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Future Battery Minerals gets drill rods spinning at US lithium play

Updated: Apr 19

Future Battery Minerals’ diamond drill rig at its Lone Mountain prospect. Credit: File

Following a triumphant fundraising mission that attracted Hancock Prospecting as a notable investor, Future Battery Minerals has wasted no time in getting the drill rods spinning at its Lone Mountain prospect in Nevada.

The company has today confirmed that a diamond rig is operational and RC drilling is expected to start early next month. The resource definition drilling program at the United States site consists of up to 20 widely-spaced RC and diamond drillholes designed to decipher the geology more accurately and recover samples for further analysis.

Samples from the program will be compared for any potential grade discrepancies between sampling techniques. All claystone intercepts will be sampled and sent for assay, with results expected in six to eight weeks after drilling is complete.

The drilling forms part of a bigger campaign designed to test the Lone Mountain lithium-bearing claystones that have been mapped in an area of about 3km-by-1.3km. The mineralised area appears to remain open for an additional whopping 2km to the south, implying a potentially vast scale to the lithium mineralisation.

FBM is excited to be back drilling again at Nevada, where previous programs at Lone Mountain successfully discovered a significant scale of lithium claystone highlighted by the current mineralised east-west strike of 3K and north south strike of 1.3km, which still remains open to the south for a further 2km. The Company is now on track towards establishing a Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at the NLP, and the current drilling program is the crucial next step in achieving this milestone. This has the potential to add significant value to the project and for our shareholders, in addition to the ongoing drilling at the Kangaroo Hills Lithium Project (KFLP). Future Battery Minerals technical director Robin Cox

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

Future Battery acquired an 80 per cent stake in the Nevada lithium project in June last year. The region is home to several large sedimentary-hosted lithium deposits including Ioneer Resources’ Rhyolite Ridge and American Lithium Corporation’s TLC lithium project.

Significantly, Albemarle Corporation’s Silver Peak lithium mine, currently the only producing lithium mine in North America, lies about 45km to the west of the Lone Mountain project.

Despite sharing the same mineralisation style with those renowned lithium deposits, there has been limited exploration specifically targeting lithium within Future Battery’s project area until recently. But the company says it is now pressing ahead with its exploration with the objective of delivering a maiden mineral resource estimate early next year.

Previous drilling in March this year at Lone Mountain intercepted some stunning intervals, including 179.8m at 766 parts per million lithium from 39.6m, with 19.8m at a spectacular 1011pm from 80.8m. Results in excess of 1 per cent lithium were also seen in more than 20 intervals of 1m in two other holes.

Moreover, Future Battery says the lithium claystone intercepts are of a similar grade and thickness to those reported by American Lithium and American Battery Technology. Lithium claystone was also intercepted in one drillhole at the San Antone East prospect, highlighting the potential for further mineralisation at that site.

The Nevada lithium project sits conveniently nearby the mining hub of Tonopah and benefits from its strategic location near the Tesla Gigafactory, in addition to having access to US ports along the West Coast. The proximity also offers a clear downstream processing path for any significant lithium mineralisation that is encountered.

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