Spearmint Resources recently completed a 10-hole drill programme that discovered lithium in every hole, achieving a 100%-success rate. Preliminary metallurgical results from McClelland Laboratories in Sparks, Nevada have indicated that high extractions can be achieved by leaching with either sulphuric acid or hydrochloric acid.
In addition, preliminary results from a composite claystone sample have indicated lithium extractions of 80% with a sulphuric acid addition of 500kg/mt and 83% with a hydrochloric acid addition of 375kg/mt. Further testing is being planned to optimise leaching conditions.
The results from the 13-holes drilled to date on Spearmint's Clayton Valley lithium clay project, combined with the preliminary metallurgical testing results, will contribute towards Spearmint's technical report and potential maiden resource calculation that is being prepared by Stantec Consulting.
James Nelson, president of Spearmint Resources, stated: "We are pleased to receive metallurgical extraction recovery rates at over 80%. These metallurgical results will assist us in taking the next step in the process towards determining a potential resource calculation for our Clayton Valley lithium clay project in Nevada.
"Clayton Valley, Nevada continues to receive significant global attention as the premier lithium address in the US, hosting the only producing lithium deposit in North America. Spearmint's project is strategically located directly between Cypress Development Corp and Pure Energy. Pure has a partnership with Schlumberger and are planning to build a brine pilot plant with approximately US$30 million being spent in developments.
"On the other side of Spearmint's property, Cypress has just closed a private placement for US$19.55 million to develop their claystone deposit. This is a huge benefit to Spearmint to have two major adjacent projects being funded for over US$50 million, allowing Spearmint the benefit of a significant outlay of research and development spending on either side of our property without Spearmint having to commit our own money."
Nelson noted that lithium prices remain high due to demand for electric vehicle batteries, which he said is causing "a massive demand for ethically sourced, domestic lithium production".
He added that Spearmint is in the best financial shape in the company's history with approximately US$3.5 million in the treasury; Sprott Asset Management recently joined as a new significant shareholder. Nelson said: "We are moving forward at a rapid rate right now at a time when demand for lithium is approaching all-time highs. Management remains confident about the short and long-term future of Spearmint."
The Clayton Valley lithium project in Nevada is comprised of two claim blocks totalling 1,160 acres (470ha) directly bordering Pure Energy Minerals and Cypress Development Corp. Spearmint has other exploration projects in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland, Canada.