Patriot Battery Metals (TSX-V: PMET)(OTC: PMETF) CEO Blair Way on Discovering New Lithium Pegmatite Cluster On-Trend with the CV5 Pegmatite and Sampling 3.73% Li2O, Corvette Property, Quebec
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 this morning?
Blair Way: I'm doing great, Gerardo. I'm sitting here in Quebec, just working through some of the latest news that we've been working on.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's get right into it. You had some news this morning that's got you flirting with 52 week highs. You discovered a new lithium pegmatite cluster, which is on trend with the existing CV5 pegmatite. You sampled 3.73% lithium. This of course on the hundred percent owned Corvette property, which is more I think properly described as a district, right? A new emerging lithium district. Which I think is going to end up being one of the most significant lithium districts that we've seen discovered in a very long time.
And we'll get into why here in a second. But before we talk about the news this morning that's got you flirting with those 52 week highs. I want to talk about news from August the 4th, which was a very important news release as far as de-risking the project.
Now, it is early, but you achieved 6% lithium spodumene concentrate grade in prelim HLS metallurgical test work on the CV5 pegmatite. That was to me as important as the news this morning. For the simple fact that you can keep finding these pegmatite clusters that are lithium spodumene bearing. But if you can't extract it in an economic way, it's not going to be attractive to the majors or as attractive, no matter how much scale you have.
Right now with Patriot, it seems like you got the best of all worlds. You clearly have scale. I can't imagine at this early a stage, you wanting better results from the met work. And then of course, you're still hitting with the drill bit. So a lot there, I'll let you describe it and put it all into context, Blair.
Blair Way: Absolutely. The Corvette property is amazing. It just keeps on giving. As you said, we've had these fantastic early stage met results. We're seeing the HLS tests confirming that it's very likely DNS or dense media separation, is going to be a very cost effective process to produce a 6% spodumene concentrate.
And as most people have seen, spodumene concentrate is up to $7,000 a tonne are being received on the spot market. And those sort of pricings look like they're going to continue for some time. So what's great is we can demonstrate that our pegmatite that's on the Corvette property is able to be processed relatively easily.
Still lots more work. We'll be completing the DMS test program in September. And we'll continue on, we're actually tooling up or lining up for a larger sample and a more intensive metallurgical test program.
But certainly what we've received to date is spectacular. You couldn't ask for anything better at such an early stage. And we keep doing the work and the property just keeps delivering.
And as you said, our news of today, with our pegmatite clusters, we were always fairly confident we were going to find more given that it was only five to six days work on the property before from a helicopter based field program. We've now spent over five weeks on the ground. And as we've mentioned in the press release, we're extending it because we've had such great success. We've only really touched 20, 25 kilometers of the 50 kilometers of trend of our Corvette property. Or as you rightly say, the Corvette district. It's a long distance to be working on the ground. Guys are walking the ground, peeling back moss, looking at outcrops, checking for pegmatite, checking for spodumene within the pegmatite. It's a lot of work. But they've done a fantastic job at site.
And this press release that we put out today, just summarizes what we've done today. And again, we couldn't be happier.
Gerardo Del Real: You now have a total of 31 spodumene bearing pegmatite outcrops. And you used to describe the outcrops, it's interesting to me that you're finding so many of these that now you're just describing pegmatite clusters, right? Can you speak to that a bit?
Blair Way: Well, part of it is that obviously that first five, six day program was from a helicopter, the guys are basically flying around using satellite imagery to direct them as well as visual aids. But it's difficult to differentiate the white pegmatite from in many cases the white moss. So it's just so much more efficient to actually have boots on the ground and actually walking between.
In a helicopter, they'll find an outcrop and check it out and then walk a few meters, 50-70 meters in perimeter or what have you. But when you're actually walking between outcrops, which maybe as the helicopter flies was a kilometer away, that's when they can spot the little piece of spodumene bearing pegmatite sticking up. Or just seeing some pegmatite and there's lichens and other things on them. So, it really does take some time for the guys to train their eyes.
And then they see it, they peel the moss back and what it looked like, just a little, possibly a boulder or something, turns out to be truly an outcrop. So really it is just a function of time on the ground.
We have always been confident that there would be pegmatite around. There is a fair amount of glacial till obviously with these shallow glacial leaks, you have the various lows and highs that that creates. So sometimes the outcrops are buried, we won't see them until we drill.
But what these clusters are teaching us or demonstrating to us is we're finding some trend connectivity. And as we find, for instance, CV13 cluster, which is now four and a half KS away from CV6, the concept of maybe being able to connect those is not unrealistic. We still have to do the work to prove that. We connected CV6 to CV5 to CV1. And that's a two kilometer corridor.
Now we'll look at CV13, we'll first establish what's going on underneath CV13 with the drill rig. But it's not, again, unrealistic to then work our way from CV13 back to CV6, and just see what's there. And we'll do it both with the field work, which the guys have noted, there's a fair amount of glacial till. But what it means is we then can tease out the extension to see where it leads us.
Gerardo Del Real: You talk about the very attractive geological setting for lithium pegmatite and placement. I think that's important to describe. Can you speak to that a bit, Blair?
Blair Way: Yeah. So when you actually look at, even in Google Maps, if you go on Google Maps and zoom in on our property, which is actually not that hard to find once you're familiar with the area, and you can actually see the fabric of the greenstone belt. And there is an elbow, which is where we found CV13. Which could indicate a weakness in the country rock. Which then could possibly be a higher or a larger plug of this pegmatite intrusive body.
