Welcome to the Market Herald, I’m Simon Druker, and you’re watching the Top Line.
Global Battery Metals is an international critical mineral exploration and development company with a presence in Ireland, the United States, Canada, and Peru.
As the world moves away from traditional fossil fuels, the Vancouver-based company remains focused on growth-oriented lithium and other battery metal projects making up and supporting the rapid and evolving shift to battery power.
Joining us here at the Top Line today to discuss the company, some near-term project developments and the industry as a whole a little further is President, CEO and Director Michael Murphy. Thanks for joining us.
TMH: To start, give us a bit of background on yourself and the company.
MM: All right. Well, we started the company several years ago. We drank the battery-metal Kool-Aid long before it became as popular as it is today. Our idea was to acquire early-stage projects with the potential for zero cost or next to no money up-front and no project vendors or any people like that. That’s what we’ve done. Our view is that all project money is better spent on the ground than elsewhere. And should we [the Company] have success, then everybody [shareholders] has success — but nobody really gets paid until we see this success. So, as a result of this strategy, we’ve looked at a lot of projects — and we’re now focusing on two lithium assets, the North-West Leinster Lithium project in Ireland and the Lithium King Property in Utah.
In terms of my background, I spent 15 years in financial services in London. More relevant –12 years ago, I founded a company called Torex Gold. We took it from about a 4- or 5-million-dollar idea, and [over time] it grew to a two-and-a-half billion-dollar market cap. We raised over a billion dollars of debt and equity, put it into production, and it produced just under 500,000 ounces last year. As I said, at its peak market cap, I think it was about two-and-a-half billion dollars. In terms of the team I have with me, Cameron Bell used to be the Head of Project Origination for Vale. What he doesn’t know about base metals isn’t worth knowing. Jean-Philippe Paiement is a world-renowned lithium expert. Craig Roberts and Alan Matthews have experienced mining engineers. They’ve designed mines. They’ve built mines. They’ve run mines.
TMH: Global Battery Metals has a few well-positioned and advanced projects, is there anything that stands out to you this year?
MM: For sure. We’re focusing on the two lithium projects, Lithium King in Utah and North-West Leinster in Ireland. Taking Lithium King first, this project is interesting to us because we were able to get a hold of some historical USGS logs as well as some historical oil logs. There’s no oil there, just in case you were wondering [laughter]. So, the USGS logs recorded samples as high as 1200 PPM lithium. Now that’s pretty shallow stuff, just down 10 meters – and we’re going to go down a thousand meters. The lithium has to come from somewhere. Our expectation is we’ll be drilling that sometime in the first Quarter [2023}.
The North-West Leinster property in Ireland is exciting because we just got back some pretty exciting results. We had grades from assays as high as 3.75 percent Li2O. [For context] 6% concentrate is battery-grade and suited for shipping. I don’t anticipate that everything’s going to be at 3.5%, but it’s a great place to start. The other thing that’s really interesting about this project is that it’s one thing to have surface samples — but you got to know where they came from. So, we believe that we’ve identified the dike that has produced these samples, and our expectation is that we will be drilling that by the end of the First Quarter , and this pegmatite dike starts at a depth of two meters. So, the drilling cost and access are super easy. Think of it as a rock quarry. We crush it, concentrate it and ship a concentrate. It’s about as easy as it gets.
TMH: Taking a closer look at your project in Ireland, what kind of opportunities does this present for the EU EV battery market?
MM: Well, the Europeans are spending a fortune, billions and billions trying to create their own independent battery market given the growth of EVs, etc., and like the US, they are uncomfortable with the reliance on the source of some of this material. So, there’s a huge amount of investment going into developing this industry – and any material that could be sourced locally is going to be HIGHLY VALUED. I know that because I’ve had a number of inbound phone calls from people calling and wondering what we’re doing. If we are able to be successful with our drill programs on both properties, we’ll be able to provide material into both the US and the EU battery supply chains.
TMH: Aside from what we’ve discussed already, what else can investors expect from the company this year?
MM: Well, they can expect to see the results of several years of work. We’ve spent years getting to where we are now. I’ve always subscribed to the school of thought, “build it, and they will come,” and somebody pointed out to me that if you don’t tell them [investors] where to look, nobody’s going to know that you built something beautiful. So, I think we’ve got two really exciting projects. Both are basically drill-ready — we’re permitted in Utah, and getting the permit in Ireland is really straightforward. We expect to have [test] drill results [for North-West Leinster] hopefully within the first quarter, if not, not much longer after that [Q2 2023}. Assuming we’re successful, we’ll go from there. So, this really is the culmination of a number of years of work. So, I’m pretty excited about it.
TMH: Before we let you go, is there anything else you would like to share with investors?
MM: Well, the market cap for the company is about $8 million. I see some of the values and some of the grades of other [lithium and battery metal] companies with materially lower values. I mean [GBML} is just a completely different level of grade and opportunity. We’ve spent very little effort and no money in terms of investor engagement until I thought we were ready and had a story to tell. I now think we have that story to tell, and it’s literally just starting.
Thanks for joining us at The Market Herald today and sharing your insights with our Top Line audience and investors.
We’ve been speaking with Global Battery Metals President and CEO Michael Murphy. The company trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker symbol GBML. You can also visit gbml.ca for more information.
Thanks for watching Top Line. In Vancouver, I’m Simon Druker. We’ll see you next time.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by The Market Herald.