Cypress' Glory Lithium Claystone / Brine Project in Clayton Valley, Nevada
Cypress holds a 100% interest in the 1,520 acre Glory Project totaling 76 placer/lode claims located in the heart of the Clayton Valley lithium production and exploration area of Esmeralda County, Nevada.
Cypress' Glory Claims are located to the immediate south of Cypress' Dean Claims and less than a 1,000 meters (0.5 mile) southeast of producing lithium brine wells belonging to the Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) Silver Peak Mine. Cypress' Clayton Valley Projects are located in an active area of lithium mining and lithium exploration. Highways and electric power are in place and exploration resources needed are readily accessible.
Cypress' Glory Project is located on the south flank of an exposure known as Angel Island, one of several isolated exposures of highly deformed and metamorphosed rocks of Cambrian age. The lithium brines being produced for almost 50 years at the Silver Peak Mine have come from the flanks of Angel and Goat Islands.
The Glory Claims share their western boundary with claims controlled by Pure Energy Minerals who have identified an inferred lithium brine resource at their northern resource area located to the immediate west of Cypress' property boundary.
Cypress has reviewed the seismic data in Pure Energy Minerals NI 43-101 Technical Report titled "Inferred Resource Estimate for Lithium, Clayton Valley South Project", dated July 17, 2015. The data appears to indicate favorable lithium brine exploration targets along the western and west central portions of Cypress' Glory Project.
Other first order targets exist on Cypress' Glory Property including the discovery of extensive surface outcropping of altered green lithium-rich claystone found during 2016 exploration and the presence of stockwork veining at paleo hot spring vents. These non-hectorite claystone exposures are believed to represent uplifted portions of the lake bed stratigraphy within which the lithium brines of the Clayton Valley basin are found and produced from.
The lithium-rich outcropping claystone could possibly overlie lithium-rich brines at a shallow level at Cypress' Glory Project. The core lands cover the immediate eastern extension of Pure Energy's identified lithium brine northern resource area. The Company believes that lithium-rich brines could be localized at the water table below the highly mineralized claystone discovered at Cypress' Glory Project and potentially along structures cutting these units.
The Albemarle Silver Peak Mine is the only operating brine based lithium mine in North America. The Silver Peak Mine began operations in 1967 to mine lithium carbonate by low cost evaporation ponds and has produced lithium carbonate since then. The concentration in the production brines were reported in 2001 to average 160 ppm (160 mg/litre) lithium (Garrett Report, 2004). Concentrations in the brines in Clayton Valley have been relatively consistent in the 150-200 ppm (150-200 mg/litre) lithium in recent history. The brines from the north part of the Clayton Valley are sodium/chloride (Na/Cl) in composition and have concentrations in the range of 60-400 ppm (60-400 mg/litre) lithium.
*NOTE: 100 ppm lithium metal (Li) is equivalent to 532 ppm lithium carbonate (Li2CO3).
Clayton Valley is located within the Basin and Range Province in southern Nevada and is an internally drained, fault bounded, and closed basin. Basin filling strata compose the aquifer system which hosts and produces the lithium-rich brine. (Zampirro Report 2004).
The Silver Peak area is one of the oldest mining areas in Nevada having produced substantial amounts of silver, gold, lithium and other minerals.
Exploration Results at Cypress' Glory Clayton Valley Lithium Project:
Cypress has interpreted available historic geophysical data of the Clayton Valley, including reconnaissance gravity survey and seismic reflection survey data. Reconnaissance gravity surveys gave a better understanding of the size and extent of the basin and the depth to bedrock on Cypress' Angel and Glory claims. A seismic reflection survey helped define location and extent of bounding and in-basin faults, identify depth to bedrock, and identify and trace key stratigraphic horizons laterally and vertically throughout the basin.
Phase 1 surface sampling of green to bone white claystone was completed at Cypress' Glory Project at the end of January 2016 in an area within the northwest portion of the property on the west flank of Angel Island. Angel Island is one of several isolated exposures of highly deformed and metamorphosed rocks of Cambrian age that are surrounded by basin fill evaporite rocks herein referred to as "claystone". This mineralized non-hectorite claystone is not well understood in terms of age but are part of the recent basin fill evaporite rocks of the Clayton Valley based on work completed by the USGS and other research geologists. The lithium-rich claystone exposures are believed to represent uplifted portions of the lake bed stratigraphy within which the lithium brines of the Clayton Valley basin are found and produced from.
