Zoro Lithium Project
Foremost Lithium’s Zoro Lithium Project, like the Jean Lake lithium property, occurs in east-central Manitoba, 20km east of the historic mining friendly town of Snow Lake. It has a long history of extractive industries with excellent infrastructure: surrounded by operational mines, rail, power, and access to a skilled workforce.
The Zoro1 claim, that hosts the primary source of lithium on the property in Dyke 1, and the Green Bay and Manitoba option are 100% percent owned. Foremost owns the rights to 100% of the lithium resources. The property consists of 16 claims on an 8,903-acre, 3,603-hectare land package with proximity to excellent infrastructure and an experienced labor pool. Exploration has been rapidly advancing on the property with an integrated program of prospecting, innovative soil geochemical surveys as well as airborne geophysics high-resolution subsurface imagery technology. The 30 km2 Zoro property hosts 16 lithium-bearing pegmatite dykes including Dyke 1 with a maiden inferred resource of 1,074,567 tonnes grading 0.91% Li2O, 182 ppm Be, 198 ppm Cs, 51 ppm Ga, 1212 ppm Rb, and 43 ppm Ta (at a cut-off of 0.3% Li2O). Localized tantalum assays of up to 0.117% Ta2O5 have also been documented from Dyke 1. Grades exceeding 6.3% Li2O have been returned from assays of drill core elsewhere on the property and up to 4.0% Li2O from rock chip sampling of outcrop.
Bench scale metallurgical studies using Dyke 1 mineralization have demonstrated a 6% Li2O concentrate can be developed from low-iron, white to light green spodumene using industry standard methods. To date, pegmatite dykes exhibit excellent grades and drill-indicated widths, up to 1.4% over 49.8 m.
Currently there have been six total drill programs on the property by Foremost Lithium and previous operators. A total of 9,915 meters in 70 holes, and $6.0 million in exploration expenditures has resulted in the discovery of 16 pegmatite dykes.
Access the link below to view the current NI 43-101 (known as the company’s previous name of Far Resources):
High-quality 6% Battery-Grade Lithium Hydroxide
In May 2022, Foremost Lithium contracted XPS Expert Process Solutions (a Glencore company) to develop a process to refine spodumene concentrate (SC6 technical specification) into a saleable battery-grade lithium hydroxide product. Foremost's initial 2020 metallurgical test work, done in conjunction with SGS Canada Inc, indicated that it is possible to produce a high-grade 6% Li2O concentrate. Phase 1 results were announced in December 2022, where test work confirmed that the spodumene-bearing pegmatite was amenable for production. Phase 2 of the project with XPS and SGS will confirm that it is feasible to convert the 6% Li2O from Zoro to Lithium hydroxide (LiOH). This will allow it to demonstrate that pegmatite from the Company’s Zoro Lithium Project is suitable to produce battery-grade lithium hydroxide thereby making it viable to market its lithium to strategic partners prior to development to electric vehicle battery makers or other battery manufacturers.
Pic 1: Straw colored spodumene from a second pegmatite exposed in historic blasted outcrop along the Beryl Pegmatite Lithium Trend
The iron content was slightly high but still acceptable for subsequent hydrometallurgical processing at 1.24% FE2O3. With this phase complete, the process has moved into phase two.
Timelines of this project are as follows:
Phase One – December 2022: The HLS (heavy liquid separation) and DMS (dense media separation) testwork concluded Dyke 1 spodumene ore is amenable for production. The bulk sample produced a final spodumene concentrate assaying 5.93% Li2O, with a lithium recovery of 66.9% in 26.5% mass after magnetic separation. The iron content was slightly high but still acceptable for subsequent hydrometallurgical processing at 1.24% FE2O3.With this phase complete, the process has moved into phase two.
Results Released December 2022
Phase Two – Q2 2023: extend the SC6 into a saleable battery-grade lithium hydroxide (LiOH) monohydrate. Lithium hydroxide product samples will be available for testing with qualified battery manufacturers. Final objective is that Foremost can deliver a saleable battery-grade lithium hydroxide product to potential EV battery manufacturers or other potential suppliers
Resulted Anticipated by H1 in 2023
ZORO PROJECT EXPLORATORY 2022 DRILL PROGRAM
In April 2022, completed a 10-hole, 1,509 m drill program to test geological targets and Mobile Metal Ion soil geochemical anomalies.
Foremost Lithium announced newly discovered spodumene-bearing pegmatite dyke 16 on its Zoro property. The sixteenth dyke was intersected by two drill holes with intervals of up to 5 meters of 15% light green spodumene. A total of 8.28 m of spodumene-bearing pegmatite was intersected by two drill holes with highlight intercept of 1 m of 1.33% Li2O
Hole DDHFM22-71 undercut the original 2018 pegmatite discovery hole and intersected two discrete pegmatites and intersected 0.05% - 0.86% Li2O in 5 core samples over 4.71 m
Sample pictures of Dyke 8 with up to 15% light green spodumene crystal aggregates.
A total of 19 core samples of pegmatite were collected from drill core. Fourteen samples were collected from pegmatite with visible spodumene, and five samples were collected from pegmatite without visible spodumene. Nine samples were collected from lithologies other than pegmatite. Fifty-seven samples were collected from core mineralized with disseminated and stringer arsenopyrite, lesser pyrite and chalcopyrite for gold assay. After logging and both wet and dry photographic recording, all core samples were sawn in half and one half of the core has been shipped to Activation Laboratories (Ancaster, Ontario) for assay.
