Western Lithium USA Corporation (TSX VENTURE:WLC)(PINK SHEETS:WLCDF) has announced an interim update to its Stage I lithium resource based on an on-going drilling campaign to upgrade the lithium resources at its Kings Valley property in Nevada.
The current results of the 2010 drilling campaign that focused on increasing drill hole density, indicate strong geological continuity of the lithium resource at higher cut-off lithium grades. As a higher grade of feedstock is anticipated to improve the overall cost structure of the project, the company is now considering sizing the project for an initial start up phase of nominally 13,500 tonnes per year of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE). With potentially higher feedstock grades and corresponding lower tonnages, the company also expects to reduce its initial capital requirements and to improve its market entry competitive position.
"Drilling is planned to continue into 2011 with the aim to potentially upgrade resources further to the Measured and Indicated categories for reserve definition," said Jay Chmelauskas, Western Lithium's President. "In addition, the size of our resource gives us considerable flexibility to develop a project that can meet the initial needs of the market with significant future potential for scalability."
At a 0.40% lithium metal (Li) cut-off, the updated Stage I resource contains 10 million tonnes of Indicated resource at an average grade of 0.43% Li metal, or the lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) of 230,500 tonnes, and 10 million tonnes of Inferred resource at an average grade of 0.42%, for an additional 231,000 tonnes of Inferred LCE. The Stage I lithium resource supports the company's NI 43-101 Preliminary Assessment and Economic Evaluation (PAEE) that was filed in February 2010. The original PAEE considered a nominal feedstock grade of approximately 0.33% lithium metal. Since the PAEE was completed, an additional 48 drill holes have been added to the mineral inventory bringing the total number of holes defining the Stage I resource to 87 to date. The additional drilling has upgraded some of the mineral inventory from the Inferred to the Indicated categories that will form the basis for the next phase of pre-feasibility engineering.
If the company is successful with its Stage I development, then the potential for future scalability is anticipated based on the historic lithium resources at the property. Western Lithium's Kings Valley property has one of the largest known lithium deposits in the world, based on a historical resource estimate done by Chevron Resources Corp. (Chevron) of 11 million tonnes of LCE. This additional drilling supports work previously carried out by Chevron in the 1970's and 1980's that identified five lithium bearing hectorite clay lenses.
Updated Interim Stage I Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) Resource Inventory
Reserva International LLC completed a review of the exploration work and has developed an interim lithium mineral resource estimate effective November 3, 2010 for the Stage I Lens that conforms to National Instrument 43-101. The resource estimate was made from a three-dimensional (3D) block model using commercial mine planning software (Gemcom™).
Quality Assurance and Quality Control Program
Quality assurance-quality control by Western Lithium consists of standard samples, pulp duplicate analyses, blank analyses, and check assays. WLC used ALS Chemex (ALS) of Reno, Nevada as their primary assay laboratory for the Stage I 2010 drill campaign. Check duplicate analyses were also performed on pulp samples at ALS. Those samples were prepared and analyzed in the same batch as the original sample.
The resource estimate was calculated by Timothy J. Carew, P. Geo., Principal, Reserva International LLC, an independent Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101. Timothy Carew is the Qualified Person that has reviewed the technical data in this news release and Dennis Bryan, P.E., Western Lithium's Senior Vice President of Development and Qualified Person, has also reviewed the technical data in this news release.
Source: Western Lithium USA Corporation