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First Class Metals Advances in Discovery of High-Grade Lithium Mineralisation

18 September 2023 14:04
Forest Trees Conifers

First Class Metals PLC (LSE:FCM) have made a significant strides toward its pursuit of discovering economic pegmatite-hosted lithium mineralisation on its extensive Canadian land holdings, with first pass limited sampling whilst achieving access returned samples with a peak of 1.7% Li20 and 346ppm Tantalum, 104 ppm Niobium and >3000ppm Rubidium.

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Figure 1: Historical drill holes and sampling results from the Zigzag Project.

Zigzag Project’s Lithium Potential

The Zigzag Project is situated in a highly prospective region known for its potential to host economic pegmatite-hosted lithium mineralisation. Historical exploration efforts have yielded promising results, including surface samples with grades of up to 1.68% lithium (Li₂O) over 7.9 metres and 0.168% tantalum (Ta₂O₅) over 2.54 metres.

Additionally, sampling conducted by Nuinsco returned highly anomalous lithium (Li), tantalum (Ta), and rubidium (Rb), with peak values of 3.55% Li₂O, 836 ppm Ta₂O₅, and 4,003 ppm Rb₂O.

Several shallow historic drill holes in the area also produced encouraging results, including intersections of 1.08% Li₂O over 6.1 metres and 399.8 ppm Ta₂O₅ over 2.92 metres.

Initial Sampling and Ongoing Activities

First Class Metals has already undertaken initial sampling efforts, which, while limited, have demonstrated great promise.

Multiple samples have yielded peak values of 1.7% Li₂O and 346 ppm Ta, while the Company’s geological team is actively engaged in prospecting and mapping known exposures, concurrently initiating a sawn channel sampling program along the pegmatite outcrop.

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Figure 2: Photograph of pegmatite sample exhibiting significant spodumenes crystals Li [AlSi2O6]

As part of the ongoing efforts, an additional thirty-nine grab samples have been collected and are currently undergoing assay, with results expected soon.

Project Location and Significance

The Zigzag Project is strategically located less than 100 kilometres from Armstrong in northwest Ontario, an area already known for its potential to host hard rock, pegmatite-hosted lithium.

The presence of existing infrastructure in the local area, along with upcoming projects like the Jackfish Hydro Project and a spodumene Process Plant at the Green Technology Metals Seymour site, enhances the Project’s attractiveness.

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Figure 3: Location of the Zigzag property within a ‘key’ area for Ontario’s rapidly expanding lithium industry.

The claim group for the Zigzag Project covers an 800-metre mapped structure known as the Tebishogeshik occurrence, with this pegmatite-hosted lithium-tantalum mineralisation also including significant rubidium and niobium mineralisation, all of which are considered ‘critical minerals’ by the Canadian and United Kingdom Governments.

With the global pipeline for lithium-ion battery production capacity expected to increase up to 8.1 TWh by 2030 and North American EV battery production forecasted to reach 1 TWh annually by the same year, the demand for lithium remains strong, making projects like Zigzag even more vital for the supply chain.

Future Outlook

First Class Metals CEO Marc J Sale expressed his optimism about the Project.

“The initial grab samples collected by FCM, myself included, have demonstrated and validated the potential indicated by the historic samples from the Zigzag showing,” he said.

“Having visited the property and walked the outcrop, I am confident that drilling will support the tenor of assays reported to date.”

“While we await further assays, FCM has embarked on a prospecting and systematic sampling program, including sawn channel sampling of ‘exposed’ outcrop in the central zone. I am confident that further outcrops in this zone and along strike will be identified. The focus of the current, ongoing program is to bring Zigzag to a drill-ready status in a ‘fast track,’ but diligent manner.”

FCM’s London Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently selling at 8.75 pence (2:00 pm UTC+ 8 hours).

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