By Nathan Pearson
Thursday, February 9th 2011 -- The New Year saw International Lithium Corp. (TSX-V:ILC) off to a running start after the exciting lithium assay results from their recent drill program at Mavis Lake/Fairservice not only met, but exceeded expectations.
Key findings include:
Intersections of 1.86% Li2O over 26.25m; 1.22% Li2O over 28.45m; and
2.58% Li2O over 7.80m78m pegmatite intersection interpreted as a new occurrence13 of 17 drill holes intersecting pegmatites >2 metres thick returned
notable lithium gradesOnly Li2O grades are reported with other rare metals analyses anticipated
shortlyA High Grade of 3.08% Li2O over 5 Metres
Also exceeding their expectations was the return of ILC’s initial investigation at their Mariana lithium brine project in Argentina. The highly compelling geochemistry not only revealed grades of 440 mg/L lithium, but 12,700 mg/L potassium – one of the highest grades comparative to any of the neighbouring salars outside of the world class operation on the Atacama salar in Chile.
With the rousing assay results at Mavis Lake/Fairservice and the 3-5 hole Phase 1 resource delineation reverse circulation drill program at the Mariana lithium brine project having just commenced and poised to deliver high returns, it looks like it’s going to be a prosperous year for this young, ambitious company.
Mavis Lake / Fairservice
Located 15km Northeast of Dryden, Ontario - easily accessed via the Trans- Canada Highway - the Mavis Lake-Fairservice claim blocks comprise 2,624 hectares. The property straddles a continuous pegmatite field exhibiting highgrade, well-evolved lithium and tantalum zonation alongside rich levels of cesium and rubidium. The historic Pre NI /s43-101 compliant resource of 500,000 tonnes of 1.0% Li2O, delineated on 1 out of 10 known pegmatite bodies on the Fairservice property, consists of 6 mining leases totalling 88.4 hectares. These mining leases are dominated by east trending spodumene-beryl-tantalite-type pegmatites considered to be part of the same dyke swarm as the adjacent Mavis Lake claim block.
ILC began its highly anticipated drill program on Mavis Lake/Fairservice on August 18th 2011, with the objective of confirming historical lithium grades and testing the rare metal potential of approximately eight pegmatites. There was cause for celebration when initial expectations for the preliminary drill program were exceeded after more extensive pegmatite intersections than anticipated were revealed. In addition, a long intersection of previously unknown nearsurface pegmatite body was discovered, thus exhibiting the under-explored potential for the project. Further adding to the prospectivity of the property is the intersection containing multiple intervals of significant lithium values deeper than the limit and further north of previous drill results. These exciting findings make the decision to expand the scope of the project in the coming year a no-brainer for Mike Sieb, President of ILC.
Mariana Lithium Brine Project
The Mariana Lithium Brine Project is located in the province of Salta, Argentina in the renowned “Lithium Belt” – an area centred on the junction of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile and host to the vast majority of global lithium resources, reserves and production. It is easily accessible year-round by paved and dirt roads and is conveniently situated 20kms from the international Argentina-Chile railway – a valuable resource to have access to when considering future development possibilities at Mariana. The project covers an expansive 160 km2 and is undeniably one of the more prosperous salars in the region.
A salar is a predominantly dry lakebed containing minerals such as lithium, boron and potassium dissolved in brine. Salars contain some of the largest known lithium resources in the world and are a prime source of global lithium production. The advantage of lithium extraction from salars versus other sources of lithium is the simplicity, rapidity and cost effectiveness of the development and production.
Because the Mariana lithium brine project encompasses the entire salar on which it is situated, ILC enjoys the advantageous and highly coveted position of not having to deal with multiple company claim holdings within the same salar, as is the case with other lithium explorers in the area. With fewer “straws in the milkshake”, ILC’s ability to pump from a single-owner lithium brine reservoir will only further add to ILC’s burgeoning success.
Initial sampling and hydrogeology studies have been completed on Mariana with significant lithium, boron, and potash levels reported in brines within the main body of the salar. Average grades observed from the sampling programs are 440 mg/L lithium, 12,700 mg/L Potassium and 790 mg/L Boron, with peak values on the surface as high as 650 mg/L lithium. The lithium grade is comparable to initial results from other advancing projects and of special note are the potassium grades – the highest reported outside of the world class producing Atacama salar in Chile.
