The White Oil Tour
In the past week, I’ve made a big move I wanted to write about, which I believe is a smart move that will benefit Alset Energy (ION.V) where I’m the CEO and the Allan Barry Reports.
In early January, I made a trip with Gennen McDowall, Chairman of Alset Energy down to Zacatecas, Mexico with a couple goals. We wanted to meet with our partners that brought us our lithium salars in Mexico and visit some of the salars.
Four of our key salars (salt lakes) are fairly close to each other, so we went to all of them in one day. A couple of things stood out to me, they are big, and there are roads and power going right up to them.
It was pretty shocking for me to drive and see the deposits I’m looking for as we drive up to them on a road with power lines right beside them. This is a stark contrast to what I’ve been involved in throughout my career.
In my experience in the mining business, I’ve usually seen projects in remote places that they need to fly everything into and run things on diesel power. This is costly and one of the reasons that the mining business can be so challenging.
At the first salar we stopped at, I was walking around the location where there had been historical production. I was looking back where I had walked and it was an incredible seen to me, to see our truck beside the deposit and a road, and in this case the power came right onto our project.
Gennen is a very good photographer and he took a bunch of pictures and I mentioned to him tomake sure to take a picture that includes those power lines, he said he already did. Gennen has nearly twice as many decades in the mining business as me and I could see how impressed he was with the roads and power right to the salar.
It was no different at all the salars we visited, we drove up to them on paved roads with power beside them.
Not long before we went for the visit to Zacatecas, we had reported the chemical compositions of 3 of the salars we had tested. They all came back with high-grades of lithium and potassium. So I went there confident with the knowledge that we had a project with strong chemistry, and then was blown away to see them and the infrastructure all around them.
While there, I had the chance to meet with Gilberto Zapata, a local entrepreneur with an MBA who is also studying to be a lawyer and Senor Parga, a well-known geologist with decades of experience.
They are the guys that brought us the projects and are crucial in helping us to move things forward. They took us around Zacatecas to meet with government people involved in mining.
This was also a real eyeopener, both Gilberto and Senor Parga are well-known by all the key people, we met with them and I felt a real strong desire by the government representatives to help us move things forward.
It is these kinds of relationships that are crucial for a foreign company like Alset Energy to operate in another country.
After our daily activities, Gennen and I spent dinner and evenings together going over the day. It was in these meetings that I told him that the company would be better served if I lived in Zacatecas.
I told him about the time that I interviewed Andre Gaumond of Virginia Gold fame and asked him why he always stayed in the James Bay lowlands of Quebec. He said, it is a mineral rich area, in a mining friendly jurisdiction and he could spend his entire career there. I said to Gennen that I think I found my James Bay lowlands and it is in Zacatecas, Mexico.
It was during those evening meetings that I decided that I would move to Zacatecas. My reasoning was that it is a unique opportunity in Zacatecas. It is a region that has a large portion of its economy still focused on mining, it was built because of the rich silver mines several hundred years ago. In fact, some of our salars were in historical production as the silver miners needed the salt for their operations.
Additional arguments included that the legal and paperwork could be done much faster if I was here and cost less. But the biggest reason is that I think we have a very good chance of finding and building lithium mines, and that is why I wanted to make the move to setting up an office in Zacatecas and make it my home as well.
I’ve lived all my life in the lower mainland near Vancouver, my friends and family live there and my son as well. I knew leaving would mean that I would be far away from my son, and I wouldn’t see him every day.
He is 22-years old now, and I’ve always tried to show him that it is important to have goals and dreams and work toward them and that will open doors of opportunity. Even though I knew I would miss him, I also felt that at his age it was a great thing for him to see me chase my dreams.
So last week, I packed up my car with my warm weather clothes, golf clubs, computer and my dog, and off we drove from my home in Langley, BC, to my new home in Zacatecas.
I kind of felt a little like old Jed Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies when he packed up the truck and moved to Beverly Hills. I was telling my friends that it was The White Oil Tour.
Jed found bubbling crude when out shooting for some food, and I found my mineral rich, mining-friendly place to spend a good chunk of the rest of my career working in when I visited Zacatecas.
Now that I’m down here, and have myself set up in a new casa, that is big enough for an office as well, I expect to be back to cranking out content again. Stay tuned.
That’s all for now.
Allan Barry Laboucan
Alset Energy (ION.V)
Allan Barry Reports
P.S. my reports are for information purposes only, before making any investment decisions it is important to do your homework and speak with your financial advisers.