Pioneer Resources (ASX: PIO) has pulled visible spodumene from the first hole of its 2018 drilling program at Mavis Lake lithium project in Canada’s Ontario province.
Assays from the drill hole are expected by the end of March, with the current program anticipated to wind up in 30 days.
The drilling program at Mavis Lake is testing extensions to spodumene bearing pegmatites the company and its joint venture partner International Lithium identified during an early drilling program in 2017.
In the 2017 program, four holes were drilled at the Fairservice prospect, within Mavis Lake, with each hole intersecting lithium.
Better intersections from the 2017 program were 17.90m at 1.47% lithium, and 26.30m at 1.70% lithium, with a 7.70m interval containing 2.97% lithium.
Mavis Lake encompasses 2,642 hectares and is 19km from Dryden in Ontario and close to Canada’s Trans-Canada highway and railway arteries.
Pioneer executed an agreement with International Lithium in March 2016 to earn an 80% stake in Mavis Lake.
Pioneer also owns the Raleigh lithium project about 80km from Dryden, as well as a portfolio of projects prospective for lithium, cobalt, nickel and gold in Western Australia.
Lithium comes off record highs
As lithium came off record highs from earlier this month, several small cap lithium stocks took a beating last week.
Major Chilean-based lithium producer SQM reported to the market it was ramping up production more than 30% to 63,000 tonne per annum to fill mounting demand for the commodity.
Demand for lithium is forecast to rise 14% this year, and with SQM and US-based Albemarle and FMC controlling much of the global lithium supply, a substantial production increase by one of them impacts the junior explorers attempting to gain a foothold in the sector.
However, Pioneer’s 14% five day fall to A$0.028 yesterday was mildly mitigated this morning with the company’s share price bouncing back 7% to hit A$0.03 in early morning trade.