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Lithium Universe launches James Bay hunt

Updated: Apr 30

Lithium Universe completing fieldwork at Apollo in James Bay. Credit: File.

Lithium Universe is on the ground at its Apollo project in Canada’s James Bay, armed with a helicopter and a swag of targets generated by artificial intelligence (AI) – less than a month after re-listing on the ASX.

The company has generated the targets by using a combination of satellite imagery, geophysics and fieldwork and will test a regional faulted greenstone belt running through Apollo to Winsome Resources’ Adina lithium pegmatite project.

It has partnered with Canada-based Laurentia Exploration to complete the fieldwork and staff, who are commuting to work via helicopter, are housed at a camp about 73km from the Apollo project area.

Our Head of Geology, Justin Rivers, and CEO Alex Hanly effectively managed the establishment of partnership connections, including with companies like Laurentia, during the project’s due diligence phase. The initiation of the permitting process, strategically aligned with the relisting timeline, enabled the prompt mobilization of our exploration crew. Diligent foresight and anticipation played a pivotal role in achieving this rapid on-site exploration. We look forward to reporting our progress in the coming months. Lithium Universe chairman Iggy Tan.

The company is taking a multi-pronged approach to its exploration strategy at Apollo to answer the question of how it will feed the management and ground staff assemblage it has affectionately dubbed its “lithium dream team”.

It has also collaborated with KorrAI Technologies in Canada to apply AI to satellite imagery and spectral data to remotely and efficiently map geological features of interest such as outcrops, pegmatites, vein configurations and areas of mineralisation. The findings will be followed up by fieldwork.

Lithium Universe says it recently completed a 5596-line-kilometre high-resolution airborne magnetic survey over Apollo at a tight 50m line spacing to image structural trends within the tenement.

The company says the survey suggests the presence of an east-west-trending fault zone that is also visible on the lower-resolution regional dataset and extends eastward through 29km to the Adina deposit. It believes the structure may represent a greenstone belt and provide a control on spodumene mineralisation.

Testing of Adina has proven mineralisation through a strike length of more than 3km. It exits in an east-west orientation and remains open along strike. Assays have returned drill hits as high as 107m grading 1.34 per cent lithium oxide from just 2.3m depth for the company that has a market cap of about $255 million.

A northward-trending splay of the faulted greenstone belt is believed to be the same structure that hosts Patriot Battery Metals’ Corvette deposit, about 29km north-west of Apollo. Corvette is a global-scale lithium pegmatite discovery and holds an inferred resource of 109.2 million tonnes at 1.42 per cent lithium oxide and 160 parts per million tantalum oxide.

Drilling at Corvette, which is about 26 square kilometres smaller than Apollo, has returned some impressive hits including 156m at 2.12 per cent lithium oxide. Of note, Patriot has a market cap of about $1.4 billion.

To back up its magnetic survey Lithium Universe says it has acquired data from 260 sample points as part of a ground-based micro-gravity survey and plans to do the same at a further 1335 points in the future.

Management says it has already taken 674 soil samples from the north-west of Apollo and plans to take another 1500, targeting the east-west-trending faulted structure with a low magnetic signature that is believed to be a greenstone belt. The company says further 1100 soil samples will be taken at a wider spacing to cover more splays that shoot off to the north and south in the belt.

It says the spodumene at Patriot and Winsome’s respective deposits is “coarse spodumene” suitable for a simple processing flowsheet, involving crushing and dense heavy medium separation (DMS) to produce a saleable lithium oxide concentrate at about 5.5 per cent.

After data integration, the company says it now has clusters of targets ranked into high, medium and low priority groups ready for testing with the drillbit.

Lithium Universe’s share price was up as much as 10.2 per cent on Friday’s close this morning, with the market seemingly developing a keen interest in what Apollo may offer.

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