General Base Metals
Patriot Battery Metals (CSE: PMET)(OTC: RGDCF) President Blair Way on Start of Drill Program Targeting Lithium and Copper at Flagship Corvette-FCI Project in Ontario, Canada
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president of Patriot Battery Metals — Mr. Blair Way. Blair, how are you?
Blair Way: Hey, Gerardo. How are you doing? It's great to catch up again.
Gerardo Del Real: I am well. I am excited to be in the month of September. As you and I both know, the resource space is extremely cyclical. We tend to have, most of the time, quiet summers. And then, right post Labor Day here in the US, which will be next week, people get back in the office, people start paying attention again, and you tend to get some more liquidity and volume in the market. You have a lot of exciting catalysts here coming up.
You recently completed a financing back at the end of June that gave you a lot of flexibility. You also just completed a program at the Freeman Creek gold project in Idaho, which is fine and great; quality property and I'm looking forward to future exploration there.
But we both know that the flagship is the Corvette-FCI property in Quebec, in Canada. And you not only just completed multiple work programs there but you just announced a drill program. Let's start with an overview of the project and why you're also excited about the drilling that's coming up.
Blair Way: You hit it right on the head, Gerardo. August can be a bit of a dull time for the markets and often for companies as well. Summer is just wrapping up and people are trying to get the last grab for summer. For us, we just really haven't had a chance to do that.
We've had so much going on, as you mentioned, with all of the activities post-financing, doing some work down in Idaho and then getting all of these wheels in motion to get the work done on our flagship property — the Corvette-FCI. And what we have there is something that has been on the back burner for a little while for a number of reasons. But now we're back on the ground again.
We're just wrapping up a field program. And then, as you said, that's rolling into a drill program which we're going to be mobilizing in the next week, actually, so I think it's somewhere around the 12th, 14th of September.
So we're super excited to actually get on the ground and start doing, basically, it's our maiden drill program on the lithium. And then, we've also done, as you mentioned, some of the fieldwork. We did geophysics and IP in order to help us better target some drills for the copper.
And background on the copper trend is we didn't really expect to see it there. We were originally, in 2019, looking for the lithium, which we knew, from aerial photos, there's big outcrops; 200 to 300 meter outcrops of pegmatite with spodumene crystals that we found in them. But during the fieldwork in 2019, the guys happened upon some copper and some big numbers there; 3% - 4% copper from the surface samples. So we're super interested to find out what's going on there.
So we're going to be drilling into that area based on what IP gives us some sort of leads as to where to drill. So we've got a ton of drilling planned; a couple thousand meters looking for both chasing the lithium on the lithium trends and then also the copper on this freshly identified copper trend. So a ton going on. And that's going to take us well into the fall with the work programs that we have laid out.
Gerardo Del Real: It's a lot of news flow and the right metals, I should add, for a company with a market cap of C$15 million, right?
Blair Way: I know… it's just crazy. We sort of see ourselves as being poised here. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We've got some great news flow. We're chasing the right metals of the lithium and the copper. And, of course, we do have gold in the background and we can't diminish the value of that.
But really, the Corvette-FCI property was always a lithium property. It does have the portfolio of other metals including the gold and a bit of silver. But really, we're focused on the lithium and copper. And part of that is, as we've discussed many times, the battery metal space is really heating up. And really, we see that as the place to be focusing for the coming months as we find out what this property can deliver.
And as you're aware, with our portfolio of other properties, we do have some other lithium properties that we will be taking a look at as we move forward. But Corvette-FCI is our main focus. The work we're doing takes our option agreement that we have on the FCI part of the Corvette-FCI property. That'll take us up to 50% ownership which is a nice position to have on that property. And we're super excited to advance that whole property — the Corvette-FCI.
Gerardo Del Real: Walk me through the scale of what you're exploring at with Corvette and FCI.
Blair Way: Yeah, so I mean, if people have taken a look at our news release, there's some great maps on the news release just to show people the scale of the trend. But we've got kilometers of trends. So the Maven Copper-Gold-Silver Trend is more than 10 kilometers. The lithium trend is more than 25 kilometers. And this isn't, I mean, there's a bit of interpretation but we're looking at outcrops over a period of this 20-odd, 25 kilometers of this white pegmatite — so it's quite visible.
