Aurora Energy Metals boosts size of lithium mine potential

Tue 14 Feb 23, 11:13am (AEDT)
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Key Points

  • Aurora has confirmed lithium mineralisation extends further at its Oregon energy project than previously known
  • Company stands to publish maiden lithium mineral estimate after expanding its uranium estimate last November
  • Aurora is hoping to become a domestic uranium supplier to the US private and public sectors respectively

The most recent drill-run carried out by Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:1AE) at its Oregon-based Energy Metals Project has proven lithium mineralisation extends beyond previously known boundaries. 

The project is a dual exploration play with the company targeting both uranium and lithium. The company is headed by former Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) head Greg Cochran. 

“The lithium intersected in holes 22AURC007, 8, 11 and 12 are up to 1km beyond any previous lithium intersections,” company chief Greg Cochran said. 

The implication is that the company stands to upgrade the size of its pending maiden lithium mineral resource, based on the success of future drills (or the cross reference of existing data with new assay results). 

The company expanded its uranium resource to 50.6Mlbs back in November last year, an upgrade equivalent to a 34% increase. 

Making sense of grades 

Investor advisory firm Next Investors classifies high-grade lithium as that in concentrations over 1%. 

However, that only applies to hard-rock contexts. Lithium grades at lower concentrations, as reported by Aurora on Tuesday, are typical for clay deposits.

Aurora is reporting the following results from the latest drilling: 

  • 20.6m @ 0.26% lithium oxide from 21m depth 

  • 16.8m @ 0.29% lithium oxide from 63m depth 

  • 15.0m @ 0.26% lithium oxide from 56m depth 

“This provides additional evidence in support of the concept of widespread lithium in clays at potentially economic grades, very similar to the giant lithium deposits elsewhere in the McDermitt Caldera.” 

Prime location 

Aurora Energy is hoping, ultimately, to facilitate a domestic uranium supply chain within the US.

The McDermitt Caldera is a well-known mining province with other companies active in the area relatively nearby. 

Proving the dual-target potential of the project, the latest drill run also intersected two thick uranium hits, one at nearly 85m length. 

Uranium mineralisation on-site lies below lakebed lithium sediments in a two-tier deposit system, meaning the company can report results for both lithium and uranium from one drill core. 

1AE's one year charts. Are investors overlooking the company?
1AE's one year charts. Are investors overlooking the company?
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. 1AE was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.

Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the project had an existing lithium resource

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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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