DENVER, CO – (9 May, 2017) – Pure Energy Minerals Limited (TSX VENTURE: PE) (FRANKFURT: A111EG) (OTCQB: PEMIF) (the “Company” or “Pure Energy”) is pleased to announce results from depth-specific brine samples from exploratory wells CV-7 and CV-8 on the Clayton Valley South Project (the “CVS Project” or the “Project”). Positive indications of lithium enriched brine occurred throughout the screened intervals of the wells, with increased concentrations in deeper samples.
The average lithium concentration over the screened interval in CV-7 was 70 milligrams per liter (mg/L) lithium, ranging between 56 and 109 mg/L lithium. The CV-8 samples averaged 134 mg/L, including a range of lithium values from 58 to 229 mg/L. The interval from 640 meters (m) (2,100 feet [ft]) to the bottom of the screening at 867 m (2,845 ft) in CV-8 contained average lithium concentrations of 210 mg/L. The deeper part of the aquifer system in CV-8 thus contains considerable thickness of some of the highest-grade lithium brine yet encountered on the Project.
Pumping test samples collected at both wells also yielded consistently high lithium values that may indicate mixing of the brine from the multi-layer aquifer system. The lithium content of brine from the CV-8 pumping test stabilized after only 6 hours of pumping, while lithium values in the CV-7 pumping test became relatively steady after about 12 hours. The stable production of high-lithium brine over the duration of the pumping tests demonstrates potential for sustained production of lithium-bearing brine from the aquifer systems encountered in these wells.
Patrick Highsmith, Pure Energy Minerals’ CEO, discussed the data from the Company’s most recent wells, “Our latest drilling at the CVS Project has yielded thick sections of brine-saturated sediments and strong lithium values right to the bottom of the basin. These deeper brines are also very low in calcium and magnesium, which usually translates to favorable process chemistry. We continue to be enthusiastic about the grade, chemistry, and volume potential at depth on the CVS Project. Now that all the data is in, we are updating the drilling database and finalizing the resource model. These are the last inputs needed for the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), and we look forward to completing the economic analysis and sharing the PEA results in the next few weeks.”
Thick Sections of Lithium and Good Chemistry in Clayton Valley South Brine
Brine samples collected from exploratory wells CV-7 and CV-8 show continuous lithium-enriched brine (greater than 50 mg/L) throughout the screened intervals, culminating in the thickest such section yet seen on the Project at CV-8 of over 654 metres (2,145 feet). While brine is present throughout the section investigated in these recent wells, the brine gets better at depth as the best lithium grades and most favorable chemistry occur at greater than 549 m (1,800 feet) in CV-7 and 640m (2,100 feet) in CV-8 below land surface (bls). The increased lithium concentrations at depth are accompanied by magnesium to lithium ratios of 1.4 or lower, with most below 1. The calcium content of the deeper brine is also anomalously low. Low magnesium and calcium content of lithium brines is significant, as these elements can interfere with low-cost lithium extraction. Tables 1 and 2 below summarize analytical results for depth-specific brine samples collected from exploratory wells CV-7 and CV-8.
Table 1 – Analytical results for CV-7 depth-specific samples (screened interval 180 – 424m bls)
|Well||Sample Depth (m)||Sample Depth (ft)||Density|
Table 2 – Analytical Results for CV-8 depth-specific samples (Screened intervals 362 – 725m and 788 – 867m bls)
|Sample Depth (m)||Sample Depth (ft)||Density |
Consistent Lithium-bearing Brine Produced During Pumping Tests
Pure Energy’s specialist hydrogeological consultants, Montgomery & Associates (“Montgomery”), designed and conducted pumping tests at CV-7 and CV-8. Pumping tests were operated continuously (48 hours at CV-7, and 72 hours at CV-8) and included collection of brine samples along with extensive hydrogeological data on the brine aquifer system (See news releases dated March 6, 2017 and March 27, 2017).
Figure 1 below illustrates lithium concentrations in the pumping-test discharge over the course of each test. Lithium concentrations in the extracted brine rapidly stabilized in both pumping tests, indicating the potential for sustained production of lithium-bearing brine from the CVS aquifer system. Pumping rates were 5 liters per second (80 gallons per minute) for the CV-7 pumping test and 2 liters per second (30 gallons per minute) for the CV-8 pumping test. It is important to note that none of these exploration wells have yet been optimized in their construction to pump from the highest grade or most permeable zones.
Figure 1. Lithium concentrations in brine extracted during pumping tests at CV-7 and CV-8.