Cypress' January 2016 Phase 1 sampling program returned the highest assay result for lithium in claystone to be publicly reported in Nevada's Clayton Valley. Several of the assays carried greater than 2,000 ppm lithium (>1.06% Li2CO3 equivalent) with one assay sample returning a grade of 3,070 ppm lithium (1.63% Li2CO3 equivalent) content. The assay results encountered suggested a strong possibility of an essentially continuously mineralized volume of lithium-rich claystone at surface over extensive portions of Cypress' Glory Clayton Valley property.
A series of samples were systematically collected from an approximate 100 meters wide traverse through the claystone starting at first exposure on the basin side gravel-mudstone contact (west) and ending at a brecciated vertical fault contact of the claystone with the Cambrian rocks of Angel Island (east). The samples were collected at an approximate spacing of 8 meters.
2016 Phase 1 assays from the systematic traverse samples averaged >1,500 ppm lithium (Li) and were accompanied by a typical suite of other evoporite rock mineralization. Cypress had discovered high lithium grades at surface that well exceeded other reported Clayton Valley sediments and brines.
The Phase 1 results suggested the strong potential of an essentially continuous volume of lithium-rich claystone at surface at Cypress' Glory Project in a position immediately east of both brine production wells at the Albemarle Silver Peak Mine and the northern resource area of Pure Energy's Clayton Valley South project.
Cypress immediately moved forward with a more extensive 2016 Phase 2 exploration program at its Glory Project to better define this lithium-rich surface mineralization discovered during the Phase 1 sampling program. The Company carried out 2 kilometers of detailed surface sampling and geological mapping in the first 2 quarters of 2016 over the western portion of Cypress' Glory Clayton Valley property.
Cypress' May 2016 Phase 2 results from over 200 samples collected showed the discovery of a wide 2 kilometer north-south strike zone of outcropping highly mineralized claystone that assayed 1,100 ppm lithium (0.59% Li2CO3 equivalent) on average and includes a 1.0 kilometer discovery zone that assayed 1,350 ppm lithium (0.72% Li2CO3 equivalent) on average.
The outcropping lithium-rich claystone discovered at Cypress' Glory Clayton Valley property are believed to represent uplifted portions of the lake bed stratigraphy within which the lithium brines of the basin are found and produced from.
In October 2016, Cypress and Pure Energy geologists collected approximately 240 rock samples on a nominal 100 meter (330 feet) grid covering much of the prospective sedimentary rocks on the Property. In addition to confirming strong lithium values from previous Cypress sampling, the sampling program returned some of the highest lithium rock samples yet reported in Nevada. So far, sampling has extended the lithium rich zone into a corridor covering more than 3 square kilometers. Selected highlights of the sampling program are included below:
- Maximum lithium value in rock: 3,830 ppm (2.04% Li2CO3 equivalent);
- Average lithium content: 689 ppm;
- Extended corridor of high lithium to 3km long by more than 1km wide;
- 9 Samples containing more than 2,000 ppm Li (>1.06% Li2CO3 equivalent);
- 71 Samples containing more than 1,000 ppm Li (>0.53% Li2CO3); and
- Anomalous boron (B) and potassium (K) that correlate with high lithium (Li) values.
Patrick Highsmith, Pure Energy Minerals CEO commented, "Our systematic sampling program with Cypress Development on the Glory Claims has exceeded our expectations by discovering some of the highest grade surface lithium in claystone that has been reported in Nevada. Traversing across the area, we can see that these lithium-rich rocks occur over a huge area. Since the dip is relatively flat, our geologists have also demonstrated that the lithium bearing units continue beneath younger alluvial material. Based on our realization that there is potential for significant tonnage of high-lithium rocks on the Property, we are excited to begin the next phase of work on extracting the lithium from these rocks."
Solubility Leach Testing of the Claystone:
Metallurgical tests so far have shown the claystone is weak acid leachable with lithium extractions ranging up to 80% in agitated leach tests using sulfuric acid. These high extractions indicate the dominant lithium-bearing minerals present are not hectorite, a refractory clay mineral which requires roasting to liberate the lithium.
Phase 1 Drill Program at Cypress' Glory Lithium Project:
Cypress has received from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Nevada an Area of Disturbance Permit to allow the Company move forward with a series of diamond drill core holes on the Glory Clayton Valley Property targeting the 1 1/2 by 3 kilometer long zone of lithium-rich claystone discovered at surface. The permit contains proposed locations for a number of holes targeted to provide initial subsurface data and assays under the wide zone of strongly mineralized salty claystone outcrops. This shallow drilling should allow Cypress to begin to estimate size, lithium (Li) grade and tonnage in the claystone at the Company's Glory Project.
