Jindalee Resources Limited (ASX: JRL) has commenced a critical drilling campaign at the McDermitt Lithium Project in Oregon, USA.
The estimated 21 hole programme isdesigned to extend the current Inferred Mineral Resourceand Exploration Target Rangeand convert existing Inferred Mineral Resources to Indicated status ahead of a possible Scoping Study. First assay results are expected late December.
In late 2019 Jindalee announced an Inferred Mineral Resource of150Mt @ 2,000ppm Li (0.43% Li2O) at 1,750ppm Li cut-offhad been estimated at McDermitt
The entire Inferred Mineral Resource sits within 100m of surface and is flat lying, both positive factors for future project economics. Analysis of the grade tonnage distribution of the McDermitt resource model has highlighted the potential for additional material available at lower grades.
Metallurgical testwork to date has been very encouraging, indicating high lithium recoveries from conventional sulphuric acid leaching at low temperature and atmospheric pressure and the potential to beneficiate the ore to increase lithium head grade and remove acid consuming minerals, thereby improving project economics
Jindalee has been encouraged by recent announcements by Tesla Inc., regarding its commitment to invest in the “localisation” of its cathode supply chain and production in the United States and the acquisition of the rights to a Nevada sediment hosted lithium deposithave underlined the importance of very large sediment hosted lithium deposits.
The McDermitt project is strategically located with respect to Tesla’s Gigafactory. Tesla is the first automotive OEM to enter lithium production, a move that may be replicated by other US auto makers keen to gain greater control over the supply chain for minerals critical for the manufacture of electric vehicles.
Jindalee said it is also highly encouraged by the strong bi-partisan US government support being shown for the development of large, strategic lithium projects like McDermitt.