Noram Ventures Inc (CVE:NRM) Director on Lithium Deposit at Flagship Zeus Property
Noram Ventures Inc (CVE:NRM) (OTCMKTS:NRVTF) (FRA:N7R1) is a Canadian junior exploration company focused on the development of lithium deposits globally. Director Daniel Hackey provides an update on the company’s operations and progress at its flagship Nevada site, the Zeus Property. The project is situated near the Albemarle Corporation’s (NYSE:ALB) (FRA:AMC) lithium brine-producing project at Silver Peak. Noram’s resource has been increased by 8 times, and Hackey believes the project can be in production within approximately 2 years. Hackey explains the potential value of lithium as a source of green energy and notes 10 gigafactories will be coming online shortly. In addition, auto giant Volkswagen, which represents 8 percent of the global vehicle industry, is planning its fleet of lithium-battery cars. As a result, Hackey sees $10,500 as a realistic price for lithium going forward.
Narrator: Noram Ventures Inc. is a Canadian-based junior exploration company engaged in the acquisition and exploration of mining properties.
The company’s main emphasis is on the exploration for copper molybdenum in the Revelstoke mining division, British Columbia.
Noram’s long-term strategy is to build a multinational lithium minerals company to produce and sell lithium into the markets of Europe, North America and Asia.
Noram Ventures, Inc. is listed on the TSX Venture and trades under the ticker symbol NRM.
James West: Daniel Hachey joins me now. He is the new – you’re the new President.
Daniel Hachey: No, I’m a Director.
James West: You’re a Director of Noram Ventures, trading on the TSX Venture. Daniel, welcome. It’s been the first time – this is the first time on your show, though I’ve known you for like a decade. I’ve talked to you on the phone, I’ve promoted deals to you…
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, many times.
James West: I feel like some weird time zone thing.
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, but I think you’re right, I think it’s the first time I’m on the show, that’s correct. Yeah.
James West: So Noram, I was actually involved with Noram, uh, I guess it’s about two years – no, a year and a half ago now, and I was involved because I was buying a lot of the different lithium plays. And so why don’t we start with an overview: where is Noram at today?
Daniel Hachey: Well, basically, we issued a press release a couple of weeks ago, and we increased our resource by 8.5 times. So it’s quite significant; it’s about, value of about $10 million USD in the ground. So the resource usually, as you know, the risk in junior resource companies is typically the resource itself, whereas in this case, it’s not. We’ve got a commercial resource, and you know, the risk is more in the extraction technologies now, because this is lithium clay. So you know you’ve got lithium in brines, and pegmatites and so on.
So we’re very excited about it; it’s, you know, it’s a lakebed bottom is just an earth-moving exercise. It’s all, you know, the deepest hole I think we sunk is 100 metres, so very cheap to move and extract. And we’ve been working on the extraction technology itself, and we’re very confident that we can come up with a solution that works.
James West: And where is this deposit, again?
Daniel Hachey: This is in Nevada, in the Clayton Valley. So we’re in close proximity to Albemarle, which is the world’s largest lithium producer. They’ve got an operation called Silver Peak, which is not too far away from us, and it’s brines, but you know, there is some compatibility there. And we’ve seen over time, I guess, when they started out – they’ve been producing there for about 50 or 60 years – and you know, when they started out, they were about 1,000 ppms, and they’re down to about 100. So you know, we’ve been kind of having some conversations with them about, you know, going forward, what, how we can work together potentially and see how that works out.
James West: Great. So lithium, like – bear with me for one second, but the audience here is all about cannabis. And so they always give me a hard time when I bring on mining companies.
Daniel Hachey: Let me tell you about my cannabis deal! No, just joking.
James West: Well no, because I’m going to say this: do you know how many lithium ion batteries are used in the cannabis industry worldwide?
Daniel Hachey: That, I don’t know. I know there’s 7 kilograms in every electric car.
James West: Okay, let’s look at it this way: how many cannabis company executives own a Tesla?
Daniel Hachey: Probably quite a few.
James West: There you go! [laughter] So basically, if you want to invest in cannabis, you can also invest in lithium. This is the point I’m trying to make.
Daniel Hachey: Absolutely, no question.
James West: So have you had any conversations with major companies who might partner with you to take this thing into production?
Daniel Hachey: We’ve been having some conversations. We met last week in Vancouver with kind of a mid-tier company, and we’ve been having some conversations with kind of some of our peers and so on. So yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, much like any industry, you know, consolidation always tends to occur, and it’s just the nature of the game, right? It’s the nature of business, whether it’s lithium, cannabis, or anything else.
James West: Sure. What can you tell me about global lithium supply and demand metrics right now?
Daniel Hachey: Well basically right now, you know, the price has come off somewhat, but I mean, you have to look at it on a macro scale. For example, you know you’ve got that Tesla plant in Nevada, which is actually about a little over 200 kilometers from where we are, so it’s only natural for them to source local supply would be the easiest. But there’s 10 gigafactories coming onstream just like that one, and you know, if you look at the supply/demand dynamics, as I said, on a macro scale, I guess you could – I think the most knowledgeable analysts and, you know, people for forecaster using $10,500 as the lithium price going forward.
