Western Lithium has commenced drilling of several core holes at its Kings Valley, Nevada lithium property using sonic drilling technology to test the technology as it prepares for its 2009 drilling campaign. The current drill program will provide larger samples for metallurgical testing and clay characterization and will twin previous holes where the subsurface geology and lithium clay intercepts are known. The 2009 drilling campaign is designed to enable the project to advance through Scoping Studies to a Prefeasibility Study.
Sonic drilling employs high frequency resonant vibrations and has been used to drill formations containing Industrial Clays, Nickel Laterite, Iron Ore, Manganese, Uranium, Coal and disseminated Gold.
“The technology behind sonic drilling enables the retrieval of highly representative continuous samples from soft rock formations, which is particularly suitable for the Hectorite Clay at our lithium property in Nevada,” said Dennis Bryan, Western Lithium’s Senior Vice President of Development. “In addition, this method will provide larger diameter samples more amenable for bulk metallurgical testing than conventional methods.”
Western Lithium is planning to drill approximately 30 core holes in 2009 in an infill drilling program on the Stage I (PCD) lens to bring the existing National Instrument 43-101 Indicated and Inferred Resource estimate to the Pre-feasibility Study level. In addition, large scale trenching is planned to obtain bulk samples and to test suitable mining methods for the deposit. The 2009 drilling and trenching program is expected to commence in the fall at an estimated cost of approximately $750,000 with a Pre-feasibility Study to follow in 2010.
Western Lithium is developing the Kings Valley, Nevada lithium deposit into potentially one of the world’s largest strategic, scalable and reliable sources of battery grade lithium carbonate. The company is positioning itself as a U.S.-based supplier to support the rising global demand for lithium carbonate that is expected from the increased use of mobile electronics and hybrid/electric vehicles.