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100’s of pegmatites across 7 projects for newly listed Chariot Corporation

Former heavyweights from Macquarie NY have founded Chariot Corporation listing today on the ASX. Credit: File

Perth-based Chariot Corporation will hit the boards at the ASX today with its foot on pretty much every potential lithium-bearing pegmatite in the US state of Wyoming and a clay-based lithium play in Nevada. With some pulse-quickening lithium rock chip grades already in the bag, the lithium-bearing pegmatites in Wyoming look like they are begging to see a drill bit.

The company says it has the largest exposure to United States lithium of any Australian-listed company with 10 projects in the country including seven in the state of Wyoming.

Management says Wyoming provides a clear pathway to development and production with a history and current regulatory environment that is amongst the most favourable of the US states.

The company’s flagship operation in Wyoming is its Black Mountain hard-rock lithium project with extensive pegmatite outcrops where recent sampling returned a peak result of 6.68 per cent lithium oxide. Eight of the samples returned assays of more than 4 per cent lithium oxide while the average assay across all 22 samples collected from the outcropping pegmatites came in at 2.16 per cent lithium oxide. Additional highlights include samples grading 5.24 per cent and 5.19 per cent lithium oxide.

The spodumene crystals found at Black Mountain, which make up 10 per cent of the pegmatite, are greenish-grey to pale lavender in colour and have been recorded up to a metre long by 15cm wide.

Chariot says the mineralised outcrops are yet to be drill tested and the company already has approvals in place for a 4900m diamond drill campaign which is expected to kick off within weeks. The preliminary program will be followed up with a more comprehensive round of resource definition drilling next year.

Additional ongoing exploration includes a grid-based soil sampling campaign to check for extensions of the exposed mineralisation in the surrounding areas with detailed geological mapping and rock-chip sampling to understand the mineral zoning of the pegmatites.

Sitting about 80km north-west of Black Mountain is Chariot’s Copper Mountain hard-rock lithium project which has a long history of prospecting and artisanal-scale production having been historically mined for mica, feldspar, beryl, lepidolite and tantalite. The company has already identified multiple pegmatite target areas at the operation and has plans for a geochemical and ground magnetics survey in addition to geological mapping before the end of the year.

To the east of Black Mountain sits Chariot’s South Pass project which is a large and highly prospective project with an abundance of outcropping pegmatites that occur in swarms. Notably, the company says individual pegmatites typically range from a few centimetres in width and length to several hundred metres wide and even an extraordinary several thousand metres long. There has been no prior exploration for hard rock lithium in the South Pass project area. Management has also identified the Tin Cup, Jeffery City, Pathfinder and Barlow Gap projects that are clustered around Black Mountain with each site also hosting known pegmatites.

Remarkably Chariot says it is sitting on around 700 outcropping pegmatites across its 7 Wyoming projects and that it has locked up pretty much the entire Wyoming pegmatite district with a series of clever and well-timed land acquisitions.

We have aggregated a leading claim position for hard rock lithium in Wyoming and in the USA with highly encouraging initial assay results. Wyoming provides a clear pathway to development and production with a history and current regulatory environment that is among the most favourable compared against other U.S. states. We hold the dominant land position for hard rock lithium in the state of Wyoming through our seven hard rock lithium projects. Chariot Corporation managing director Shanthar Pathmanathan

However, Chariot is not just looking for hard-rock lithium in the US and is also part of the rush to pick up viable claystone-based lithium resources that are somewhat cheaper to mine and able to maintain much lower grades. Chariot’s clay-based lithium project known as Resurgent straddles the US states of Nevada and Oregon and already boasts some respectable clay grades from sampling.

Resurgent sits within the McDermitt Caldera which also hosts two of the largest lithium resources discovered in the USA. The operation has been split into two project areas with Resurgent North in Oregon and Resurgent East in Nevada.

Management says the McDermitt Caldera formed as a result of an eruption of an estimated 1000 cubed-kilometres of ash which was deposited as the McDermitt tuff causing the collapse of the underlying magma chamber. An elongated egg-shaped caldera was formed measuring approximately 40km by about 30km.

Resurgent North is next to Jindalee Resources’ McDermitt project with a mineral resource of 21.5 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent at 1000ppm lithium, while Resurgent East hosts the same sediment as Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass deposit which has a mineral resource of 19.1 million tonnes lithium carbonate equivalent at 1334ppm lithium.

A surface sampling campaign at Resurgent North in 2021 returned four assays above 3000ppm lithium including a peak sample at an impressive 3865ppm lithium. A total of 20 samples returned values greater than 1000ppm lithium with 10 samples above 2000ppm lithium.

The company is planning a soil sampling campaign at Resurgent North in addition to ongoing mapping with plans for a drill campaign once approval is received from the state of Oregon. Aerial mapping is planned for Resurgent East followed by a soil and rock-chip sampling program.

Chariot’s board is also notable and consists of three former Macquarie USA heavyweights and also includes non-executive director Neil Stuart who is considered something of a legend in the lithium mining industry after being the founding chairman of Orocobre, now Allkem, following its mega-merger with Galaxy Resources.

Managing director Shanthar Pathmanathan, executive director Frederick Forni and non-executive chairman Murray Bleach all bring experience in capital markets, with all three previously holding roles with the revered Macquarie Group. Bleach was the CEO of Macquarie’s North American business and CEO and Pathmanathan was also the former MD of Lithium Consolidated Ltd, which had one of the largest portfolios of hard rock lithium exploration assets globally.

This experience appears to have paid off too with the company raising $14.9 million privately, ahead of its 45c IPO to get its foot on all the ground.

Management says the privately raised capital was used to secure the largest land bank for lithium exploration in the US while the $9 million will be used to fund early exploration of Black Mountain including its upcoming drill campaign.

Chariot believes the USA is about a decade behind Western Australia in terms of its hard rock lithium sector and it says the first two large-scale lithium mines in the US are only being built now. One of those mines is the Thacker Pass mine owned by Lithium Americas which neighbours Chariot’s Resurgent project.

The company’s timing of its listing could not be better after Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese this week attended the inaugural meeting of the Australia-United States Taskforce on Critical Minerals which includes lithium.

With a board stacked with investment and lithium mining experience, a diverse portfolio of both clay-hosted and hard-rock lithium projects and a suite of impressive samples to follow up on, Chariot will hit the ground running after its debut on the ASX today and its first drill results will no doubt be highly anticipated.

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