Q2 Metals (TSX-V: QTWO)(OTC: QUEXF) VP Exploration Neil McCallum on Following Up the Patriot/Corvette Lithium Discovery in James Bay, Quebec, with the Neighboring Mia Lithium Project
Gerardo Del Real: This is Gerardo Del Real with Resource Stock Digest. Joining me today is the vice president of exploration for Q2 Metals — Mr. Neil McCallum. Neil, it is great to have you on. How are you today?
Neil McCallum: Great, thanks!
Gerardo Del Real: Listen, let's get right into it. I want to start by telling everybody that's listening and reading that I am extremely biased. I was a very early shareholder of Patriot Battery Metals at the C$0.16 range. We helped finance it; did a small financing.
That obviously has turned into what was once a C$8, C$9, C$10 million market cap company to a market cap of over a billion dollars, and I think it still has substantial upside. It's been life-changing gains for a lot of the people that have followed our work for some time.
I'd love to start by introducing you and talking a bit about how you were involved with Corvette because I think it's really, really significant that you're now involved with Q2, and there are a lot of synergies. I typically don't like using that word but there are a lot of synergies between the properties, the management teams, the exploration team, and the potential.
Neil McCallum: Yeah, absolutely.
Gerardo Del Real: So your background, Neil, Corvette, how did that come about? Let's start with that, and then we can talk about Mia and why you're so excited about that project and the many similarities there. But how did you get involved with the Corvette district?
Neil McCallum: Okay, absolutely. So I work for, primarily, a group called Dahrouge Geological Consulting. And our name is getting out there partly because of the Patriot discovery. But we tend to specialize in odder, smaller market commodities like rare earths, lithium, uranium. And part of that is based on the excitement that comes from Vancouver when we find a commodity that suddenly becomes valuable.
We were looking when things were slow, in around 2014-15, about what's going to be the next interesting thing for critical metals. And we thought lithium seems like it's going to have long-term demand. So my boss, Jody Dahrouge, and I decided to look countrywide for good lithium projects. We went ahead and acquired a handful of them throughout Canada and quite a few in Quebec as well.
And because nobody had been looking for lithium for a very long time, there were quite a few easy ones that, if you did a little bit of research, you could come up with them. And as time has gone on, we've had to really dig down and find some more data to take additional ones.
But Corvette was one of our first ones that we liked. It was, first of all, put into the project generating company, DG Resource Management. At the time, in about 2016 when we staked it, it went to 92 Resources, which is sort of the precursor to Patriot. And then, they transitioned, first of all, to exploring for copper on that project.
For a time, lithium wasn't all that interesting until about 2019 when we finally really made the boots on the ground realization of what the potential was. Since then, they ended up acquiring the rest from O3 and Osisko. And then, it has just taken off from there. But that's kind of the backstory for Corvette.
Gerardo Del Real: I had a chance to sit down with Jody Dahrouge at PDAC; had a great conversation with him. Not to put words in his mouth but I know he's excited about Q2 and the portfolio. And we'll talk about that in a bit.
But when we talk about opportunities and being early, Q2 has a market cap of roughly C$52, C$53 million. And so, again, I still think the Corvette district has got a lot to deliver. There's a lot that hasn't been explored and properly tested yet. So congrats on that and congrats on delivering life-changing gains for a lot of people by identifying that early.
Let's talk about the Q2 Metals portfolio and what led you to lend your name as vice president of exploration because I’ve got to believe, Neil, there's some pressure after such a big win like Corvette.
I would imagine that you really second guess and third guess and vet what you're going to be involved with next. And look, you're on the record of saying that the Mia property is something that you had your eyes on for several years. And again, a lot of similarities there. I would love for you to talk about some of that.
Neil McCallum: Yeah, definitely. I think I mentioned before that the Mia property is something that I had my eye on for a while and realizing the potential just because nobody had really taken a look for lithium on that project for decades.
It was tied up in a gold company at the time, and they were transitioning from one more significant project. And this was one of the stranded assets that wasn't seeing any value. And eventually it came to a group that I didn't know who it was going into. But it turns out it was Kevin and Alicia, folks that I know from a while back.
And I was super excited to jump on the opportunity because I realized the trend is, in itself, eight kilometers. There are pegmatites in between that have never been visited or sampled or mapped in any great detail with lithium in mind. So really, it's just sitting there untouched, which is very rare because you're seeing, nowadays, properties getting staked that have very little potential or just close-ology.
And this is definitely not one of those close-ology plays. It's a real asset that we're looking forward to finally getting boots on the ground this spring.
