Sal Rica Project
Situated on the northwestern portion of ancestral Lake Bonneville (Great Salt Lake) the Company’s Sal Rica Project is an important target for the discovery of lithium-enriched brine deposits. It is situated in a region that hosts a variety of active extraction facilities for brine-hosted mineral resources.
The Sal Rica project is located in the Pilot Valley region of Box Elder County, in northwestern Utah, approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of the town of Wendover and approximately 100 miles (161 kilometers) west-northwest of Salt Lake City.
During a regional reconnaissance program carried out in northwestern Utah by our personnel, initial sampling of sediments in the project area yielded lithium values ranging from 82 ppm to 213 ppm lithium.
We expect to follow up with geophysical surveys designed to identify targets for a drilling program to test deeper basin sediments and brines.
The Sal Rica Project covers an area of approximately 13,260 acres (5,366 hectares). We acquired mining claims covering an area of about 9,900 acres (3,960 hectares) from Mesa Exploration Corporation, and subsequently staked a further 3,360 acres (1,360 hectares) of mining claims adjacent to the properties acquired from Mesa.
The claims acquired from Mesa are subject to a 2 percent “net smelter return” royalty on any production derived from those claims. There are no royalty obligations on the claims that we staked adjacent to the former Mesa properties.
The Sal Rica Project area was first explored for mineral by Quintana petroleum in the mid-1960s. Quintana undertook a shallow drilling program for potash-bearing brines in the area, and assayed the samples from their drilling for a range of elements, including lithium. Assay results from this drilling program demonstrated the widespread presence of significant concentrations of lithium in brines (ranging from 22 to 81 parts per million (ppm)) that are associated with near surface aquifers.
Confirmation brine samples collected by Mesa Exploration personnel in 2016 returned lithium grades averaging 66 ppm lithium, with values as high as 80 ppm, consistent with the results Quintana obtained from their previous drilling. Historical drill holes were spaced at distances of 1 to 2 miles (1.6 to 3.2 kilometers) from each other.
We acquired the initial Sal Rica Project property from Mesa Exploration in September 2016 for a two-percent net smelter return royalty, $50,000 cash, 100,000 restricted shares of our Company and an additional 100,000 restricted shares of our Company in September 2017.
We identified the Sal Rica Project area through literature reviews of historical geological ad geochemical data from the U.S. Geological Survey, as well as other public and private information sources, followed by field reconnaissance of the target area.
Regional geophysical studies by the University of Utah, carried out between 1957 and 1961, indicated that basin-fill sediments in the project area, which are potential host rocks for lithium-enriched brines, have a depth of up to 5,300 feet (1,615 meters).
Pilot Valley, the site of the Sal Rica Project, is a closed drainage basin covering an area of approximately 130 square miles (337 square kilometers). The geology here is dominated by lake and evaporate sediments that have been sources of potash and salt.
Sampling of shallow brines by Quintana Petroleum and Mesa Exploration Corporation demonstrated the widespread presence of lithium at depths of less than 50 feet (approximately 15 meters). Future exploration at the Sal Rica Project will focus on characterizing the remaining 5,000-plus feet thick basin sequence for higher quality lithium brines capable of supporting an economic resource.