The one you’ve all been waiting for: Patriot hits the century mark in maiden Corvette lithium resource
Ken Brinsden-chaired Patriot Battery Metals (ASX:PMT) has declared a ‘world class’ resource at its CV5 pegmatite at the Corvette property in Canada’s James Bay lithium district, outlining what it says is the largest hard rock lithium resource in the Americas and the eighth largest worldwide.
The maiden inferred resource for the hotter than hot lithium explorer — a reputed takeover target for Brinsden’s old mob Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) — is now in, coming in at 109.2Mt at 1.42% Li2O and 160ppm tantalum pentoxide at a 0.4% Li2O cutoff grade.
It places Patriot as the owner of the next largest spodumene resource behind Liontown Resources’ (ASX:LTR) Kathleen Valley, which boasts 156Mt at 1.4% Li2O and is being developed as an underground mine intended to produce 500,000tpa after first concentrate in mid-2024.
Based on 163 drill holes and more than 56,000m of core, the resource suggests the pegmatite is a single continuous body ranging in true thickness from 8m to more than 130m over a strike length of 3.7km, with a higher cut-off of 1.4% Li2O suggesting a high grade component exists of around 46Mt at 2.03% Li2O.
There is more to come, the president and CEO of the C$2 billion company Blair Way suggested.
“We could not be happier with the result of this maiden mineral resource estimate at CV5, which will be the first of multiple resource estimates for the Corvette property over the coming years,” he said.
“This property is now officially host to at least one deposit that is definitely a world class asset with respect to the size, grade, and metallurgy when compared to its peers.
“It firmly positions the company as a leading candidate to provide long-term spodumene supply to the North American and European markets. This is a key milestone for the company and will underpin future economic and development studies as we look to aggressively advance this asset on the path to production.
“I would like to thank our shareholders for their support, and moreover, thank the exploration team for their focus and determination in delivering one of the largest spodumene pegmatite resources in the world.”
It comes as explorers look to mining-friendly Canada as a new frontier of the supply of lithium to the exponentially growing electric vehicle industry with it and Brazil emerging as the hot new exploration jurisdictions outside of traditional powerhouses Australia, Argentina and Chile.
Dual-listed Patriot’s Australian CHESS depositary interests are up over 100% YTD, but its shares have been subdued in recent times after the release of a short report attacking the company and its management over claims its Corvette project was over-promoted.
Patriot subsequently came out to say the release by Night Market Research, who stood to benefit from the price of its stock going down, “includes numerous claims about Patriot’s management of the Company and promotion of the technical fundamentals of the Corvette deposit, which the Company asserts are factually inaccurate and misleading.”
In Toronto overnight Patriot’s share ran almost 12% higher, but they fell almost 6% on the Australian bourse this morning. Go figure.
Here’s one of those silly comparison graphs miners use to flog the size of their wares.
The Corvette resource would have come in largely around expectations for investors. Anything above 100Mt, with 500,000-700,000tpa spodumene potential is somewhere around the “Tier-1” mark, Canaccord Genuity’s Reg Spencer told us back in March.
PMT’s VP of Exploration Darren Smith reckons there will be further resources to come outside the CV5 pegmatite.
“This maiden mineral resource estimate at CV5 is the culmination of an aggressive 20-month drill campaign that kicked off with our discovery hole in Fall 2021, and is nothing less than a team effort to get us here,” he said.
“This first resource has firmly established CV5 as a Tier 1 spodumene pegmatite asset, already ranking as the largest lithium pegmatite resource in the Americas, as well as in the top 10 resources globally.”
“There remains significant 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.
“Further, there are multiple known spodumene pegmatite clusters yet to be drill tested at the property and more than 20km of prospective trend yet to be explored.
“In the case of CV13, the 2022 and 2023 drill programs are anticipated to underpin a maiden mineral resource estimate in 2024 at that spodumene pegmatite cluster.
“We believe we have only just begun to demonstrate the scale of the lithium mineralised pegmatite system at the Corvette property.”
Patriot’s success along with the rising price of spodumene — the resource is tabled at a price of US$1500/t, compared to spot prices today of US$3550/t — has seen a flood of explorers head for the James Bay region, many in nearology plays of the Corvette discovery.