Belmont has entered into a Property Acquisition Agreement with Zimtu Capital Corp. to acquire -16 claims - 2,560 acres of property located in Kibby Basin, 65 km north of Clayton Valley in the Monte Criscto Valley in Esmeralda County, Nevada.
Geologic research of the Kibby Basin has indicated that proximal rhyolitic flows and tuffs surrounding the basin could be a potential source for the possibility of saturated Li brine in the Kibby Basis Playa. In addition to this, the Kibby Playa is located within a geothermal cluster, at a basin low setting. Regional geophysical signatures in the area reflect similar anomalies comparative to that of the Clayton Valley, where Pure Energy Minerals (TSX.V: PE) has defined the largest Lithium (Li) Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) NI 43-101 Resource in the Clayton Valley, next to the only producing lithium mine (Albemarle’s –NYSE: ALB; Silver Peak Mine) in North America.
Nevada enjoys unmatched infrastructure, consistent permitting protocols, a social license to operate and a safe operating environment. Nevada is home to Tesla’s $5 billion lithium-ion battery Gigafactory currently under construction, as well as the soon to be built Faraday Future $1 billion electric car plant.
NI 43-101 Disclosure:
James A. Briscoe, P. Geo., a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has reviewed and approved the technical information in this news release.
Lithium is a soft, silver-white metal used in pharmaceuticals, ceramics, grease, lubricants and heat-resistant glass. It's fastest growing use is in lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from cellphones and laptops to electric vehicles.
Lithium is found all over the world, in both hard-rock deposits and evaporated brines. There is some contention as to which type of deposit is superior, but generally there are trade offs either way.
The world's largest hard-rock mine is the Greenbushes mine in Australia. Most of the world's lithium brine comes from salt lakes (salars) in Chile and Argentina. Bolivia is thought to hold the world's largest lithium reserves, and the prolific lithium triangle spans all three South American countries. Australia was the world's largest lithium producer in 2014, followed by Chile and China in third place.
There's more than one type of lithium product out there. Technical-grade lithium is used in ceramics, glass and other industrial applications, while battery-lithium carbonate and the more expensive lithium hydroxide are used to make lithium-ion batteries; they can also be used for technical applications.
Lithium is a specialty industrial product bought and sold under contract, and the chemistry is specifically tailored to the customers needs. Supply contracts are useful towards predicting cash flow and securing project finance.
Although lithium is used in over 70 types of products, the growth in battery usage has driven lithium demand skyward. Electric vehicles and grid storage, such as Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack residential and commercial battery systems, are very high growth areas.
Demand is predicted to be as high as 125% of supply by 2020 driven by electric vehicles and grid storage.
The price of lithium has increased by 300% since 2003.
The most important use of lithium is in rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles, energy grid storage, mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and other small electronic devices. Lithium is also used in some non-rechargeable batteries.
Lithium metal is combined with aluminum and magnesium to form strong and lightweight alloys for armour plating, aircraft, trains and bicycles.
Optics, Glassware and Ceramics
Lithium is used to produce optics, glassware, and ceramics.
Lithium chloride is one of the most hygroscopic materials known, and is used in air conditioning and industrial drying systems.
Lithium stearate is used as an all-purpose and high-temperature lubricant.
Lithium carbonate is used in medications to effectively treat manic depression.
Lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate are both consumed in battery cathodes. The high energy content and light molecular weight of lithium makes it an ideal energy source for transportation.
Economically accessible sources of lithium are relatively rare, and commercial production comes from brine and rock.
Lithium-enriched brine is the most cost-effective form of lithium production and is responsible for most of the global production. Under specific climatic and geologic conditions lithium can be concentrated naturally in very salty water referred to as brine. This process is relatively rare, and the predominant theory suggests that volcanic lithium-rich ash is deposited, entrained into water by solution, and forms a lake in low-elevation desert depressions where evaporation exceeds precipitation. Over time, water is evaporated and the salts, including lithium, are concentrated and eventually infiltrate into the ground. Brines can be twice as salty as seawater, and under certain geologic conditions, can be contained underground by impermeable rock effectively forming a bathtub-like feature. These features can be a prolific source of accessible and concentrated lithium, and are known to be found in Nevada, Atacama (Chile, Bolivia and Argentina), and Tibet.
Before 1997 lithium production was predominantly hardrock-sourced from the USA, Russia, Chile, Australia, China, Zimbabwe and Canada. However during 1997 Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile (“SQM”) began processing lithium product from continental brines in the Salara de Atacama region. The lower cost and larger volume of production of this brine-sourced lithium changed the shape of the industry, thus forcing the closure of many high-cost rock operations. The Greenbushes mine in Austrailia is the only significant lithium hard rock mine in the world, unique due to the highly enriched lithium mineralization.