With the green revolution gaining momentum in response to climate change, the spotlight falls on two metals that will be critical to the trend’s success: lithium and silver.
Lithium, a crucial component of electric vehicle (EV) batteries, has been designated as a critical mineral by the Biden administration. The administration's focus, driven by the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, is to establish the battery supply chain either within the U.S. or with friendly trading partners supporting green energy initiatives.
Silver, too, has its place in the green revolution as a key input into solar power, which is the fastest growing segment of installed power globally right now, and as the best conductor of electricity, EVs are consuming a growing share of the metal.
It’s the perfect set-up for Blackrock Silver Corp. (TSXV: BRC | OTC: BKRRF | FSE: AHZ0), a junior mining company with three projects in Nevada, with two growing high-grade silver-gold discoveries in addition to an emerging lithium discovery that is quickly being advanced.
Regarding the company’s Tonopah West project, Andrew Pollard, President & CEO of Blackrock Silver comments, “as one of the highest-grade undeveloped silver projects globally, located in Nevada, the world’s premier mining jurisdiction, our story gained a very interesting new dynamic following our recent Tonopah North lithium discovery right next door. Blackrock now holds the keys to what could become a silver-gold-lithium complex, potentially serving as a crucial component in the domestic green metals supply chain.”
Multi-metal potential in the heart of Nevada
The Tonopah West project anchors their portfolio of highly prospective metals projects, where they are showing new life for what is one of America’s great historic mining camps.
Located on the western half of a silver district that was the state’s second most productive (along with the Comstock, it is the reason why Nevada is known as the “Silver State”), Tonopah West has seen Blackrock Silver outline a 43-million-ounce silver equivalent resource on the property that represented just their first 18 months worth of drilling with the project. Subsequent drilling has since established clear upside for resource expansion.
That resource cements the project as one of the highest-grade undeveloped silver projects in the world and is a key reason why silver miner First Majestic Silver came on board as a strategic investor in Blackrock within a year of their first drillhole. It’s also why Blackrock was recently included in SIL, the world’s largest silver stock index upon delivery of their maiden resource estimate last year.
Tonopah West’s location near the town of Tonopah is transected by U.S. Highway 95, making the project an easy drive away from a workforce and supplies. What’s more, Nevada was recently ranked as the number 1 mining jurisdiction in the world by the Fraser Institute.
Of Tonopah West’s location, Pollard notes that Tonopah West is uniquely situated: “It’s a potential huge cost savings when it comes to developing the project. We don’t have to build roads, camps, or move powerlines, and as our resource is entirely on private land, permitting should be seamless. You can’t put a price on the peace of mind one has operating in Nevada, though I think you’ll start to see a price, in the form of a premium valuation compared to our peers as we advance and de-risk the project.”
The location is made that much more valuable by the fact that Blackrock’s Tonopah North lithium project lies just to the north. It reflects the Tonopah district’s somewhat rare distinction of being host to both a major silver district and what is emerging to be a globally significant lithium belt.
The area is host to some of the largest lithium deposits in North America and Tonopah North, which Blackrock, who teamed up with Tearlach Resources on an up to USD $15 million earn-in on the project, has recently been generating significant lithium values in drilling, with plans for an initial resource estimate to be completed later this year.
Blackrock could control a domestic green metals supply chain at a time when the U.S. is incentivizing U.S. and U.S.-friendly sources of green metals.
“Blackrock should have a pretty big target on its back, not just from the large gold and silver producers wanting high-grade resources that can grow, or the other emerging lithium developers in close proximity eyeing our private land position and multi-commodity discoveries, but for electric car manufacturers or those wanting control of their own domestic supply chains of both silver and lithium right off the interstate in the heart of Nevada,” says Pollard.
Blackrock Silver’s competitive edge: Strategic location and emerging discoveries in the green metals supply chain
Such deals are already taking place in Nevada, with General Motors recently announcing plans to spend $650 million to take a stake in Lithium Americas.
GM’s Thacker Pass project is also in Nevada and could produce 40,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate a year in the early years of production. The deal calls for Lithium Americas to sell all that lithium to the company over the next 10 years.
The Tonopah North lithium target is headed towards an initial resource estimate, and synergies with other nearby lithium projects in Nevada are possible.
Add in the exploration upside of Blackrock’s recent Silver Cloud discovery (also in Nevada) and you have an investment story with a lot of momentum behind it, with three projects, tied to three commodities, at three different stages of discovery.
Late last year, drilling at Silver Cloud yielded a remarkable bonanza-grade discovery, with an intersection of 70 g/t gold and 606 g/t silver over 1.5m, the highest-grade intercept ever for the company. Situated on trend of Nevada's renowned Midas and Hollister gold mines, Pollard is excited to resume drilling within weeks to walk this new high-grade gold and silver discovery forward.
New bonanza-grade discoveries are rare in general, let alone right next door to the world’s largest gold mining complex, in between two of Nevada’s highest-grade historic gold mines, and if Blackrock can confirm their discovery and intercept similar grades, things could have the potential to get very interesting, very fast.
Between imminent drilling at Silver Cloud and the ongoing activity by Tearlach at Tonopah North, Blackrock Silver’s share price won’t lack for catalysts in the very short-term.
In addition, Blackrock is currently in the planning stages for resource expansion drilling Tonopah West project to finish out the year.
The convergence of these elements sets the stage for a company with immense potential to skyrocket in value, riding the wave of the advancing green revolution.
Learn more about Blackrock Silver Corp. on its website as well as: