Mandrake Resources (ASX:MAN) is looking to deliver a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) in Q1 2024 for its ‘large-scale’ Utah Lithium Project in the US.
The $25.24 million market capitalisation company says the MRE is subject to the estimation of an exploration target, which the company is hoping to define off the back of lithium brine wireline sampling which is now underway.
Mandrake reports the sampling program will allow the assessment of existing legacy oil and gas well bore conditions ahead of a ‘comprehensive’ workover program.
The company confirms it has engaged an independent lithium brines resource geologist to provide input into the forthcoming sampling program.
Mandrake reports sampling is targeting 6 shut-in wells owned by local oilfield owner Paradox Resources with 8 discrete sampling intervals.
The sampling follows a well access agreement with Paradox signed in May this year.
Mandrake notes a wireline unit is now on site and will collect samples using a simple bailer configuration designed to retrieve brine samples from desired depth intervals.
The company says the preliminary wireline work gives it the potential to access brines from the existing wells for about US$25,000 per well.
Mandrake will send each sample to an accredited laboratory for analytical testing. Once results are returned, the company states an exploration target can be estimated.
Further, Mandrake says 2 ‘large’ volume samples will be sent for preliminary direct lithium exploration (DLE) testing in laboratories in both the US and Australia.
A swabbing unit is then expected to be rolled out to site to enable larger volumes of water to be removed from the well, allowing for the ingress of brines representative of surrounding formations.
Mandrake Resources Managing Director James Allchurch says the wireline sampling work is a ‘key step’ in the company’s goal of delivering a maiden resource for the project.
Mandrake Resources is an explorer focused on advancing its Utah Project in the prolific ‘lithium four corners’ Paradox Basin in southeastern Utah, US.
As of 30 September, the company had $15.517 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.
Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au
Images: Mandrake Resources