|Value Proposition||Acquire early partial ownership of, and contribute to the economic development of, lithium-enriched sediments within one of the world’s best known locations of lithium enrichment.|
|Property||888 placer claims that cover an area of 7,178 hectares.|
|Location||Within Nevada’s Clayton Valley, approximately halfway between Las Vegas and Reno, and within two kilometers of Albemarle Corporation’s lithium brine operations (Figures 1 and 2).|
|Target Summary||Lithium in lithium rich sediments (Figures 3 and 4) that occur at surface over a wide area on the property.|
|Ownership||Currently earning from Noram Ventures Inc. a 25% interest in the property, with a right to earn another 25%.|
Alba Provides Update on N.I. 43-101 Technical Report on its Clayton Valley Lithium Project
Inferred Mineral Resource of approximately 17 million metric tonnes at a grade of about 1,060 ppm Li, which equates to 96,476 Lithium Carbonate Equivalent ("LCE").
Alba is pleased to provide a synopsis of its previously disclosed N.I. 43-101 report and its news release on (August 16th 2017). The Technical Report includes a detailed review of the exploration work completed to date, an inferred resource estimate, interpretations and conclusions, and recommendations for the next phases of work.
Noram acquired a land position in the Clayton Valley of Nevada consisting of 646 placer claims, the land package covers 12,920 acres (as of September 1, 2017). The perimeter of Noram's claims are located within 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of Albemarle Corporation's (Albemarle's) lithium brine operations. Lithium is produced at Albemarle's plant from deep wells that pump brines from the basin beneath the Clayton Valley playa. The plant is the only lithium producer in the United States and has been producing lithium at this location continuously since 1967.
Between Albemarle's operation and Noram's land position lies Pure Energy Minerals' Clayton Valley South project where Pure Energy has announced an NI 43-101 inferred resource of 218,000 metric tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) above a cutoff of 20 mg/l (Blois et al, 2017). This resource occurs as basinal brines like those at Albemarle's project.
Noram's drilling of 46 shallow core holes into the lithium-rich sediments that were previously identified through surface sampling has provided a basis for the definition of an inferred lithium resource. The lithium assays from the drilling provided results that were quite consistent over a reasonably large area of close-spaced drill holes. The model generated for the inferred resource estimate indicated a zone of higher lithium grades trending northwest-southeast through the area of the resource, perhaps reflecting an ancient shoreline of the playa lake bed. The model that was generated from the close-spaced drilling was very homogeneous. The deposit remains open in all directions and at depth and the drilling tested less than 1% of the area covered by the extensive claim holdings.
The model reports an Inferred Mineral Resource of approximately 17 million metric tonnes at a grade of about 1,060 ppm Li, which equates to 96,476 metric tonnes of LCE. The level of confidence, i.e., the category, of a resource estimate may change with additional exploratory work, such as sampling, drilling, etc. The tonnes of LCE is calculated by multiplying the tonnage of the deposit (17,098,480) times the grade (1060 ppm or 0.106% or 0.00106) to get the total amount of lithium metal in the deposit (18,124 tonnes). The amount of lithium metal is then multiplied by the lithium to lithium carbonate conversion factor (5.323) to get the total LCE of the deposit (96,476 tonnes). The conversion factor is based on the relative atomic weights of lithium and lithium carbonate.
The report recommends a second phase of shallow core drilling, requiring a budget estimated to be US $90,000, and a concurrent pilot-scale test by Membrane Development Specialists to further demonstrate the extractability of lithium from the clays, the latter program having a budget estimated at US $480,000.
Supplying lithium batteries for cellphones, watches and cordless drills isn’t a huge market. Electric cars, on the other hand, is a massive market.
A car uses about 4,500 times the amount of lithium that a cellphone uses. According to analysts at Citigroup, electric vehicles consumed 15,000 tons of lithium in 2015. By 2025, the car industry will consume 136,000 tons.
Plans Moving Forward
Complete funding of current drilling program (Figures 5 and 6) and evaluation of results, with a view to funding further development of the property, initially through metallurgical studies, in order to increase the company’s ownership share of the property to 50%.