Patriot Battery Metals (TSX-V: PMET)(OTC: PMETF) CEO Blair Way on Extending CV5, Pending Assays & Upcoming MRE
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the very, very busy president and CEO of Patriot Battery Metals, Mr. Blair Way. Blair, it's great to catch up publicly again. How are you?
Blair Way: Hey, Gerardo. How you doing? It's a crazy time. Good crazy, but crazy nonetheless.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get right into it. There is a lot going on. We have a lithium sector that's consolidating and I think nearing its consolidation. Patriot Battery Metals has not been spared. The volume has been lighter than we're accustomed to seeing, despite the fact that you just extended the strike length of the CV5 pegmatite to 3.7 kilometers. There was a lot in that release to get into. So I'm going to start by letting you provide some context and then I'll play devil's advocate a bit and follow up.
Blair Way: Yeah, I mean it was a relatively short and sweet press release, news release, just basically indicating how we've had great success in our winter drill program here. We've drilled more meters this winter so far than we did all of last year, and even part of that to get us to 3.7 kilometers from the original 2.2 kilometers we were at the end of last year's drill program. So, hugely happy with the outcome to extend this thing to the West. You just never know until you start drilling and for it to continue to show us it's heading off to the West. I mean, we're still a long way from CV13, but we're heading in that direction.
Gerardo Del Real: Let's get into the maiden resource estimate that everyone is eagerly anticipating. You mentioned June/July in the press release. How is that coming along?
Blair Way: Yeah, we're still looking at the June/July dates and one of the reasons we're a little bit, I'll say wishy-washy on the exact timing simply because of the receipt of the assays, the incorporation of the assays and which ones we include and which ones we can include. And it has to do with the spacing and delineation between the extension step out. So there's still a lot of work. I mean, as you know, assays come in randomly, but you've got to collect them all up and then process them and it just takes time. So until we have all the assays and as we work towards this mineral resource, our QPs are working diligently and we have to feed this data in and that's really why there's a little bit of variability in when the actual resource will be put out, but we're pushing hard on it.
We want to incorporate as much of this as we can, but the reality of pushing this stuff so close to the wire is, "Are we going to get all those assays in time? Are those assays going to be in those holes?" Going to accommodate being occluded in this first mineral resource. Obviously, as soon as we put the mineral resource out, we're going to be continuing to drill both to the east and to the west to CV5. So sadly enough, the resource will be out. I believe everyone will be happy with it. And then we're going to be continuing to drill all around it or east to west and beyond. So we're going to see the resource almost out of date the moment we put it out.
Gerardo Del Real: You mentioned assays. Where are our assays, Blair?
Blair Way: They are well and truly flowing in. It's just, as always, they take a lot of time to process and make sure we're getting the numbers right, make sure it's fed into the model. Our news release looks like it's a relatively simple process from the assays, but as we get a box of assays coming through, Darren and the guys really have to double, triple, quadruple check so that when we do put a press release out, and obviously our scrutiny becomes more and more, we have to be more and more sure that we haven't made any major or any mistakes in what we present. And also, we're feeding that same data into the model, which is also part of how we put together our news release on it. So it is taking time. I know some people are getting a little bit of itchy feet or whatever on that, but it is really the process that we have to go through and making sure that we get everything right.
Gerardo Del Real: In the release you talked about drill hole 184, which is the westernmost drill hole that's completed to date at CV5. You mentioned 93 meters of continuous dominantly spodumene bearing pegmatite. You also mentioned a blowout zone to the west. Can you speak to that a bit?
Blair Way: Yeah, we're still getting our head around it. As you can imagine when you're stepping out, it's in hundred-meter spacings that it's not completely clear what's going on, but we are definitely seeing a nice big lump to the west. What that means to us as we go further west, we're still not sure that's what the drill bit will deliver. And once we get drilling again, those are the sort of questions we will be seeking answers too. But yeah, we've seen something, we're pretty happy about a big fat lump of pegmatite as we've talked about it in the most complex terminology possible. We're seeing the big blob continue.
