Junior metals explorer Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) has provided an updated picture of its most recent lithium exploration activity in Canada.
Nova is on course to earn an 80% ownership stake in the Thompson Brothers lithium project, located around 20km east of the mining town of Snow Lake in Manitoba, Canada.
Its most recent drilling results are expected to provide the necessary data to further the project and facilitate obtaining its maiden JORC resource estimate with Nova eyeing up a 9.0Mt to 13.0Mt reserve with a grade range of between 1.30% lithium and 1.70% lithium, even at this early stage of exploration.
The overarching aim is to progress Thompson Brothers into full-scale production with progress coming thick and fast. Barely 2 weeks ago, Nova expanded its landholding at the project by 3,440 hectares and completed an initial geochemical sampling programme earlier this year.
Drilling for lithium
Nova reports that it drilled 24 holes, saying it is “happy with the progress to date” and that with additional exploration work, its Canadian lithium project could eventually be expanded to provide “much-needed lithium concentrate into the burgeoning battery metals sector.”
Lithium exploration has seen a troop of budding lithium explorers enter the fray over the past 2 years, with Nova hopeful that its Canadian location will provide the edge it needs to delivering an economically viable mining operation in the foreseeable future.
“The company is delighted with the latest results from the current phase of resource drilling at Thompson Brothers lithium project, both in terms of overall width and grade as it reconfirms the potential of Thompson Brothers Lithium Project becoming a globally significant hard rock lithium deposit with the company having only explored a very small portion of the total project area to date,” said Mr Avi Kimelman, Managing Director of Nova Minerals.
“I am delighted with the latest drill results returning thick intersections of high-grade lithium grading 1.5% to 2% lithium, which bodes well for a good result as part of the maiden resource estimation update,” added Mr Kimelman.
From the 24 holes drilled by Nova’s exploration team, its peak result was 1.58% lithium taken from 14.8-metre core interval.
Nova also reported that the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) has been engaged by Nova Minerals for the preparation of 3 kg spodumene concentrate as part of spodumene floatation test work which Nova says is also “on track”.
The sole objective of the testing is to produce a 3kg spodumene concentrate sample at around 6% lithium as a demonstration of its capabilities and future potential for end users. This initial test work will add to the initial NI 43-101 reporting and serve to “fast track feasibility works” according to Nova.
“Producing sample spodumene concentrate at or around 6% lithium through floatation test works is running on schedule and will benefit us in our upcoming NI 43-101, fast track of scoping study and feasibility works, also allows us to supply spodumene concentrate samples to end users during our upcoming planned meetings and discussions,” added Mr Kimelman.
Nova’s next milestone in its exploration programme is to complete its keenly awaited scoping study by the end of the year, before moving onto reporting an updated resource estimate by the middle of next year.
Its pre-feasibility study which typically includes solid economic modelling, capital expenditure forecasts and clarified economic viability assessments is expected to be completed sometime in Q3 2019.
This morning’s news sent Nova shares up 5% in early trade this morning as investors digested the news.