Portofino Resources (TSXV:POR) CEO David Tafel gives investors insight into what makes his company worthy of investor consideration and how the company is gaining a foothold in Argentina’s premiere lithium jurisdiction.
Portofino has acquired nearly 14,000 hectares of mining concessions, mainly in the Catamarca province of Argentina — a hotbed for lithium brine exploration, development and production.
Below is a video of our interview with Portofino Resources CEO David Tafel in which he discusses the company’s acquisition strategy and the value the company is building for shareholders. The video is followed by a transcript which has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Please provide our investor audience with an overview of Portofino and your properties in Argentina
Portofino Resources CEO David Tafel: Portofino Resources is headquartered in Vancouver, but we’re focused on lithium brine salars in Catamarca, Argentina. We’ve acquired four properties that are in various stages of acquisition at the moment, all in the center of the Lithium Triangle, the hottest area in the lithium space.
INN: How does Argentina rate as a mining district?
DT: Argentina, certainly over the last couple of years with the new change in government, has changed dramatically from the past previous dozen years. The country is open to foreign investment, particularly in agriculture and the mining space. For foreign investors like ourselves, It’s a very good environment. Considerable amounts of Canadian, Australian and Chinese funds are now coming into the country. We have a good history with Argentina from a Canadian investment perspective, and we’re focused on acquiring, exploring and developing Catamarca province lithium projects in particular.
INN: What has been Portofino’s strategy in advancing its lithium projects?
DT: We are still on acquisition mode, but our strategy is to find projects that are available at a reasonable cost in an area that is dominated by either producers or other advanced juniors, specifically in Catamarca province, but we possibly will do some acquisitions in the neighboring Salta province. It’s a closeology strategy, whether these are greenfields or slightly advanced. The idea is to pick up some projects that are in a developing area.
INN: How does Portofino compare to its peers in the lithium exploration space?
DT: From a peer comparison perspective, we are at a market cap of approximately $5 million today. Probably our next closest peer is $20 million to $25 million in market capitalization. We feel that we’re very undervalued. We have about 14,000 hectares under management that we have an 85- percent to 100-percent interest in, and we feel that our positioning and our projects and our market capitalization make it very favorable from an investment perspective. We see lots of upside from here.
INN: What is next for the Portofino properties?
DT: I’ve mentioned we are in various stages of acquisition with several properties right now. We have a number of mining agreements that we are looking to complete our definitive agreements on. We have opened negotiations and various discussions with a number of private concession holders in Catamarca in particular, and we anticipate acquisition with one or two more within the next quarter or so. Bear in mind that we are in various stages of negotiation with a number of these groups. Properties have become much more expensive as the projects around us have advanced and started to develop. We’re trying to be a low-cost — if not the lowest-cost — acquisitor, and we will acquire projects that fit our short-term financial needs and are within strategic areas within Argentina.
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