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Lithium exploration insights: Chariot Corporation’s US projects & Black Mountain drill progress

Peter Milios: Hi, I’m Peter Milios from the Finance News Network, and today we’re talking with Chariot Corporation. Chariot Corporation is dedicated to seizing early opportunities in the global lithium industry, with a current focus on projects in the United States to boost domestic lithium supply for US battery manufacturers. We have with us CEO and founder, Shanthar Pathmanathan, and joining us via Zoom, geological consultant, Dr Edward Max Baker. Welcome, gentlemen.

Shanthar Pathmanathan: Thanks Peter. Thanks for having me on this presentation.

Dr Edward Max Baker: Thanks, Peter. Hi, Shanthar.

Peter Milios: First up, Shanthar, for new investors, could you provide a quick overview of the company?

Shanthar Pathmanathan: Just listed on the ASX. Twelve assets. We’re in Wyoming, we’re in Nevada and Oregon. Wyoming for hard rock lithium. Our flagship project is the Black Mountain Lithium Project. It’s got crystals of lithium sticking out at the top of a mountain. We’ve got control of the entire mountain. We’ll be drilling that first. Shorter term, we’re going to focus on hard rock lithium. Longer term, we’ll focus on clay stone hosted lithium, because we see some serious scale potential there in line with the sector growing at scale over time.

Peter Milios: Thank you, Shanthar. You listed several weeks ago on 27 October, raising $9 million. How’s it all been so far?

Shanthar Pathmanathan: Raised total of $23.8 million to date. $9 million of that came through the public market. The balance of the funds were raised to build a portfolio. We’ve got the largest landholding in the United States for lithium exploration. We are now positioned as one of two companies on the ASX with US hard rock lithium assets. We have the opportunity in front of us, the US is about 10 years behind Australia. Western Australia got off to a great start supplying China. The US has its own story, and we are very well-positioned there in terms of the assets and the team, more specifically. We’ve got one of the best exploration teams in the United States of America.

Peter Milios: Shanthar, can you paint some colour around your 12 lithium projects across Nevada, Oregon, and Wyoming?

Shanthar Pathmanathan: Peter, these assets are the handy work of our top geologists. So that starts with Dr Edward Max Baker, who’s leading our activities in the United States. Dr Edward Max Baker was previously chief geologist at Newcrest, the largest gold miner on the planet. He was also previously chief geologist at Mount Isa Mines, which is owned by Glencore now. They’re about to develop a gold project in Idaho under a company called Integra Resources, which he was co-founder of. So, Dr Edward Max Baker, Mr Neil Stewart, who’s on our board, previous founding chairman of Orocobre, which is now Allkem.

We’ve got a bifurcated portfolio. Hard rock lithium in Wyoming. Wyoming is one of the best states for developing a lithium asset, got 700 Pegmatites. We have captured all of that through our work. We’ve done two deals with two vendors and staked a lot of that ground ourselves. We’ve got seven projects in Wyoming for hard rock lithium, very similar geology to what you find in Western Australia and what runs into South Dakota across the border as well.

In Nevada, we are focused on clay stone hosted lithium. The geology there is ripe for clay stone hosted lithium mineralisation. The resurgent project, which borders the lithium America’s Thacker Pass, property inside the McDermott Caldera. We’ve got the second largest land position inside the McDermott Caldera, which is the largest and highest grade clay stone hosted endowment, lithium endowment, on the planet. I liken that to the Saudi Arabia of lithium, sitting in the middle of the United States.

Ideally positioned in two jurisdictions. We’ve also sold some assets. Some of these assets on the Nevada side are now operated by other public companies, and we benefit from future cashflow and payments from those public companies, in respect of those assets as well as royalties. About three assets in Nevada are currently being operated by our partners at those assets. Overall, very well positioned in terms of the US lithium story, Peter.

Peter Milios: Turning to you now, Dr Baker. Can you provide some more detail on the drilling program?

Dr Edward Max Baker: We have roughly about 20 holes to drill for about a 4,000 metre program. It’s the first phase of drilling at Black Mountain where we have a roughly 800 metre by 100-150 metre wide zone pegmatite dike swarm. Individual dikes are up to 20, 30 metres wide. At surface, it looks like they may be getting thicker at depth, based on geophysics, or magnetics, we’ve been doing. And this initial program will be to test the viability of the program, which based on rock chip samples obviously is going to be pretty exciting. We have up to 6% lithium on surface samples, and so this will define the limits, well, define the core of the deposit and get us ready for a resource drill-out next year. We’ll start in the central area where we’re drilling now and drill-out from there, and that’ll be a much larger program, probably starting towards the middle of the year.

Peter Milios: And why is Black Mountain such an exciting project?

Dr Edward Max Baker: Black Mountain was our first project we acquired in Wyoming, and it had outcropping pegmatites with spodumene crystals up to half a metre long in them. You can see that from the rock chips we’ve released, and so that was the obvious place to start. We have four or five other equally exciting projects, but they’re not as advanced as Black Mountain. And over the next year or two, we’ll progressively drill through those as well. Hopefully next year, we’ll drill Copper Mountain.

Peter MIlios: And lastly, Dr Baker, what key milestones can we look forward to over the next six months?

Dr Edward Max Baker: I hope to get the first assays back towards the end of the year, hopefully before Christmas, and results should be flowing in through ’til February/March from this program this year. At the end of that, we’ll model up the resources, well, it won’t be a resource. We’ll model up the mineralisation as it is and come up with our resource drill-out plan for next year. And as soon as winter’s over, say April/May next year, we’ll start exploration on Copper Mountain and South Pass as well and start moving those towards drill programs. We also have clay stone resources in Nevada and Oregon, and next year we’ll start exploring those as well hopefully. Potentially, they could be very large, those deposits.

Peter Milios: Gentlemen, thank you for your time.

Shanthar Pathmanathan: Thank you, Peter.

Dr Edward Max Baker: Thank you, Peter. Bye for now.


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