Patriot Battery Metals (ASX: PMT) recently completed two definitive steps that are considered critical in the development of any project – especially for the burgeoning lithium mining sector.
The first step was releasing the maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the CV5 spodumene pegmatite at the company’s 100 per cent owned Corvette Property, located in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region of Quebec, Canada.
The MRE came in at 109.2 million tonnes at 1.42 per cent lithium oxide and 160 parts per million tantalum pentoxide inferred, at a cut-off grade of 0.40 per cent lithium oxide, for a total of 3,835,000 tonnes contained lithium carbonate equivalent – a great result.
What was more important about this ‘maiden’ MRE at CV5, however, was that, at the time, it came in as the largest lithium pegmatite mineral resource in the Americas and the eighth largest globally.
A resource of such magnitude places Patriot as a contender to provide long-term spodumene supply to the North American and European markets.
The company is confident in the potential for growth, with the resource open at both ends and to depth along a large portion of its length, providing a clear path forward for further resource expansion.
Multiple known spodumene pegmatite clusters that are yet to be drilled have tested more than 20 kilometres of prospective trends – making the future look tempting, indeed.
The second step was a C$109-million strategic investment and memorandum of understanding with Albemarle Corporation, a global leader in transforming essential resources into critical ingredients to meet the demands of the modern world.
‘The deal with Albemarle is a culmination of downstream industry engagement to establish what is required in the supply chain in America, and how we can become an essential part of that train,’ says Patriot Battery Metals Non-Executive Chairman and Director Ken Brinsden.
‘China obviously leads the way at present, and there is a good deal of catching up to do by the West in terms of construction of facilities, such as the mines, chemical plants and battery plants.
‘We realised we need to get these conversations happening sooner rather than later to ensure that when the mines are ready, the chemical plants are [also] ready.’
Patriot Metals believes the deal with Albemarle can cast the company in a leading role in building the required front end of the lithium chemicals supply chain in North America and Europe over the coming years.
‘Having a large-scale resource that is highly concentrated in the one body means we can underwrite the $2–3-billion chemical plants that are required to get a product of sufficient volume and quality into the market,’ Brinsden says.
‘Having substantial resources is important, as you must be around for decades to pay for the infrastructure.’