Taking notes at 92 Resources Corp.´s Hidden Lake lithium project in the Northwest Territories. Credit: 92 Resources Corp.
Canada’s Northwest Territories is legendary in mining circles for its gold and diamonds, and now 92 Resources Corp. (TSXV: NTY) is hoping to add high-tech lithium to the territory’s mix of mineral riches.
Based in Vancouver, the junior explorer shifted gears earlier this year to refocus on the burgeoning lithium scene, while its frac sand assets take a temporary back seat.
In March, the company struck a cash-and-share option agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the Hidden Lake Lithium Property, which covers 11 square kilometres just north of Highway 4 as it passes 40 km northeast of the major mining centre of Yellowknife.
The Hidden Lake Property hosts many steeply dipping, spodumene-bearing lithium pegmatite dykes first recognized in the 1950s. A study in 1977 even calculated resources of 49 million tonnes grading 1.40% Li2O to a depth of 152 metres for the entire district (a historical figure not compliant with today’s reporting standards).
“Given what was known about Hidden Lake, it became apparent the project afforded us the opportunity to move from discovery to resource building very quickly,” says Adrian Lamoureux, President and CEO of 92 Resources. “This area became a ‘forgotten district’ but I think one day we may see the Yellowknife Pegmatite Belt become an important source for lithium that’s so crucial to the green economy.”
The most advanced dyke on the property is D12, which measures roughly 10 by 300 metres, has coarse crystals, and has returned historical assays of 1.37% to 3.01% Li2O — which compares nicely with the world’s largest active lithium-spodumene mine, Greenbushes in Australia, which boasts proven and probable reserves of 61.5 million tonnes at 2.8% Li2O.
92 Resources has now had a full summer of exploration work under its belt at Hidden Lake, and has not only confirmed the high-grade lithium mineralization over a 275-metre length at D12, but has also discovered several new spodumene-bearing dykes including three named HL1, HL3 and HL 4, and added 57 hectares through staking to its now 100%-owned property.
On Nov. 8, 92 Resources reported new assay results from channel sampling on D12-5 that returned 1.53% Li2O over 12 metres, with 34 samples returning values greater than 1.5% Li2O, and peaking at 3.08% Li2O.
Just as enticing, the assays reveal a significant presence tantalum in association with the lithium mineralization, with grades averaging 88 ppm Ta2O5 to a peak of 596 ppm Ta2O5, which has the potential to provide a nice by-product credit to any future mining operation.
“These results really exceeded our expectations, and we’re excited with the discovery of some very encouraging tantalum grades,” says Lamoureux.
Further assay results from the summer fieldwork are pending, including the first samples from the HL1, HL3 and HL4 dykes.
Buoyed by such early success, 92 Resources is now planning for a $1.5-million follow-up winter drilling campaign in early 2017 on the D12 dyke and other spodumene-bearing pegmatites at Hidden Lake, and it intends to take a small bulk sample from D12. If all goes well, the company could be in a position to calculate the first resource estimate in mid-2017.
92 Resources has further deepened its involvement in lithium by recently acquiring a promising second lithium property named Pontax, located in the Eastmain area of northern Quebec, in return for $50,000 in cash plus 3 million shares. Field exploration could get underway at Pontax as soon as mid-2017.
92 Resource replenished its treasury in June 2016 by raising $862,000 through the exercise of warrants. The company currently has $600,000 and is looking to raise money to fund the upcoming drilling campaign.
Shares have traded within a 52-week range of 3¢ to 28¢ and last traded at 17¢. There are 45.2 million shares outstanding (49.2 million fully diluted), giving the company a market capitalization of $7.7 million.
Many analysts predict lithium demand will continue to grow substantially in the years ahead as lithium battery usage soars in products such as electric cars, smartphones and industrial-scale batteries.
Hard rock lithium deposits should remain a substantial contributor to global lithium production along with the better known lithium brine deposits, with hard rock lithium mines having the advantage of more controlled and predictable production rates not achievable when pumping brines.
The preceding is promoted content sponsored by 92 Resources Corp. Visit www.92resources.com to learn more.