Nevada Sunrise Metals (TSX-V: NEV)(OTC: NVSGF) CEO Warren Stanyer on Maiden Resource Estimate at 100%-Owned Gemini
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the President and CEO of Nevada Sunrise Metals, Mr. Warren Stanyer. Warren, how are you today?
Warren Stanyer: I'm doing well, Gerardo. Thank you. And how are you?
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. As a longtime Nevada Sunrise, once upon a time Gold, and now Nevada Sunrise Metals shareholder, we know that 2023 was a challenging year in regards to share price performance, but you just had some news that hopefully is the beginning of a prolonged turnaround. You just announced a maiden resource estimate of 7.1 million tonnes LCE on your 100% owned Gemini Lithium project in Nevada. It's worth mentioning that the drilling to date has only tested roughly 15% of the area, and so to come out with a maiden resource estimate of this scale with only five holes drilled to date and just 15% of the project area is pretty impressive. Congrats on that front. Can you give me some context, Warren, in how you're feeling about the project, and then we can get into what comes next.
Warren Stanyer: Well, we're obviously looking to the future and expanding the resource. I guess it's a competitive business. We're all competitors. We all played sports when we were kids, or most people did of some kind. I played ice hockey. You want to win. I mean, we want to get bigger. We want to make deals. We want to keep drilling, attract some of the largest companies in the world to the project.
Gerardo Del Real: The estimate is, it's early obviously I mentioned it's just five holes, right? So we're talking an inferred resource. And so tell me about the interest that you're receiving. There's been pushback on the clay deposits and questions as to their economic viability. I would counter that the way to overcome a lot of that is by having scale that is truly world-class and it looks like this has the potential to turn into that. Do you agree with that assessment and how are the conversations going behind the scenes? As far as you can disclose, obviously.
Warren Stanyer: Well I wonder about pushback against clay deposits because for one thing, the work index of a clay deposit is very, very low. There's very little, if anything, to crush. From what I know, pegmatite deposits are long serpentine deposits. Because of the nature of the rock and how it appeared at or near surface, you have to crush it. GM didn't put $650 million into Thacker Pass for nothing. I mean, there's major money coming into clay deposits and right now, I mean our deposit, it's only been released in the last two days. So I've reached out to people, large companies that said to me earlier or say now in 2023, looking back a few months, well let's talk when you get your resource estimate out. So that's just beginning right now.
Gerardo Del Real: You now have the fourth largest resource in the US. Again, to be able to achieve that with just five holes is impressive. What comes next? This is an impatient market and congrats on the resource, and you had a good reaction by the market, but the market always looks forward. And then, so I have to ask, Warren, what are the next steps? Obviously you want to grow this. How do you go about doing that?
Warren Stanyer: Well my next step, on Tuesday I'm meeting with the engineers in person here in the Vancouver area. We're going over the size of the area, of the Gemini claims, looking where to place the next group of holes so that we get the best bang for our buck. Eventually to get to a PEA, you need an indicated resource. So what do we do to achieve that? Where's the best place to put the holes in relation to their pit design? And these things are flexible. Our pit design might change, our mining method might change, but right now we've gone with a conventional style of mining. Just to give some idea of how you would extract this resource.
Gerardo Del Real: I think it's important to note, and I have to believe that companies that are looking at Gemini as a potential joint venture maybe even a takeout target, I have to believe that Nevada Water Right Permit 86863 is pretty strategic and important from a company perspective. Can you speak to that a bit and the advantage there?
Warren Stanyer: Well, it certainly is an advantage to have a Water Right. And I have to say, most Canadian companies don't consider water when they come to Nevada because we come from the land of water. I look out the window, it's pouring rain here in Vancouver. I grew up with water. People from the desert, people from Australia in particular, one person I knew got mad at me for running the tap when I was standing in the kitchen. They're so used to conservation and for good reason. So when you have water, that's something that you can use in order to further whatever your mine development is. We also have proved in The Lida Valley that there's more water at depth than anyone ever knew about. In 2017 we drilled to 2,700 feet at Jackson Wash looking for brines, and we hit water. And it was fresh water, 500 total dissolved solids.
It was drinkable. And there was 180 gallons a minute flowing. So what that means is that we can petition the state for more water use because we proved the existence of it. Nobody ever drilled that deep before, and we've never really talked about it. On top of that, we've applied for more water, and there's other people in front of us for that water in the Lida Valley, but they've agreed to step back. And it's a municipal entity, let's put it that way. They want us to succeed. They want us to move forward and create jobs in this county. It's somewhat impoverished. You go to the county seat in Goldfield, they don't even have a gas station. So they want to do better, and they're going to help us and a lot of people are going to help us. But having the water right is a great step and we'll add to it. Our engineers believe that the clay contains water, therefore you could extract water from the clay itself. So your demands for water, let's say we're aiming for net-zero, that our consumption is that we're not taxing the water resources of the Lida Valley.
Gerardo Del Real: I like the approach. I like the initial resource. I'm looking forward to seeing the confidence in the resource upgraded. It seems like a pretty straightforward process given the fact that continuity is there, the scale is there, and the upside to clay obviously is you pretty much know what you're getting when you get in there once you prove up the model right?
Warren Stanyer: Well, that's it. And when our engineers first saw the scale of our drilling, the scope of it, they weren't sure if we could do a resource, but when they saw the continuity in the drill holes, it's totally different. I've looked at drill holes from other companies. They might have 15 or 20 or 30 meters of nice mineralization and then nothing for 10, and that goes on and on down the whole drill column. So what we see is a grade that gets up to about 1,000 and just starts increasing to as much as 4,000 PPM lithium at depth. So the trick here is going to be how do we get that highest grade material and contain it within the pit design or whatever other mining method like borehole mining, like Nevada Lithium is proposing. There's going to be some creative approaches here, but the main thing to remember is the United States needs domestic lithium resources. There's no question. And there's only a few places where you can get it. And Nevada is it, is number one as far as I'm concerned.
Gerardo Del Real: I would add to that, that all of North America needs locally sourced lithium. I'm looking forward to seeing the next bit of news, Warren, and looking forward to having you back on. Thank you so much for your time.
Warren Stanyer: Thank you, Gerardo. It was a pleasure.Click here to see more from Nevada Sunrise Metals