Patriot Battery Metals (TSX-V: PMET)(OTC: PMETF) CEO Blair Way on Hitting Ultra High Grade at Nova Zone
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the very busy president and CEO of Patriot Battery Metals, Mr. Blair Way. Blair, how are you today? You know how to make an entrance. Heck of a news release out just now.
Blair Way: Thanks, Gerardo. It is a heck of a day and we're pretty happy with being able to put these assays. I know people get impatient waiting for it, but I think it's worth the wait.
Gerardo Del Real: Listen, let's get right into it. Albemarle wanted this, trying to take out Liontown. There was a pretty substantial $3.7 billion offer that was made that was rejected, right? It wasn't well-received. It hasn't been well-received yet by Liontown. The politics aside, there's clearly still a ton of need for lithium deposits of scale and quality. The news you just put out is absolutely ridiculous. It's 83.7 meters of 3.13%, including 19.8 meters of 5.28%. You've now extended the high grade Nova Zone at Corvette. Congratulations. I mean, good gosh, I don't really have more adjectives other than just absolutely spectacular. Provide some context. I'll leave the floor to you.
Blair Way: Well, I think the first context I might put in is it's actually a $5 billion Canadian offer, so I know with the US Canadian exchange rate and Aussie exchange rate that throws it off. 5.5 billion Australian, 5 billion Canadian. Those are significant numbers and it's nice to see that the greater markets are being demonstrated these level of interest for properties such as what we have and what Liontown has. And it's no secret. There's this massive demand coming and there's a requirement for raw materials and we are well-positioned, and then to be able to put out a press release like this where we have extended the Nova Zone.
We're continuing to drill. Our last update, we were 20,000 meters. You can do the math. We're drilling every day and we're continuing to put a lot of meters down into the CV5 corridor, heading to the east and to the west, and doing our infill as we head towards our maiden resource at CV5. But couldn't be happier. The 83.7 meters at 3.13 is a pretty fantastic number, and of course getting over 5% for almost 20 meters is also a fantastic number. These things take time. Assays, when we get such a high assay level, we do have to retest. That's just part of the process, ensuring that we have the numbers right, but we believe and have believed for some time that we have something pretty special here at the Corvette property, and the drill bit continues to deliver.
Gerardo Del Real: You've now extended the high-grade Nova Zone. Can you describe how that's looking now, and then let's talk drill rigs and where they're at because I understand that you're also now drilling to the west, which I'm also looking forward to.
Blair Way: So yeah, we obviously have the six rigs working around CV5. We're drilling to the east and to the west, and a few in between are infilling within the greater CV5 area, simply because we're managing the ice and the shallowness of the water where the barge can't get in in the summertime. So some of those holes are being done now, while we can get there easily with the ice.
Heading to the west, we'll be able to provide some updates on that as we are heading from CV5 towards CV13. Keeping in mind, CV13 is about four and a half Ks to the west. We're going to start heading that way just so we understand what CV5 looks like and where it continues to. Today we have no indication where it goes. It appears to follow trend, but putting the drill in the ground is what will enable us to understand what we have to the west of CV5.
To the east of CV5 we will be also drilling more of that this summer. We'll have a couple of rigs on barges, which will carry on up the lake. The ice has not performed that well this year. Very unusual to have such thin ice, and I mean, when I say thin, it's still a couple of feet thick, but it's not thick enough to be safe for the drill rig in some areas where there's a bit of water flow. So, we're just managing that very carefully. But again, we've been able to punch through a lot of meters and we're continuing, as I said, drilling to the east, drilling to the west and infill in the middle.
And then as we transition through spring breakup, get caught up on all our drill cores. You can imagine when we're drilling this many meters, the geos get pretty backed up at our core shed, so the spring breakup gives them a chance to get caught up, maintain some of the rigs, and get ready and convert over to helicopter supported drilling and also barge drilling for the summer program.
Gerardo Del Real: The Nova Zone you mentioned in the release has now been traced over a 750 meter strike length. I got to believe the tonnage is adding up pretty quickly. I got to highlight some of the other holes, right? You had 132.2 meter section at 1.22%. That included 11.2 meters at 2.99% and six meters at 2.92%, 37.1 meters of 2.09%. I could go on. You have assays for 27 additional drill holes that have arrived at the lab. How are you looking and positioned as far as reporting assay results here in the coming week or weeks? What's the hope, Blair, now that we're back at a consistent news flow?
Blair Way: We have consistent news flow. We always have holidays and things coming up in the middle, but the lab has been working diligently. We were very confident with their ability to deliver results, but obviously the higher the grade, it generally impacts on some of the timing. Certainly these results show that we have some pretty significant grades that has impacted some of the timing. And the holes will come in when they come in, and again, 132.2 meters at 1.22%. I mean, we're spoiling people now because when we put out something, say it's CV13 and we've got 25 or 35 meters, which is pretty typical of any normal large lithium mine that you'll see here in Western Australia. That's a nice thick intercept for that sort of mine. We're spoiling people. 130 odd meters at 1.2 is just starting to become the norm. People expect a hundred to 150 meter intercepts, 1% to 2%, or even up to 3% on the smaller zones within those bigger intercepts.
So we have to keep drilling. The ground delivers what the ground delivers. The labs will obviously do the work they have to do, and we will get the assay results out. I would say probably the next batch are going to definitely be after Easter. We won't be putting anything out around the Easter break because most people are taking a bit of a break. We do have some other news flow providing updates on what the plans are for pre-feasibility and some of the environmental baseline work we're doing this summer, as well as just the summer plan. What we're thinking as far as where we're going to deploy some of these rigs. Are we able to put more rigs on the ground? All those sort of things will be provided as we move to the spring breakup, and then can talk more in detail about what this summer plan is and how many rigs we can have.
And we've talked about throwing 20 rigs at it. Well, the practicality of that is that you can't really do that in a sensible way. You start to really become inefficient with how you utilize those rigs. Accommodations becomes an issue. Managing and moving the core and logging the core becomes an issue. So we are incrementally increasing. We targeted five this winter. We're already at six. We believe we can continue to add a few rigs in the summertime, but we'll provide more updates on that as we move towards the spring.
Gerardo Del Real: Sounds like assays for the rest of the year, and with not to mention a lot of other very important baseline work that's being done. I know that there's simultaneously a lot of work being done on the maiden resource estimate, which look, I've seen a couple of brokerages now that are starting to realize that we're getting closer to 200 million tonnes and further away from 100 million tonnes according to their models. A lot to be excited for, Blair. I want to thank you for the time. Anything to add to that?
Blair Way: No, it's just obviously the analysts that are doing their modeling. We always want to manage expectations and we certainly are very confident of the scale of what we have here, but we will be providing, obviously what we've talked about, the maiden resource coming out in June. It will be our first resource and we will be continuing to drill beyond what we've done. And we're going to have to do the cutoff for the drilling is going to be pretty much around now. Even by the time we put that maiden resource out, we'll have drilled another 20,000 meters beyond that. So people need to understand when you put out a resource, it uses cutoff grades. It's much more conservative. However, we've got something massive here, so people will not be disappointed. I'm sure of that.
Gerardo Del Real: Looking forward to it. Blair, thank you so much for your time. I'll let you get back to it.
Blair Way: Thanks, Gerardo. Talk to you later.
Gerardo Del Real: All right, chat soon.Click here to see more from Patriot Battery Metals Inc.