Jindalee Resources Limited’s (ASX:JRL) independently estimated exploration target highlights the potential for the McDermitt project to become one of the USA’s largest sediment-hosted lithium deposits.
The lower end of the exploration target range (ETR) is 160-780 million tonnes at 1300-1600 ppm lithium and this includes a high-grade ETR of 20-80 million tonnes at 2100-2600 ppm.
This high-grade target is within one discrete horizon and represents an ideal target for follow-up work.
Summary of exploration target ranges at various cut-off grades.
Jindalee has received the ETRs after four vertical diamond drill holes to an average depth of 90 metres were completed in September 2018.
This work was carried out to gain an understanding of the thickness and grade of lithium mineralisation recognised from previous surface sampling at McDermitt.
Location of the project showing the McDermitt caldera and Thacker Pass project.
Drilling confirmed the results from initial surface sampling with widespread lithium mineralisation in several zones within flat-lying, lithium-bearing sediments.
Broad-scale mapping of the project area has confirmed the flat-lying nature and identified the excellent exposure that allows individual marker beds to be traced over large distances, both on the ground during mapping and in aerial photography.
Jindalee said that estimation of an ETR in less than six months from the grant of the McDermitt claims was highly encouraging and the company would proceed with further work, including:
External consultants H & S Consultants Pty Ltd were able to correlate the individual sedimentary units between drill holes as the basis for estimation of an ETR.
Tonnages estimated for the ETRs were calculated using an average dry specific gravity (SG) figure of 1.5, based on volume and mass measurements on nine sections of core from the drill program.
The average SG used by Jindalee is lower than SG values used for other US sediment-hosted lithium deposits.
Location of the US sediment-hosted lithium projects.
The potential quantity and grade of the exploration target is conceptual in nature.
There has been insufficient exploration to estimate a mineral resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a resource.
Lithium in demand
Lithium is highly sought after for a range of industrial uses and in particular energy storage where it is a vital component of most popular battery electrolytes and electrodes.
A high charge and power to weight ratio makes lithium ideal for applications where weight is a significant consideration, such as in electric vehicles, mobile phones, hand tools, drones and robots.
Lithium is found in pegmatites, brines and sediments.
The lithium-bearing sediments at the McDermitt project have several positive characteristics including: