Big Smokey Valley South
Columbus Salt Marsh
Alkali Lake


The Nevada Lithium Brine projects comprise Placer Mining Claims over three prospects in large basins (ground water catchment areas) located in Nevada, USA (refer to ASX release 30 January 2017).

The projects are each located between 10 and 50 kilometres of North America's only producing lithium operation - Silver Peak, owned by Albemarle Corp. and within 300 kilometres of the Tesla Gigafactory 1 - a lithium-ion battery factory.

At 30 April 2017 the three projects covered a combined area of 2,888 hectares secured by 357 filed and recorded placer claims. All areas were staked and claimed by Sierra Lithium LLC, the Company's wholly owned Nevada domiciled subsidiary company.

Figure 1. Nevada Lithium Brine Project location.


Big Smokey Valley South Project is located 10 kilometres northwest of the Silver Peak lithium operation where the southern end of Big Smokey Valley meets the western side of Clayton Valley. This northwest striking valley is defined by a series of major northwest and north east faults. Based on USGS open file gravity data there is a discrete sub-basin in the centre of the valley with more than 2.4 kilometres of subsidence. The USGS NURE (National Uranium Resource Evaluation) database reports anomalous lithium values (up to 1,453 micrograms per litre) in wells immediately up slope to the west of the property. In addition to the extensive Tertiary volcanic deposits in the area there are significant deposits of volcanic ash in the valley that in places are more than 30 metres thick. The ash deposits are capped by very recent basalt lava flows and cinder cones. The presence of recent volcanism is considered to be an important heat source for driving geothermal activity which can dissolve lithium from the tuffa beds and circulate it in ground water convection cells.


Figure 2. Google Earth image showing RLC's Big Smokey Valley South project's placer claims, anomalous USGS NURE water sample results (micrograms per litre) and in the lower LHS, the evaporation ponds of Albemarle Corporation's Silver Peak Lithium Operation.

 

Figure 3 below, shows the same area as figure 2 but with USGS Bouger gravity image in the background. The blue area represents the maximum basement depth. The placer claims are located along the southern margin of the deep basin.

Figure 3. Big Smokey Valley South project's placer claims on USGS Bouger Gravity Image.


The Columbus Salt Marsh project is located 45 kilometres north west of Clayton Valley (figure 4). This valley represents a closed basin with extensive Tertiary volcanic deposits in the surrounding hills. USGS open file gravity data indicates that the centre of the valley has subsided up to 3.5km. The valley is fault bounded and several geothermal springs discharge alkali salts onto the lake surface. These alkali deposits have in the past been mined for borax.


Figure 4. Columbus Salt Marsh Project - placer claims shown on Google Earth Image.

 

Figure 5. Columbus Salt Marsh and USGS Gravity Image showing gravity low and placer claims.


The Alkali Lake Project covers part of a discrete sub basin located 30 kilometres northeast of Silver Peak and it occurs within an extensive 30 kilometres long, northwest trending basin that drains to the south towards Alkali Lake. The Google Earth image together with the gravity image suggests that a deep basin is masked by recent alluvium. Several hot springs discharge alkaline salts onto the surface of the playa lake.


Figure 6. Google Earth Image showing location of placer claims at Alkali Lake.

 

Figure 7. USGS Gravity Image and Alkali Lake Project placer claims.
 

 

03 May 2017