“We‘ve come a long way, but we‘re just getting started!“
Today, Belmont Resources Inc. reported the last round of assays from drilling the first hole of 2018 (KB-3) at Kibby Basin in Nevada, USA. Plans are underway for the next hole (KB-4) to be drilled in November.
Today’s drill results of the remaining 59 core samples from the lower section of the hole are, once again, “encouraging” as consistently high levels of lithium at depths between 387 m (1,270 ft.) and the bottom of the hole at 548 m (1,798 ft.) were encountered in sediments, including a 43 m long intersection with a weighted average of 393 ppm lithium between 423 m and 466 m (1,389-1,528 ft.).
Remarkably, of the 59 samples tested, 6 were above 500 ppm and 41 were above 300 ppm lithium.
On September 28, Belmont reported the first batch of results from the bottom of the hole (428-546 m; 1,403-1,792 ft). 20 of 25 samples exceeded greater than 100 ppm lithium, with 7 samples containing greater than 300 ppm lithium, and the highest sample containing 580 ppm lithium.
On September 12, Belmont reported drill results from the first section of the hole. The highest concentration of lithium occurred within a 91 m (300 ft.) long intercept at depths between 296-387 m (970-1,270 ft.) averaging 390 ppm lithium, including an average of 415 ppm lithium between 338-369 m (1,110-1,210 ft.) with a high of 580 ppm lithium.
Overall, the results are a great indication that the Kibby Basin possibly also hosts lithium-enriched brines.
Full size / During drilling of hole KB-3, multiple brine-prospective layers were encountered at Kibby Basin and as can be seen in above picture, possible brine aquifers were sampled yet collapse of the hole casing prevented a representative analysis. The next hole (KB-4) may sample brine with more success.
Although multiple brine prospective zones were encountered throughout KB-3, unexpected complications incurred during logging due to collapse of the casing and inability to pull the upper steel casing. This resulted in a possible contamination of the sampled brine, hence no representative brine samples were obtained.
The next hole (KB-4) will include down-hole geophysical surveying in conjunction with drilling to improve the chances to accurately locate layers of high conductivity and porosity and allow high quality, representative samples to be taken where lithium concentrations are potentially higher.
Using geophysical survey results concurrent with drilling is intended to allow Belmont’s crew to obtain groundwater samples that are representative of the layers of interest. As with previous drilling, sediment samples will be collected and logged throughout the advancement of the next holes.
On October 16, Belmont announced an expanded drill program with plans of up to 1,463 m (4,800 ft.) of additional drilling across 4 holes as already permitted within the Kibby Basin MT survey area. Today, Belmont announced the signing of a contract with Harris Exploration Drilling & Associates, with plans underway to start drilling KB-4 in November.
During drilling of KB-3, Belmont’s CEO and President, Jim Place, commented in late August:
“KB3 has encountered multiple brine prospective layers that may represent lithium enriched aquifers in Kibby Basin.”
Sand and gravel zones, which may represent brine-bearing aquifers, were encountered at depths of 46-52 m (150-170 feet), 64-70 m (210-230 feet), 79-91 m (260-300 feet), and 274-280 m (900-920 feet), where a potentially major aquifer in a cobble gravel was intersected. Thus, a total of approximately 30 m (100 ft.) of potentially lithium-enriched aquifer(S) have been encountered successfully.
The Kibby Basin shares many characteristics with the Clayton Valley some 50 km to the south, where lithium brines are being exploited since more than 50 years (nowadays operated by Albemarle Corp.), including closed structural basin, large conductor at depth, lithium anomalies at surface and depth, evidence of a geothermal system, and potential aquifers in porous ash and gravel zones.
