Thunder Bay, Ontario: Alset Energy Corp. (TSXV:ION) is pleased to announce the laboratory results of 30 samples selected from stored historical sampling efforts completed by LitioMex (2009-2011), the former property owner, on three of the Mexican salars, La Salada, Santa Clara, and Caliguey.
Thunder Bay, Ontario: Alset Energy Corp. (TSXV:ION) is pleased to announce the laboratory results of 30 samples selected from stored historical sampling efforts completed by LitioMex (2009-2011), the former property owner, on three of the Mexican salars, La Salada, Santa Clara, and Caliguey. The laboratory work included a check or “head” assay followed by quantitative X-ray diffraction analysis and a second assay on the less than 2 micron size fraction of the sample. The purpose of the X-ray diffraction was to determine the clay mineral species and their abundance. The original samples were part of a work program conducted by the previous owners whereby 5m holes were dug in the salars on a 100m x 100m grid with five 1m samples collected from each hole and submitted for multi-element analyses. The historical values returned from Inspectorate laboratory for the 30 samples ranged from 411 to 2590ppm lithium compared to the recent results from Activation Laboratories (“Actlabs”) on behalf of Alset which ranged from 340 to 1680ppm lithium. Both laboratories used an induced coupled plasma (ICP) procedure with a four-acid total digestion. Overall the results from Inspectorate seem a bit higher than those produced by Actlabs and may be a result of the remaining portion of each sample used by Actlabs being much smaller. The most important aspect of the current ongoing laboratory work is the XRD (x-ray diffraction) results listed in the table below. Smectite is a group of clay minerals of which the lithium-bearing mineral hectorite is included. Of the 30 samples submitted, no smectite was detected in 12 and only trace was detected in 2 samples. The samples with the highest concentration of smectite, which may or may not be hectorite, came from the Caliguey salar where Mexico’s former Mineral Resource Council sampling of fluid in the salar returned values of 1.2 to 2.1% lithium (see Alset PR September 1, 2016). The evidence suggests that the vast majority of the lithium is not held in hectorite clay where it is difficult and expensive to extract.
In addition to the promising lithium grades, the potassium was equally as encouraging and potentially represents an important co-product with economic significance. Historical values returned from Inspectorate varied from 1.56 to 10% potassium and 1.57 to 4.78% from Actlabs for the same samples. Only background levels of uranium were detected and will not present any complications.
Another interesting aspect of the samples was that they all contained silver, ranging from 0.5 ppm to 4.3 ppm (gpt). Geothermal activity is one of the first order characteristics in the preliminary deposit model for formation of lithium brines. The silica sinters and carbonate growth textures at the Mexican salars are ample evidence of the geothermal activity, specifically epithermal processes. It is worth noting that this same geological process is also what typically produces many gold-silver deposits and these Mexican salars are situated in one of the most prolific silver producing regions in the world. The Company plans on following up on the silver potential of our projects as well.
Allan Barry Laboucan, President and CEO of Alset stated: “We have just started the first phase in testing the chemical composition of our salars and our team is delighted with the results. In addition to the encouraging lithium results the potassium grades are encouraging as well. Currently Mexico imports all of its potassium and a domestic source would not only be a cost saver for Mexico but would create job opportunities in a crucial commodity for the farming sector. Furthermore, the silver results suggest there may be potential for precious metals as well and further work is required to assess this potential. We are still in the very early stages of assessing the realistic potential of the projects. I’m excited about these results and look forward to the upcoming leach tests on these samples prior to follow-up drilling at several of the salars in the early part of 2017.”
Read the full press release.
Connect with Alset Energy Corp. (TSXV:ION) to receive an Investor Presentation.