Future Battery Minerals unveils ‘exceptional’ results from Nevada Lithium Project, eyes maiden MRE in 2024

Following the discovery of lithium-bearing claystone earlier this year, Future Battery Minerals (ASX:FBM) says its latest drilling results confirm the ‘huge scale’ of mineralisation at its Nevada Lithium Project (NLP) in the US.

The phase two program, which mostly targeted the Lone Mountain prospect at the company’s 80% owned project, returned 179.8m at 766 parts per million (ppm) lithium from 39.6m, including 19.8m at 1,010ppm lithium from 80.8m.

Another hole returned 170.7m at 764ppm lithium from 67.1m, including 27.4m at 1,030ppm lithium from 112.8m.

It comes after a phase one drilling program saw the completion of 6 holes at the adjacent Western Flats prospect in April. Those results included 109.7m at 766ppm lithium from 135.6m, including 29m at 1,010ppm lithium from 210.3m, which Technical Director Robin Cox said at the time was “an exceptional start to our early-stage exploration efforts in Nevada”.

The mineralised strike length at the NLP is now thought to extend 3km east to west and 1.3km north to south and is potentially open another 2km to the south, according to field mapping activities.

This southern extension, which Future Battery Minerals believes could be both shallower and higher grade, will be the focus of an upcoming RC and diamond drilling campaign. Expected to begin in September, the program will be undertaken with a view to defining a maiden mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the NLP in the March quarter of 2024, with samples to also be collected for early-stage metallurgical testwork.

To facilitate this work, the company is looking to secure US federal grants, such as those from the Department of Defence designed to support the advancement of critical minerals projects in the United States.

There is also the potential for funding from the US Department of Energy, although Future Battery Minerals will have to release a pre-feasibility study to be eligible.

“The assay results from the second round of drilling confirm the outstanding thick intercepts of lithium mineralised claystone, highlighting the significance of the discovery at the NLP,” Cox says.

The assay results from the second round of drilling confirm the outstanding thick intercepts of lithium mineralised claystone”

“Importantly, the lithium intercepts are shallowing to the south, with mineralisation now identified at less than 40m downhole and up to 180m in downhole thickness. The significance of the scale is highlighted by the current mineralised east-west strike of 3km and north-south strike of 1.3km, which still remains open to the south for a further 2km.”

In addition to drilling at the Lone Mountain prospect, 3 holes were completed at the Heller prospect. However, drilling failed to intercept lithium mineralisation, and Future Battery Minerals has elected to undertake no further work at this target.

Located near the township of Tonopah, Future Battery’s 80% stake in the NLP was acquired in June 2022 and consists of 5 prospects — Traction, San Antone, Heller, Lone Mountain and Western Flats — covering more than 90km-square.

Both Western Flats and Lone Mountain sit adjacent to American Lithium’s (TSXV:LI) TLC deposit and American Battery Technology’s (OTCQX:ABM) Tonopah Flats deposit, which host 8.83 million and 15.7 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), respectively.

Write to Oliver Gray at Mining.com.au

Images: Future Battery Minerals Ltd
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Written By Oliver Gray
Originally from Perth, Oliver has a keen interest long-form journalism. He has written for a number of publications and was most recently Contributing Editor of The Market Herald’s opinion section, Art of the Essay.