Certainly we believe there's something more, and that's what the drills will tell us. But when you look at the fabric of the ground and the country rock, it does indicate to us that it makes sense that the pegmatite is outcropping there. It looks like a weakness in the parent or country rock.
And yeah, again, we put the drills, ideally the drills will be in there late September, before the end of the summer drilling season, we can just get an indication of what we have there. And then a line up for a winter drill program to continue to investigate.
Gerardo Del Real: How are assays coming along? I know everybody obviously is excited for the next batch. How are the labs?
Blair Way: They are flowing as expected. Now, generally it's a five week turnaround, so by the time we've drilled the hole, we prepare the core, we ship the core, the core's arrived, that actually is beyond. So when we drill it and then we process it and then we ship it pretty much every Thursday.
Then if we look at four to five week turnaround from there. We are due for another set. And I believe they're starting to flow. And we get them in bits and pieces. And then if there's an over limit, we send them back or get double checks on them. And that does add a bit of time.
But we're certainly on schedule and seeing the assays flowing in as expected. And there will be more news to follow. I have an awful lot of news flow right now with the met work, with the field work, with the assays coming in, as well as just providing regular updates on the drill program and how many holes we're at. And all of these things just need to be processed. So certainly the assays are forthcoming.
Gerardo Del Real: Last but not least. I know you have a pending ASX listing that shareholders are excited about. How is that coming along?
Blair Way: It is coming along, it's a bit frustrating, there is some bureaucracy that we're dealing with. And we are working through it. It's not going as fast as I would like. But we are making progress. And we just have to be patient as we did move from the CSE to the TSX very quickly. That was an efficient process. And we're very pleased with how quickly that transpired.
Again, we're hoping end of August, September, but again, I'm at the mercy of other organizations. So it is a bit frustrating. But we just keep plugging away at it.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, I know that market and that exchange is eager to be able to access what's starting to look like potentially one of the most significant lithium discoveries in quite some time. Congrats to you and your team. You've done a brilliant job of slowly and methodically developing this discovery. And now you're adding a discovery to existing discoveries. So looking forward to the assays. Anything else to add to that, Blair?
Blair Way: Well, just as you mentioned, the Australian market, I do spend three days down at Diggers and Dealers, and the reaction and response, I spent a lot of time talking to a lot of people, telling them what we have, showing them what we have. And pretty much lost my voice by the end of Diggers. And that was a very satisfying process. Because certainly there was a high level of understanding of the scale and the benefits of that scale that we have.
So we will continue to move this property forward as efficiently and effectively as we can with the right number of drill rigs in order to be sure that we're not wasting shareholder money on misplaced drills or what have you. But the program I think is going exceptionally well. We're hitting the targets that we mapped out for us when we started this program. And the weather is holding up in Northern Quebec for us. And yeah, we just keep the drills turning. We've got three drills turning, as you know, the two on land and one on the barge. And every time we put a hole in, we learn more about this property. And we just couldn't be happier.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, if the whispers are true, and I heard them from multiple sources, there are some deep pocketed friends that I know would love to take a piece of Patriot at higher prices if that's in the cards. We'll see how that plays out. I won't ask you to comment. You've already said publicly that you're fielding multiple calls from multiple majors. So I'll leave that there unless you want to opine.
Blair Way: Well, it always goes back to, we're well funded right now, and our treasury is holding up. We're having warrants coming in which helps top up treasuries as we spend our flow through dollars. And we also have a great deal of 75 cent warrants, which will be coming free very soon later in the year. So we have a number of options.
But as you indicated, if the share price goes to the right spot, then there is potential there to top up that way as well. But we're not making any commitments at this stage.
Gerardo Del Real: Excellent. I know I said lastly, I'm going to say lastly one more time. I know there's shareholders that are eager to see more rigs on site. You've said publicly that you want to have and will have more rigs on site in the future. But can you just speak to the logistical challenges of that scaling out aggressively? You mentioned being efficient with shareholder capital, which as a very biased shareholder I appreciate. But can you speak a bit to the logistical challenges that adding something like eight or 10 drill rigs would present?
Blair Way: Absolutely. There is the inverse of economy of scale. So if we add too many rigs too fast, we end up having logistical challenges just in managing, let's say it's 10 drill rigs, it's 20 drill crews, because we're running two shifts, it's a number of multiple helicopters and the support crews that you need for that. And they are also on double shifts and it just becomes feeding them, housing them. In Northern Quebec, we have a very good setup right now with the facilities that we have. But if we push them to their limits, then we'll see some form of breakdown.
So I think we have the ability to expand with more drill rigs, but we're being very careful to ensure that we can continue to be confident that each drill rig is drilling a hole where we want it to be rather than getting too many drill rigs. And we're just punching holes down willy nilly so to speak. And we definitely want to avoid that.
So we are working at the process to define just how many rigs we can run up there efficiently. And yeah, we'll be commenting more about that as we progress through this summer drill program and start planning for winter.
But certainly with this new CV13, we see the benefit of adding more drill rigs in order to be able to better understand what's going on there. As well as continuing to drill out our CV5 to CV1 corridor, a two kilometer corridor, and beyond up into the lake. We haven't even spoken about what we think may lay beyond there. But that we can save for our next discussion.
Gerardo Del Real: Lots to look forward to. I've placed bets with friends on how quickly we get to double digits on the share price. We'll see if that comes true. Blair, thanks for the update. I appreciate it.
Blair Way: Thanks Gerardo. Always fantastic to catch up.
Gerardo Del Real: All right. Chat soon.Click here to see more from Patriot Battery Metals Inc.