American Lithium Corp. ("American Lithium"; or, the "Company") announces revised sample results from near surface auger sampling on the North Playa, Fish Lake Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada.
54 brine samples from the North Playa project were identified as erroneous in November of 2016. The 54 samples have been re-assayed by ALS Minerals ("ALS") in their Vancouver, BC facility utilizing the ICP AES analysis process. The 54 of these samples were previously reported on October 12th and November 3rd, 2016 prior to the identification of the flawed assays process. The earlier, flawed assays were produced by Florin Analytical Services ("FAS") in Reno Nevada utilizing the Atomic Absorption (AA) analysis process. As an early stage exploration program the company relied on the FAS internal QA/QC program, including duplicate and blanks, to assure that the results were being reported correctly. Florin Analytical Services, is the analytical arm of Kappes, Cassiday & Associates. KCA is a well-respected process engineering company that started in 1972 in Reno, Nevada that works on and develops complex metallurgical flowsheets for both the precious as well as industrial metal industry. This work has included the development of flow sheets for lithium deposits.
The 54 flawed assays were from areas that had not been historically sampled and some down slope from a historic lithium clay deposit. In November of 2016, subsequent assays returned from FAS indicated higher values than had been reported in historic exploration work in the same area and the QP requested check assays be completed at ALS. Six brine sample splits were sent to ALS and the assays returned were found to be materially lower that the FAS assays and also in agreement with historic assays. This resulted in an inquiry into how the assay process was being conducted at FAS and which assay laboratory was more accurate.
FAS routinely uses a series of checks and balances aimed at producing accurate results. These checks and balances were in place but were not used correctly. In the case of the brine solutions the standards used did not provide sufficient quality control for the program completed. In summary, after comparison of all results from both laboratories the results from ALS were found to be valid. Errors early in the program from FAS were determined to be due to systematic errors. Systematic errors can only be corrected by the use of a series of standards. FAS was able to develop an in house synthetic brine "standard" that allowed for more extensive QA/QC of the results and those results then compared well with those from ALS in the later part of the program
The 54 samples with flawed FAS assays originally reported a range of 2 mg/L to 537 mg/L and an average of 272 mg/L. All remaining sample material from FAS was sent directly from FAS to ALS Vancouver for re- assay. Corrected ALS assay values for the 51 of the 54 samples now report a range from 'below detection' to 130 mg/L with an average 71 mg/L Li, (The company would note that 3 were not re-assayed due to non- sufficient sample) (see Table 1 at the end of the press release).
"The sample results from our near surface auger program are in line with historic results and our expectations. These results provide a clear vector for the next phase of our planned sampling and drilling program on the north playa as we work towards our goal of identifying economic lithium resources in the Fish Lake Valley and becoming Nevada's premier lithium exploration company ", comments Interim CEO Michael Kobler.
Near surface brine samples for the first 25 samples were collected by using a conventional hand held auger to sample sub surface brines at a depth of 78" (2m), The brine was sampled at the bottom of the auger hole and then separated from residual clays before being sent for analysis. For the subsequent near surface brine sampling program the Company developed a new methodology for sampling. Instead of an auger system, a four-inch diameter pipe is driven into the ground to a depth of approximately 55" (1.4m) and then pulled out of the hole. A 2.5" (6.3cm) perforated pvc pipe is placed in the hole to keep it open while clay solids settle to the bottom of the hole. The brine is then sampled just above the settled material at the bottom of the hole. The change in sampling method was driven by the difficulty of operating an auger in wet playa clays. Both processes return a similar near surface brine sample.
The QP requested blank material (tap water) to be inserted on a 5% basis as were duplicate samples. This protocol was not implemented by the site geologist and this error was not discovered until the end of the short program. It is not expected that either of these two actions would have identified the flawed assays any earlier than was done. Neither the Company nor the QP are aware of Lithium standard material for brines that would have been available for insertion into the samples stream at the time of the program. Insertion of independent standard material would have revealed the assay problems earlier in the process. The absence of certified standards is not unreasonable in an early stage exploration program. The Company is currently working on obtaining relevant certified lithium standard materials for future programs.
Two samples were collected in the field at each location by independent third party contractors, both were clearly labeled, stored in a secure climate controlled facility and then one was shipped by courier to Reno, Nevada where the samples were submitted to either FAS or subsequently to ALS facilities. Excepting the previously discussed "flawed assays," the reported assays in this press release were processed at the ALS Minerals Laboratory in Reno Nevada and analyzed at the ALS facility in Vancouver BC. The lithium brine samples were collected, diluted and analyzed directly by inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Down hole sediment samples were dissolved with a de-ionized water leach, and analyzed directly by inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES).
Table #1 Comparison between previously reported flawed assay results and revised results
Note NNS indicates non-sufficient sample for re-assay, original assays completed by Florin Assay Services, Reno Nevada, revised assays completed by ALS Minerals, North Vancouver, BC
Michael Collins, P.Geo. is the Company's designated Qualified Person within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101, he is independent of the company, and has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this news release.