Canada-based mining company Pan American Energy unveiled its inaugural mineral resource estimate (MRE) on its Horizon lithium project in Big Smoky Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada.

The maiden MRE on the Horizon lithium project was completed by RESPEC, which specialises in lithium claystone resource ‎estimations and engineering design works.

The US-based geoscience, engineering, and data solutions provider completed the MRE using Pan American Energy’s 20-hole ‎exploratory drilling programme, which totalled 4,371.6m.‎

RESPEC has also been contracted to prepare a technical report on the Horizon lithium project, which will contain the full results of the company’s drill programme and the MRE.

RESPEC consulting geologist Tabetha Stirrett said: “This maiden NI 43-101 ‎mineral resource estimate is a major achievement for Pan American and I am very proud of what ‎our exploration team has done to support this accomplishment in such a short period of time.

“Pan American have established a ‎strong foundation to build upon, and we are focused on continuing to help them grow their lithium resources ‎significantly over the next 6 to 12 months.

“The team is currently planning geophysical exploration work and additional infill holes that have the potential to expand the mineralisation.”

Pan American holds an interest in the Horizon lithium project through a property option agreement with the project owner Horizon Lithium LLC.

The Horizon lithium project is a large-scale ‎land package located in the Tonopah Lithium Belt, which hosts 839 unpatented lode claims covering around 17,334 acres.

According to the company, Horizon is one of the largest identified lithium deposits in the US.

The project hosts an estimated indicated mineral resource of 372.85 million tonnes at an average grade of 669 ppm for 1.33 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).

Also, the project hosts an inferred resource of 2.45 million tonnes at an average grade of 680 ppm for 8.88 million tonnes of LCE.

Pan American is looking to complete a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the project, which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Pan American CEO Jason Latkowcer said: “This initial mineral ‎resource estimate marks the most important milestone to date for our company, highlighting the identification of a ‎large-scale and high-grade lithium deposit with significant future potential right here in North America.

“I commend our team and contractors. Our execution strategy is to advance ‎the Project through engineering as quickly as possible, while ‎concurrently working to expand and upgrade the mineral resources at the Project.

“We will also consider prospective acquisition targets in the area in order to enhance our land package. We look forward to continuing to deliver results.”