27 June, 2017

Leading Edge hits significant lithium, tantalum in Sweden

Junior explorer Leading Edge Materials will immediately launch a follow-up drilling campaign at its Bergby lithium project, in Sweden, after its most recent drill campaign returned “strongly positive” intersections of two new near-surface targets that exceed 16 m in thickness at greater than 1% lithium oxide.

The TSX-V-listed company said the latest data set from six holes supports a known strike length of more than 600 m at Bergby, which remains open in all directions.

“The first Bergby drilling programme, comprising only 18 holes, has delivered excellent lithium and tantalum results, and Bergby now ranks as a very significant lithium occurrence in the Nordic region. The high hit rate of high-grade lithium so near surface over a 600 m strike is impressive, and sets us up for an immediate follow-up drilling programme,” president and CEO Blair Way stated in a press release.

Preparations are now under way for an expanded second drill programme starting in the third quarter. Further drilling will test the along strike and down dip extension of lithium mineralisation. This programme will also collect enough samples for the first round of mineral processing testwork. More surface work will also be completed to better understand the prospectivity of the Bergby area.

The results include hole BBY17013 that intersected 1.05 m grading 0.68% Li2O from 8 m depth; hole BBY17014 which intersected 6.4 m grading 0.64% Li2O from 18.85 m depth; hole BBY17015 which intersected 16.35 m grading 1% Li2O and 129 ppm tantalum oxide from 15.75 m depth; and hole BBY17016 which intersected 18.8 m grading 1.14% Li2O and 101 ppm Ta2O5 from 17.75 m depth.

Bergby lies in central Sweden, 25 km north of the town of Gavle, secured by three exploration licences that cover 1 903 ha. The site is close to infrastructure, with major roads, rail and power supply passing immediately adjacent to the claim boundaries. The company believes the project has potential to be a low-cost producer, with quick development possible, which is significantly enhanced by the presence of a deepwater port only 5 km from the site.

The true thickness of mineralised intervals is interpreted to be about 90% of the sampled thickness.

Europe is playing a leading role in the transition to low-carbon energy generation from renewable sources, and the efficient storage of that energy. Electric mobility and stationary electricity storage are dependent on high-purity graphite, lithium and cobalt, where Leading Edge is an active European player.

Lithium has a strong and expanding market, owing to the critical role it plays in lithium-based batteries for the automotive, consumer product and stationary electricity storage industries. The high electrochemical potential of lithium results in the high power-to-weight ratio that is essential for efficient mobile batteries.

Source: miningweekly