And we've actually been using some remote sensing, which takes different sources of aerial type photography, infrared, and all of these other things and uses artificial intelligence to help us better understand the distribution of the pegmatite. And so far, as I said, it's yielding this massive trend. And this drill program is going to go punch some holes along there to just help us better understand the scale of what we may have there.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. And you've had some assays before with samples, I think, with something like 8% copper in the past.
Blair Way: That's correct. Some of the field samples for the copper, especially, they're… what have we seen… we've seen from 4% to 5% and even 6% copper. The lithium has some pretty healthy numbers in there as well. So we're seeing 2, 3, 4 grams. Yeah, so we've got some pretty big numbers there on the lithium… I just haven't got them in front of me here now.
Yeah, so the lithium numbers are fantastic. And what you see in surface, your eyes are naturally drawn to the spodumene so there's a certain bias when you're taking field samples. But when you're drilling, that'll give you a true representation. And our goal is to see 1% and 2% lithium and over large scale… that starts to give us something meaningful to talk about. Yeah, here are the numbers… we are upwards of 4% lithium.
Gerardo Del Real: Wow!
Blair Way: So those are some numbers… a bit of tantalum as well. So there's a lot to be learned about this property as we've owned it for a number of years. 2019, we did a very preliminary fieldwork on it. 2020 was sort of blown apart by COVID as everyone, or many people, have experienced. And 2021, this fall program is really our opportunity to get some real depth of understanding of the property.
Gerardo Del Real: I know from private conversations with outside people that the property has drawn the interest, because of the commodity mix, of groups that are looking for precisely this commodity mix in stable jurisdictions. I know you probably won't comment on that there, Blair, but safe to say that the phones rang a couple of times, yes?
Blair Way: Absolutely. And we know our neighbors, the Mythril property to our north, Midland, they've had some great relationships form with the majors, BHP specifically. We can't, obviously, comment on what's going on with us right now.
But certainly, there is interest in these commodities. Copper and lithium are something of interest, and the majors are certainly sniffing around… multiple properties… we’re seeing lots of deals being made.
And we're hopeful that we can maybe strike up some conversations once we get some further progress on this property because we're super excited about it. And if we get anywhere near the scale we're hoping to get, then, we believe — like people like Midland have had — that we may too have similar opportunities.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, we'll know soon. The drill starts turning when, Blair?
Blair Way: We're hoping we should be announcing the rig onsite, I think, is going to be around the 14th of September… somewhat weather-dependent on mobilization. We're driving up in northern Quebec and using helicopters. But yeah, so that week of September 14th we should be… or I guess the week starts on the 13th… so yeah, that week is the week we expect to see the rig mobilizing to site.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it. I'm biased. I'm a shareholder. I've written a check. I’ve bought in the open market. I usually am, if I'm speaking to someone, as you all know, I tend to want to be invested and speculating alongside people that are listening to this. So looking forward to the results. Anything else to add to that, Blair?
Blair Way: No, just really reiterating what we've already spoken about. We've got all of this work ahead of us. My goal is to keep our shareholders and potential investors aware of what's going on. I'm seeing, probably, a press release weekly once we roll back into September and October so people know what's happening.
We do expect our assays to take some time. We're going to get them pushed through as fast as we can. But the laboratories are full of materials being assayed so there are some delays there. But my goal is to keep people informed so they know what's happening.
As far as on the ground, they know what sort of time schedules we're dealing with to get some results so everyone is all in the same bucket. But yeah, we're super excited about this drill program. We can't wait to get some of that data into the labs and find out what we have.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it. Thanks for the update.
Blair Way: That's great, Gerardo. Always fantastic to catch up.
Gerardo Del Real: Sounds like we'll be catching up once a week starting from the 14th!
Blair Way: Yeah, absolutely! We've got a lot to talk about for sure.
Gerardo Del Real: Alright, chat then.
Blair Way: See you.
Gerardo Del Real: Bye now.Click here to see more from Patriot Battery Metals Inc.