Patriot Lithium Limited (ASX:PAT) has announced the completion of its initial reconnaissance mapping and sampling program at Black Hills, revealing the discovery of potentially fertile pegmatites at its Keystone Project in South Dakota, along with the identification of numerous fractured pegmatites through portable X-Ray Fluorescence (pXRF) readings.
Figure 1: Eastern end of a fractionated, megacrystic pegmatite dyke with >200 m strike length and encouraging K/Rb ratios in potassium feldspar. COO included for scale.
Adjacency to Historic Mine Clusters
The Company’s mapping and reconnaissance efforts centred on the block of claims situated east of Keystone town, in close proximity to the prominent historic lithium mines like Etta, Edison, Hugo, and Peerless.
Figure 2: Map of the Company’s claims in the Keystone area, near the cluster of historic lithium mines including Edison, Etta, Hugo and Peerless. The are of focus for reconnaissance work is outlined. Sample locations are shown.
The work carried out within the area have led to the detection of multiple exposed fractionated pegmatite outcrops, with the most significant among them being a novel discovery previously undocumented by the Company, showcasing a surface trace that extends over 200 metres along the strike.
Employing pXRF readings, the Company successfully identified potassium feldspar and mica crystals within these pegmatite outcrops. Notably, the fractionated pegmatites examined at the Keystone site stood out for their substantial crystal dimensions, ranging from 10 to over 100 centimetres in diameter, complemented by the presence of tourmaline.
Keystone Project, South Dakota
Encompassing 34 square kilometres of lithium-promising terrain, Patriot Lithium’s wholly-owned Keystone Project resides within the renowned high-grade Black Hills lithium province in South Dakota.
Figure 3: Map of the Company’s lode mining claims at Keystone Project with respect to Iris Metals’ Beecher Project and other historic workings.
The reconnaissance initiative effectively uncovered fresh, fractured, and promising lithium-rich pegmatite located 3.5 kilometres from the historically prolific Etta, Edison, and Hugo Lithium mines in close proximity to the Keystone Project.
Strategically positioned, Keystone lies adjacent to these historic mines along the same strike and east of the Harney Peak Granite—a geological feature associated with over 5000 pegmatite intrusions in the region.
Patriot Lithium’s holdings within the Keystone Project encompass underexplored pegmatite occurrences that hold promise for significant lithium grades, despite limited documentation.
In a move to expand exploration opportunities, the Company augmented its claim area for both the Keystone and Tinton West Projects by an additional 15 square kilometres. This expansion, disclosed in July, aims to facilitate deeper investigations within this prospective region.
These claims are strategically situated in proximity to and share a target profile with the pegmatites being pursued by Iris Metals (ASX:IR1) at their Beecher Project. Iris Metals recently reported “exceptional initial findings” from their maiden drilling program, validating substantial lithium intercepts such as 60 metres at 1.21% Li₂O and a notable lithium assay of 44.13 metres @ 1.02% Li₂O.
Patriot Lithium plans to leverage these promising outcomes to guide an upcoming systematic mapping and sampling campaign across its Black Hills claims, set to begin in September. The Company intends to share the assay findings from these subsequent tests upon their completion.
Furthermore, Patriot Lithium is poised to extend mapping and sampling efforts to encompass the entirety of the Keystone and Tinton West projects, including the newly acquired claims.
Following the Company’s focused exploration endeavours on its Gorman Project in Ontario, Nicholas Vickery, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Patriot Lithium, stated that the company is now shifting its attention towards its other holdings.
“After a period of dedicated focus on Patriot’s highly prospective Gorman project in Ontario, the team has been eager to get back on the ground in the Black Hills to direct attention to our exciting Keystone and Tinton West projects,” he said.
“Recent early-stage reconnaissance around the Keystone region has confirmed promising K/Rb ratios, indicating a potential for lithium mineralisation, within significant pegmatite outcrops only 3.5km from the historic high-grade Etta, Edison and Hugo Li mines that the team is keen to explore and define further.”
“The recent impressive drilling results achieved in the region by Iris Metals reaffirms the Black Hills as a highly prospective lithium district. The results released from the Beecher Project nearby give us even greater confidence in the early exploration work that Patriot is undertaking.”
“Patriot will be ramping up its efforts in the Black Hills in the coming months. Mapping and sampling programs are scheduled across the remaining Keystone and Tinton West claims, including the recently staked claims that extended Keyston claims by 15 km2 and the Tinton West claims by 4km2.”
PAT’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen 11.76% and is currently trading at 19 cents (11:15am UTC+ 8 hours).