Nemaska Lithium Inc. announces that it has begun a $1.5m budget definition drilling campaign for the Whabouchi project in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region.
The main goals of this program are to convert the existing in-pit inferred resource into measured and indicated, to add near surface resources in the east zone of the pit design as well as confirm continuity of further resources at depth below the 200 m level.
"Assuming we achieve our goals, this drill program will enable us to increase our open pit mine life, reduce the stripping ratio and lower the production cost of concentrate," said Guy Bourassa, President and CEO of Nemaska Lithium. "In addition to having a clearer idea of the full potential of the lithium resource at Whabouchi, this drilling program enables management as well as shareholders to fully value our project."
The drilling program, involving an anticipated 44 drill holes spread over 13,700 m, is expected to be completed in September 2016.
The feasibility study titled: NI 43-101 Technical Report Feasibility Study Update on the Whabouchi Lithium Deposit and Hydromet Plant (Revised), covers mineral resources totalling 27.9 Mt with an average grade of 1.57% Li2O in the measured and indicated categories and 4.69 Mt with an average grade of 1.51% Li2O of inferred resources in an optimized pit with a 0.43% Li2O cut-off grade. The three main objectives of the drilling campaign are:
The potential conversion of 4.69 Mt of inferred resources, inside pit design, to indicated resources, representing a potential upgrade between 15 and 25% of resources that could be converted to reserves (that is, measured and indicated resources). This phase involves 5,900 m covering 22 drill holes.
The second objective is to increase the level of confidence of mineral resources between 0 m and 200 m vertical from the surface. This phase would potentially make it possible to fill the East section of the longitudinal zone, which does not include any resources at the moment. A total of 17 drill holes over a 5,100 m surface area are expected to be drilled in order to meet this objective. This phase is expected to result in a potential increase block model volume between 20 and 35%.
Finally, the drilling program aims to confirm the continuity of the longitudinal zone of mineral resources down to 500 m vertical depth, below surface. Five drill holes for a total of 2,700 m are expected to be drilled in order to meet this objective. This could potentially allow an increase between 30 and 45% in the longitudinal zone covered by the mineral resource model.
The drilling campaign is supervised by Jean-Philippe Paiement, M.Sc. P. Geo, at SGS Canada Inc. Forage Rouiller has been chosen to carry out drilling. Samples shall be prepared by the SGS Canada Inc. laboratory in Quebec City and shall be analyzed by the SGS Canada Inc. accredited laboratory in Vancouver.