It is my pleasure to write this letter given our exploration successes in 2022 and to outline the important steps we plan to take in the first part of 2023 to grow our flagship property, the Nevada North Lithium Project (NNLP).
These days, billion-dollar plants to make the massive batteries that power electric vehicles are announced so often that — even if you follow the auto industry — it’s hard to keep track of them all. Cumulatively, it is reported that more than $128 billion of announced investments into electric vehicle plants, battery plants and battery recycling plants have been made to date. In 2022 alone, companies announced more than $73 billion in planned projects — more than three times the previous record set in 2021.
In addition, both car and battery manufacturers have recently moved to “direct sourcing” critical EV raw materials and components from suppliers in North America and free-trade-agreement countries that helps make their supply chains more secure as well as managing cell costs, and sustaining jobs. One such investment in long term lithium supplies was the joint announcement of GM and Lithium Americas (T-LAC) to develop U.S.-sourced lithium production through a $650 Million Equity Investment and Supply Agreement on Jan31, 2023.
Now, Surge Battery Metals has found itself in the enviable position of being able to take advantage of this unprecedented global growth opportunity. As you likely know, significant discoveries at the exploration stage are notoriously difficult to come by and indeed a rare occurrence. We are the 100% owners of a remarkable new lithium discovery in northeastern Nevada; one that exhibits very high lithium values over an impressive area. This new find may rival the Thacker Pass deposit of Lithium Americas or that of American Lithium’s (TSX-V:LI) TLC project near Tonopah Nevada. A lot of work will be needed to solidify the importance and value of our discovery and we are looking forward to completing the necessary steps in the weeks, months, and years ahead. For more information on this project please click here.
Late last year, our maiden drill program at the Nevada North Project returned impressive lithium values over a strike length of approximately 1,600 meters (5,315 feet). Drill results confirmed that highly anomalous lithium values persist to depth in the silty clay unit that that appears to underlie the better soil values observed in samples collected in 2021 and earlier in the summer of 2022. I can confidently say the Company has identified significant potential for a lithium deposit.
Planning for Further Drilling
Subject to final approval of the Bureau of Land Management, the Company plans to conduct both step-out and infill drilling as Phase 2 of the maiden drill program initiated last fall. The first phase was designed to evaluate whether significant surface soil values continued to depth and to evaluate the results before continuing further into the program. It is anticipated that a further 7 holes may be completed in Phase 2. A budget of approximately $500,000 approved and requisitions for drill bids have gone out. The program will get underway as soon regulatory approvals are given and as weather permits.
Metallurgical and Baseline Environmental Studies
The Company is underway with baseline metallurgical evaluations on the composition of various clay samples recovered in the first phase of drilling. X-ray diffraction studies, together with the clays chemical properties will provide information on how lithium occurs with the clay minerals recovered in the drilling. Furthermore, mineralogical studies can determine the distribution of lithium throughout the clay that may assist in identifying the physical beneficiation techniques required, if any, to upgrade the lithium content.
In addition, the Company has issued several requests for proposals that include a maiden NI 43-101 report and initial environmental baseline studies. We plan to announce acceptance of these studies in the very near future.
2023 will be an active year for the Company as we focus our exploration efforts on the Nevada North Lithium Project. Our aim is to advance this important new discovery as quickly as possible and build the Project into a long-term robust asset benefiting all shareholders.