LIBRA LITHIUM ANNOUNCES HIGH-GRADE TANTALUM DISCOVERY
Toronto, Ontario (November 6, 2023) – Libra Lithium Corp. (“Libra Lithium” or the “Company”), a privately-held, critical minerals explorer, is pleased to announce the discovery of tantalite – the primary source of tantalum and a key lithium indicator mineral – at its 100%-owned Flanders North and Flanders South projects in Ontario, Canada. Grab sample assays have been received for both coarse-grained and fine-grained tantalite occurrences across both district-scale projects, which together encompass approximately 50,000 hectares of ground prospective for lithium and tantalum, as well as other associated metals such as cesium and tin.
- Coarse-grained tantalite, up to 2 cm in diameter, was discovered at Flanders South in the newly named Nelson pegmatite, with assays returning up to 4,469 ppm Ta2O5.
- Coarse-grained tantalite is extremely rare, with only three previous occurrences documented across Ontario; the most significant being Green Technology Metals’ (ASX:GT1) flagship Seymour Lake project (9.9Mt at 1.04% Li2O).
- Fine-grained tantalite has been identified at both Flanders North and Flanders South, with 15 samples returning greater than 100 ppm Ta2O5, along with approximately 40 new beryl occurrences.
- The presence of tantalite along with elevated lithium-cesium values supports the potential for widespread lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) type pegmatites across the Company’s Flanders District projects; LCT pegmatites are the dominant source of current global lithium production.
- Libra’s Flanders District projects are proximal to Highway 11 and are named after the all-season Flanders Road that transects the project areas; a network of logging roads exists off this road in addition to a power transmission line.
- Additional grab sample results from the Flanders District projects are expected in the coming weeks.
“While lithium remains our primary focus, we plan to be opportunistic with other critical metals that we uncover. Tantalum is critical for modern technology, including capacitors and semiconductors, and its high durability makes it exceptionally useful as an alloy for turbines and rocket nozzles. Importantly, we found high-grade tantalite only 340 km away from the Tanco mine, which has produced tantalum concentrates periodically since 1969,” said Koby Kushner, CEO of Libra Lithium.
“In an LCT pegmatite system, tantalite will typically crystalize before spodumene – the primary lithium-bearing mineral that we are targeting. In addition to tantalite, other indicator minerals, such as beryl, are being used to help us vector in on lithium. Tantalum is a key indicator for lithium mineralization, as supported by the fact that several current lithium producing mines were previously focused on tantalum production, including the Greenbushes mine in Australia, which today, is the largest hard-rock lithium mine globally,” said Ben Kuzmich, VP Exploration of Libra Lithium.
Libra Lithium has identified multiple occurrences of tantalite across Flanders North and Flanders South, which are 41,242 ha and 8,711 ha in size, respectively (Figure 2). Both projects were generated and staked in-house, meaning they are 100%-owned by Libra Lithium with no option payments or royalties due. The projects are accessible via Flanders Road, an all-season gravel road off Highway 11, south of Atikokan.
The coarse-grained tantalite occurrence at Flanders South measures 2 cm in diameter (Figure 3), and represents the fourth of its kind in Ontario, with the first documented coarse-grained tantalite occurrence being at Green Technology Metals’ (ASX:GT1) Seymour Lake project, where a JORC resource of 9.9Mt at 1.04% Li2O has been defined.1 The Nelson tantalite occurrence was found along the margins of a quartz pod within a 3 m wide pegmatite that has been traced for 100 m and remains open along strike. The Company plans to follow up prospecting this pegmatite and other proximal targets in 2024. Meanwhile, the Company continues to prospect areas that have not yet been explored, as weather permits.
Libra Lithium contracted Bayside Geoscience to conduct a reconnaissance level prospecting and mapping program on Flanders South project from August 18 to September 6, 2023. James Fisher, while conducting 200 m spaced traverses uncovered the Nelson pegmatite. “This new occurrence of coarse-grained tantalite supports the concept that the Flanders District is host to unrecognized, potentially significant LCT pegmatites within a proven lithium district,” continued Kuzmich, “the preliminary results from this discovery are very encouraging, both in grade and in Nb/Ta ratios (<1.0) which suggests the mineralization is a tantalum dominate Na-Ta oxide.”
Figure 1: Map showing Flanders District regional location relative to the operating Tanco Li-Cs-Ta mine 4
Figure 2: Map showing Libra Lithium’s Flanders District projects and tantalum values 5,6,7,4
Figure 3: Photographs of the Nelson coarse-grained tantalite occurrence
Tantalum is deemed to be a critical mineral in the USA, Canada, and Australia. It is extremely rare, with an average crustal abundance of approximately 0.0002% Ta8. It is the third hardest metal, and has the fourth highest melting point, making it highly resistant to heat and corrosion. These unique properties make tantalum critical for modern technology, including in electronics (capacitors and semiconductors) and aerospace. Tantalite, the dominant tantalum-bearing mineral, is mostly mined from pegmatites – the same host to most hard-rock lithium sources. As shown in Figure 4, most tantalite deposits tend to grade >100 ppm Ta2O5. Tanco, the highest-grade tantalum resource globally, has an average resource grade of 2,160 ppm Ta2O5.9
Figure 4: Grade vs. tonnage plots of world-wide tantalum resources9
Due to the high degree of variability in the sampled pegmatites and granites, the reported grab samples may not be representative of the overall mineralization / characteristics of the bedrock. Grab samples were collected in the field with a hammer and were generally greater than 1 kg in weight. The grab samples were delivered by Libra Lithium geologists to ALS Geochemistry Thunder Bay prep labs. Samples were assayed by ALS Geochemistry, Vancouver analytical lab which is an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory and is independent of the Company. The samples were digested using a sodium peroxide fusion and assayed by ICP-MS for trace elements (i.e., ME-MS89L). ALS Geochemistry inserted standards, blanks, pulp duplicates and prep duplicates into the sample stream.
Ben Kuzmich, M.Sc., P.Geo. supervised the preparation of the scientific and technical information that formed the basis for the written disclosure in this news release. Ben Kuzmich is the VP of Exploration for Libra Lithium and the Qualified Person (as such term is defined by National Instrument 43-101).
About Libra Lithium Corp.
Libra Lithium is focused on advancing and developing a portfolio of grassroots lithium projects in Canada. Libra Lithium’s asset portfolio includes its 100%-owned Flanders North, Flanders South, Burton, Tennant, Battery Hill, Bitchu, Kivinen and Twist lithium projects, as well as an option to earn a 100% interest in the Soules Bay and Caron lithium projects. Together, these projects span approximately 80,000 ha of prospective ground near Ontario’s Thunder Bay Mining District. Libra Lithium also holds a 100% interest in the Nemiscau lithium project in James Bay, Quebec, where several pegmatites, up to 100m wide, have been mapped. The Libra Lithium team comprises a mix of seasoned executives, engineers and geoscientists, with extensive experience in mining and mineral exploration, capital markets, asset management, energy, and First Nations engagement.
Koby Kushner, P.Eng., CFA
CEO & Director
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