NI 43-101 Technical Report on Zeus Property
The Zeus Property has an Inferred Mineral Resource of 145 million metric tonnes at a grade of 1,145 ppm Li, which equates to 0.88 million tonnes Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (“LCE”).
Noram is pleased to provide a synopsis of its previously disclosed NI 43-101 report. 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’s land position in Clayton Valley, Nevada consists of 150 placer claims and 140 lode claims. The land package covers 1214.06 hectares (3000 acres). 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 operations and Noram’s land position lies a property comparable in size to the Zeus Property and held by Cypress Development Corp.
Three phases of drilling 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 are consistent over a kilometer-scale area. The three dimensional model generated for the inferred resource estimate indicated a zone of higher lithium grades trending northwest-southeast through the area of the resource. The deposit remains open in several directions and at depth and the drilling only tested a very small portion of the area covered by the extensive claim holdings. There is considerable upside potential for increasing the size of the deposit, as the drilling has tested only one third of the area covered by the Zeus claim block.
Initial step-wise leaching tests conducted at 20oC and at 80oC for samples taken at surface and at a depth of ~30 meters downhole provide encouragement that the lithium can be extracted from the clays. These tests demonstrated that >80% of the lithium in the two samples is leachable with moderate amounts of sulfuric acid. Similar results have been obtained for an adjacent property to the Zeus Property.
There is considerable upside potential for increasing the size of the deposit. However, such potential is conceptual in nature. There has been insufficient exploration beyond the modeled resource, and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in an enlargement of the deposit.
Within the model that was generated from all 3 phases of drilling, involving 60 drill holes, the potential exists for a viable mining operation. The model herein reports an Inferred Mineral Resource of approximately 330 million metric tonnes at a grade of about 858 ppm Li, or 1,500,000 LCEs. Sensitivity analyses for the modeled deposit are listed in Table 1.
Preliminary economic analysis indicates that the deposit may be economically extractable in the future. The level of confidence, i.e., the category, of a resource estimate may change with additional exploratory work, such as sampling, drilling and metallurgical testing.
Initial mineralogical studies and leaching tests were conducted on Zeus lithium clay samples in 2018, including work by Actlabs of Ancaster, Ontario, and Autec Innovative Extractive solutions Ltd., Vancouver, British Colombia. Results of initial leach tests are highly encouraging. They suggest that only moderate temperatures and moderate amounts of sulfuric acid are necessary to remove >80% of the lithium in the samples. Further testing is necessary to develop sequential precipitation of magnesium (and other cation) sulfates prior to precipitating lithium sulfate for conversion to a marketable lithium carbonate (or hydroxide) product.
Testing by other companies on their lithium clay properties, including Lithium Americas (Thacker Pass Project, Nevada), Bacarona Minerals (Sonora Project, Mexico), Ioneer (Rhyolite Ridge Project, Nevada) and Cypress Development (Clayton Valley Project) have all indicated that economic extraction of the lithium may well be possible.
The updated resource report recommends a Phase IV core drilling program to deepen some of the Phase III holes and step-out holes to the south and east. Concurrent with the drilling, it is recommended that metallurgical testing be continued. The next logical phase for the project is to advance the deposit to the PEA level.