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Drillbit spinning as Future Battery lithium resource looms

Updated: Apr 19

Future Battery Minerals has re-booted drilling in Nevada. Credit: File.

A maiden mineral resource estimate is emerging on Future Battery Minerals’ horizon for its Lone Mountain project in Nevada – some 300km from the Las Vegas gambling mecca – as the company sets sail on a new reverse-circulation (RC) drilling campaign.

The six-hole mission follows positive results from a recent three-hole diamond-core program that proved the lithium-bearing clays to be much thicker than anticipated. Management is now expecting assays from the diamond holes to be returned next month and says it on target to deliver the resource estimate, being completed by Stantec Consulting, in next year’s first quarter.

Future Battery says the upcoming RC program will test the continuity of the thick clay interval within the Siebert Formation to the south, where it progressively becomes shallower and eventually outcrops. Notably, the diamond holes did not intercept the base of the clay, leaving mineralisation open at depth.

Previous RC holes in the clay, which were twinned by the diamond holes, assayed for lithium at 179.8m at 766 parts per million from 39.6m including a 19.8m-thick section going 1010ppm lithium from 80.8m, 170.7m at 764ppm from 67.1m to end-of-hole including 27.4m grading 1030ppm from 112.8m, 44.2m at 542ppm from 114.3m and 22.9m at 652ppm from 163.1m.

The company says assays from the diamond holes may demonstrate a grade increase when compared to the RC holes, due to improved sample quality.

We believe this deposit progressively shallows as it moves south and the planned RC holes are targeting this potential strike extension. They are also designed to test for higher-grade zones (+1,000 ppm Li) within this shallow claystone. Future Battery Minerals technical director Robin Cox.

The Nevada project comprises five key prospects – Traction, San Antone, Heller, Lone Mountain and Western Flats – covering more than 90 square kilometres of ground considered highly-prospective for large sedimentary-hosted lithium deposits.

Traction and San Antone West and North remain untested and are located within the same geological setting hosting the Lone Mountain lithium mineralisation. The company says it plans to schedule exploration of regional prospects for the second half of next year.

The Siebert Formation, which hosts the lithium mineralisation at Lone Mountain, also holds the silvery-white metal at American Lithium’s neighbouring TLC deposit and American Battery Technology Corporation’s Tonopah Flats lithium project.

The TLC deposit hosts a measured resource of 4.2 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), an indicated resource of 4.63 million tonnes of LCE and inferred resource of 1.86 million tonnes of LCE.

Tonopah Flats is simply massive – one of the biggest-known inferred lithium claystone resource deposits in the United States, with 15.8 million tonnes of LCE sitting in the inferred category.

The Nevada area has a lot going for it, including a local and federal government supportive of mining and access to ports on the US west coast via sealed roads. The historic mining town of Tonopah, close to Future Battery’s operations, provides access to infrastructure including electricity, water and skilled labor.

Investors gave the company’s share price more than a 5 per cent boost today on the back of its latest news, pushing the stock up to touch 7.4 cents as its RC drilling program gains momentum ahead of the return of the diamond-core assays.

Good numbers there are likely to make the 300km to Vegas seem like a short drive for a party.

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