- Sample collection for initial mobile metal ion geochemical orientation survey completed at QMC Quantum Minerals’ Irgon Project in Manitoba
- QMC preparing to begin phase one drilling on Irgon Lithium Mine Project
- Lithium demand is expected to reach $1.7 billion per year by 2019; lithium carbonate prices hit $16,000 per metric ton in August
A once-developing lithium mining operation in southern Manitoba’s bountiful Cat Lake-Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field may soon be brought back to life by QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. (OTC: QMCQF) (TSX.V: QMC) (FSE: 3LQ) with prospects of establishing a new North America-based source of the in-demand metal. The company is currently working to confirm the historic resource estimate published for its Irgon Lithium Mine Project.
Specialized international inspections and testing firm SGS Canada Inc. recently completed its evaluation of all known historical data related to mineralized pegmatite dikes within QMC’s 100 percent-owned Irgon Lithium Mine Project, and it is now helping to guide QMC’s plans for a phase one drilling program on the Irgon site, according to a September 17 news release (http://nnw.fm/s2jJk).
SGS Canada was hired in May 2018 to oversee the current exploration program, including the recently completed mobile metal ion (or MMIs, such as lithium, cesium, tantalum, beryllium, etc.) geochemical orientation survey over the Irgon Dike. These mobile metal ions are released from underlying pegmatite mineralization within the Irgon Dike and travel upward through the soil, making them an excellent indicator of underlying mineralization. The survey is a proven, advanced exploration technique used to find buried mineral deposits and to help companies such as Quantum Minerals decide where to drill in order to get the best results.
“QMC and SGS have completed the initial mobile metal ion (“MMI”) geochemical orientation survey across the Irgon Dike. This initial survey will be used to identify the optimum sampling depth to achieve the best geochemical response from the underlying lithium mineralization,” the news release states. “Samples from this orientation survey have been submitted to SGS and are being analyzed for 53 elements.”
Once the initial orientation survey results have been received and assessed, SGS will provide ongoing technical support and consulting services for additional MMI surveys over other potential drill targets identified within the Irgon Project.
Decades-old exploration at the Irgon Dike produced a resource estimate of 1.2 million tons of lithium oxide which reported 1.51 percent Li20 over a strike length of 365 meters and to a depth of 213 meters. SGS is working with Quantum Minerals to confirm the historical resource under modern NI 43-101 reporting standards for resource investment certification purposes. The company has stated that the old estimate is believed to be based on reasonable evaluation of the original exploration and that neither the company nor the qualified professional geologist have reason to doubt its reliability. These historical estimates do not meet current standards as defined under sections 1.2 and 1.3 of NI 43-101; consequently, QMC is not treating the historical estimate as current mineral resources or mineral reserves.
The company has also identified, through a search of the historical assessment records, a large, untested “lithium soil anomaly” more than 3,600 feet long and up to 1,150 feet wide on the southern part of the property that may prove to be a fruitful new target.
A significant amount of infrastructure from the historical exploration remains at the site, providing hope of a lower cost start-up to production. Access is excellent, as the project is road accessible, power is nearby and there is a local, well trained labor force.
Lithium has enjoyed good name status in the metals market during the last couple years, because it is a key component in the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries, providing lightweight heat stabilization qualities. Lithium-ion batteries power a wide range of computerized electronics and have become particularly sought after of late amid a global tech race to control the electric automobile market.
According to projections by Lithium Investing News, lithium demand will rise to 49,350 metric tons by next year, with a lithium carbonate equivalent contract valuation of $1.7 billion (http://nnw.fm/HKz5M). During August, global lithium carbonate contracts made a nearly 20 percent price increase over the prior year to around $16,000 per metric ton (http://nnw.fm/7Qlfk).
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.QMCMinerals.com
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