PACIFIC IMPERIAL MINES INC. (the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:PPM) is pleased to announce the results of a recently completed initial exploration program including geochemical and gravity surveys on its 100% owned Eagle Mountain lithium property near Death Valley Junction, California.
Soil sampling was carried out on the property by drilling principally auger drill holes 1.3 to 3 meters deep depending on the nature of the material and the utility of the equipment.
This survey was directed by the quality of geochemical results published by the USGS in 1977 in the salina area. The values from the solids in this 102.1 meter drill hole, which was part of a regional study of possible lithium salina targets throughout the Mojave Desert in California were strongly anomalous with 45 of 68 samples in the range of 300 to 999 ppm (USGS OFR 80-1234). In a more detailed examination of this RC drill hole Pastea (USGS OFR 86-1164) used both AA and emission spectra methods and conducted some mineralogical studies using the laboratories in Menlo Park, California and Denver, Colorado. Using the AA, the range of all samples was 58 to 810 ppm lithium and the four samples subjected to emission spectra returned values of 1,100 ppm, 1,100 ppm, 810 ppm, and 1,100 ppm lithium.
In December, 2016, a total of 61 soil samples from the dry, shallow auger drill holes, were taken across the playa surface covering an area of about 15 square kilometers. The playa surface is covered by a crusty mix of halite, sodium and calcium chloride, gypsum, borates, silt and clay. The depth of these evaporitic materials is unknown but the surface expression of the salts extends well beyond the core of the salina.
The sampling has revealed a 12 square kilometer area with a surface expression of lithium mineralization ranging up to 240 ppm. Whereas the area has been subjected to recent unusual rains, it is probable that the very shallow material has been leached of the very mobile lithium salts and that deeper sampling will be required. This seasonal leaching and variation in surface lithium content has been well documented by the USGS regional studies. This suggests that the published results from the 102.1 meter hole are more representative of the target potential and considerably more work is warranted.
The gravity survey, completed in December, 2016, generated a basin model as an aid to lithium exploration. The survey also defined the regional structural setting revealing complex structures dominated by a major fault bounding Eagle Mountain on both sides.
Several first order structural features representing targets for more work were outlined by the survey. The gravity survey defined the southern portion of the Amargosa Basin, revealing a shelf extending to the south, off the main basin and underlying the property, with specific gravity low features identified as priority targets for exploration.
Interpretation of the gravity data indicates the basin fill depth averages 550 meters with a deeper, small perched sub-basin located on the property's southeast margin. The survey also defined much deeper, well-defined basins in the area which will be evaluated as priority targets. These features are similar in scale to (in fact larger than) the gravity mapped targets in the Clayton Valley.
A major structural feature extends across the property in a northwest-southeast direction, bounding Eagle Mountain on either side. The structure forms the south-southwestern margin of the basin shelf. Gravity data suggests that the basin fill layering in the shelf dips southwest toward the Eagle Mountain bounding structure. This asymmetry, similar to the Clayton Valley Basin, is interpreted to be an important control to lithium brine entrapment at the Clayton Valley deposit.
Three target areas on the Eagle Mountain property are defined based on similarities to the Clayton Valley deposit. These include the north-south oriented paleo-channel, a sub-basin underlying the southeastern portion of the property and sediments dipping west towards the major structure bounding the northeast side of Eagle Mountain.
A recently staked, fourth target, is a prominent basin feature located along the western structural boundary of the Amargosa basin, about 7 kilometers to the northwest of the original Eagle Mountain property. It extends over a length of at least 10 kilometers in a north-south direction and represents an important exploration target.
A controlled source audio magneto-telluric (CSAMT) geophysical survey has been recommended by James L. Wright, consulting geophysicist and author of the gravity report. A CSAMT survey is well suited for delineation of basin fill bedding. In addition, brines are low resistivity and the survey can be used to target brine concentrations in basin fill.
Pacific Imperial Mines Inc. directors are encouraged by the results of the initial exploration program and expect to follow up on recommendations for further work made by geophysical consultant James L. Wright and project manager, David A. Bending, P.Geo.
A detailed project description and supporting illustrations showing targets will be shown on the Pacific Imperial Mines Inc. website currently being updated.
Quality Control and Quality Assurance:
The samples were processed by ALS Chemex Labs in Reno, Nevada for analysis. The analytical range for lithium for the method used is 0.1 ppm to 1%. The multi-element package subjects the samples to Aqua Regia digestion followed by ICP-MS analysis. This method is suitable for early lithium exploration in sedimentary deposits.
David A. Bending, P. Geo, consultant to Pacific Imperial Mines Inc. is the qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has approved the technical information in this release.