Belmont Resources Inc. [BEA-TSXV, L3L1-FSE] said Thursday November 22 that it is poised to commence drilling at its Kibby Basin lithium brine project in Nevada, likely after the Thanksgiving holiday.
The company said drill hole KB-4 will target a prominent structure within the large MT (magnetotelluric) anomaly defined during a survey completed in February 2018.
The target area is located approximately 2,300 metres northeast of hold KB-3, which was drilled in August, 2018.
MGX Minerals Inc. [XMG-CSE] recently struck a deal with Belmont to earn up to a 50% interest in Kibby Basin. Under an agreement announced on July 16, 2018, MGX can earn the first 25% interest in the project by funding up to $300,000 worth of exploration drilling.
Once the option is exercised, the companies become equal partners and Belmont will have access to MGX’s lithium extraction technology.
Belmont Resources is set to resume drilling after recently reporting assays of up to 580 ppm lithium in samples taken from the Kibby Basin Project. The assays were from the first layer of 125 samples taken from the top 1,270 feet section of hole KB-3.
The highest concentration of lithium occurred between 960 and 1,270 feet, including 1,110 to 1,210 feet, where the overall average was 415 ppm lithium, with a high of 580 ppm lithium.
Brines (in salt ponds) and spodumene (hard rock) represent the two main sources of commercial lithium production.
In earlier drilling, sand and gravel zones, which may represent brine-bearing aquifers, were encountered at depths of 150-170 feet, 210-230 feet, and 900 to 920 feet, where a potentially major aquifer in cobble gravel was intersected.
On Thursday, Belmont said it is expected that it will take approximately one week for drill hole KB-4 to reach the proposed initial depth of 1,200 feet, after which downhole geophysical surveying will be carried out.
After the results of the geophysical survey are analyzed, the most favourable layers for lithium brine will be identified for sampling and testing for formation waters, possibly followed by deeper drilling. Specialized casing and equipment will be used in the drill hole to allow the best and most representative samples to be obtained.
MGX has emerged as a potential joint venture partner at Kibby Basin after Belmont recently said it has initiated discussions with companies in the lithium extraction space that have requested samples from the property.
Investor interest in this sector is tied to the fact that lithium is a key ingredient in the production lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles.
MGX Minerals is a diversified resource company that is focused on the development of large-scale industrial mineral portfolios in specific commodities and jurisdictions that will fuel the new energy economy.
The company says it is uniquely positioned to pursue this strategy as it holds significant interests in lithium, magnesium, and silicon assets throughout North America.
On Thursday, Belmont shares advanced 11% to 5 cents on volume of 531,900. The 52-week range is 10 cents and 3 cents.