ANALYSIS–ProspectingJournal.com–As the global demand for green technology intensifies, miners are turning their gaze towards elements that will power tomorrow’s electronics. At the heart of this push for green technology, utilized in Electronic Vehicles (EV), laptops and smartphones, is the ultra-light, high-energy metal—lithium.
Lithium is significantly lighter than traditional metals used in batteries and holds an energy density that can produce voltage that is over twice that of zinc-carbon and alkaline batteries. These characteristics allow lithium batteries to be compact and efficient, making them an essential function in EVs, laptops, smartphones and cameras.
About the Company
In response to growing demand, International Lithium Corp. (ILC: TSX.V) has emerged as a strategically positioned company with an attractive mix of projects. Prior to public listing in May 2011, ILC dedicated two years accumulating key projects.
The Company’s strong management team believes in the future of lithium and constitutes a 60% stake in the Company, while strategic investment from global manufacturer Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium provides a solid backing. In addition, ILC boasts an impressive portfolio that contains four lithium brine projects in Nevada and Argentina, and five rare metal ‘pegmatite’ (course-grained granite) properties in Ontario, the Northwest Territories and Ireland.
ILC’s latest discovery of a high-grade boulder field on its 100% owned Blackstairs Project in Ireland is a welcome addition for the Company. Located just 80km south of Dublin, the Blackstairs Project encompasses the Leinster Pegmatite Belt, which hosts the best known pegmatite occurrences in Ireland. The Property comprises eight exploration licenses over 292km² and includes 19 significant lithium prospects. Historical drilling records on the Property include 570,000 tonnes grading 1.5% Li2O at the Aclare House (Pre-NI43-101) and 25,000 tonnes grading 1.9% Li2O at Stranakelly (based on two drill holes).
Results from initial exploration include excellent lithium grades. In total, 21 samples were collected across the Project, 8 of which contained a concentration greater than 1% Li2O. As the Company’s highlighted samples show below, four samples from the Moylisha boulder field returned significant values. Three samples graded better than 3% Li2O and the highest returned 4.59% Li2O, which represents more than 50% spodumene (Primary Lithium bearing mineral) content.
*Grab sample MOY10 was collected in proximity to the past exploration activity at Moylisha.
The discovery on the Moylisha occurrence during the preliminary exploration program uncovered the 250m² high-density pegmatite boulder zone, which was, interestingly, exposed throughout the recent harvesting of a tree farm. This greatly expands the Blackstairs value, demonstrating the possibility of more large, hidden Lithium pegmatites.
The boulder discovery also suggests strong continuity of pegmatites across the property. The zone is along strike from a previously identified pegmatite—500m to the southwest and along the district trend from past exploration, where five drill holes totaling 212 metres revealed pegmatite between 5 and 10 metres in width, with the best intersection grading 1.66% Li2O over 9.4m.
Not surprisingly, ILC has now given considerable weight to the Project. As President Mike Sieb points out, “The high-grade lithium pegmatite boulder field identified at Moylisha significantly reinforces the potential to discover buried pegmatite bodies on the Property. These results, from a cursory investigation, far exceeded expectations and dramatically raise the directive for further work.”
On top of the Blackstairs Project, ILC’s diverse portfolio presents a strong balance of considerable properties. The Mariana lithium brine project in Argentina covers 160 km² on a salar (‘salt lake’). In an area renowned for providing the vast majority of the world’s lithium production, the Mariana consists of several contiguous claims that cover the entire salar, with historical samples reporting significant lithium + potassium levels in brines and sediments. ILC is expected to deliver promising results in the near-future from the Mariana as the Phase 1 drill program has recently commenced, testing the geochemical characterization of the subsurface brine, identifying the stratigraphy for a geological model and identifying the salar’s aquifer potential.
The Company’s remaining projects include a handful of promising brine and pegmatite properties in the US and Canada. ILC recently announced lithium assay results from the recent drill program at the Mavis Lake and Fairservice blocks near Dryden Ontario. Highlights from the 1,753 metre drill program, designed to test eight pegmatites, include 1.86% Li2O over 26.25m and 1.22% Li2O over 28.45m, with 13 of 17 drill holes intersecting pegmatites >2 metres thick that returned notable lithium grades. The Company also holds the Moose Rare Metals project in Canada’s Northwest Territories, a past lithium + tantalum producer with encouraging historical results. As well, ILC’s three lithium brine projects in Nevada present a highly prospective opportunity to explore near the renowned Clayton Valley.
2012 and Beyond
As a Clean Tech company with high-quality properties, International Lithium Corp. is well positioned to deliver substantial results as 2012 unfolds. By securing key properties and proving up promising results, such as those at the Moylisha prospect in Ireland, the Company is setting the stage to mine the fuel of future technology. ILC’s goal is to provide increased shareholder value through the advancement of its projects and meet the future demand for lithium. The possibilities of green technology are, to ILC, the promise of Blue Sky discoveries for shareholders.
“Lithium is becoming an increasing vital element that will be essential in the development of sustainable technologies to curb global warming emissions . . . We look forward to having additional Lithium supply source in the future from ILC to meet our growing demand for Lithium.”
~ Wang Xiaoshen, General Manager of Ganfeng Lithium.
Disclaimer: The author does not currently hold any shares of any of the companies mentioned in the article. However, some members of Cordova Media Inc., which owns the ProspectingJournal.com, may or may not have interests in one or more of the companies mentioned at the time of publication. Staff members from the Prospecting Journal reserve the right to acquire interests in any of the companies mentioned after 36 hours have elapsed upon initial publication of this article.