Skip Navigation Links

Bookmark and Share
Lomiko Metals Inc. (TSX.V: LMR): A Graphite and Lithium Exploration and Development Company in Quebec, Building a Major New Energy Platform in Canada; Belinda Labatte, CEO Interviewed

on 7/28/2022
We spoke with Belinda Labatte, who is CEO of Lomiko Metals Inc. (TSX.V: LMR), a graphite and lithium exploration and development Company in Quebec, on a mission to build a major new energy platform in Canada. Lomiko holds a 100% interest, in its La Loutre graphite development, in southern Quebec, located within the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg (KZA) First Nations territory, close to infrastructure, with great geological setting. The 2021 PEA, which indicated the project had a 15-year mine life, producing, per year, 100,000 tonnes of graphite concentrate at 95% Cg, or a total of 1.5Mt of graphite concentrate. Lomiko is also working with Critical Elements Lithium Corporation, towards earning its 70% stake in the Bourier Project, located near Nemaska Lithium and Critical Elements, south-east of the Eeyou Istchee, James Bay territory in Quebec.

Dr. Allen Alper: This is Dr. Allen Alper, Editor and Chief of Metals News, talking with Belinda Labatte, who is CEO of Lomiko Metals. Belinda, could you give our readers/investors, an overview of your Company and what differentiates your Company from others?

Belinda Labatte: Excellent! Great to speak with you and talk to you about Lomiko. We are a Company that believes that we have an abundance of critical mineral resources, in Quebec, Canada. We can develop a solution for an EV supply chain, right here in Quebec, in Canada for North Americans. So, we are taking a long-term view. For a junior exploration company, we have a full-time Management Team. We all come from revenue generating businesses, producing mining companies. So, our objective is to apply our combined expertise to lead our flagship development project to production. We have a graphite project, La Loutre, with 46 million tons of inferred resource and 23 million tons of indicated. We have embarked on a drill program to convert that inferred resource to Measured and Indicated, with the view of bringing that project into production in Quebec.

Secondly, it is our mission to be a responsible operator of choice. We want to be known as a Company that puts people first. And to that effect, we are only one of 17 ECOLOGO certified mining companies in Quebec. ECOLOGO is a transparent and independently verified ESG certification system, for exploration companies in Quebec. And then finally, we want to create wealth for, not only our shareholders, but for all our stakeholders and for our rights holders, who are the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in the area, where we are exploring for graphite.

We also have a lithium project, Bourie. I should mention that it is an early-stage greenfield project, but as we know, lithium is going to be extremely valuable, as a resource, as we move into developing a robust North American EV supply chain. So being early into a project like this is a great opportunity. And finally, we are developing a strategic stockpile, of high value graphite deposits, in Southern Quebec. And we have a regional exploration program for those on the way.

Dr. Allen Alper: That sounds fantastic. It sounds like, you are preparing yourself for wealth from the EV revolution that’s coming along.

Belinda Labatte: Absolutely! The EV revolution is really exciting because it has a timeframe attached to it. So, when we talk about what we all need to do in this space, we need to be doing this by 2030. And as you know, in this industry, the mining permitting timeline can be over 10 years. Our project, for example, has a 5-year permitting timeline. So, we really need investors and the general public to be on this journey, with us, to take control of our well-endowed resources here in North America and develop them responsibly. And we believe that Quebec is the best place to operate. The Quebec government wants to put 1.5 million EVs on the road by 2030, a much more ambitious goal than Canada, which is looking for all EV sales by 2035. So, we see an opportunity to provide the graphite, specifically, right into the Quebec market, if not the North American market.

Dr. Allen Alper: Wow! Sounds excellent! Seems like positioning the Company well, to be able to do that.

Belinda Labatte: Thank you.

Dr. Allen Alper: Could you tell our readers/ investors a little bit about yourself and your Team?

Belinda Labatte: Yes. I'm happy to tell you about our Team and our Board. We came together as a Team before we met Paul, who's my predecessor at Lomiko, and is now Chairman of the Board. The three of us – our COO Gordana Slepcev, our CFO Vince Osbourne and myself - were looking for the right opportunity to build a Company in Quebec. Graphite is going to be undersupplied, in a massive way, starting in 2026, 2027. So, we really like the opportunity to advance a project like this. We also are unusual in that we have a majority female Management Team, with a person of color, as our CFO. So, very diverse! And we have a majority female Board, including First Nations representation, from two individuals, who are working with us. And that to me sets up this Company for a healthy and sustainable long-term future in critical minerals. We want to bring our communities, our rights holders in on this. So, we need all the technical expertise we have, as well as the engagement work that goes along with developing a new supply chain in Quebec and in Canada.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that sounds excellent! Could you tell our readers/investors a little bit about your share and capital structure?

