- QMC currently upgrading historical resource on Irgon Mine Project to modern NI 43-101 standards
- Company confident that additional exploration will confirm resources in excess of 1.2 million tons graded at 1.5 percent Li2O
- Jump in North American electric vehicle sales boosts lithium’s prospects amid supply versus demand concerns
QMC Quantum Minerals Corp.’s (TSX.V: QMC) (FSE: 3LQ) (OTC: QMCQF) expectations for revitalizing and further developing a large lithium mine in Manitoba’s bountiful Cat Lake-Winnipeg River Pegmatite Field could play an important role in powering North America’s electric automobile revolution. The company’s flagship Irgon Mine Property in the province’s southeast region, in addition to the company’s two volcanic massive sulphide (“VMS”) properties known collectively as the Namew Lake District Project and located further north in Manitoba’s productive Flin Flon/Snow Lake VMS mining district, presents the potential for the quick fire-up of economically viable successes.
Although electric vehicles are only just beginning to gain a solid toe-hold in the United States, EV recharging stations are becoming more commonplace in most states — a clear indicator that the market could suddenly take off. California is pushing for five million EVs on the road by 2025, with eight other states following California’s sales target of 15.4 percent EVs by that year (http://nnw.fm/UbZP1). In Canada, electric vehicle sales jumped 68 percent in 2017, with a 120 percent increase in urban Ontario (http://nnw.fm/48rA9) as environmentally conscious individuals sought out alternatives to fossil fuel pollutants and the local government offered generous incentives, such as a C$14,000 direct rebate on some electric cars.
Lithium is one of the key metals in the low-heat, high-efficiency lithium-ion batteries that are currently the go-to power source for EVs. Bloomberg New Energy Finance anticipates that yearly electric vehicle sales will climb 30-fold to 24.4 million worldwide by 2030 (http://nnw.fm/s5iCX), and a general consensus that demand may exceed supply has driven speculation for stock tickers dealing in the rare metal during the past few years (http://nnw.fm/kZYi7).
North America’s most successful lithium mine to date, the Tantalum Mining Corporation of Canada (“TANCO”) operation, is located just 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from the Irgon site — something that QMC hasn’t been shy about advertising as it promotes its property’s potential. Hard rock deposits of lithium-bearing spodumene are scattered throughout Manitoba, and QMC hopes to be in a similar position to that of its neighbor, TANCO (http://nnw.fm/LEdK7).
A key value for the Irgon Property is that historical exploration at the site in the 1950s, when lithium was less valuable to other industries, included underground development and the construction of a 500-ton-per-day mill (http://nnw.fm/hYbW2). Although the mill has since been dismantled, its underground complex of shaft, drifting and crosscuts still exist and should facilitate a full metallurgical assessment of the mine’s potential while initiating production at pilot scale. Infrastructure to operate the mill and provide local access is already in place or nearby.
The Irgon Property also has significant production value in that its lithium mineralization begins directly at the surface and has been explored historically through the underground development to a depth of 74 meters (and to a depth of 213 meters through drilling). This creates the potential for low-cost, open-pit ore extraction immediately on a positive production decision. Mining of a bulk sample is expected to begin quickly once the Irgon Dike’s historical resource has been updated to current NI 43-101 regulatory standards. This report is expected to be completed later this year.
“Ultimately, we think our NI 43-101 will establish much more than the 1.2 million tons of 1.5 percent lithium oxide along the strike of the dike than the old survey estimated,” the company’s website states. “The facts we have so far are very positive for economic lithium production, but when we sent out the big batch of samples in December, we asked the lab to assay our samples for 56 different elements. This is one of the big advantages that hard rock mining has over brining operations. It’s very likely that other elements can be recovered as well. The possibilities we are looking at include rare earth, beryllium, tantalum, niobium, cesium and rubidium-bearing minerals.”
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.QMCMinerals.com
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