On September 14 Grid Metals (GRDM.V) put out a press release reporting drill results at its Mayville “Main Dyke” lithium pegmatite target located in the Bird River greenstone belt of southeastern Manitoba.
The drill holes spanned a strike length of 775 meters. High-grade lithium, cesium and tantalum values in a continuous spodumene bearing pegmatite dyke.
Many investors are familiar with lithium brine deposits however hard rock lithium can be just as attractive to mine. I spoke with Robin Dunbar, President and CEO of Grid by phone about this release and its implications.
“This is a high-grade lithium resource,” said Dunbar. “It has some scale. There was drilling back in 1955 and there was a historical resource established of 3.5 million short tons. Our drilling confirmed the earlier work. We have a dyke 3-7 meters wide and very consistent.”
Which is a very good start but Dunbar knows that there needs to be more lithium bearing rock to make a mine a viable project. “We want to drill deeper,” said Dunbar. “We have a target of between 6 and 10 million tons. That’s the range where it becomes a viable project.”
There is a second dyke. “We have permits in the system to drill the second dyke,” said Dunbar. “There have only been four holes drilled in this dyke and every hole hit. The structure is 6 to 8 meters wide and is at least 350m long and open in both directions.”
At the same time as it is drilling Mayville, Grid is also working on the metallurgy of the material it plans to recover. “We’re looking at the recovery rates,” said Dunbar. “We want to show we can get a 6% spodumene concentrate product.”
Grid has already worked with the local First Nation to come to a business agreement. “This is potentially a multi-billion dollar project,” said Dunbar. “You have to be working with First Nations early in the process to get their buy in to the project .”
With existing infrastructure, roads power and workforce all in place , Grid is setting up to do a PEA over the next year.
For investors, further positive drill results and a solid PEA could trigger a significant rerating of Grid. “We have a market cap of about 10 million dollars,” said Dunbar. “CORE Lithium, an Australian company with a hardrock lithium deposit and production plans, has a completed PEA on a similar grade lithium resource. It has a market cap around 500 million.”
With the explosive growth in demand for lithium, primarily for electric vehicle batteries, Grid’s Mayville project is very likely to attract investor attention as the company moves towards its PEA. Dunbar and his management team are experienced exploration and mining professionals. As the PEA is being shaped, smart investors will be hearing about Grid and preparing their positions.