Benz Mining Corp. [BZ-TSXV, BNZ-ASX] says it has discovered a new area of outcropping spodumene-bearing pegmatites along the 25-kilometre lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatite trend at the Ruby Hill West project in Quebec.
The company is exploring in an area that was severely impacted by forest fires that recently shut down field work for about 1.5 month. However, following the lifting of restrictions, Benz said it will resume ground work in early September along the Ruby Hill lithium trend.
The new discovery, M-2, is located approximately 2.0 kilometres west of the recently announced Mikisiw discovery which returned samples of up to 5.0% lithium oxide at outcrop. The M-2 pegmatite outcrop is located 400 metres from a historical diamond drill hole (DDH 90-EM-003) drilled by Kingswood Explorations in 1990 that intersected 30 metres of muscovite-bearing pegmatite from a depth of 140.5 metres to 171.7 metres. This drill hole was not assayed for lithium.
Benz is focused on projects in the Eastmain Greenstone Belt in Northern Quebec, which is prospective for gold, lithium, nickel, copper and other minerals. The company is earning a 100% interest in the former producing high grade Eastmain gold mine, Ruby Hill West, and Ruby Hill East projects. All three are located in Quebec.
Ruby Hill West is located 50 kilometres west of Benz Mining’s Eastmain exploration camp. A surface occurrence of spodumene bearing pegmatite was first sampled in 2016 by Eastmain Resources and then by Quebec government geologists in 2018. Only limited sampling was conducted by both groups.
Following the identification of the 25-kilometre pegmatite trend, the company selected areas for soil sampling and further prospecting, including the Mikisiw M-1 and M-2 areas. All available data sets were compiled including historical drilling, where the pegmatite intersection in DDH 90 EM-003 warranted further investigation.
“The discovery of a new spodumene-bearing outcrop of pegmatite two kilometres west of the Mikisiw lithium pegmatite supports the assumption for LCT pegmatites extending through the Ruby Hill West property on a specific trend that is located near the northern contact of the granite and greenstone belt,’’ said Benz Mining Executive Chairman Evan Cranston.
“Our team is starting to understand the controls for lithium in this completely unexplored greenstone belt, and we are excited to continue the exploration and uncover further outcrops along our unexplored trend.’’
On Monday, Benz Mining shares eased 5.5% or $0.02 to 34 cents in light trading volume. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of 64 cents and 27 cents.
The main sources of lithium for commercial extraction are localized hardrock pegmatites (igneous rocks of post magmatic fluids) and continental brines (saltwater aquifers). Of the various ores found in pegmatite, spodumene ore is generally the most economically viable source of lithium.