Phase 1 Drill Program of the Mariana Lithium Brine Project
The recently commenced 3-5 hole Phase 1 drill program of the Mariana Lithium Brine Project carries the objectives of characterization of subsurface brine across different regions within the salar, identification of the stratigraphy for a geological model of the salar and identification and characterization of aquifer potential of the basement of the salar. This drill program will be utilized as an initial step towards resource classification of the brine, allowing identification of priority areas of the salar for the more extensive Phase 2 drill program planned for next year. Phase 2 will continue to delineate, characterize and add to the confidence level of geochemistry of the host aquifer, with an Inferred Resource estimate targeted for late 2012. Says Mr Sieb, “This phase 1 drill program on the company's Mariana lithium brine project is much anticipated and will provide the basis to rightfully rank the project amongst some of the more advanced projects in the world."
About International Lithium Corp
ILC is an international rare element metals (REM) exploration company that is currently active in some of the world’s most prolific REM regions. It was conceived 2 years ago as a spin-out of TNR Gold Corp. (TSX-V: TNR) in a bid to take advantage of the increased investor interest in the Lithium and Rare Metals sector as well as the significant potential valuation of the new company. ILC boasts an outstanding portfolio of projects, strong management ownership and robust financial support from its strategic partner, Jiangxi Ganfeng Lithium Co. Ltd. – a leading China-based lithium product manufacturer and a keystone investor.
ILC currently has 9 active REM projects, balanced between lithium brines in Argentina and Nevada and hard rock pegmatites in Canada and Ireland. Their prime focus is on advancing 3 properties in particular – the Mariana lithium brine property in Argentina, the Moose lithium/rare metals property in NWT, Canada and the Mavis Lake/Fairservice lithium/rare metals property in Ontario, Canada. The characteristics of ILC’s hard-rock REM projects include limited past exploration, excellent accessibility and limited assaying for rare metals. ILC’s mandate is to increase shareholder value through aggressive advancement of core projects and source joint venture partners to expand the scope and diversify the risk of its exploration effort.
The ILC Management Team
As is expected, ILC boasts a highly experienced, all-star management team. Standing as CEO is Gary Schellenberg, B.Sc. (Geology). Mr. Schellenberg has been managing and financing public and private resource based companies for 20 years with several successful ventures including Winspear Resources, which was purchased by De Beers in 2001 at over $300 million. He brings a wealth of experience to his role as steward for both enterprises.
President and Chief Operating Officer is Michael Sieb, B.Sc., MBA, who brings 22 years of strong corporate growth and project management experience in international mining and exploration. Prior to joining TNR, he was president of Brilliant Mining Ltd. which was named to the TSX50 "Top 10 Mining Companies on the TSX: V" for two consecutive years during his tenure. Mr. Sieb is recognized as a committed executive with an exceptional array of skills essential for operating and developing a premier mining company.
Non-Executive Chairman, Kirill Klip, holds a significant share position in the company (over 20% of outstanding shares) that demonstrates his confidence in not only TNR Gold and ILCfs projects, but also their management team. From his previous track records of managing billion dollar businesses and successful ventures spanning telecommunications, transportations and other resource companies, Mr. Klip is known to select companies that deliver superior long-term value.
Amongst the other members of the board are Paul Chung, B. Sc. (Geology) MBA, Jerry Bella (CGA), Roberto Lara, John Harrop, P. Geo., Jerry Huang MBA, Thomas Currin and Dr. Frederick W. Breaks.
A Sign of Things to Come
ILC has adopted an approach of initial aggressive project advancement in a bid to provide a significant potential value increase over a short period of time. With management and insiders holding more than 50% interest in the company, ILC is bolstered by huge internal support . not to mention the support of its strategic partner Jiangxi Ganfeng . enabling it to apply and advance this approach in earnest.
With such propitious facts and figures revealing themselves at the Mavis Lake/Fairservice and Mariana properties straight out of the gate, it seems safe to say that International Lithium Corp. is poised for a very successful future and is a company worth keeping both eyes on.
Follow ILCfs rise to success at www.internationallithium.com
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