The CV-7 and CV-8 wells were constructed in the northern portion of the CVS Project. The CV-7 well was drilled using diamond coring methods and reamed by mud rotary methods to a depth of 610 m (2,000 ft) bls, similar in depth to CV-3 during mid-2016. Drillers applied similar technology at CV-8, where it was cored to a depth of 973 m (3,192 ft) bls then reamed to 890 m (2,920 ft) bls. The CV-8 well is believed to be the deepest well constructed in Clayton Valley to date.
This work was performed in accordance with State of Nevada waivers and permits issued to Pure Energy by the Nevada Division of Water Resources and the Division of Environmental Protection, which allowed for exploratory well construction, collection of brine samples, and extraction of brine from the exploratory wells with subsequent discharge to surface during the pumping tests.
Quality Assurance & Quality Control
Company and Montgomery hydrogeologists applied extensive quality assurance measures during this program, including: comparative sampling by different methods, an accredited check laboratory, and the use of blind duplicates, blanks, and analytical controls in laboratory submissions. All analytical data reported in this news release were generated by Western Environmental Testing Laboratory (“WETLAB”) of Sparks, Nevada. WETLAB is accredited by the Nevada State Division of Environmental Protection for determination of lithium, magnesium and other elements in non-potable water by EPA method 200.7.
ALS Minerals in Vancouver, British Columbia provides systematic blind and independent check analyses on the lithium and other analytes in the sampling program at CVS. ALS Minerals operates an industry leading quality management system and is accredited under ISO 17025 for provision of mineral analysis.
The comparison between check labs was well within acceptable tolerances. All quality control data from CV-7 and CV-8 complied with the Company’s quality standards.
At CV-7, hydrogeologists collected passive no-purge depth-discrete samples using both the Snap Sampler (widely used on the Project) and wireline sampling methods. Comparison of analytical results showed good agreement between the two methods.
Walter Weinig, Professional Geologist and SME Registered Member (SME Registered Member # 4168729), is a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101 and supervised the preparation of the scientific and technical information that forms the basis for this news release. Mr. Weinig is not independent of the Company, as he is an officer.
Patrick Highsmith, Certified Professional Geologist (AIPG CPG # 11702), is a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the scientific and technical information contained in this news release. Mr. Highsmith is not independent of the Company, as he is an officer and director.
About Pure Energy Minerals Ltd.
Pure Energy is a lithium resource developer that is driven to become a low-cost supplier for the growing lithium battery industry. The Company’s current focus is on the development of the CVS Lithium Brine Project and the adjoining Glory Lithium Clay Project in Clayton Valley, Nevada. Pure Energy also recently acquired a purchase option on a major new lithium brine project in the Lithium Triangle of South America, the Terra Cotta Project (“TCP”). The TCP is located on Pocitos Salar in Salta, Argentina, where it enjoys some of the best infrastructure and access of any lithium brine exploration project in Argentina.
Pure Energy has developed core strengths in innovative development and processing technologies for lithium brines and lithium mineral deposits. Key attributes and activities include:
- A large, strategic land position with excellent infrastructure in a first-class mining jurisdiction: approximately 4,500 hectares (11,000 acres)in Clayton Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada, located a 3-hour drive from the Gigafactory;
- The only lithium brine resource in North America except for Albemarle’s adjoining Silver Peak lithium brine mine, which is the only producing lithium operation in North America;
- An inferred mineral resource containing approximately 816,000 metric tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (LCE) at an average grade of approximately 102 mg/L lithium, reported in accordance with NI 43-101 (see July 2015 Inferred Resource Report);
- An advanced program of testing the efficacy and economics of modern, environmentally-responsible processing technologies to convert the CVS brines into high purity lithium products for new energy storage uses;
- A new early stage exploration program on the 13,000-hectare (32,000 acre) Terra Cotta Project (TCP), located on Pocitos Salar in Salta Province; and
- An active business development program, applying Company expertise to the evaluation of new lithium targets around the world.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Chief Executive Officer
Forward Looking Statements: The information in this news release contains forward looking statements that are subject to a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in our forward looking statements. Factors that could cause such differences include: technical difficulties in connection with exploration and development activities, technological challenges with the extraction and processing of lithium brines, the speculative nature of mineral exploration, volatile microcap equity markets, changes in world commodity markets, equity markets, costs and supply of materials relevant to the mining industry, change in government and changes to regulations affecting the mining industry, including environmental requirements. Forward-looking statements in this release may include statements regarding mineral processing, estimates of reduced future capital and operating expenses, delivery of a preliminary economic assessment, future exploration programs, operation plans, geological interpretations, and mineral tenure issues. Although we believe the expectations reflected in our forward looking statements are reasonable, results may vary, and we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.
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