader: Of course. So the project is dominantly a heavy rare earth project. That's what's most economically important for it. There are light rare earths as well, so neodymium and praseodymium. And then the other elements that are also considered, or that we also consider potentially economically significant are tantalum and niobium. So we have tantalum numbers up to, tantalum oxide up to 500, over 500 ppm. And for niobium, we were above the limit for the lab, so greater than 0.35% niobium oxide. So we think that we've got quite a large basket of metals here that are economically important. But of course, the heavy rare earths are the number one. And really it's because at this point there are no other heavy rare earth sources outside of China and ionic clays in China. So they control over 90% of the heavy rare earth business globally. And that's from shovel all the way to manufactured goods.
So with us actually having a project that's heavy rare earth, and then also having a project that's heavy rare earth that's close to what is quickly becoming a regional hub for where we're manufacturing goods with heavy rare earths mainly high performance magnets, but also related to processing, we have that in Texas, so that's right across the border. So 40 miles from us. So that's one of the things that makes this project so important. And from what we've been able to do with the exploration, so the lithogeochemistry, the mapping, the geophysics, what we've been able to really do is, at least for one of the areas of interest, we now know where we want to drill, as I was saying before. And this is really going to help us spend the money that we have from our shareholders the most effective way possible.
Gerardo Del Real: When do you anticipate getting to the part that most people in this space really want to see, which is that drill bit turning? And listen, I want to see the drill bit turn as well and see what's down there, see what mother nature left. I just value the work that you've done up until now because it's so critical. Cheesy pun intended.
Jamil Sader: Absolutely. I mean, they don't call drilling the truth machine for nothing.
Gerardo Del Real: That's right.
Jamil Sader: And we're still waiting on assay results from about another 260 samples. So we need to get those back. And we need to process what we see in the rest of these areas of interest, these other 800 hectares of interest. But we're looking to drill potentially at the end of Q1 of 2023. So we'd like to drill before it gets super hot down there, but we would like to drill as soon as possible. So as soon as we're able to process this data, process the information and coordinate drilling, we really want to move forward with it.
Gerardo Del Real: Jamil, great to get the update. Looking forward to the drilling. Let's have you back soon. I know you have multiple projects, but let's keep it to Jemi at this point because I think it definitely merits its own set of eyes. Let's do this again soon. And have a great holiday and a great new year, and let's chat.
Jamil Sader: Alright. Well, thank you very much, Gerardo, and have a great holiday too.
Gerardo Del Real: Thank you so much. Chat soon. Bye now.
Jamil Sader: All right. Bye.Click here to see more from Monumental Minerals