Uranium Resources, Inc., an energy metals exploration and development company, announced that it has acquired a third lithium exploration project, through the staking of 9,270 acres of federal placer mining claims within the Railroad Valley of central Nevada.
URI’s Railroad Valley Project is located approximately 75 miles west of Ely, Nevada, and covers an area for which company-led reconnaissance sediment sampling returned lithium values as high as 366ppm.
Over the past year URI has expanded its energy metals business by leveraging its existing business operations and technical capabilities. Those efforts have resulted in the acquisition of three lithium brine exploration projects -- Columbus Basin, Sal Rica, and now Railroad Valley -- totaling over 36,730 acres of mineral claims and representing one of the largest lithium brine exploration holdings in North America.
”Once again, URI has expanded its lithium business to include another highly prospective basin in Nevada,” said Chris Jones, President and CEO. “Now with three exploration targets, we can get down to business and explore for lithium. To that end, drills go to work on our Columbus Basin Project in July, with results expected by fourth quarter. This is an exciting time for URI and its investors.”
About the Railroad Valley Project
The Railroad Valley Project is located approximately 75 miles west of Ely, Nevada, and 100 miles east of Tonopah, Nevada. URI staff identified the Railroad Valley area as a potential lithium brine target in 2016, through literature reviews and publicly available geologic data. The area was then further investigated in 2016 and 2017 by URI staff, with over 45 sediment and 12 surface brine and spring samples collected within the basin. The results of this reconnaissance scale sampling yielded promising concentrations of lithium, including five sediment samples with lithium concentrations over 300ppm, and a maximum concentration of 366ppm. Based on the results of the reconnaissance scale sampling, coupled with geologic and hydrogeologic analysis of the basin, URI staff identified the most prospective area for acquisition through claim staking. The result was a 9,270 acre land position, controlled by URI through 467 federal placer mining claims along the western boundary of the basin, and south of Lockes Ponds.
In the Railroad Valley Project area, there appears to be a convergence of several factors favorable for lithium brine formation, including a deep, hydrologically closed basin covered by an evaporative playa, and adjacent Tertiary age felsic volcanic rocks of the Pancake Range that may be a source of lithium in the system. Previous oil exploration in the basin, adjacent to URI’s newly acquired land position, has penetrated significant thicknesses of evaporitic and ash-fall sediments, and has demonstrated the existence of a large geothermal anomaly underlying the entire basin. The geothermal anomaly is further evidenced by numerous hot springs on the west side of the basin, and adjacent to the project area, indicative of convective cycling within the local saline groundwater system. The numerous identifiable mechanisms for the potential concentration of lithium brines within the basin are highly promising, and create a compelling exploration target worthy of further investigation.
URI will integrate the Railroad Valley Project into the Company’s ongoing lithium exploration activities in Nevada and Utah. Initial studies planned for the project include additional surface sediment sampling, and acquisition of relevant geophysical data generated from both historical and current oil exploration within the basin for reinterpretation. Assuming the identification of appropriate targets, drilling may commence on the project before the end of 2017.