- QMC discovers additional spodumene-bearing pegmatite dike outcrops on strike with and west of the Irgon Dike
- Irgon Dike strike length now has doubled to 800 meters (2,625 feet)
- The lithium forecasts remain strong due to tech needs and electric vehicle market growth
QMC Quantum Minerals Corp.’s (OTC: QMCQF) (TSX.V: QMC) (FSE: 3LQ) geotechnical field crews recently identified significant spodumene mineralization while evaluating the Irgon Lithium Mine Property, which lies within the prolific Cat Lake-Winnipeg River rare-element pegmatite field. This world-renowned pegmatite field also hosts the nearby Tantalum Mining Corporation of Canada (“TANCO”) pegmatite operation.
The recent discovery of “significant spodumene mineralization” in pegmatite dike outcroppings on QMC’s 100 percent-owned southern Manitoba Irgon Mine Property is leading the Canadian junior to advance its proposed winter drill program. The program is being designed to identify additional lithium resources, which are craved by various industries as the light metal is required in lithium-ion battery production.
Specialized international inspections and testing firm SGS Canada Inc. recently wrapped up review of the data derived from QMC’s Irgon Lithium Project’s mineralized dikes in the Cat Lake region and is guiding QMC’s next steps in exploring its asset (http://nnw.fm/s2jJk). SGS is overseeing a mobile metal ions (MMI) orientation survey over the Irgon dike as a precursor to utilizing this geochemical method on other target areas identified within the property. The MMI geochemical soil survey analyzes mobile metal ions, including lithium, cesium and beryllium, that have been released into the overlying soil profile from underlying bedrock pegmatite mineralization. It is proving to be a very effective tool when utilized as part of an exploration methodology designed to define a site’s mineral potential.
Prior exploration at the Irgon Dike some 65 years ago established a resource estimate of more than 1.2 million tons of lithium oxide (Li2O) grading 1.51 percent over a strike length of 365 meters (1,197.5 feet) and to a depth of 213 meters (698.8 feet). QMC is working toward upgrading this resource to current NI 43-101 standards.
QMC is exploring for additional targets that contain spodumene mineralization within the 4,583 hectare (11,325 acre) Irgon Lithium Mine Property. Recently, the company reported ongoing exploration success, having identified newly discovered spodumene outcroppings located west of the Irgon Dike. It is these discoveries that represent the exploration potential of this project. These numerous mineralized exposures are located directly on strike with the Irgon Dike, with spodumene mineralization having been identified as far as 400 meters (1,312.3 feet) west of the Irgon Shaft. This suggests to QMC geologists that this mineralization is the westward extension of the Irgon Dike, which effectively doubles the length of the strike of the dike and expand the potential for the original historic resource estimate “to be rapidly increased through ongoing exploration,” as the company notes in its October 30 news release about the site visit (http://nnw.fm/u4lPW).
“QMC plans to initiate an exploration program in this area, during which this western dike zone will be stripped and washed leading into a program of channel sampling and drilling,” the news release states. “This will allow the company to determine whether this zone is the western extension of the Irgon Dike or if it is an entirely new mineralized pegmatite system. Either way, as this new mineralized zone is being evaluated, it could quickly add potential resource expansion within the Irgon Project.”
The site’s 74-meter (242.8-foot), three compartment shaft was excavated during the 1950s-era work program, and 366 meters (1,200.8 feet) of lateral drifting parallel to the dike was extended off the shaft at the 200-foot level. Unfavorable economic conditions led to the site’s shuttering after the initial work was done, but the ubiquitous use of lithium in tech devices ranging from wearable smart devices to electric vehicle engines has spawned a resurgence in demand for the lightweight metal.
Lithium Investing News’ third quarter assessment is among more optimistic outlooks reporting expectations that demand for the metal will triple by 2025 as lithium-ion battery orders continue to rise (http://nnw.fm/Ru6mV). It also noted that a number of new supply contracts had been negotiated and new spodumene concentrate supplies had been introduced from Australia and Brazil.
“This escalation in downstream interest shows that lithium supply remains a key concern throughout the battery supply chain,” Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Senior Analyst Andrew Miller told the news agency.
QMC has invested two years in exploring the potential of the Irgon Lithium Mine Property. Channel sampling on the Irgon Dike has returned encouraging results of 1.73 percent lithium-oxide over 14 meters (45.9 feet). Sampling elsewhere on additional targets in the area has produced concentrations of over 1.90 percent lithium-oxide and one that returned 2.62 percent, leading QMC to maintain its hopes that the Irgon Mine Property will become a center for commercial productivity.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.QMCMinerals.com
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