As can be seen in Figure 1, the Main Ash Aquifer (“major tuff-bed aquifer”) of the Clayton Valley hosted brine ranging between less than 2 ppm, 40 ppm and 320 ppm lithium, whereas the highest grades were encountered near faults. As the lithium brine grades in Clayton Valley’s main aquifer vary greatly between nothing and more than 300 ppm, Belmont’s shareholders should take into account that it may take several holes to find the higher graded portions of a potentially lithium-enriched brine zone at Kibby Basin.Figure 1: Generalized cross-section of the Clayton Valley Playa, showing structural position of the major tuff-bed aquifer (“Main Ash Aquifer”) and inferred directions of aquifer movement (Source: “Origin of the lithium-rich brine, Clayton Valley, Nevada”, 1986)
The subsurface lithium brines at Clayton Valley are pumped from 6 distinct aquifer units (seeFigure 2), whereas the Main Ash Aquifer ranges between 5-20 m in thickness (according to “Geochemistry of lithium-rich brines in Clayton Valley, Nevada, USA; 2011).
Figure 2: Schematic cross-section of aquifers in Clayton Valley along the dip of the basin. (Source: Zampirro, 2003)
According to Figure 3, some of the more productive pay zones of the Main Ash Aquifer at Clayton Valley range in thickness between 3-9 m (10-30 feet) and occur near faults.
Figure 3: Locations and thicknesses of the Clayton Valley’s Main Ash Aquifer near faults. (Source: Zampirro, 2003)
KB-4, the next proposed hole at Kibby Basin, may be drilled even closer to potential faults (see Figure 4) and thus intersecting potentially higher grades than KB-3.
According to Belmont’s press-release on September 28:
“Ash layers accounted for four of the five low lithium samples, suggesting that initial lithium content may have been leached from the porous ash layers and transported to brines elsewhere in the basin. The boreholes targeting the southern portion of a large MT conductor still offer potential to identify saturated sediments containing lithium-rich brines. Based on Quantec MT geophysics, the proposed second hole (KB-4, AKA 2018-2) would likely mimic hole 3 with redox boundary (and aquifer) at 900-1000 ft. depth, and reduced clays with high Li content below 1,000 ft.”
With the wealth of information and hands-on experience from KB-3, and the next hole (KB-4) already being planned in detail, Belmont is right on track for a possibly stellar discovery of lithium-enriched brines at Kibby Basin.
Full size / Belmont’s Kibby Basin is located just 50 km from the Clayton Valley, where large evaporation ponds represent North America’s only lithium brine operation, whereas MGX Minerals Inc. intends to deploy its rapid lithium extraction technology at Kibby in case favorable lithium brine zones are encountered with drilling. (See map online here)
Full size / Map showing the location of MGX-Belmont’s Kibby Basin, Tesla’s Gigafactory and Albemarle’s Silver Peak Lithium Mine. (See map online here)
In light of the encouraging lithium concentrations thus far observed in sediments both in the upper and lower section of the hole, the next few weeks are awaited with great excitement for the possible discovery of lithium-rich brines as MGX Minerals Inc. may then consider to deploy its award-winning rapid lithium brine extraction technology at Kibby Basin.
The importance of a potential discovery by Belmont in Nevada, combined with MGX’s rapid lithium extraction technology, cannot be understated. The US needs new lithium production as lithium is on the list of strategic commodities deemed critical to economic and national security. MGX’s new way to extract lithium without solar evaporation would be all the more welcome as the US currently produces only about 4% of global lithium supply, all of it coming from Albemarle’s evaporation ponds at the Silver Peak Mine located 50 km south of Kibby Basin. While companies have been fighting over water rights in the “overappropriated” Clayton Valley, Belmont has already filed for water rights at Kibby Basin. Another advantage for MGX-Belmont is that they control almost the entire Kibby Basin, making an entry for other companies all the more difficult, especially if drilling encounters lithium-rich brine.
