Patriot Battery Metals (TSX-V: PMET)(OTC: PMETF) CEO Blair Way on $20 Million Financing at a 109% Premium, Drilling at CV 13, and Upcoming ASX Listing
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the president and CEO of Patriot Battery Metals, Mr. Blair Way. Blair, how are you?
Blair Way: I'm great, Gerardo. How you doing?
Gerardo Del Real: I am doing well. I just got back from the Beaver Creek Precious Metals Summit. It was really interesting to me because it was a precious metals summit, but I probably had more conversations about Patriot than I did gold or silver while I was out there. So clearly, clearly you've grabbed the market's attention. The most recent bit of news was a $20 million flow-through financing at 109% premium. Now let's be absolutely clear. I'm accustomed to seeing premiums with a flow-through. I'm not accustomed to seeing 109% premium, so congratulations on that front. Obviously on my end of it, I'm biased, I'm a happy shareholder. The 20 million going into the ground makes my heart smile. So I wanted to reach out and just get an update since it's been a bit since we chatted.
Blair Way: Yeah, for sure. I mean the financing announcement, we couldn't be happier, as you can imagine, with that sort of premium and just the way that we've been able to pull it together and the fact that now we've got another runway of drilling. We did that last big financing really finished in December last year. That's funded us all the way till pretty much now or into the end of this drill program in a few weeks' time in middle of October. Now we can start planning our winter drill program with a few more rigs to work the various clusters that we've identified as well as the main CV5 corridor that we've been working through. So yeah, we couldn't be happier and the timing I think is perfect. It lets everybody know that we've got a very clear path ahead of us. It's flow-through, so it can only be spent on drilling. So there's no question what the funding's for. And yeah, it's just onward and upward we go.
Gerardo Del Real: Since the last time we spoke, you've had a couple of important pieces of news. You provided an update on the ASX listing and you also announced that you're forming a Project Steering Group. I want to touch on both those points because you're increasingly looking like a company that is very, very keen to one day put this into production, not just develop it and then sell it. Talk to me about the ASX listing and then let's talk about this steering group and kind of what the end game is there.
Blair Way: For sure. The ASX listing has taken much longer than we'd hoped. It's for purely administrative reasons and we've been able to get through those and that's why we decided to put out a very sort of basic news release, just giving people an update, because there's been a number of questions about it. Still in the works, we're still progressing through it. We are finalizing the sort of second level or adjustment or editing to the prospectus that we have to put in. We hope to put that in, in early October and then that will start the runway again.
And all things going to plan, we'll be ASX listed, I'd say before the end of the year, but given the never-ending challenge we face, I hate putting hard dates on it, but we've worked through the majority of the hurdles that were slowing us down and it really just had to do with some of the changes from being a CSE listed company back to TSX Venture and all those sort of things. It was administrative, we got through it and that's really the message there. We're on track. These things often take longer than you think. This has been quite a bit longer than we expected, but we're still holding course and that's the goal there.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get into the Project Steering Group. I mentioned that you're increasingly looking like a company that is perfectly content with riding out this lithium bull cycle and putting this into production one day. Talk to me about that part.
Blair Way: Well, as you know, Gerardo, my background is exploration, but I've also spent a great deal of my career building things, zinc refineries, nickel refineries, magnesium refineries. So I like building things as much as I like finding things. I moved closer into exploration, because I was being often handed projects that were quite difficult to execute on. So by getting involved in an earlier stage as I am here with PMET, we can actually start defining the project at the time that you're drilling it. As you see what you're drilling through and you get into your discovery, you know you've got something you consider economically viable, you can start actually doing the analysis to understand what you need to do from a processing point of view, so technical; from a geology point of view, so defining the mine; from a permitting point of view and regulatory point of view, understanding the permitting regime, working with First Nation building those relationships early so that as we evolve and grow as a company into a developer and then construction and then production, we have all those ticks in the boxes and we minimize or even eliminate any missteps.