James West: Right. Certainly I’ve heard that Volkswagen is moving towards, they say, 100 percent lithium-driven cars.
Daniel Hachey: Right, right.
James West: That’s like, that would require, according to the math surrounding how much lithium is each battery, that would require approximately 550,000 tonnes of lithium? Like, raw lithium deposits?
Daniel Hachey: You know what, I mean, I don’t know the specific number in terms of what you’re addressing. I mean, I can, you know, just addressing, to give you an example, the Gigafactory that Tesla has in Nevada is supposed to produce 500,000 vehicles. And at 7 kilos per vehicle, well, that’s, you know, 3.5 million kilos times 2.2, so that’s a lot of lithium.
James West: Right. I mean, that’s interesting. That’s just Tesla, which is what, 1 percent of the market?
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, exactly.
James West: Exactly. Volkswagen is more like 8 percent of the market. 8 percent of the global fleet goes lithium, the price of lithium is going to do this. It’s not, and this is the thing –
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, we’re just looking at the macro elements now, but I mean, you can, you know, I do have, I mean, if you really want to look at the specific graphs, I mean there’s the, you know –
James West: Is this on your website?
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, this is in our presentation on the website. And you know, this is a projected number of electric vehicles built globally to 2030. So you know, we’re here right now, and I think we’re already low, but you can see that, you know, the demand is just –
James West: Okay, I’m going to put this up on the screen here so our audience can see it, assuming my…
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, it’s… good, good.
James West: Cam there. Okay, so this is slide number…
Daniel Hachey: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven…seven and eight, yeah.
James West: Okay.
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, so that’s the –
James West: That’s the demand curve.
Daniel Hachey: That’s the projected number of electric vehicles built globally to 2030.
James West: Okay. So right now, there’s roughly 100 million cars globally on the roads. They say that there’s 75 million cars sold every year. So this is still only showing, like – this is the thing, I find all of the estimates very conservative.
Daniel Hachey: They are very conservative, because even where we are there, I mean, if you look at, I believe, Tesla is – no, sorry, where’s – the US is this dark blue here, and I mean, if you look at that, I mean, Tesla is, you know, that’s already low, given, you know, Tesla is going to be at 500,000 at the plant. Well, that line should be way up here.
James West: That’s as if no other manufacturer sells electric cars in America.
Daniel Hachey: Yeah. And you also have, I think in the UK, was it last week, or in the past couple of weeks, they mandated that a certain number of cars had to be electric by, and I think the year is 2025, if I’m not mistaken. They’ve, you know, put a mandate in that the cars on the road will have to –
James West: Okay, so then how far would you say that you are away from putting this deposit into production, best case scenario?
Daniel Hachey: That’s a good question. We haven’t really looked at it in those terms; I’d say Lithium of Americas is also in Nevada, and they have a pilot plant that’ll be ready in 2020, and I’d say we’re probably a year and a half to two years behind them, is a guess. So I think that’s not unreasonable to think that we could be in production in some way, whether it’s a pilot plant or other, within two, two and a half years.
James West: So you’ll be right in the middle of this curve, here.
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, I mean, and at the end of the day, also our deposit is open in three directions, so we feel very comfortable that with a very minimal amount of capital, like $250,000, we can increase that 50, 60 percent or more, and not that we need to – I mean, it’s already commercial size, but…
James West: Sure. The art in lithium production is the geochemistry, if I’m not mistaken.
Daniel Hachey: You hit the nail on the head, that’s exactly correct.
James West: So have you had the opportunity yet to approach the deposit type from a geochemical processing standpoint?
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, as a matter of fact, we have done some preliminary testing, you know, and basically what we did is, we used some sulfuric acid solution, 5 to 10 percent, and used it at varying temperatures.
James West: Oh, okay.
Daniel Hachey: And, you know, we’re getting good numbers over 82 and 88 percent –
James West: Up on the – there we go. Okay, so those numbers look – yeah, you can see those.
Daniel Hachey: Yeah, so those are very preliminary steps that we’ve taken, but we’ll undertake more in-depth studies to try and maximize, optimize, our extraction.
James West: Right. Okay.
Daniel Hachey: And also if you want to just look more in-depth in terms of the actual supply/demand numbers, the slide after this one has two graphs here that show supply by producer and the supply/demand and pricing graphs, there.
James West: Right, okay, great. All right, well, so if you want to go and look that up at home, it’s at noramventures.com, and then you just click through to the investor section under presentations and you can find this presentation and see it for yourself.
We’re going to leave it there for now, Daniel. That’s a great introduction, re-introduction to the company in my case, and we’ll come back to you as soon as you have some more news, and we’ll start to follow the company. Thanks for joining me today.
Daniel Hachey: That’s great. Thank you.
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