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More Lithium-Bearing Clays Intersected at Altair Lithium Project, USA

Astute Metals NL (ASX: ASE) (“ASE”, “Astute” or “the Company”) is pleased to advise that it has intersected further lithium mineralisation in recent follow-up drilling at its highly prospective 100%-owned Altair Lithium Project in Nevada, USA. Drill-hole AL03 intersected:

  • 13.7m @ 365ppm Li from 163m (535ft) to End-Of-Hole (176.8m/580ft).

Altair Lithium project

This result has confirmed an extension of the mineralised Siebert Formation claystone 1.9km to the east of the initial discovery hole AL01, which intersected two previously announced significant zones of lithium mineralisation3, namely:

  • 33.5m @ 481ppm Li from 80.8m (265ft); and
  • 33.5m @ 508ppm Li from 147.8m (485ft) to End-of-Hole (181.4m/595ft).

In addition, hole AL02, which was drilled at the eastern extent of the Altair Project approximately 5.4km east of AL03, intersected four zones of anomalous lithium-in-clays where lithium values peak over 100ppm. It is unclear at this early stage whether the intercalated claystone and fine gravels at this hole belong to the Siebert Formation or are part of younger, Quaternary-aged sequences. However, the fact that the clays are lithium-bearing suggests the potential for higher grades nearby if they do belong to the Siebert Formation. A full table of assay results is provided in Appendix 3.

To continue building on the exploration success achieved to date at Altair, the Company intends to permit additional holes to test for further intersections of lithium claystone to the north and west of the Altair Project in H1 of 2024, with further drilling planned in H2.

Astute Executive Chairman, Tony Leibowitz, said:

These very encouraging results from Holes 2 and 3 wrap-up what was an extremely successful first year of drilling for Astute at Altair. The significant intercept in Hole 3 confirms that the mineralized Siebert Formation horizon extends over a strike length of 1.9km, building on previously reported drilling. We have lots of unfinished business at Altair and we plan to permit additional holes there while we progress exploration activities at the exciting new Red Mountain Project.


Centred south-west of the township of Tonopah, in the heart of one of the world’s most active lithium exploration districts, the Altair Project was strategically staked proximal to outcropping tertiary sedimentary host rock (known locally as the Siebert Formation) that is known to host claystone lithium deposits around Nevada. Such deposits include the 15.8Mt LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent) Tonopah Flats deposit1 and the 9.79Mt LCE TLC Lithium Project2 (Figure 4).

The Company completed the first hole at Altair in Q3 2023, with drill-hole AL01 successfully intersecting two zones of lithium mineralisation:

  • 33.5m @ 481ppm Li from 80.8m (265ft); and
  • 33.5m @ 508ppm Li from 147.8m (485ft) to End-of-Hole (181.4m/595ft).
The Company re-commenced drilling at Altair in November 2023 with a higher-powered Reverse Circulation (RC) drill rig more appropriate to contend with the challenging drilling conditions encountered previously at the Project (Figure 1). Two holes were drilled at Altair for a combined 312.4m (1,025ft), successfully intersecting claystone in both holes AL03 and AL024.

Drill rig set up at site AL03. Figure 1. Drill rig set up at site AL03.


There is strong similarity between the soft blue-green nature and lithium grade of the clays intersected in AL01 and AL03, indicating that the clays intersected in AL03 are an extension of the Siebert Formation encountered in hole AL01.

The deepening of the claystone intersected in AL03 is interpreted to potentially be due to a paleo- channel where Siebert Formation clays may have been eroded away and fine gravels deposited in place (see Schematic Section in Figure 2)

Given the variation in depth of intersection, thickness and grade of the claystones between the easternmost hole AL02 and those in AL01 and AL03, it remains unclear if the claystones intersected in AL02 belong to the Siebert Formation and this will only be resolved with additional drilling.

Based on the drilling to date, the mineralisation remains open to the west and the north of the project, with excellent potential to expand the extent of lithium-bearing clays. In addition, the mineralisation also remains open, to an unknown degree, between AL03 and AL02 (Figure 3).

Next Steps

The Company will work to permit additional holes in the west and north of the project, and between holes AL03 and AL02. Permitting is expected to be completed in H1 of 2024, allowing further drilling to take place in the second half of 2024.

Click here for the full ASX Release

This article includes content from Astute Metals NL, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.


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