Full version / Equipment on Belmont’s Kibby Basin Property for a Spartan Magnetotelluric Survey.
Yesterday after market close, Belmont Resources Inc. announced the receipt and results of the Geophysical Report from a Spartan Magnetotelluric (MT) Survey over its 100% controlled Kibby Basin Property in Nevada. The survey was started in January by renowned Quantec Geoscience Ltd. and covered most of Belmont’s claims, and included the playa basin area as well as some of the adjoining higher level lands.
The objective of the MT Survey was to map potential saturated lithium brine on the Kibby Basin Property. Such lithium-rich brine should be associated with a very conductive zone at depth as “Lithium brine deposits are accumulations of saline groundwater that are enriched in dissolved lithium.” (USGS, 2013)
In other words: Pure water is not conductive but salty water, rich in lithium, is very conductive! So an effective method to find/map such brines at depth is to run a current (resistivity) through the ground to hopefully spot conductive zones as these have the best potential to be salty brines enriched with lithium.
The MT resistivity results from the Kibby Basin Property “clearly mapped a more conductive zone at many of the survey stations. This variation of the resistivity at depth is interpreted by Quantec as being a potential contact with sub-surface brine that may contain lithium”, Belmont said in yesterday’s press-release.
This means that Belmont has now found highly prospective and precise targets for the next phase of drilling. The company stated that “locations where the potential brine contacts are closest to the playa surface are being considered as the most favourable targets.”
The fact that conductive zones have been successfully located at depth on Belmont’s Kibby Basin Property gives high hopes for the upcoming drill program to make a stellar discovery by intersecting lithium-rich brine.
Full version / Figure 6-6 presents various views of the 3D resistivity values lower than 10 ohm-m from the 3D MT model. It has clearly mapped a very conductive sub-horizontal unit in the near surface. This conductive unit seems to out-crop near the centre of the grid (sites KB018, 019, 025, and 026). It also appears to dip slightly to the North-East. The 3D model displays a potential extension of the conductive zone at depth in the North-East corner of the grid (see Figure 6-6, south view).
Full version / Figure 6-19: The sub-horizontal conductive layer is mapped from site KB006 to KB048 as a relatively thick layer. It is dipping slightly to the north on this profile. A variation of the depth of the conductive layer along the profile is noted; from near 750m depth from KB006 to KB020, to 1km depth from KB020 to KB048. This variation is correlates with a variation of the depth of the deep resistive unit, from 1km depth below KB006 to KB020, to approximately 3km depth from KB020 to KB048. The variation in depth correlate with the increase of the Basin depth defined from the gravity results (Wright, 2016).
According to the Geophysical Report from Quantec, which has been posted on Belmont’s website today:
“This conductive zone, at near 500 m depth, is relatively thin in the west of the grid, but its depth, thickness and conductivity seems to increase east of 430300E and north of 4243630N.
The variation in the conductive layer also correlates with an increase of the Basin depth defined from the gravity results (Wright, 2016). We note here a very good correlation between the depth of the deep resistive unit mapped from the MT results and the Basin depth mapped from gravity model for lines north of 4245630N.
The zone defined between 4244630N and 4247630N and between 430300E and 432300E is characterized by a thick and high conductivity zone that may represent a potential target for Li-brines. This zone correlates with the area where the Basin depth reaches a maximum and is localised east of a potential contact at depth, also inferred from the gravity results.”
Considering the positive results from yesterday’s announced MT Survey – in combination with December’s potential “discovery” of a geothermal system (i.e. the key for a lithium-bearing aquifer; see details at the end of this report) beneath surface at Belmont’s Kibby Basin Property – the company is now in a great position to precisely pinpoint the upcoming drilling in order to find a concentrated brine deposit, potentially rich in lithium.
Naturally, finding lithium in the pay zone of an aquifer at depth of a large basin, which had never been explored with modern methods before, is no easy endeavour and takes a lot of time, capital and thinking skills.
After several years of being active in the Kibby Basin, Belmont is now in the final stage of potentially making a truly sensational discovery via the drill bit, some 65 km north of the famous Clayton Valley – home of North America’s only lithium brine mine (in operation since the 1960s, operated by Albemarle Corp.).
Full version / Equipment and staff from Quantec Geoscience on Belmont’s Kibby Basin Property conducting the Spartan Magnetotelluric Survey.
Excerpts from Rockstone Report #7 (December 14, 2017):
When you have a 27 square kilometer big property, where basically no one ever conducted any modern exploration to find lithium-bearing aquifers, you need to start somewhere to prove your case that there could be lithium.
So Belmont looked at the Clayton Valley and compared it to the Kibby Basin, and they found a geologic setting similar to the continental brine model ascribed to the Clayton Valley. Then they did a 3D gravity survey over the entire property and found that it has the structure of a perfect lithium basin.
This was followed by 2 “scout-holes“ to find out if there is any lithium in those sediments and to get a first look of the basin‘s geology. Drilling found promising lithium values (up to 200 ppm) in sediments which is a great indication that a near-by aquifer may host much higher grades. With 13 of 25 core samples assaying over 100 ppm lthium, these sediments could very well be a potential source of lithium for the underlying aquifers.
The question then arose where to drill next in order to find the aquifer, respectively the pay zone. A consultant to Belmont, took a deep dive into researching the Kibby Basin and made some striking findings, with the results you can see in today‘s news release.
