Caeneus Minerals (ASX: CAD) has discovered highly anomalous concentrations of lithium brines within a shallow aquifer at the Columbus Marsh Project.
- Lithium brine discovery at the company’s 100% owned Columbus Marsh Project, one of the most significant lithium finds in Nevada outside the Clayton Valley.
- Lithium brine concentrations up to 95.9mg/l from partially completed, maiden drill hole at Columbus Marsh.
- Given the significance of the discovery, an immediate application has been made for available water rights within Columbus Marsh.
- New exploration ground has been staked in the Rhodes Marsh Project, on trend North-West of Columbus Marsh Project and the Clayton Valley.
Columbus Marsh Lithium Project
The lithium bearing brines were intersected at a depth of 79.25 meters (260 feet) and continued to a depth of 103.63 meters (340 feet) resulting in a width of the aquifer of 24.38 meters (80 feet).
Assay of the brine returned a high of 95.9 mg/l lithium (95.9ppm Li or 510.5ppm LiCO3 equivalent) with a minimum assay of the same brine returning 56.3mg/l lithium (56.3ppm Li or 299.7ppm LiCO3 equivalent). The brine also assayed up to 3,670mg/l potassium and 1,100mg/l boron, indicating strong potential for other revenue generating commodities to accompany the lithium.
The brine was confined in the aquifer in a sequence of clay, salt and tuff. It is expected that the tuff would be relatively permeable, similar to the lithium producing tuff aquifer at the Clayton Valley operations. Indeed, it is possible that the tuff layer is the same tuff that produces lithium at Clayton Valley. (The Columbus Marsh property is situated 40 kilometers northwest of the Clayton Valley lithium brine operations). Furthermore, the Columbus Marsh maximum assay is almost 50% higher in concentration than the lithium brines which were previously processed at Searles Lake, California (65ppm lithium).
The exploratory drill hole was drilled near the centre of the Caeneus’ leases which cover an area of 3,280 acres (1,327.37 hectares), indicating a potentially considerable volume of lithium rich brine. Drill progress is ongoing, having been tempered by wet and unfavourable weather conditions at the beginning of the drill program. The planned target depth for the current hole is approximately 400m, with further lithium bearing intervals still possible.
The Columbus Marsh Project is situated adjacent to the main North – South highway that links Las Vegas and Reno. Therefore, if lithium production were to commence it would be relatively simple to move lithium product from the site to potential end-users, such as the Tesla Gigafactory near Reno some 250 kilometres to the North.
Following these results, the company has immediately applied for water rights to the area and is planning a program of follow up drilling to be completed at the earliest opportunity.
Rhodes Marsh Project Acquisition
Caeneus has acquired 78 placer claims to cover portions of the Rhodes Marsh basin, which is located approximately 15km North to Northwest of the company’s Columbus Marsh Project.
The company believes that the Rhodes Marsh Project holds many similarities to such basins as Columbus Marsh and the Clayton Valley, and is therefore highly prospective for lithium brines.
- Rhodes Marsh Playa measures approximately 2.4km by 4.8km;
- 78 placer tenures secured totaling approximately 1,560 acres; and
- Rhodes Marsh (like Columbus Marsh, Teels Marsh, and Fish Lake) is known for historic production of borax minerals.
Lida Valley & Muddy Mountains
Given exploration results to date, Caeneus has relinquished its Lida Valley Project and Muddy Mountain Project tenures to focus on the high-potential basins within the area North and Northwest of Clayton Valley.
Steve Elliott, Managing Director states:
“We are considerably excited about the discovery of lithium in brines at our Columbus Marsh Project, which we believe represents one of the most significant lithium brine discoveries in the state of Nevada outside of the Clayton Valley.
The Columbus Marsh result is highly significant and has the potential for large quantities of commercial lithium brines to be defined in the area. To the best our knowledge this is one of the highest lithium in brine assays ever to be recorded in Nevada outside of the Clayton Valley lithium brine operation and is extremely encouraging.
As exploration is ongoing, we look forward to the results of further drilling at Columbus Marsh and at our newly acquired Rhodes Marsh Project.”