Discovery Alaska finds ‘widespread’ lithium mineralisation on US acreage

Thu 19 May 22, 4:13pm (AEST)
Fairbanks, Alaska
Source: Fairbanks, Alaska

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Key Points

  • Discovery Alaska has found evidence of ‘widespread’ lithium mineralisation in historical drill core from Coal Creek
  • Core was re-assessed from archive storage at the Geological Materials Centre in Anchorage
  • Quantity of drill cores allows Discovery to fast-track its creation of JORC compliant lithium resource over 199km2 area

Discovery Alaska (ASX:DAF) has today disclosed to the market its 100% owned Alaskan Chulitna Project is prospective for lithium with assessment of historical cores from its Coal Creek target showing strong evidence of lithium mineralisation on-site. 

Discovery Alaska’s geology team believes its assessment of lithium mineralisation is the first for the mineral conducted in the area with over forty years of drill programs on the acreage missing evidence for the mineral. 

The core returning the strong results was retrieved from a state-run archive, the Geological Materials Centre (GMC) in Anchorage, which the company believes hosts over 5000m of relevant cores. 

The news saw the company's share price climb over 2% in early morning trades.

(Source: Discovery Alaska) A map outlining the scope of Discovery's Alaska acreage
(Source: Discovery Alaska) A map outlining the scope of Discovery's Alaska acreage

Strong historical dataset to expedite path to JORC resource 

Twelve priority drill holes were selected for analysis to determine rudimentary content; Discovery Alaska reports that all twelve drill holes provided positive indications of lithium mineralisation. On these grounds, the company perceives mineralisation is widespread. 

Moderate to strong lithium readings continue to the bottom of several of those twelve drill holes, indicating the potential for further lithium bearing geology onsite remaining open at depth within the Cupola Structure. 

Discovery Alaska management told the market today the company will accelerate works to test remaining prospective drill cores so as to best provide an initial determination of the scale of lithium bearing zones believed to be present at Coal Creek. 

The Coal Creek prospect granite consists of two different geological compositions with outcrops present. 

A historical report from Coal Creek centred on prospectivity for tin and silver includes further information on historical drilling and associated assay data which the company may use to fast track the creation of a JORC compliant resource estimate, which would provide financial certainty to the project. 

Discovery comes at a desirable time 

The lithium bearing units on-site are believed to be prospective for other critical battery minerals, including tantalum and niobium. 

As of May 19 2022, the price of lithium is up 414% year-on-year.  

Statista meanwhile estimate the price of tantalum in 2021 to have been US$158 per kilogram, which comes to $160,500 a tonne; the percentage of tantalum per tonne of ore would of course likely drastically alter the price, making it unclear how much Discovery Alaska could stand to earn.

Contemporary pricing data on niobium prices is difficult to track down, Metalary notes the price for a metric ton of Niobium in 2018 sat at over US$40,000.

Discovery Alaska's three month charts compared to the materials index
Discovery Alaska's three month charts compared to the materials index


Written By

Jonathon Davidson


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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