Originally, he just wanted to put the company‘s property borders on a map, so he looked at some satellite images and started to think outside the box. He obtained more satellite data sets as he had the feeling he was onto something.
Belmont‘s consultant then contacted the USGS and NASA to confirm his theory and soon it became clear that he found the missing puzzle piece. As the images indicate, he may have found the location of the geothermal system – right in the heart of the Kibby Basin. This looks like a big “discovery“ as there is no surface expression of a geothermal system and until now it was not even clear if at all there is a geothermal system on the property.
The above is an animation (click here) showing 8 days of a snow storm in 2016 above the Kibby Basin: Note the snow in red and that over 1 foot of snow was all gone within short time (so the take-away is the Kibby Playa is warm due to a geothermal system).
To make it clear: A geothermal system is the key for a lithium-bearing aquifer and as such the location of the lithium aquifer is likely to be at the same spot. As Belmont has now found this 1 square kilometer area on its property, where a convergence of anomalies occur, the company is now getting ready to drill into this area to find the lithium-bearing aquifer. Vojtech Agyagos of Belmont explained on December 14, 2017:
“The discovery of this area of hydrothermal indicator minerals representing approximately (1) square/Kilometer of our 27 square kilometer Kibby Basin, Nevada property will become the center of our continued exploration. This area hosted the highest Lithium surface samples as well and is the site of our proposed third drill hole. Our 2017 drill program discovered both water (FRESH) and up to 200ppm lithium in the core in the Eastern side of the property about 2 kilometers from these Thermal alterations. This geothermal alteration sits above the deepest gravity indicated area from Belmonts’ 2016 Wright Geophysical ground gravity survey.”
Full version / Belmont has been reviewing EOSDIS NASA Worldview and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) archived satellite data (1996 -2017) acquired over the Company’s Kibby Basin - Lithium brine exploration project. Archived ASTER/Landsat satellite data collected over the Monte Cristo Valley has identified significant anomalous higher than normal concentrations of clay-mica-hydrous silica-ferric iron minerals in the north-central playa in nearly the same area as indicated by the ASTER data within the Belmont, Kibby Basin – claim area. ASTER/Landsat class satellite data have been most effective at broadly categorizing surface units that can be considered as proxy for geothermal systems (e.g., sulfates, carbonates, clays) than identifying specific minerals and their mixing components (Taranik, 1988, Sabine et al., 1994, Rowanet al., 2005 and Zhanget al., 2007).
Full version / Principals and applications of indirect methods which involve using hydrothermal minerals as a proxy of geothermal systems were discussed by Hunt, 1977; Clark, 1999; Greenet al., 1998; Martini et al., 2004 and Vaughan et al., 2003 and 2005; whereas the direct thermal indices and associated applied methods were discussed in Mongillio, 1994, Hackwell et al., 1996; Haselwimmer et al., 2011; Rowan et al., 2003; Coolbaugh et al., 2007. Well-established methods in multispectral, hyperspectral analysis, in conjunction with modern subsurface geophysics, advanced imagery from space-based and airborne sensor systems, permits their direct and immediate application in geothermal energy prospecting and their evaluation using both thermal signature, and spectral signatures indices (Coolbaugh et al., 2007; Gupta and Roy 2007) (Prospecting for geothermal energy through satellite based thermal data)
The circled areas in both the shown images are basically parts where hydrothermally altered sediments occur on the playa of the Kibby Basin. The presence of these indicate that, at one time, the hydrothermal water reached the surface (probably in form of a geyser or hot spring). Also, they indicate the proximity of faults and fissures. With the first 2 holes, Belmont tried to drill into some indicated (ground survey) faults on the eastern side of its property.
With this new information (hydrothermal alteration), they may have found the missing piece of the puzzle to start drilling into the right spot of the basin to finally make a striking discovery (i.e. drilling into a lithium-rich aquifer).
The USGS wrote a report in 2013 outlining what you would need to find a lithium brine deposit – all producing lithium brine deposits share a number of first-order characteristics:
(1) arid climate;
(2) closed basin containing a playa or salar;
(3) tectonically driven subsidence;
(4) associated igneous or geothermal activity;
(5) suitable lithium source-rocks;
(6) one or more adequate aquifers; and
(7) sufficient time to concentrate a brine
Belmont is well on track to find (6) one or more adequate aquifers.
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Shares Issued & Outstanding: 61,567,620
Canadian Symbol (TSX.V): BEA
Current Price: $0.04 CAD (03/01/2018)
Market Capitalization: $2.5 Million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Frankfurt): L3L1 / A1JNZE
Current Price: €0.028 EUR (03/01/2018)
Market Capitalization: €1.7 Million EUR
Report #7: “The Missing Puzzle Piece to Discover Lithium Aquifers in the Kibby Basin of Nevada?”
Report #6: “Belmont on track to eclipse the Clayton Valley”
Report #5: “Belmont getting ready to drill for untapped lithium brines at Kibby Basin in Nevada”
Report #4: “The perfect lithium basin?”
Report #3: “Prominent gravity low identified on Kibby Basin Lithium Brine Property in Nevada”
Report #2: “Dark clouds over Clayton Valley and green lights for Belmonts Kibby Basin Project”
Report #1: “Early Report on Belmont Resources”
Disclaimer: Please read the full disclaimer within the full research report as a PDF (here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist.
Disclosure: I am/we are long TSX.V:BEA.