Summary of 2022 Drill Results
|Hole ID||From (m)||To (m)||Width (m)||Li (ppm)||Li2O (%)||Cs (ppm)||Nb (ppm)||Ta (ppm)|
Dyke 8 – Historical Data
High-grade spodumene pegmatite Dyke 8 was discovered on the Zoro property in 2018 by the drill testing of a Mobile Metal Ions soil geochemical anomaly. Drill hole Far18-35 testing the MMI anomaly intersected 36.5 m of spodumene-bearing pegmatite. Assay results from hole FAR18-35 included three separate intercepts of high-grade lithium including 12.3 m of 1.1% Li2O, 4.4 m of 1.2 % Li2O, and 2.2 m of 1.5% Li2O.
In 2022 DDHFM22-71 was drilled at -65 degrees to undercut the 2018 pegmatite intersections. A 4.5-meter spodumene-bearing pegmatite was intersected between 70.45 and 75.89 meters before being truncated by a fault. This intercept is 37 meters below the previous 2018 drill intercepted Dyke 8 spodumene mineralization. A further pegmatite was intersected below the fault between 84.4 and 86.65 meters. To date Dyke 8 has drill indicated dimensions of 120 m in length, 5-15 m in width and has been drilled to a depth of 157 m.
MINERALOGICAL AND CHARACTERIZATION
Light green to white spodumene mineralization occurs within laterally and vertically extensive pegmatite dykes hosted by mafic volcanic rocks and felsic sedimentary rocks indicating there are no preferred host rocks for the dykes The spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes on the property strike northwest with steep dips and crosscut the regional foliation at a low angle. They are up to 800 m in length and 40 m in drill intersection. The dykes tend to be concentric in internal structure and constituent minerals include potassium feldspar, albite, muscovite, quartz, spodumene and black tourmaline.
Abundant overburden cover characterizes much of the property and the pegmatite dykes do not have a consistent recognizable geophysical signature although some dykes show an association with magnetic lows based on limited historic magnetic surveys . Many past spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes have been discovered by drilling Mobile Metal Ions (MMI) soil geochemical anomalies on the property. The Zoro Lithium Project is underlain by ocean floor volcanic rocks of the Roberts Lake allochthon and lesser amounts of Missi Group sedimentary rocks. The Ocean Floor rocks comprise mafic volcanic and related intrusions and the Missi Group consists of sandstone, siltstone, mudstone, and quartzo-feldspathic gneiss and migmatite. The Ocean Floor mafic volcanic rocks adjacent to the pegmatite dykes consist of a fine to medium-grained strongly foliated dark green lithology. These andesitic to basaltic lithologies are locally interbedded with volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks and all are intruded by a quartz-phyric granite intrusion (Figure 3).
Pegmatite dykes generally strike northwest to north-northwest with steep dips and crosscut the regional foliation at a low angle. The dykes tend to be concentric in internal structure and the grain size of the constituent minerals (potassium feldspar, quartz, spodumene and black tourmaline) coarsens towards the center of the dykes. This pattern may be locally interrupted by patches of saccharoidal albite, large muscovite aggregates and coarse albite stringers with garnet and beryl. Spodumene may be concentrated in the cores of the dykes or homogenously distributed. Some of the dykes have been split into sub-parallel veins by post-emplacement tectonic activity.
You can read about the Mineralogical Characterization and Preliminary Beneficiation of the Zoro Lithium Project here: (known as Company’s previous name Far Resources):
Figure 3. Geological setting of the Zoro Lithium Project with claim boundaries.
MINERAL DEVELOPMENT IN MANITOBA
Zoro is well situated in Manitoba with the potential for development. Manitoba is home to the world-class Tanco lithium-cesium-rare metal pegmatite at Bernic Lake. This mining-friendly province has a supportive, pro-business climate, mineral exploration assistance programs, and excellent access to geoscience and exploration data that will assist the company to advance its projects.
More than 98% of electricity in Manitoba is generated using hydroelectricity and wind, and access to abundant renewable power is sourced from the provincial grid. Additionally, the province has stable and well-developed mining and transportation infrastructure. The hydro line to Snow Lake is 5 km south of the property and the small historic gold mining community of Herb Lake is located about 10 km southwest of the property. A railway line is located at Wekusko, approximately 20 km south of Herb Lake. Electricity rates in Manitoba are reasonably priced and comparable to Québec.
Foremost Lithium is strategically located with proximity to North American electric vehicle and battery manufacturers, with robust existing infrastructure including the Arctic Gateway railway that runs to the south connecting via Winnipeg to the U.S. rail network for operational synergies and refining requirements
TANTALUM + NIOBIUM — INCREASING THE POTENTIAL VALUE OF ZORO
A high-grade drill intercept of tantalum (0.117 % Ta2O5 or 927 ppm tantalum; see November 1, 2017, news release [link]) was accompanied by elevated niobium in samples of drill core.
Currently, the significance of the elevated tantalum and niobium is unknown, but it will be closely assessed as Foremost Lithium exploration continues.
Tantalum is a rare, hard, blue-gray, corrosion-resistant metal that is widely used as a minor component in alloys. Tantalum is inert, making it a valuable substance for sensitive laboratory equipment and a substitute to platinum.
Tantalum exists alongside niobium, a chemically similar metal, which is also valuable. It is mainly used in alloys and is the largest metal in special steel, often used in gas pipelines. The stability of niobium-containing super alloys at high temperatures makes such alloys an important component in jet and rocket engines. Niobium is also used in various superconducting materials including the superconducting magnets of MRI scanners. Other applications of niobium include welding, nuclear industries, electronics, optics, numismatics, and jewelry.
The renewable energy sector “metals-rich” green infrastructure is likely to spur investment and will boost the lithium market. Foremost Lithium’s Zoro Property is focused on expanding exploration and proving up high-grade lithium to address the current and future domestic lithium battery demand.