Montero Confirms Spodumene as the Dominant Lithium Mineral at the Soris Lithium Project in NamibiaDecember 6, 2017
TORONTO, Dec. 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Montero Mining and Exploration Ltd. (TSX-V:MON) has received positive mineralogical results from surface samples taken during an initial grab sampling program on its Soris Lithium Project in central Namibia. Results confirm that spodumene is the dominant lithium mineral.
The mineralogical samples were collected from three main workings from the Soris pegmatites. Three hand specimen samples were submitted for mineralogical analysis, which included XRD and petrography, to SGS Laboratories in Johannesburg, South Africa. The mineralogical results confirm spodumene (LiAl (SiO3)2) is the main lithium bearing mineral in the samples provided. X-ray diffraction analysis shows that lithium is dominantly hosted in primary spodumene and possibly some minor lepidolite (K(Li,Al)3(Al,Si,Rb)4O10(F,OH)2). Alteration minerals such as amblygonite (Li,Na)AlPO4(F,OH), cookeite LiAl5Si3O10(OH)8 and eucryptite (LiAlSiO4) also occur in minor to trace amounts. The tin mineral cassiterite (SnO2) is also observed in one of the samples but no tantalum is observed. The pegmatite samples also show dominant quartz, albite feldspar and mica as the major minerals followed by spodumene. The samples may not necessarily be representative of the overall mineralization hosted in the pegmatites on the property.
According to the report spodumene is the dominant Li-bearing mineral and the coarse nature of the spodumene should allow for pre-concentration of this mineral by Densimetric Mineral Separation (DMS) prior to possible further concentration by other gravity separation methods such as spirals and then flotation. The partial alteration of the spodumene in places may affect efficient recoveries of the mineral.
Dr. Tony Harwood, President and Chief Executive Officer of Montero commented, “Montero’s mineralogical testing has confirmed that spodumene is the main lithium bearing mineral in the pegmatites at the Soris Lithium Project. Spodumene is the most desirable target mineral for beneficiation, concentrate production and sale of lithium from hard rock lithium deposits. Montero has submitted the remainder of spodumene bearing RC chips from prior operators drill program where lithium was not analyzed.”
The ratio of the element rubidium (Rb as ppm) against lithium (Li as ppm) has been used as a vector to differentiate between spodumene and lithium alteration and lithium micas in pegmatites. This method has been used globally as a vector towards high-grade spodumene mineralisation. In Figure 1 below a graphical representation of this ratio shows the predominance of spodumene from the channel samples geochemical analysis obtained to date. As the number of samples is limited, this data may not be representative of the overall mineralization.
The pegmatites of the Soris Lithium Project show evidence of being highly differentiated and zoned, which is similar to the Tanco (Canada) and Bikita (Zimbabwe) pegmatites. The Tanco and Bikita pegmatites show considerable internal variation in mineralogy and chemistry, which is also apparent in the Soris Project Pegmatites. This style of zoned pegmatite has produced zones of high grades at both Tanco and Bikita.
Figure 1: An infographic accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/11545fbb-7601-45e7-a1fe-c2e94db8c14f
The Soris Lithium Project is located in central Namibia, north west of the town Uis which is 220km north of Walvis Bay, Namibia’s largest commercial deep-water port. The project is in the Erongo Region and is connected by dirt and asphalt road to the port of Walvis Bay.
On October 24, 2017, Montero announced entering into a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Frovio Investment, a Namibian company, to acquire up to an 80% interest in its wholly owned Soris Lithium Project in the De Rust pegmatite field in Namibia. Montero is currently in a 3-month legal and technical due diligence period. Under the terms of the LOI, Montero immediately earns an 80% interest in the Property by committing to spend C$1 million and completing a feasibility study in 3 years.
The De Rust pegmatite field is hosted in the metasedimentary units of the Damara Mobile Belt of the Pan African Damara Orogen in Namibia. The zoned pegmatites at the Soris Lithium Project belong to a group of highly fractionated, tantalite-cassiterite, lithium-rich rare metal pegmatites known as Lithium-Cesium-Tantalum (LCT) pegmatites. Lithium mineralization occurs in the form of spodumene crystals developed virtually over the whole length of the pegmatite, although the relative abundance of spodumene varies from one location to another, the spodumene crystals are quite coarse and vary in size with crystals up to 80cm long being observed.
The Soris Lithium Project pegmatites encompass several outcrops, varying in length between 100m up to 470m over 2.4km and measured in places to be more than 30m wide. The pegmatites were previously mined on a small scale for tin and tantalum (Diehl, 1992). Recent exploration for tantalum and tin includes reverse circulation (RC) drilling. The pegmatites have not been mined or systematically assayed for lithium.
Qualified Person’s Statement
This press release was reviewed and approved by Mr. Mike Evans, M.Sc. Pr.Sci.Nat., who is a qualified person for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 and a Consulting Geologist to Montero. A review was also undertaken by Nico Scholtz, Pr.Sci.Nat., a qualified person for the purpose of National Instrument 43-101 and is a Namibian based geologist with more than 10 years’ experience. He has extensive experience in rare metal pegmatite exploration in Namibia, having worked on many Lithium-Cesium-Tantalum (LCT) pegmatite intrusions.
Montero is a mineral exploration and development company engaged in the identification, acquisition, evaluation and exploration of mineral properties in Africa. Currently these include Lithium, Tantalum and Tin in Namibia, Phosphates in South Africa and Rare Earth Elements (REE) in Tanzania. Montero is reviewing and evaluating other opportunities from its operating base in South Africa. Montero trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol MON.