Musk Metals acquires 'Elon' lithium property in Quebec
Musk Metals has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire a 100% interest in the prospective “Elon” Lithium property that spans over 245 hectares in the La Corne and Fiedmont townships of Quebec, approximately 40 kilometres north of the mining town of Val d’Or.
The Property is strategically located approximately 600 meters northeast of the Lithium Amérique du Nord (“North American”) project (formerly Mine Québec Lithium), which produced over 907,000 tonnes of material, at 1.40% Li2O from 1955 to 1965.
Musk Metals, formerly known as Gold Plus Mining, has no connection to billionaire Elon Musk who is not associated with the company or the project.
The Elon lithium property has excellent infrastructure support with road network, railway, electricity, water, and trained manpower available locally. The Property is located in an active lithium exploration/mining area with several lithium projects in the vicinity (Figure 1). There are several historical and currently active lithium and molybdenum prospects/mines located approximately 3 km to 20 km from the property such as: Lithium Amérique du Nord (now closed mine Quebec Lithium, which was formerly owned by RB Energy 600m to the south), Authier Lithium (owned by Sayona Mining of Australia located 30 km west), Valor Lithium, Duval Lithium, Lacorne Lithium, International Lithium, Vallee Lithium, and Moly Hill.
The Mine Quebec Lithium was in operation from 1955 to 1965 and hosts granitic pegmatites at the contact with granodiorite-mafic volcanic rocks. Mineralization consisted of spodumene, beryl, columbo-tantalite, molybdenite, bismuthinite and lepidolite. A new technical report has been produced by Canada Lithium Corporation based on historical data which is not NI 43-101 compliant.
The report classified the remaining ore in measured and indicated resources, proven and probable reserves and inferred resources (not NI 43-101 compliant, Stone & Selway, 2009). Authier's deposit is a spodumene-rich pegmatite dyke in a peridotite, itself contained in a volcanic horizon of ultramafic and sedimentary units between two batholiths (Brett & al, 1976). The 2018 updated JORC compliant mineral resource estimate has increased the measured resources, indicated resources and inferred resources.
Musk Metals is planning a two-phase exploration work program includes: data compilation, geological mapping, trenching and sampling in Phase 1 followed by diamond drilling and metallurgical testing in Phase 2.
Musk Metals CEO and Director, Nader Vatanchi commented: "Fueled by the recent shift to electric vehicles, demand for battery metals and materials has skyrocketed. Musk Metals has diversified its portfolio of highly prospective exploration projects to include the “ELON” lithium property as the Company strives to maximize shareholder value by participating in this red-hot space. We are excited to begin work on the Elon property that is located in an active lithium exploration/mining area with multiple projects in proximity.”
The Elon Lithium Property is located in the Lanaudière Formation, which is mostly composed of basalt and mafic volcanoclastic rocks. The Formation is located between a series of E-W dextre inverse fault zones. E-W mafic, ultramafic and gabbroic sills are present on the Property (Figure 3). The Lithium Amérique du Nord project is located about 600 meters southwest of the property and consists in lithium-rich pegmatite veins in a dyke swarm (Stone & Selway, 2009). The Vallée Lithium showing, located about 1,500m to the south, also contain lithium-rich pegmatite veins (Martel, 2012).
The Elon Property contains the three favorable geological features for rare metal pegmatites, such the presence of concordant stacked sills; the presence of a compressed, near vertical, syntectonic mobile zone that is the host of pegmatite intrusion; and dominantly mafic volcanics lithologies as host rocks, often with intercalated metasediments and gabbroic rocks (Pearse & al., 2016).
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.