Belinda Labatte: We currently have, from our last financial statement, a cash position of $5.9 million, all the figures I'm referring to are in Canadian dollars. So, a good cash position! When we came in, we raised just over $3.5 million, split, almost evenly between hard dollars and flow through. And that makes us a great vehicle for investors, in Canada and in Quebec, to participate in a great exploration story like ours. We've allocated $3.5 million, for exploration, at our La Loutre graphite project. In terms of our capital structure, we have 277 million shares outstanding. About 6% or 7% of the shares are held by insiders. And we are on a mission to bring in long term shareholders and the Quebec funds for long term support.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that sounds excellent! Could you tell our readers/investors, the primary reasons they should consider investing in Lomiko Metals?

Belinda Labatte: Absolutely! I'm a shareholder of Lomiko. I started investing in it the moment that this opportunity came to be. What's exciting, for me is the need for natural flake graphite, the kind of deposit that we are in, and to put that into the North American system for battery manufacturing, I think there's a strong, solid industrial logic here that makes me excited about developing, not only our La Loutre project, but all the claims that we've now staked. We have over 14,000 hectares of mineral claims, in the Grenville province. So, I'm excited about that. Investing in Lomiko is investing in a Team that's here, and committed, full-time, to moving the project forward, through all stages of development. We have the expertise, and we have the champions around us, to take a project from a PEA level, through to the PFS and through the permitting stage and really creating a fantastic, responsibly sourced graphite story, in Quebec.

The other thing that's very interesting is the amount of velocity, the momentum we have in this space. Because battery manufacturers, if you take a look at the map of North America, you'll see that there's going to be a huge amount of graphite concentrate needed. So right now, in the market, you have about 1.4 million tons of graphite, produced in the last 10 years, year over year, market equilibrium. Now we're going to need that amount just to feed the anode market, let alone the refractory markets and the traditional markets for graphite. All of these gigawatts of capacity, that are coming in are creating an absolute need for a strategic stockpile of critical minerals, and companies like ours are starting early. It's just a great time to invest. There'll be no other time, in my opinion, that companies like ours will be trading at this level, because of the fact that we are driving forward a resource expansion, and drilling and doing the metallurgical work. So, it's a really good time for investors to become familiar, with our story and our Team, and then our opportunities in this space.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, Belinda, those sound like very compelling reasons for our readers and investors to consider investing in Lomiko Metals. You have a great Team, you have great resources, you are in a great location, a very supportive country, and it's very nice to hear that you are ESG compliant. That all sounds excellent!

Belinda Labatte: Thank you.

Dr. Allen Alper: Is there anything else you'd like to add Belinda?

Belinda Labatte: Well, I'd just like to remind readers and investors that when they're looking at graphite companies, you also want to look at what's the bigger story, in terms of the supply chain. Because you can find, for example, having come from precious metals, you will often be looking at the best deposits around the world because they have a price that's visible on the market and you can move that concentrate, for processing, anywhere. But that's not the case for graphite anymore.

Right now, it's 100% processed in China, for the anode battery. And now we're reimagining what that looks like, from a local perspective. So, it's different. It's not about finding the highest grade, best deposit, wherever it may be in the world. If what you're trying to do is secure value creation and premium pricing for a product like ours, we have a clean product in Quebec, because we're using hydroelectricity, which is renewable, we can be carbon neutral. The buyers of our product do not have to pay carbon taxes on shipping, because it's much closer to get from us than say, from China. So that's really the argument for looking at the locality of that graphite and how it's going to be produced, and whether they're going to be looking at ESG, in a very thoughtful and long-term manner. And I think we're that Company.

Dr. Allen Alper: Well, that's excellent! I’m very impressed, with what your new Team is doing. I have known Paul for a long time. I have written many articles about Lomiko. I am very impressed with the stage the Company is in, right now. You'll be able to take advantage of supplying electric vehicles and the growth that electric vehicles are seeing and will be seeing.

Belinda Labatte: Oh, thank you. I really appreciate that. Paul has let a Team like us do the work to take it to the next phase. And that's what we need to do. We need to get to the PFS (prefeasibility stage) and develop this project and bring our product out to the market, in a way that is responsibly sourced, and we have a climate success story.

Dr. Allen Alper: Oh, that sounds excellent! We’ll publish your press releases as they come out, so our readers/investors can follow your progress.

Belinda Labatte
CEO and Director, Lomiko Metals Inc.

For more information, please contact:
Kimberly Darlington

Disclaimer | Terms Of Use And Privacy Statement

© Metals News. All rights reserved.