- The inaugural drilling campaign including the following results:
o 43.8 m at 2,089 ppm Li, including 11 m at 2,537 ppm Li and 5.3 m at 2,260 ppm Li, and
o 22 m at 2,020 ppm Li, including; 3.0 m at 2,416 ppm Li and 10.0 m at 2,486 ppm Li from 18 m.
- Positive preliminary metallurgical results (November 2018):
o confirmed that lithium at Big Sandy is leachable via sulphuric acid (conventional and proven method to recover ore from clay deposits), and
o showed recoveries of 95% and 97% from seven and 24 hours respectively.
Why are lithium clays projects only now being considered?: Less than a decade ago three lithium projects (one hard-rock and two brine) supplied most of the world's demand for that element. Since then, however, demand for lithium - fuelled by the evolution of the electric vehicle industry, as well as the need for storage of renewable energy - has increased significantly. That has led to exploration for, and the subsequent development of, new lithium projects from traditional types of resource, as well as consideration of new lithium sources, the most advanced to date being lithium clays.
Infrastructure: Located halfway between two of America's major cities (Las Vegas and Phoenix), Big Sandy is supported by significant infrastructure, including a major highway linking the above-mentioned cities (and only a few kilometres from the tenement boundary), access to power (there are lines adjacent to the project) and a small town located within 10 kilometres of the project. Obviously, such infrastructure has both immediate and long-term benefits for Hawkstone.
In addition, two well-established industrial towns within 80 kilometres of Big Sandy are easily accessible by road. Future project development studies could thus consider the option of trucking ore to either town, thereby reducing capital costs and facilitating permitting.
Hit the ground running: two risks for any exploration project involve resource discovery and metallurgical considerations, the latter being particularly important in a developing sector such as that for lithium clays. In the just over two months since Hawkstone acquired the project those risks have been significantly ameliorated, in that the inaugural drill programme confirmed widespread lithium mineralisation at the project, while preliminary metallurgical test work confirmed that lithium was extractable using a conventional and therefore proven process.
A follow-up drill programme aimed at defining an initial resource is planned for early 2019. Meanwhile, additional metallurgical test work to further optimise the initial strong results (95% recoveries within a seven-hour period) is ongoing.
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About Hawkstone Mining Ltd
Hawkstone Mining Limited (ASX:HWK) is a Lithium Development company with projects in the USA.
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