Jindalee Resources Limited (ASX:JRL) has just announced an exploration target for its McDermitt Sedimentary Lithium Project, located in Oregon, USA.
The exploration target range depending on the cut off grade, tonnage range and grade range, so the range in size of the exploration target, in terms of contained lithium carbonate equivalent, is huge (Figure 1). In this article we take a detailed look at just how large or how small the McDermitt project could be.
Figure 1: the Exploration target range for McDermitt
Source: Metals and Mining Research Corporation and Jindalee Resources
First let’s take a look at the exploration target using the lowest cut-off grade (COG), 1,000ppm Li.
At this COG, the exploration target for McDermitt is a low (0.64% Li2CO3) to mid-grade (0.85% Li2CO3) sedimentary lithium deposit, comparable in grade terms to Ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge or Noraman Ventures’ Zeus Project.
In terms of tonnage, the exploration target is huge, at 2,200mt it would be larger than Cypress Development Corp’s Clayton Valley, which is currently the largest sedimentary lithium deposit by tonnage. At 4,000mt it would be over double the size of Clayton Valley, a monster of a deposit.
Based on these two variables we are able to calculate the range in contained Li2CO3 for the exploration target at this COG. The target would range from 14.1mt to 34.1mt contained Li2CO3. At 14.1mt the deposit would be 55% larger than the biggest sedimentary lithium deposit by contained Li2CO3, Clayton Valley. At 34.1mt contained Li2CO3 it would be 275% larger than the biggest sedimentary lithium deposit. At 34.1mt, it is even larger than SQM’s Atacama lithium brine project, which is the world second largest lithium deposit.
At a COG of 1,500ppm Li, the exploration target is a mid (0.85% Li2CO3) to high-grade (1.06% Li2CO3) sedimentary lithium deposit. At the higher end of the grade range the exploration target is higher-grade than Bacanora’s Sonora deposit.
In terms of tonnage, the exploration target would range from 700mt, larger than Sonora, to 1,100mt, 97% larger than Sonora but smaller than Clayton Valley.
The contained Li2CO3 for the exploration target at this COG would range from 6mt to 11.7mt. At 6mt the exploration target would be larger than Plateau Energy Metals’ Falchani deposit but smaller than Lithium Americas Corp’s, Thacker Pass, which is the third largest sedimentary lithium deposit by contained Li2CO3.
At a COG of 2,000ppm Li, the exploration target ranges from 1.06% Li2CO3 to 1.28% Li2CO3, which would make the target a high-grade sedimentary lithium deposit.
In terms of tonnage, the exploration target ranges from 140mt to 180mt, which would be a mid-size tonnage, comparable to the Zeus deposit.
The contained Li2CO3 for the exploration target at a COG of 2,000ppm Li, ranges from 1.5mt to 2.5mt, which would be a mid-scale sedimentary lithium deposit.
That’s a wide range
As we have seen from looking at the McDermitt exploration target in detail and comparing to other sedimentary lithium deposits, the potential scale of the deposit varies significantly but it has the potential to be gigantic.
Jindalee still has some way to go to prove up this exploration target range into a JORC 2012 compliant mineral resource estimate, but the project clearly has great potential.