TORONTO (miningweekly.com) – TSX-V-listed explorer Nevada Sunrise Gold has received a drilling permit from the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to explore for lithium brines on the Neptune property in the Clayton Valley of Nevada.
The Western US state of Nevada was playing host to entrepreneurs and junior project developers staking land claims in a bid to get in on the hype created by Tesla Motors’ first $5-billion gigafactory under construction in the state.
The BLM approved ten exploration drill hole locations at Neptune, and Nevada Sunrise planned to drill three to four vertical holes as an initial phase, each up to 400 m to 500 m deep, into an interpreted sub-basin, with follow-up drilling if warranted. There were no known drill tests for lithium brines within the targeted Neptune sub-basin. The Neptune drill programme was proposed to begin in February.
The Neptune project comprised 316 unpatented 8 ha placer claims totalling about 2 557 ha and was located about 55 km south-west of Tonopah, Nevada, in an active area of lithium exploration and mining.
The Silver Peak lithium mine operation, acquired by NYSE-listed Albemarle in 2015, had continuously extracted lithium minerals from brines since 1966 and was located about 15 km to the north of Neptune.
Nevada Sunrise acquired geophysical data collected in 2011 by a previous land-holder, which had been interpreted to indicate that Neptune hosted a sub-basin up to 1 200 m deep, with the potential to host lithium-bearing brines in subterranean aquifers.