TSX-listed explorer Montero Mining and Exploration has confirmed spodumene as the dominant lithium mineral at its Soris lithium project in Namibia.This is following receipt of positive mineralogical results from surface samples taken during an initial grab sampling programme at the project.
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. 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 mineralisation hosted in the pegmatites on the property.
According to the report 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.
“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 programme where lithium was not analysed,” says Dr Tony Harwood, President and CEO of Montero.
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.
The Soris lithium project is located in central Namibia, north west of the town Uis which is 220 km 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 24 October 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 three 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 three years.
The Soris lithium project pegmatites encompass several outcrops, varying in length between 100 m up to 470 m over 2.4 km and measured in places to be more than 30 m wide. The pegmatites were previously mined on a small scale for tin and tantalum. Recent exploration for tantalum and tin includes reverse circulation (RC) drilling. The pegmatites have not been mined or systematically assayed for lithium.