Energy Storage

27 Jun 2023

Patriot Battery Metals Rebuffs Company Sale Report

27 Jun 2023  by mining   

Corvette property, located in the James Bay region of Quebec. (Aerial shot courtesy of Patriot Battery Metals.)

Canadian lithium explorer Patriot Battery Metals (TSX-V: PMET) (ASX: PMT) has refuted a media report suggesting that it had appointed Macquarie Capital to seek out potential buyers for the company.

The Australian newspaper reported on Sunday that Patriot had tapped the investment bank with the intention of putting itself up for sale.SIGN UP FOR THE BATTERY METALS DIGEST

The Vancouver-based junior said it had not started any process that could result in the sale of the company or any of its assets. It did, however, note that has appointed a “range of advisers” and “key personnel” that support the continued development of its flagship Corvette lithium spodumene asset in Quebec.

Patriot, which had to suspend operations in early June due to wildfires in the area, is working on the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the project, scheduled to be published in late July.

While the Quebec wildfires have affected some of the related work, Patriot said it did not expect them to have a significant impact on the MRE release.

Patriot plans to convert a winter road to an all-weather exploration road, allowing drilling through October, November and December, when fog in the region negatively impacts transportation by helicopters.

The company is also advancing its new exploration camp to further enable a more efficient drilling program by cutting travel time and reducing the dependency on helicopters.

In January, Macquarie Capital said drill results showed Corvette held similar high-grade lithium resources to those of the world-leading Greenbushes mine in Western Australia, jointly owned by IGO, Albemarle and Chinese investors.

The 156.9 metres at 2.12% lithium oxide, Patriot reported in January the Corvette project is currently at seventh place on Opaxe’s list of this year top drilling results.

Canaccord Genuity’ analysts have forecasted a resource of 148.8 million tonnes at 1.14% lithium oxide.

“If successful in defining a resource of this scale, Patriot’s [Corvette] would rank as the largest hard rock lithium project in North America, and as a top 10 global deposit,” metals and mining expert, Katie Lachapelle, said earlier this month.

Aussie majors circling

Rumours of Australian players eyeing Patriot as a potential acquisition target have been on Australian media on and off this year. In February, it was said that Mineral Resources, Pilbara Minerals and Wesfarmers were all interested in buying the Canadian minor or, at least, a stake in it.

Australian lithium miners, such as Pilbara Minerals, Orocobre and Galaxy Resources, are all looking to expand their global footprint and diversify their supply sources amid rising demand for battery metals. Analysts say they see Patriot Battery Metals as an attractive opportunity to gain access to the North American market and secure long-term supply contracts with leading battery manufacturers.

Quebec has become a hard rock lithium hotspot as companies vie to supply the surging electric vehicle market. The federal government approved the James Bay open-pit project by Galaxy Resources, a part of Allkem (TSX: AKE; ASX: AKE), in January.

Azimut Exploration (TSXV: AZM) has its own James Bay project and Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) expects the first spodumene shipment from its North American Lithium operation to take place in July.


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