Following mobilization on March 14th, the drill operator, Skytech Drilling Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona, successfully started drilling on Tuesday, March 15th. The crew will be working 10-hour shifts to complete the drilling in a timely manner, which is estimated to require one week’s time per hole.
Primary sampling and testing will be completed by Reno based ALS Cemex, who performed the testing for Rodina Lithium on its neighboring Clayton Valley property. In addition, 15% of the samples will be sent to a secondary lab, for quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) purposes and procedures as implemented by Robert Allender, AmeriLithium’s VP of Exploration & Chief Geologist.
"It’s good to see our recent draw down funds going directly into the continued development of the business through this exploration program," said Matthew Worrall, AmeriLithium’s CEO, commenting on the Company receiving its fifth draw down from its $10 million finance agreement in early March 2011. "And based on the positive results we received from our gravity and magnetic surveying to date, everyone here is eager to complete this current stage of the exploration program and see its results."
The program’s 3 initial holes will test areas of significant Lithium brine potential identified by the Company’s exploration program (i.e., areas marked by gravity lows and low resistivity), followed by the remaining 5 holes depending on the initial drilling results. By penetrating the formations comprising the basin fill in Paymaster Canyon, the holes should allow AmeriLithium to examine and sample the stratigraphy and lithology of the sedimentary sequence; the nature and extent of the saturated zones; and the concentration of Lithium and other constituents in the groundwater in these target zones.
AmeriLithium’s domestic Paymaster Project represents a 5,880-acre claim block adjacent to the Clayton Valley playa, where Lithium-rich brines and evaporates have been accumulating for more than 30,000 years, resulting in the highest Lithium content found in any brines tested by the US Geological Survey (USGS) in southwestern US playas and basins.(1)
Clayton Valley is home to the only US-based Lithium producing plant, operated by neighboring Chemetall Foote Corporation, a subsidiary of Rockwood Holdings, Inc. The plant has been in production since 1967, producing an estimated 50 million kg (55,000+ tons) of Lithium to date from the region’s rich brines.(2)
In early October 2010, rough preliminary volume estimates for AmeriLithium’s Paymaster Project pointed to the potential for 7,500 to 26,000 tons of Lithium resource underlying the property. With Lithium carbonate trading in the range of $5,500-$6,000 per metric tonne based on a Q3 2010 report by Resource Capital Research,(3) AmeriLithium’s potential Lithium resource on this single Nevada property could represent a market valuation from $132.8 to $144.9 million. The Company’s Lithium holdings also include two other Nevada-based projects nearby, as well as claims in Canada and Australia.
Lithium is a lightweight metal used in a wide range of consumer products the world over: the medical industry uses Lithium as an anti-depressant; industrial uses include glass, ceramic and porcelain enamel manufacture; the aviation industry uses Lithium in alloys. Of particular interest is the use of Lithium for battery production, which has expanded significantly in recent years due to rechargeable Lithium batteries being used increasingly in electrical tools and in the rapidly expanding portable electronics market. Furthermore, the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles are being designed to use high-capacity Lithium-ion batteries as environmentally-friendly fuel alternatives while the Obama administration has introduced $5 billion in funding and incentives for the development of a secure, domestic battery industry with special focus on Lithium-ion batteries.
AmeriLithium is a publicly traded (NASD OTC BB: AMEL), mining company committed to progressively developing into one of the leading American players in the global Lithium industry. The Company is headquartered in Henderson, NV. AmeriLithium has amassed a Lithium portfolio consisting of ~724,000 acres, including three Nevada-based projects nearby the only Lithium producing plant in the US, a large project in Alberta, Canada, and a project in Western Australia.