Gerardo Del Real: I want to get into that point that you just made and why there are differences between a real asset with real potential. You talk about eight kilometers here of potential trend. And then, what you look for and how to differentiate between a land package that is highly prospective for a significant discovery, or discoveries, versus what's the norm.
And the norm is… it's in James Bay… we'll just congratulate Patriot… and if Patriot keeps going up… we'll keep going up! This is very different. I've been very hesitant to allocate capital to any other companies outside of Patriot. I have my eye on one or two other ones.
But Q2, again, I'm a biased shareholder. I participated in financings at the C$0.10 level, C$0.50 level and hope I'm writing checks at much higher prices here soon. But what's the difference between a Mia property and a Corvette property, and, for example, some of the close-ology plays that really aren't even on the kind of rocks that are going to lend themselves for a discovery?
Neil McCallum: Definitely. All sorts of people talk about having pegmatite on the property. And even the type of pegmatite that, regionally, the government maps, it may or may not have spodumene. But we've got confirmed lithium on the project with sampling from the property vendor; 18 grab samples from one showing, averaging over 2.5% lithium oxide. That's no joke.
And just on the note of the James Bay, for whatever geologic reason, I don't think we are going to know anytime soon, but for some reason, the James Bay deposits are just a scale larger than most other projects in Canada. When you're talking about Ontario or Manitoba, Northwest Territories, they're just so much larger on a scale.
It's just incredible to see this district coming to the forefront. So with this project being squarely in James Bay and having that known trend, we're just super excited to get started.
Gerardo Del Real: As a geologist, you and the team have to be just super, super thrilled to get on the ground and start some proper exploration followed up by some drilling, obviously. You just had a release not too long ago outlining a planned 10,000 meter drill program.
You just closed the financing that was very oversubscribed. And I know because even I didn't get enough of what I wanted and I wasn't the only one. The phone calls that I made were pretty similar in tone, which is a great thing. It was very oversubscribed. But you're fully cashed up. You have an excellent management team and share a lot of common geos with the Patriot team. The geology is very similar. You have over eight kilometers of trend here.
What comes next to start unlocking some of this value and seeing what Mia holds? And then, I want to talk about the Stellar property because I don't think that should go unmentioned, although I know that that's later on in the year in terms of focus.
Neil McCallum: Right. Yes, our focus, as soon as we can get out there, which is right about the time the snow melts, is going to get boots on the ground, map it, and sample it. The great thing about this area is that there’s lots of outcrop that we can see from satellite photos.
If you've got time to browse the presentation, you'll see that. Really, we can get a good look as soon as the beginning of June, end of May, as soon as we can get boots on the ground. And then, once we figure out which is the best target to drill, we will be off to the races mid-July with the drills turning and drilling all summer and see how it goes. We're just launching into this really.
Gerardo Del Real: Well, again, I want to be very, very clear… I love being early to stories. You and the team clearly like being early as well on things. I think next to Corvette and Patriot — which I think is just its own monster — Q2 is most definitely my second favorite play in James Bay.
You mentioned being off to the races in July with drilling. I think the share price is going to accompany that. I know we've had a short-term pullback in the price of lithium across the board. I happen to think that's healthy. I happen to think it's close to consolidating at a comfortable level. And, frankly, prices are still much, much higher than they were three years ago, and very, very, very economic — especially if you make a discovery or discoveries of significance.
Neil, I'm excited for the program. I'm excited for drilling following the exploration program. Let's touch on Stellar just briefly because I don't want to take any of the luster away from Mia. I know that's the focus. I know that's the flagship. But Stellar seems like an interesting property as well. It's in James Bay. It's hosted within those greenstone belt rocks that you want to see. Tell me a bit about that project.
Neil McCallum: Yeah, you've got the story right there. It's really fitting all the right boxes in terms of the setting for it. With James Bay, in terms of historical work, which I do a great time reading the historical reports, there's virtually nothing there.
We've got the satellite data. We're going to be pouring over that, coming up with targets so that we can hit the ground running in the summer to try and test this one as well because it's not all that far from Mia. So we're hopeful that it has potential as well.
Gerardo Del Real: Neil, I suspect that you and I are going to be chatting frequently. Looking forward to results, and looking forward to seeing what Q2 is able to deliver to shareholders as well. Thank you so much for the update today. I appreciate your time.
Neil McCallum: Yes, looking forward to it. Bye for now.
Gerardo Del Real: Chat soon.Click here to see more from Q2 Metals