VANCOUVER, July 20, 2016 /CNW/ - Breaking: [ZADDF][ZAD:CA] - Work continues in the region of North America's only operating lithium mine. Nevada's Clayton Valley lithium district has been at the centre of attention recently, thanks to Tesla Motor's [NASDAQ: TSLA] impressive battery manufacturing facility the Gigafactory.
Once the Gigafactory begins cell production in 2017, it'll be sharing the same desert sun as the brine evaporation ponds currently used for lithium production. Given the ongoing rapid growth in lithium demand, the Gigafactory (along with several other new battery factories being opened in places like Germany and China) will put strains on global lithium supplies.
The mega-producers of lithium around the world claim that they'll be able to keep up with demands, but it's safe to say that much of their actions now will dictate whether they can deliver in the coming years without constant development on the properties they're using.
Exploration Development Near Producing Mine
Directly adjacent to lithium producer Albemarle's [NYSE: ALB] Silver Peak Lithium Mine, Zadar Ventures [TSX.V:ZAD] announced the completion of a detailed gravity survey its WSP Lithium Brine Project.
Spanning the WSP's entire 425 hectares of area, this latest program was designed to complement a previous historical survey done with wider spacing. A total of 126 gravity stations acquired data along 14 lines were separated at 125 metre and 250 metre intervals, which brought the previous historical observations to modern day compliance standards.
According to the press release from earlier today/yesterday, Zadar's management interpreted the results of the survey to represent a "basinal structure capable of hosting brines with elevated lithium."
Among the observations were two features of note: namely a large area in the eastern portion (near the border with Albemarle) with increased bedrock depths, and another area in the southwestern portion with much shallower depths.
The project's initial merit was determined from a previous USGS test hole that showed positive signs of lithium. Drillhole CV-2, located ~600m from the Albemarle boundary, reported a 55ppm Li maximum content from analyzed water samples.
With the results of this gravity survey now in hand, Zadar is better suited to prioritize its locations for future exploration drill holes. The plan next is to test the water on site with a drill hole supported water sampling program.
For those following Zadar's developments, this update on Clayton Valley activity is assurance that the company is not shifting all of its attention to its most recent lithium acquisition.
Recently Zadar announced that it was diversifying its lithium exposure by signing a deal with Macarthur Minerals [TSX.V:MMS] to land them with hard rock lithium assets in Australia near Galaxy Resources' [ASX:GXY] current producing Mount Cattlin Lithium Project.
However, the Clayton Valley project is so far the most advanced of Zadar's portfolio, having been in possession of the property since Zadar is not the only junior explorer looking to cash in on the Clayton Valley's real estate boom.
Other Clayton Valley Developments
Pure Energy [TSX.V:PE], which was founded and originally headed by current Zadar advisory board member Jason Dussault, recently announced that it had exceeded its initial well depth on its Clayton Valley South ("CVS") Project. The drilling went an extra 400 metres, taking the initial target of 1,600 metres to a full depth of 2,000 metres.
Last week, Pure Energy announced the final terms on its $5 million private placement, which upon completion should get Pure's drill bits turning again right away.
Another Clayton Valley resident that has been successful in its fundraising recently is Lithium-X [TSX.V:LIX][OTCQB:LIXXF], which recently closed a $10 million financing.
While much of Lithium-X's newsfeed has been dominated by its recent activities acquiring and piloting programs in Argentina, in March the company announced approval for its own Clayton Valley drill program.
Flurry of Activity Ahead
It appears that the Clayton Valley still has much more activity ahead, with the addition of North South to the space, Pure Energy's upcoming drill program, and likely some investment from Lithium-X after the closing of its latest financing.
As for Zadar Ventures, further work on the WSP and CR projects in Nevada is expected in the coming weeks. With the new data from the latest gravity surveys, drill permits are expected within the next two weeks, with a drill program soon to follow. Furthermore Zadar's drill program is fully funded through its warrants.
As well, the company will likely be moving ahead with more developments on its Australian assets, as it balances out its strategy to eventually provide lithium feedstock for the world's growing global demand.
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