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Future Battery eyes maiden resource after lithium hits

Updated: Apr 19

Future Battery Minerals drilling in Nevada. Credit: File

Lithium assays from the latest three diamond drill holes at Future Battery Minerals’ 80 per cent owned Nevada lithium project confirm the extension of high-grade mineralisation at depth as a resource estimate looms at the project.

All three of the holes drilled at the Lone Mountain prospect hit clay hosted lithium paydirt. The best results were 226m at 855 parts per million (ppm) from 140m, including a 66m section grading 1001ppm from 216m and 148m at 795ppm from 152m including 60m at 918ppm from 191m.

Other significant results were 180m at 818ppm lithium from 40m, including 51m at 915ppm from 53m and a 23m thick high-grade interval going 1081ppm from 182m.

The company says the results show a grade uplift of up to 14 per cent when compared to existing reverse-circulation holes which the diamond holes twinned. Notably, they suggest mineralisation continues 37m further downhole than anticipated.

Significantly, two of the diamond holes ended in mineralisation which means the base of the lithium enriched zone remains open at depth, leaving plenty of potential for follow-up drilling.

The company says it is buoyed by the latest set of results which will be used to support a maiden mineral resource estimate for the Nevada Lithium Project, expected to be delivered this quarter.

These DD drill results successfully confirm a significant extension to the depth of mineralisation past that encountered in our previous RC program. Encouragingly, the DD assays also returned positive grade variability compared to the previous assays from RC samples – driven directly by improved sample quality. With drilling to date at Lone Mountain yet to intercept bedrock, there is now compelling evidence that the host Siebert Formation’s lithium mineralisation is thicker, more continuous and higher grade than previously indicated. Future Battery Minerals technical director Robin Cox.

The company’s Nevada lithium project is made up of 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 clay hosted lithium deposits.

Traction and San Antone remain untested by the drill-bit and are located within the same geological setting as the Lone Mountain prospect which has now proven its worth with thick, high-grade lithium rich clay intervals.

Future Battery Minerals says it is planning a regional exploration drilling programme in the second half of this year to mature its understanding of just how much lithium the satellite prospects may hold.

The Siebert Formation, which hosts the lithium mineralisation at Lone Mountain, also hosts the silvery-white metal in adjacent tenements at American Lithium’s 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 an inferred resource of 1.86 million tonnes of LCE.

Tonopah Flats is massive and boasts one of the biggest-known inferred lithium claystone resource deposits in the United States ‑ with 15.8 million tonnes of LCE contained in the inferred category.

The Nevada project area is also home to North America’s only producing lithium mine about 45kms away from Future Battery Mineral’s ground at Albemarle Corporation’s Silver Peak mine which has been pumping out the now in-demand battery metal since the 60’s.

On the downstream front, Nevada hosts the lithium hungry Tesla Gigafactory about 200km north-west of Future Battery Minerals prospects.

The latest set of diamond core assays from Lone Mountain are encouraging to say the least and prove the Seibert Formation is thicker than previously modelled and has the potential to be continuous up-dip to the south of the diamond holes.

That up-dip extension is exactly where the company put down six reverse-circulation holes for 1177m in December last year. Management says all six holes successfully hit the Seibert formation and assays are pending.

Lithium-focused ASX punters jumped on the Future Battery Minerals buy side this morning, giving the company’s share price a boost to hit 6.9 cents mid-morning, an increase of just over 11 per cent from the 6.2 cent opening price.

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