Patriot Battery Metals (TSX-V: PMET)(OTC: PMETF) CEO Blair Way on Drilling Out a Generational Lithium Discovery


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, first off, congratulations. Second off, how are you today?

Blair Way: Thanks, Gerardo. Yeah, doing great. Sitting in Vancouver for a change and it's been a big couple of days, actually almost a week, pulling all this stuff together to just get the data to where we finally put it out and we've got it out there and I think people should be pretty happy with what we've put out.

Gerardo Del Real: Well, let's get right into it. One of my favorite singers of all time is a Mexican gentleman who passed recently. His name was Vicente Fernandez, and he is got a song, and the song basically says "You don't have to be the first to get there, but you have to know how to make an entrance," and man, 156.9 meters of 2.12% lithium including 25 meters of 5.04% lithium at CV5 is absolutely how you make an entrance. I want you to provide the context and then I can get into some of the questions that I have. But again, congratulations. Just absolutely phenomenal results.

Blair Way: Yeah, no, we couldn't be happier. And this property just keeps delivering. As you know, when we drill in the pegmatites, we can see this spod. It means we have an indication of what we expect to see in assays, but of course we have to wait till the assays come, assemble the data, and then it is able to be presented in the nice concise fashion that it's presented, so everybody can understand what we have here. But this Corvette property just is something else. I mean, when you see the types of results that we put out today, and we've had pretty impressive holes before this. It is almost defying logic sometimes just how well it's going.

Gerardo Del Real: Every news release has absolutely exceeded expectations. You've been doing some very important non-drilling related work that I want to get to later in this conversation, but I want to get to a couple of points. You mentioned Hole 93, which was completed as a hundred-meter step out easterly, a long strike of drill hole 83, 83 being the headline hole today. And you mentioned that it's targeting an extension of the high grade zone. Darren makes mention of that significant high grade zone and that your drill spacing is 50 to 100 meters. Can you touch on that, because as exciting as the maiden resource estimate figure that everybody has in their head. I have my own, I'm sure everybody has a number. This is really, really adding to the potential economics of what was already very, very impressive data to start with.

Blair Way: Absolutely, and if people go to figure one in the press release we just put out today, that really shows everybody what they need to see. They can see the remaining holes that are remaining at CV5. The green highlighted holes are still what remain for assays to come in, but as you said, 93 is a 100 meters east of 83. What we appear to be doing is extending every a hundred meters. So this winter drill program is of course extending up the lake and we're going to continue to tease out to the east and we're also going to tease out to the west. People need to remember that this is open to the east, to the west and also to depth. But really right now our focus is more on extending it out up the lake to find out how far it goes.

If it carries on all the way up to CV4, that's great, but without the drill-bit, we don't know. So that's the winter drill program is underway, but what we even have to find here is quite substantial. And as you said, people can have their number. I have to be careful what sort of numbers... I can't actually throw out any numbers until we've actually defined that resource. But the math is there, people can figure it out if they wish to. And each hole that we drill to the east up the lake during this winter program potentially extends not only the sort of known pegmatite body, but it does appear that we're in quite a high grade area here. And how far does it extend up the lake? We don't know. The drill will tell us.

Gerardo Del Real: I have to ask you about a description in the release and maybe you've had it in there before and I just overlooked it. But you mentioned in the release that it's possible that the CV5 pegmatite may extend under the relatively thin glacial till cover to the CV13 pegmatite cluster situated approximately 4.3 kilometers to the west southwest. And then of course you mentioned that you will be drill testing that during the 2023 drill campaign. Now we've all speculated that privately, at least I have with some of the other bigger shareholders. But it's exciting to me at least to see it be kind of front and center with such an impressive release that could easily overshadow that. Can you speak to that at all?

Blair Way: Yeah, we have to keep sort of building, I guess the knowledge base on this for people. And as you can imagine, there's a lot of work going on here where we've been focused on CV5, we've been focused on CV13. We have spoken about the potential that there could be connection there, which we have to tease out with the drill-bit, because it's hidden under glacial till. But the very fact that's that it's open to the west heading past beyond CV6, where we've drilled hole number 74 was the most westerly hole we've drilled at CV6. There's no indication that it stops there. We just have to keep drilling and find out how far it extends. And CV13, when you look at the broader map, is not that far away. So to suggest it could be connected is not beyond the realms of geological possibility, and what we've seen even at the 2.2 kilometer CV5 corridor and how it could extend to the east up towards CV4, as well as what we think could happen.

And CV13, as everybody knows, we've got 14 holes in there and those assays are also pending and they will come out in a timely manner, but we are processing that data as we have to and make sure we get it right before we put it out, as well as checks or balances that we have to do. But CV13 is certainly proving up to be very interesting. And if there's a connectivity there, we are suddenly looking at something pretty crazy.

Gerardo Del Real: Let's get into... I hate to bring it up, but I have to bring it up, because I've had subscribers of my paid letter and I've had people that listen to these interviews write in and ask about the process for releasing the results. I don't think that a lot of people appreciate how many hands and eyes and brains just a single news release has to go through before everything is checked off. And you're sure that the numbers are the numbers, and the cross-sections are the cross-sections. Can you just speak to that a bit?

