Dakota Minerals - High Grade Lithium Results Produce Drill Targets in Portugal
Dakota Minerals has defined lithium-bearing drill targets at the Sepeda prospect within its Lusidakota lithium projects in Portugal. The Company is leveraging its strong cash position to fast-track Phase 1 drilling to mid-August to follow-up recent rock-chip sampling. Samples over old open pit and underground workings within the Sepeda pegmatite swarm returned grades up to 2.8% Li2O. The Lusidakota projects are in the backyard of the fastest developing lithium market in the world.
- Results received from rock-chip sampling on the granted Sepeda tenement (Barroso-Alvão area), one of Dakota’s three Northern Portugal projects
- Rock-chips from open pit and underground pegmatite workings grade up to 2.8% Li2O
- Phase One drilling brought forward to mid-August 2016 to test the Sepeda lithium-bearing pegmatites
- Lynas Find Lithium Project Update: Phase Two drilling results expected by Friday 15th of July
Dakota Minerals Limited (“Dakota”, “DKO”, or “Company”) is pleased to announce an update on progress at its Northern Portugal (Lusidakota) lithium projects.
Following acquisition of the Lusidakota projects, Dakota immediately commenced exploration activities in the Barroso-Alvão region, within granted tenement MNPP04612 (“Sepeda” prospect). Works included rock-chip sampling in areas of open pit and underground historic mine workings, and shallow auger drilling over an area of historic tailings. The results of the rock-chipping work have now been received. Sampling over the open pit and underground workings, within the Sepeda pegmatite swarm, has yielded multiple samples grading more than 1% Li2O and up to 2.8% Li2O with spodumene and petalite identified. Following these positive results, Dakota has accelerated its plans for drilling at Sepeda and aims to commence drill-testing the main pegmatites from mid-August 2016.
Dakota Minerals CEO David Frances commented: “We are very pleased that within such a short space of time, we have defined lithium-bearing pegmatite drill targets at the Sepeda prospect. Because of our strong cash position, we have the ability to fasttrack these promising projects in the backyard of likely the fastest developing lithium market in the world.”
Sepeda Project Details & Mapping Results
Sepeda is situated on granted tenement MNPP04612, within the Barroso-Alvão district, one of three areas that form Dakota’s Lusidakota projects in Northern Portugal (Figure 1). Structural and lithological mapping, rock-chip and auger sampling were conducted in the Sepeda region of the Barroso-Alvao project area in June 2016. Results of the auger sampling are still outstanding. This work delineated a swarm of multiple 110 degree (WNW) striking, lithium-bearing pegmatites of the LCT (Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum) type. Individual pegmatites range in width up to 40m, and surface strike length up to 300m. The pegmatites’ dip varies between 10 and 40 degrees, dipping mainly to the north. The main swarm area is roughly 1,500m long by 500m wide. Some of the pegmatites do not outcrop and are visible only in historic underground workings. It is thought that the pegmatites form a shallow-dipping, “stacked” system of mineralised pegmatite dykes, linked by barren, vertical feeder veins. During this programme, some of the pegmatites could not be accessed for sampling due to ground instability issues. These may be tested by some test drilling in the upcoming campaign, as well as the higher priority pegmatite areas.
Sepeda Sampling Results
A total of 55 samples were taken across the old workings at Sepeda. Samples were taken, where possible, in one metre channel form and perpendicular to the strike of the pegmatite. All samples were taken from in situ material, both at surface and underground. Lithium mineralisation was mainly associated with petalite, with subsidiary spodumene, amblygonite and lepidolite. Some alteration (kaolinisation) was present near or at surface. Multiple samples returned >1% Li2O, with a maximum of 2.8% Li2O. The two main areas of mineralisation sampled were the Romano pegmatite, a historical open pit mine (Figure 1 & Figure 2), and the underground workings in Block C (Figure 1). Some areas of historical pegmatite mine workings, particularly south of Block C, could not be accessed due to potentially unstable ground, and in the future may be drill-tested instead from a safe distance.
Following the positive results from the first passsampling, planned reconnaissance reverse circulation (RC) drilling has now been fast-tracked, and will now commence at Sepeda in mid-August 2016. The initial programme is likely to be in the order of 2,500m of total drilling, and will focus on identifying stacked systems of shallow-dipping pegmatites, where grade and tonnage potential are highest. Regional mapping and sampling will continue in the meantime, to identify further targets. Metallurgical test-work will also be undertaken at Anzaplan in Germany, to test the optimal recovery routes for the lithium-bearing material from Sepeda.
Northern Portugal (Lusidakota) Lithium Projects
Dakota’s Lusidakota lithium projects in Northern Portugal, to which Dakota has 100% rights through its binding agreement with Lusorecursos LDA, are located over three broad districts of pegmatitic dyke swarms, which contain spodumene and petalite-bearing pegmatites. The three main districts are the Serra de Arga, Barroso-Alvão and Barca de Alva pegmatite fields, all three of which are highly prospective for lithium mineralisation. The Lusidakota tenement package consists of eight exploration licences (one granted and seven under application). Portugal, as the leading lithium producer in Europe1 , was identified by the management team to be a high priority jurisdiction for lithium. Many countries in Europe are leading the world in uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) using lithium-ion batteries, with EVs already totalling 22% of all new vehicle sales in Norway. Lithium-ion batteries are already being produced in Europe to meet this increasing demand, and production capacity in carproducing countries such as Germany is growing dramatically to keep up with Daimler recently announcing a new 500 million Euro battery factory2 , and Volkswagen to follow suit3 . Battery producers will need more lithium supply from safe, nearby jurisdictions. Sourcing lithium from Europe would also reduce the carbon footprint of the car production supply chain. Portugal has public policies deemed to be highly supportive of mining: it ranked in the global Top 10 of all countries in the Fraser Institute 2015 Survey of Mining Companies for Policy Perception Index, an assessment of the attractiveness of mining policies4 . For these reasons, the management of Dakota have been pursuing projects in areas most prospective for lithium in Portugal.