First Class Metals PLC (LSE:FCM) has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Whitesand First Nation (WFN) to initiate exploration activities on the Zigzag Lithium Project.
MoU Agreement Highlights
This milestone agreement sets the stage for a three-year term of exploration on the Zigzag property located in the Armstrong area of Canada, an emerging hotspot for hard-rock pegmatite lithium projects. Notably, Green Technology Metals Limited’s Seymour Lake Project (ASX:GT1) and Battery Age Minerals Limited’s Falcon Lake Project (ASX:BM8) are also in proximity.
Figure 1: Zigzag Lithium Location in key Ontario ‘Battery Metals Belt’
While the Company has optioned the Zigzag property from Nuinsco who had secured an Exploration Permit, the absence of any previous agreement or discussions with the First Nations prompted First Class Metals’ to initiate talks with the Whitesand First Nation, recognising the importance of involving the First Nations in the Project’s evolution.
By working alongside Indigenous communities like the Whitesand First Nation, the Company aims to ensure that the benefits of resource exploration and extraction are mutually advantageous and contribute to the prosperity of local communities.
Recent developments in the battery metals sector have highlighted the vast potential of Zigzag, with Battery Age Minerals Limited reporting significant widths and high lithium grades in the region, showcasing the promising nature of this ‘Battery Metals Belt.’ Historical data also indicates the presence of lithium grades exceeding 1% lithium (Li2O) and the substantial pegmatite structure.
The property boasts historical surface grades of up to 1.68% (Li2O) over 7.9 metres and 0.168% tantalum (Ta2O5) over 2.54 metres, with the pegmatite hosting the deposit spanning over 800 metres in length and 20 metres in thickness at the surface. Sampling conducted by Nuinsco yielded impressive lithium, tantalum, and rubidium values, further underscoring the potential of the region.
Figure 3: Photo of specimen samples of Zigzag lithium bearing pegmatite taken from the Zigzag property near to where historic as well as recently reported samples by FCM were collected, (see RNS of June 8th 2023). Note very coarse crystalline fabric.
Meeting the Growing Demand for Lithium
With the growing global demand for lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicles, ensuring a stable supply of critical minerals such as lithium is paramount. The Zigzag Lithium Project’s alignment with the critical minerals strategies of Canada and the United Kingdom highlights its significance, as North American demand for lithium is anticipated to outstrip supply even amid projected capacity expansions.
First Class Metals’ commitment to exploring and developing Zigzag not only contributes to meeting this heightening demand but also aligns with the broader mission of fostering clean and inclusive growth through responsible mineral exploration and collaboration with indigenous communities.
Marc Sale First Class Metals CEO commented, “I am delighted that having now visited the property and seen a ‘snapshot’ of Zigzag’s potential I am pleased that the exploration of the Zigzag property will now commence in earnest. More so that it is with the support of the Whitesand First Nation.”
“We will shortly have a team on the ground prospecting in advance of a sawn channel sampling programme aimed at identifying sections of the pegmatite for a focussed drill programme.”
FCM’s London Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently selling at 9.25 pence (10:10 am UTC+ 8 hours).