Future drilling will include deeper drill hole locations targeting potential lithium-rich brines within the Main Ash Aquifer projected to underlie the west and west-central portions of Cypress' Glory Project. The Main Ash Aquifer is the primary target of these holes. Cypress expects to intersect this zone at 500 to 1,000 feet below surface. Additional deeper targets will also be tested including the potential presence of a coarse gravel aquifer near the base of the basin fill evaporite sequence.
The exploration results received by Cypress to date are being viewed as highly encouraging for the potential of a continuous volume of a highly soluble form of lithium-rich claystone near surface at the Company's Glory Clayton Valley Project. The results are also being viewed as highly encouraging for the discovery of lithium-rich brines in the aquifers below, next door to successful lithium brine exploration and production.
Lithium Mining Infrastructure in Clayton Valley, Nevada:
- Well maintained state highways connect Silver Peak to the main road network in Nevada
- Nevada has fostered a thriving mining industry with associated development expertise, construction and operations services and a mature regulatory environment
- Single best mining jurisdiction in the U.S. and ranked 3rd globally by the respected "Fraser Institute's annual Survey of Mining Countries"
- Graded and maintained gravel roads link Silver Peak to the southern half of Clayton Valley
- Nearest rail system is in Hawthorne, Nevada, approximately 90 miles by road
- Public use airport in Tonopah with two runways
- Electrical connection is possible at the sub-station in Silver Peak
- Water supply is currently served by the Silver Peak municipal water supply
Lithium Timing and Why Now?:
Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) is driving the current lithium boom in Nevada with the construction of a Gigafactory, a large-scale lithium-ion battery facility outside of Sparks Nevada. Market speculations of the construction of additional large-scale lithium battery factories are based on the potential of lithium batteries as an all purpose energy storage unit that are highly scalable.
The energy storage revolution is generating high demand for lithium with analysts forecasting demand increases for the product (Li) in the near future. Battery giants are scaling up lithium-ion production with mega-factories and are actively acquiring the raw material through off take agreements. Companies already producing lithium are attempting to increase production. Rockwood Holdings was purchased by Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) in 2014 for $6.2 billion USD. This purchase included the Rockwood Silver Peak Lithium Mine located in Clayton Valley, Nevada.
Tesla Motors is building a $5 billion USD battery gigafactory outside of Reno, Nevada. A large amount of the supply of lithium will have to come from the U.S. (i.e. Nevada's Clayton Valley production) because of the major tax incentives Tesla received ($1.3 billion USD in tax incentives over the next 10 years). Electric vehicles and energy storage has become a huge demand driver for the increased production at Clayton Valley and for the exploration and the discovery of additional lithium deposits in the area.
The most important use of lithium is in rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and electric vehicles. Lithium is also used in some non-rechargeable batteries for things like heart pacemakers, toys and clocks.
There is a very good reason why lithium in batteries has become the metal of choice. Lithium is the most reactive metal known, also the lightest, with an atomic number of 3. Used in batteries, lithium provides much better energy per volume ratio or energy density than an ordinary alkaline battery or other common rechargeable battery such as a nickel-metal hydride. This is in part because lithium is the third-smallest element after hydrogen and helium, and thus a lithium ion can carry a positive charge in a very small amount of space. Lithium-ion batteries can be recharged by running the anode and cathode reactions in reverse and the ability to be recharged many times over without much loss of capacity is another major advantage of the lithium-ion battery.
Lithium metal is also made into alloys with aluminium and magnesium, improving their strength and making them lighter. A magnesium-lithium alloy is used for armour plating. Aluminium-lithium alloys are used in aircraft, bicycle frames and high-speed trains.
Lithium oxide is used in special glasses and glass ceramics. Lithium chloride is one of the most hygroscopic materials known, and is used in air conditioning and industrial drying systems (as is lithium bromide). Lithium stearate is used as an all-purpose and high-temperature lubricant. Lithium carbonate is used in drugs to treat manic depression, although its action on the brain is still not fully understood. Lithium hydride is used as a means of storing hydrogen for use as a fuel.
William Willoughby, PhD, PE, Director & CEO of Cypress Development Corp. is the Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 and has approved of the technical information on this web site.