About the Kibby Basin JV
MGX Minerals Inc. is partnered with Belmont Resources Inc. on the 2,056 hectares (5,080 acres) Kibby Basin Property and currently earning up to 50% interest with the goal of forming a 50/50 Joint Venture to utilize MGX’s rapid lithium extraction technology. Geologic research of the Kibby Basin has indicated that proximal rhyolitic flows and tuffs surrounding the basin could be a potential source of lithium brine in the Kibby Basis Playa. In addition, the Kibby Basin is located within a geothermal cluster at a basin low setting. Regional geophysical signatures in the area reflect similar anomalies comparative to that of Clayton Valley.
Rapid Lithium Brine Extraction Technology
MGX has developed a rapid lithium extraction technology eliminating or greatly reducing the physical footprint and investment in large, multi-phase, lake sized, lined evaporation ponds, as well as enhancing the quality of extraction and recovery across a complex range of brines as compared with traditional solar evaporation. This technology is applicable to petrolithium (oil and gas wastewater), natural brine, and other brine sources such as lithium-rich mine and industrial plant wastewater. The technology was recently chosen as winner of the Base & Specialty Metals Industry Leadership Award at the 2018 S&P Global Platts Global Metals Awards, held in London in May (see MGX press release dated May 18, 2018). Most recently (October 30), MGX announced to have deployed the first advanced wastewater treatment system in Alberta, Canada, projecting possible first cleantech revenue at the earliest in November.
Link to updated chart (15 min. delayed): BEA.V - Belmont Resources, Inc.
Shares Issued & Outstanding: 88,226,620
Canadian Symbol (TSX.V): BEACurrent Price: $0.04 CAD (10/31/2018)Market Capitalization: $4 Million CAD
German Symbol / WKN (Frankfurt): L3L1 / A1JNZE Current Price: €0.028 EUR (10/31/2018)Market Capitalization: €3 Million EUR
Report #17 “MGX-Belmont Announce Next Round of Encouraging Lithium Drill Results from Nevada"
Report #16 “MGX-Belmont sample up to 580 ppm lithium in sediments at Kibby Basin Nevada Joint Venture"
Report #15 “MGX-Belmont Drilling Finds Multiple Brine Prospective Zones at Kibby Basin Lithium Joint Venture in Nevada"
Report #14 “The Drills are Turning at MGX-Belmont‘s Kibby Basin Lithium Joint Venture in Nevada”
Report #13 “MGX and Belmont to Start Drilling at Kibby Basin Lithium Project in Nevada on Saturday”
Report #12 “MGX and Belmont Form Nevada Lithium Joint Venture at Kibby Basin”
Report #11 “Ohm-m! The Divine Sounding of Resistivity”
Report #10 “Belmont Resources (BEA.V): Cheapest US lithium play may just be what others promised”
Report #9 “It‘s Time For Belmont To Shine In Nevada”
Report #8 “Bingo! Belmont finds striking drill targets for lithium brine deposits at Kibby Basin in Nevada”
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: This report contains forward-looking information or forward-looking statements (collectively "forward-looking information") within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking information is typically identified by words such as: "believe", "expect", "anticipate", "intend", "estimate", "potentially" and similar expressions, or are those, which, by their nature, refer to future events. Rockstone Research and MGX Minerals Inc. cautions investors that any forward-looking information provided herein is not a guarantee of future results or performance, and that actual results may differ materially from those in forward-looking information as a result of various factors. The reader is referred to the MGX´s public filings for a more complete discussion of such risk factors and their potential effects which may be accessed through the MGX´s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Please read the full disclaimers for both featured companies within the full research reports as a PDF (here and here) as fundamental risks and conflicts of interest exist. The author, Stephan Bogner, holds a long position in MGX Minerals Inc. and Belmont Resources Inc. and is being paid a monthly retainer from Zimtu Capital Corp., which company also holds a long position in MGX Minerals Inc. and Belmont Resources Inc. Note that neither MGX Minerals Inc., Belmont Resources Inc. nor Zimtu Capital Corp. have reviewed all of the content prior to publication and may not agree with statememts made herein.
Disclosure: I am/we are long MGXMF, TSX.V:BEA.