Blair Way: Yeah, for sure. So obviously we're in the ASX and TSX. Those are the two listings that we really are working through. The other sort of secondary listings are just there in the background, but we have to ensure timely disclosure. Now, timely disclosure also needs to be accurate and it needs to be acceptable for disclosure in both exchange. So we are literally bouncing emails across time zones and people are asleep, people are awake, and we do as best as we can to manage the time zones.

But at the end of the day, it does take time. When we choose or when it is time to release, often that's a function of where the last review. Now, if I'm in Australia and that's where I'm doing the reviewing, then that's often where it ends up. If I'm in North America or Canada, then that may be the TSX gets it first, but it's really not a matter of who gets what first.

It's a matter of when we have the data, when it's properly processed, when it's ready to put out. As soon as we can put it out, we put it out. Now it has been lining up with the ASX. That's more a function of just the process of reviews, and we are doing extra careful checks just to make sure we are compliant for our ASX reviews. So that generally means that's the last spot for reviewing before it's ready to go out, as meeting our timely disclosure requirements. But it's a ton of work. It's the challenges of being dual listed and at any given time, one exchange is going to feel like they're missing out on something, but at the end of the day, they are not.

The information is put out in the timely manner and it's available when it's available. And sometimes it's going to be available before TSX open, and sometimes before ASX, and sometimes sort of in the middle of the day like today. And it's obviously I'm in Vancouver, so we've been working away at this thing. I'd love to have thought it was ready before open today, but it was not ready and it had to be put out in the middle of the day, so that's how it works.

Gerardo Del Real: You've done a lot of really, really critical work as far as de-risking the project while you get the assays back. You just appointed a vice president, VSG and senior advisor environment and permitting to the team. And I think that, I don't know if it was as appreciated by many as I appreciated it, because I know in my 14, 15 years or so of being in this space, I know metallurgy, recoveries and lack of emphasis early on, on community relations and permitting can absolutely derail a project that otherwise may be very, very economic. Can you speak to some of that work that's going on?

Blair Way: For sure. People are always dying or wanting to know all the drill results and all the sort of sexy data that comes out, and that stuff's great, and it is super exciting and it's great to be drilling and seeing what we have, but people forget that as you have drilled it and as it starts to become meaningful, we have to consider what it means then to take it to the next step. And that next step could be a PEA or a PFS or an FS. And as you advance through that, as we grow the drill program to drill out a resource with more drills or what have you, we need to have more accommodations. We need to permit that accommodations. We need to have access roads. We built a winter road, we've got summer roads that need to be permitted as well.

And underlying all this process is talking to the local communities, whether it's First Nation, the Quebec government, or just individuals who are impacted by it. There's a ton of work that has to be done. So as we grow into our business, so as to speak, because when you start out with just a basic exploration project, you're not sure is it going to deliver the goods such that you're going to have advanced to some form of development cycle? Well, we are definitely advancing into some form of development cycle, where we're heading towards a PFS and a project description and all the permitting activities, whether it's environmental baseline, first nation relations, and basically managing stakeholders and understanding and communicating how our project may impact a certain area that we're working in. And that's a ton of work, and that is going on in the background, and my calendar is filled up now with multiple disciplines of discussions, not only just the drilling and the exploration and the logistics to support that, but also the next steps.

The PFSs, the environmental baseline monitoring. All the studies that we're doing. We're doing studies on site now to satisfy early baseline monitoring. We're planning for the summertime. There's so much that has to be done in parallel to the drilling that we're doing now, and as we advance, that gets even busier. So there'll be more people brought on as the company grows in scale and activities. I need the support. Darren needs the support. We have so much going on and we need to make sure it's done correctly. So we hire professionals that are specialists in the field, so that we can ensure it is done correctly, and we engage with the right stakeholders at the right time and do it properly.

Gerardo Del Real: That was a great response. I hate to do this, because I just said that the other stuff is really important, but I have to bring it back to the drilling. Hole 93, which again we said is a 100 meter step out of Hole 83. I couldn't help but notice that in the release you say the assays remain to be reported. However, the hole intersected spodumene pegmatite over 52.2 meters. I can't wait to see what those numbers look like, because if the high grade zone is tilting over towards the east, and this is a 100 meter step out to the east and you have 52.2 meters of spodumene pegmatite, then forgive me if the imagination runs a little wild, this can get really fun really quick. It's been an awesome ride thus far. I'll ask you about the drill program in the next week or two, because this was a lot. Anything you want to add to that, Blair?

Blair Way: No, no, you're absolutely right. It's exciting. We have the final assays pretty close to being ready to put out over the next few weeks for the remainder of the 2022 drill program. It's all the remaining ones, including 93, which obviously is a step out to the east at CV5, but we also have the CV13 holes as well. So there's lots of excitement still yet to be had and to be explored in the drilling. But equally so as we spoke, there's a ton of work going on in order to be able to demonstrate how this could actually become some sort of commercially viable activity.

So it's an amazing time for a company like this as we keep transitioning. Every time I look back 12 months, where were we 12 months ago? It's incredible to see where we are, but equally so, where are we going to be in 12 months? What's it going to look like? It's exciting as can be.

Gerardo Del Real: Congratulations again. Looking forward to chatting again soon. Great work, Blair.

Blair Way: Sounds good, Gerardo. Great to catch up.

Gerardo Del Real: Cheers.

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