Gerardo Del Real: The big blob continues. You also mentioned in the release that there's nothing thus far that disproves the fact that this big blob could really be all connected underneath, right? How is that coming along? You talked a bit about some of the other work that tends to provide some validation, that at the very least, you haven't disproven that yet.
Blair Way: Exactly. I mean, we keep extending it and it's fantastic, but we can see CV13 now under four kilometers away now. And does it connect? We just have to drill. It's under glacial till, there's no visible outcropping as of yet that we've been able to identify in that overall open area. But as we continue to work west, and again, that's what we'll be doing as soon as we start drilling again this summer or into spring and summer. Then we just have to have to use the drill. There's no other real source of information that can help us.
But technically speaking, look at it from a purely geological point of view. Given what we've seen at CV5 and all the connections we've made there between CV5 and CV6 and all up past CV1, certainly it's not inconceivable, but we have to drill. People have to understand the work it takes to extend and see what happens. And look, CV13 in its own right, as we've discussed before, has not really gotten many of the followers' attention, but we believe there's something quite special there as well and it just needs the drill bit put in there. So that's really the goal. As always, as we've spoken many times, Gerardo, is, it's drill, drill and drill.
Gerardo Del Real: You talk about the summer/fall drill program commencing later this month. You're taking a bit of a break. There's going to be plenty of assays that are going to be coming to us in May. Have you had to retest the way you had to retest last time and the time before that? And the time before that?
Blair Way: We're streamlining that process. Believe it or not, it is getting better, but it's also a lump. It's a lot of drill core. So they have to work through it. I mean, the guys were backlogged on even just logging the drill core. So when the drill stopped, they still had another, I think, 10 days of logging. So you have to log it and process it and then sample it and then send it to the lab. So all this work, the more you're drilling, the more work you're doing in the same amount of period of time. So everything sort of gets piled up so then the lab has more samples and a period of time to process and they have to work through them. So that that does push it, push the timeline on it, but they are actually processing the assays faster.
But of course, we also are lumping them. We're not putting them out one at a time, it's just too time-consuming. So we have to collect 5, 10, 15 samples together to then process them internally, number wise, assay wise, and then that's what feeds into a news release. Whereas last year it was a little bit easier. We might do five at a time. We're just drilling that many more meters. So it's that many more assay results that we incorporate into a news release.
Gerardo Del Real: I know you likely want to save the answer to this question for a future press release, but I'm going to ask anyway. How aggressive do you plan on being on the exploration drilling? You talk about CV5 and CV13 and the summer/fall drill program starting here later this month, but obviously with the treasury and with the bulk of that being flow through, and also you're going to have some warrants that are going to be exercised between now and year-end. Do you plan an aggressive exploration program outside of CV5 and CV13?
Blair Way: So we've talked about this before and our ability to do that is encompassed by our ability to accommodate people and manage the logistics. So we are, and as I think I've mentioned a number of times before, we are working on that. We are getting close to solutions and when we have solutions in hand, which, as I said, I believe we're getting close to that, then we'll be able to talk further about just how aggressive we are. But we definitely are focusing on the CV5 pegmatite. We need to make sure we have all the drilling we need for the inferred resource and then the other CV13 and the other outcrops that we've already identified, as well as the field program. And we're really looking at what we can do and what that takes to do it. And it's going to be a busy summer. It's just a matter of how busy.
Gerardo Del Real: Still fielding calls from majors and mining companies and chemical companies and governments?
Blair Way: There's lots of very friendly parties that we continue to speak to. And as you alluded to in the very start of the call here, there is certainly an interest within the industry and the different players, but we have had a busy couple of weeks with board and management getting together in person for board meetings and talking through some of the things we have to do ahead of us. So it's been a very, very busy time for us, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. There is a lot going on and we are very happy with what's going on, but it does certainly burn the candle at both ends at this stage.
Gerardo Del Real: Drill, baby drill. Looking forward to the assays and catching up again. Thanks for your time, Blair.
Blair Way: Sounds good, Gerardo. Thanks. Talk to you later.Click here to see more from Patriot Battery Metals Inc.