Future Battery Minerals stretches lithium-bearing claystones through phase two drilling at Nevada Project, US

Australian explorer Future Battery Minerals (ASX:FBM) has struck potential extensions to the lithium claystone at its Western Flats and Lone Mountain prospects within its Nevada Project in the US.

The new hits come from a phase two drilling program that aimed to extend the known lithium claystone horizon intercepted in phase one drillhole WF23-011 completed at Western Flats. This hole intercepted 109.7m @ 766 parts per million (ppm) lithium from 135.6m and remains open in multiple directions.

Under the phase two drilling campaign, Future Battery Minerals completed 6 holes at Western Flats and Lone Mountain to test the ‘prospective’ Siebert Formation, which hosts the lithium-bearing claystone unit.

This drilling intercepted the target horizon in 4 of the 6 holes, which suggests a southerly trend including a shallowing of the target horizon moving closer to surface.

The thickness of the Siebert Formation ranged from 76m up to 204m, which is analogous to that observed in WF23-11, where the Siebert Formation was identified at a depth of 134m through to end-of-hole (EOH). This represents a potential strike length of 3.7km northeast-southwest and 2.6km east-west, remaining open to the south and east.

While drilling intercepted the target horizon, Future Battery Minerals reports it will not know the grade of the intercepts or if lithium is present at all until assays are returned in 4 to 6 weeks.

Phase two drilling also encountered difficulties with overlying transported gravels when attempting to reach planned hole depths, requiring the company to adjust its drilling technique to take this delay into account.

As a result of the challenges encountered and the significance of the prospect, Future Battery Minerals will be modifying its upcoming phase three drilling program, set to begin in mid-Q3 2023, to include a combination of RC and potentially diamond drilling.

In addition to the drilling at Western Flats, the company also completed 3 holes at the Heller prospect, which intercepted sequences of sediments and volcanic lithologies. Assays will be required to determine the prospectivity of the area.

Commenting on the completion of phase two drilling, Future Battery Minerals Technical Director Robin Cox says: “FBM has now completed its second round of drilling at the NLP.

Geological observations are highly encouraging, with the lithium claystone host formation successfully intercepted in 4 out of 6 holes at the Western Flats and Lone Mountain prospects. 

The company’s strong view is for an extension of the standout results in the phase one drilling to continue and potentially shallow to the south onto the Lone Mountain prospect”

The company’s strong view is for an extension of the standout results in the phase one drilling to continue and potentially shallow to the south onto the Lone Mountain prospect.

While the company eagerly awaits the return of assay results, plans are already underway for a phase three drilling program to commence once permitting is approved.”

Future Battery Minerals is an Australian explorer searching for ‘key’ battery minerals including lithium, nickel, and copper across its projects in Australia and the US.

The company’s portfolio includes an 80% interest in Kangaroo Hills Lithium Joint Venture (JV) Project with Lodestar Minerals (ASX:LSR), along with the Leinster and Saints Nickel projects in Western Australia.

Future Battery Minerals also holds the Bonaventura, Arden, and Torrens East Copper projects in South Australia, as well as the Nevada Lithium Project in Nevada, US.

On 15 June 2023, the company received $2.7 million of the $10 million consideration under an agreement to sell the Nepean Nickel Project. The funds from this sale are being used to progress exploration at Kangaroo Hills and Nevada.

Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au

Images: Future Battery Minerals Ltd
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.