And often those missteps happen in the transition post discovery, but sort of pre feasibility study. Things are sort of transitioning from exploration to developer and I've been building a team to ensure we avoid or certainly minimize the risk of those missteps. So bringing Ken on board, obviously he's already been there, done that with Pilbara and everyone understands, I think that story. Brett also comes from a background working with hard rock lithium projects from the process or from the area of taking it from again, discovery into the development cycle, going through PEA, PFS, FS, implementation, construction and operations. So we now have three of us with the background that can define what the steps are.
So we even decided not to call it a committee, but call it a group because committees sound too bureaucratic. We formed this steering group and basically the four of us, Darren, myself, Brett, and Ken will be working together to take this through the geology and exploration phases, looking at what all the steps are mapping this thing out, so we certainly minimize or reduce the risk of making missteps and making sure we get ticks and boxes when we need to. And we've already commenced things like early baseline monitoring at the lake area around CV5. So we're sure we understand what is required there. We've actually continued to do the environmental baseline and other regulatory preliminary work in order to prepare for and then PEA, PFS and into the feasibility study. So it's a big deal. As you said, we're not just an explorer sitting here waiting for someone to pick us up. We are skilling up so that we can take this thing right to production.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned the drilling. It's been a bit since we've seen some assays. I know we were hoping to have assays every couple of weeks. It's been a bit past that. Clearly you've been busy with the financing, with the Project Steering Group, with the ASX listing and everything else that comes along with having the biggest lithium discovery in the world right now. How is the drilling coming along?
Blair Way: Well, it's a good point. So we've had lots of news flow, but we haven't had assay news flow. Obviously the news flow we first started talking about was the financing. So when you're putting together a financing, if you're releasing assays and the share price is bouncing around, moving, you really have to manage that. So we had Ken coming on board, Brett coming on board. We've had the ASX update. We've had a lot going on during this time whilst trying to pull together this financing. We also had a couple samples that were sent to the lab and there was a trucking issue. So that did lag us a couple of weeks for the next flow of samples.
Now they're catching up, but what we ended up having to do is actually defer or delay receipt of some of those assays so that we can get through what we had to do to get the financing done. We've got a couple other sort of housekeeping things that we're going to do over the next probably week or 10 days. We're in a financing, so we have to be cognizant of that. If we put out assays, that could work against the financing still. So we may have to wait until the financing closes before we can put assays out. But that's only probably a couple, three weeks at the most. But we are working through what we can put out in respect to during this financing period while we're in the closing stages of the financing. But yeah, I think certainly the assays, as I said, they are piling up a little bit, so we're going to have a big block come out, but it's probably a week or two away.
Gerardo Del Real: One last point on the financing, just to be clear. It's fully spoken for and taken down, right? This isn't a situation where you're waiting for people to get their money in. It's done, correct?
Blair Way: Oh, absolutely. It's 100% done. So it really is just the administration flow-through is a little more complex. So there's the back end of administering that has to get done. But again, we expect that by the first week in October it should be done and dusted. But, if we can push it earlier, we will. But yeah, probably first week in October is a realistic date. There may be a chance we can get assays out before that, but we just want to be very careful that we don't disrupt that closing by putting assays out.
Gerardo Del Real: Can't let you go without asking you about CV13. How are things coming along there and how is drilling as it relates to the amount of rigs and where they are being allocated?
Blair Way: We continue to have three rigs on site, but one of them has now moved over to CV13. I think we spoke last time about the permitting that came through very quickly. It's always nice to be working in a jurisdiction that doesn't put in roadblocks and we were able to adjust our permits to include the drilling for CV13. So I think we permitted, I forget the number, but at least 2,000 or 3,000 meters of drilling at CV13 to be finished up before this fall period. But yeah, we've had the drill up there, I think it's moved over to its third hole and we couldn't be happier with what we're seeing and I will provide some updates on that. It's a new area, so people will be curious. We won't be waiting for assays before providing some form of update.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it, Blair. Congratulations. Appreciate the update.
Blair Way: Thanks, Gerardo. It's always great to chat and look forward to speaking next time. Hopefully we'll be talking about some of the summer drill season assays.
Gerardo Del Real: Absolutely. Thanks again.
Blair Way: Cheers. Talk to you later.Click here to see more from Patriot Battery Metals Inc.