West Cobar Metals to start maiden drilling at Nevada lithium project
Maiden drilling at the Nevada lithium claystone project owned by West Cobar Metals (ASX: WC1) is set to commence later this month in the US pending rig availability.
The project – which is close to the mining town of Tonopah — consists of the Montezuma Well and Big Smoky Valley claims areas within a district of known large-scale sedimentary-hosted lithium claystone deposits.
These include TLC (owned by American Lithium), Tonopah Flats (American Battery Technology Company), Rhyolite Ridge (Ioneer, ASX: INR) and Clayton Valley (Century Lithium).
At the Montezuma Well target, five wide-spaced reverse circulation holes will test for claystone-hosted mineralisation while at Big Smoky, the company will complete six holes to test for shallow lithium-in-claystones.
West Cobar recently completed reconnaissance fieldwork across the licence areas to confirm the claims’ prospectivity.
At Montezuma Well, geological mapping suggested that thick sequences of the prospective Siebert formation mudstones and tuffs shallow dip into the company’s tenement areas and are covered by thin alluvial and colluvial sediments.
A recent drill hole approximately 1 kilometre south of the tenement area intersected 35 metres at 463 parts per million lithium from 107m.
Settlement of claim
In June, West Cobar agreed to the full release of all current and potential claims against it and subsidiary WC1 Nevada Lithium from operators Nedeel, Kryptonite and GF Global.
The agreement related to an alleged breach of confidentiality by West Cobar and WC1 Nevada.
The parties have since come to an agreement on consideration for the breach.
It will see West Cobar issue the companies with 1.5 million shares; 3 million unquoted options exercisable into West Cobar shares at $0.20 each; and 2.5 million performance rights convertible into shares on completion of exploratory drilling on its Nevada claims and the return of a single intercept of 20 meters true width grading more than 700ppm.
Only lithium mine
Nevada is currently home to the only lithium mine in the US at Silver Peak, which is owned and operated by Albemarle Corp.
According to the US Geological Service, lithium was also commercially produced from the brine-sourced waste tailings of a Utah-based magnesium producer.
Two companies produced a range of downstream lithium compounds in the US from domestic or imported lithium carbonate, lithium chloride and lithium hydroxide.