Namibian lithium producer Desert Lion Energy Inc. (TSX-V: DLI) is pleased to announce the Company has completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of a three-phase drilling program ahead of the anticipated release of a Mineral Resource estimate expected to be delineated and published in late Q2 2018. Phase 1 and Phase 2 included 19,500 metres (m) of diamond and reverse circulation drilling for a total of 1,064 holes. Selected results (22 holes) are reported today, with assays pending for 5 remaining holes.
“I am extremely proud of the work completed to date on the 2017 drilling program; results from phases 1 and 2 are encouraging and show a clear pathway to our Mineral Resource estimate, which is expected to be published at the end of Q2 2018. This is an important milestone and supports our plans to further expand operations,” commented Tim Johnston, president and CEO of Desert Lion.
Phase 1 drilling included 10,700m of DD and RC drilling focusing on delineating the strike and downdip extents at Rubicon and Helikon. Select highlights from Phase 1 and 2 drilling include the following high-grade lithium and tantalum intercepts:
Phase 1 also included an extensive channel, pitting and trenching sampling program over Rubicon, Helikon and selected regional targets, including Marble Hill. Lepidolite bearing stockpiles and dumps located at Rubicon were also evaluated through a detailed RC drilling program comprising 573 holes. Following completion of Phase 1 in mid 2017, Phase 2 follow-up drilling commenced with step out and infill drilling at Rubicon, along with delineation drilling at Helikon that comprises of five semicontiguous historical lithium workings. Detailed RC drilling comprising 271 holes was also completed over Helikon stockpiles and dumps.
Phase 2 drilling was completed in December 2017 and comprised of 8,800m of DD and RC drilling. Both phases of the exploration program were successful in improving confidence in the geological model at Rubicon, as well as establishing a framework for further drilling and evaluation at the Helikon sites. Although not all results have been received from the Phase 2 drilling (5 holes outstanding), results to date support geological and grade continuity along strike and down dip at both the Rubicon and Helikon 1 targets. Table 1 provides a summary of highlighted Lithium and Tantalum intercepts for both Rubicon and Helikon.
Table 1: Drill Results Highlights from Rubicon, Helikon 1 and 4
|Highlights Rubicon and Helikon 2017 Drilling|
Drilling results from the 2017 Phase 1 and Phase 2 drill programs, as well as maps showing drilling locations, are available at www.desertlionenergy.com/projects/ .
Phase 3 drilling was initiated in February 2018, and is focused on further delineating strike and down dip extents of lithium and tantalite mineralisation at Helikon 1 – 5, completion of delineation drilling at Marble Hill, as well as minor infill and twin drilling at Rubicon and Helikon. Approximately 7,000m of drilling is planned for Phase 3. Results from the remaining Phase 2 as well as Phase 3 drilling programs are expected early in Q2 2018, with the objective of generating a Mineral Resource estimate by the end of Q2 2018. A high resolution airborne geophysical survey, comprising magnetics and radiometrics, was completed early in 2018, and subsequent post processing and structural interpretation has generated several high priority targets, many of which are under cover.
Following completion of Phase 3 drilling, the focus of the exploration effort will shift to explore and further delineate additional Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (LCT) type pegmatites within Desert Lion’s exclusive prospecting licenses.
In regards to Desert Lion’s first shipment of lithium concentrate to offtake partner Jiangxi Jinhui Lithium Co. the Company has been advised that the ship MV Atlantic Dream is expected to arrive in Walvis Bay and begin loading on April 21, 2018. This date is five days later than originally anticipated and is due to the late sailing of the vessel, which does not impact Desert Lion’s offtake agreement with Jinhui.
The Company also announces that it has issued an aggregate of 549,450 common shares in the capital of the Company to the vendors pursuant to the share purchase agreement dated November 17, 2016. The Share Purchase Agreement was entered into in connection with the Company’s acquisition of an 80% interest in Desert Lion Energy (Pty) Ltd., an indirect subsidiary of the Company. The Common Shares were issued at a deemed price of $1.82 per share and are subject to a statutory hold period expiring on August 18, 2018.
Quality Assurance and Quality Control
The accuracy of the scientific and technical information in this news release has been verified and approved by Mike Venter, Pr.Sci.Nat. and VP Exploration for Desert Lion, who is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. Mr. Venter has also verified the sampling, analytical and test data underlying the scientific and technical information disclosed herein. The exploration program was directly supervised and executed by Dr. Salif Napon, P. Geo., PhD, a Desert Lion consultant and a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101.
Drilling completed at Rubicon and Helikon has been carried out using DD and RC methods. Recoveries of core and chip samples from the drilling program were considered satisfactory, as were the sampling methods that follow Desert Lion’s internal Standard Operating Procedures that are based on CIM Best Practice Guidelines.
Desert Lion has used two internationally accredited analytical laboratories for the preparation and analyses of its Phase 1 and 2 sampling programs to date: ALSChemex and ACTLabs, each of which is independent of Desert Lion. Over and above the laboratory quality assurance quality control routinely implemented by both labs (in Canada) using pulp duplicate analysis, Desert Lion has developed an internal QA/QC protocol which utilizes Certified Reference Materials, blanks and coarse crush duplicates on a systematic basis with the samples shipped to the analytical laboratories, as follows: 1 standard, 1 duplicate and 1 blank are inserted every 30 samples (giving an average of 10% insertion rate). The samples assayed at ACTLabs were processed using the method named UltraTrace 7, which combines a Sodium Peroxide Fusion with ICP and ICP/MS with all metals being solubilized. The samples assayed at ALSChemex were processed using the following 2 methods: ME-MS89L (50-Element using Na2O2 fusion and ICP-MS) and Li-OG63 (ore grade Li by HF-HNO3-HClO4 digestion, HCl Leach).
In the Qualified Person’s opinion, there are therefore no factors that could impact on the accuracy or reliability of these results.
About Desert Lion Energy Inc.
Desert Lion Energy is an emerging lithium development company focused on building Namibia’s first large-scale lithium mine to be located 210km from the nation’s capital of Windhoek. The Company’s Rubicon and Helikon mines are located within a 301km2 prospective land package, with known LCT type pegmatitic mineralization and the Company is currently in Phase 1 of its production plan, producing lithium concentrate from stockpiled material. The project site is accessible year-round by road and has access to power, water, rail, port, airport and communication infrastructure.
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