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