TSX-listed project acquirer, developer and explorer American Lithium is moving its flagship Tonopah lithium project, in Nevada, US, towards its next phase of development with the submission of a plan of operations to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Drilling during 2019 and 2020 resulted in the discovery of a high-quality lithium deposit that is amenable to leaching with a measured and indicated resource of 5.37-million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) and another 1.76-million LCE inferred.
The plan of operations increases the surface disturbance allowance to about 68 ha in two phases. It also includes all necessary descriptions of environmental and reclamation planning for the next phase of operations.
The next phase of operations involves 95 new drill sites to further characterise the extensive TLC resource, five large test pits to provide bulk sampling for metallurgical testing and a five-acre laydown area intended for the future pilot plant. It also includes biological and cultural surveys that can be used for further permitting without additional cost.
The TLC sedimentary lithium discovery is an exploration and development project located 12 km northwest of Tonopah, and is accessible by paved highway. Work to date has identified a 5.3-million-tonne measured and indicated lithium carbonate equivalent resource, with an additional 1.7-million tonnes inferred, placing the company’s resource amongst a handful of potential lithium deposits in western North America capable of development.
TLC is near surface, relatively flat-lying and a free-digging lithium sedimentary deposit that American Lithium expects to advance through an early-stage economic study in 2021. Just south of the Crescent Dunes solar energy plant, the project is favourably located for future production given the immediate access to some of the cheapest electricity in Nevada.
The American Lithium team prioritised all environmental and cultural work early to fast-track the project towards this next phase of drilling and testing. The biological survey found no species or habitat protected under the Endangered Species Act within the project area, thereby expediting the company’s ability to move towards the next phase.
Going forward, information gained under the proposed new drilling programme will lead to a mining plan.
American Lithium CEO Michael Kobler states that there have been no significant environmental issues, and that the project is ready to move forward and produce bulk sampling for its extensive metallurgical testing programme and planned pilot plant operation.
The plan of operations, along with the associated Biological and Cultural Surveys were produced in conjunction with EM Strategies, which is located in Reno, Nevada.
STOCK OPTION GRANT
American Lithium also reports that, pursuant to its stock option plan, it has granted stock options to certain consultants to purchase an aggregate of 500 000 common shares at a price of $1.98 apiece for a period of five years from the grant date.