Company Confirms Presence of Lithium in Shallow Soils, Higher-Porosity Sand-Conglomerate Zone at Basin Bottom; Evaporitic Salt Crystallization Confirmed to Extend to Depth of 1,629 feet with Zones of up to 90% Crystallization
Vancouver, British Columbia / February 7, 2023 – Usha Resources Ltd. (“USHA” or the “Company”) (TSXV: USHA) (OTCQB: USHAF) (FSE: JO0), a North American mineral acquisition and exploration company focused on the development of drill-ready lithium and battery and precious metal projects, is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed hole JP22-1 at the Jackpot Lake Lithium Brine Property (“Project”). The Company will now proceed with drilling its second hole and sampling JP22‑1.
USHA’s 2023 drill program marks the first drill testing of the Jackpot Lake Project which is hosted within a basin estimated to be 10,900 acres and 625 metres deep. JP22-1 was completed to a total depth of 1,723 feet or 525 metres below ground and now confirms:
- Support for a similar geologic setting to that of Clayton Valley, hosting Albemarle’s Silver Peak Nevada Lithium Mine, the only producing lithium mine in North America;
- Evaporitic crystallization, indicative of a brine-forming environment, extends to the top of the basal conglomerate, with interbedding, veining and inclusions increasing significantly beginning at a depth of 1,250 feet (381 metres). Interbedded zones included up to 90% evaporites.
- A higher porosity zone comprised of sand and conglomerate with evaporite crystallization was identified beginning at 1,629 feet that continued on to the bottom of the hole at 1,723 feet or 525 metres.
- Static water was present at approximately 146 feet. The total water column at the Project is anticipated to be greater than 1,577 feet or 481 metres.
- Lithium is present in JP22-1 at a grade of up to 300 ppm within ten samples collected from shallow surface soils (<442 ft). The Project target was identified based on geophysical studies and 129 core samples collected by the USGS with an average lithium value of 175 ppm.
Most notably, the hole terminated in a higher porosity zone of sand and conglomerate. Reaching this sand-conglomerate zone was a high priority for the program as it should contain the greatest porosity within the basin aquifer and serve as a pumpable zone into which the fluids above can drain (See Figure 1). As per the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) completed by Pure Energy Minerals for their Clayton Valley project, their sand and conglomerate zone was identified to contain a large volume of brine with superior grades (See Figure 2).
“The significance of evidence supporting the geologic setting coupled with the geological similarities and notable proximity to the sole domestic producer of lithium in the United States bodes well for USHA’s future potential – both near and long-term,” said Deepak Varshney, CEO of Usha Resources. “We have been very pleased with our maiden drilling program findings to-date and it’s great seeing the core beginning to come out of the ground. Shallow basins with the characteristics of Jackpot are uncommon and to be able to validate our thesis for the project on the first hole is very exciting. We are very excited to now move on to hole number two as sampling of hole number one gets underway. Brine projects have the ability to move towards production much quicker than their counterparts in the hard rock space, and the identification of heavily crystallized core overlaying permeable pumpable sands and conglomerate shows that Jackpot has the potential to produce and help meet this demand in the coming decade.”
Figure 2 – Conceptual basin model illustrating the theoretical location of borehole JP22-01 with respect to the deposition anticipated in a geologic setting as that of Clayton Valley. The stratigraphic column on the left, taken from Pure Energy’s PEA, shows the stratigraphy of borehole CV-8, located in a similar position within the Clayton Valley basin. The general stratigraphy of CV-8 consisted of lacustrine sediments (clays, silts) overlaying a zone of sand and conglomerate where superior grades of lithium were identified which is similar to the stratigraphy observed in JP22-01.
Surface casing was set to a depth of 500 feet and perforated two-inch PVC casing was installed from 500 feet to 1,698 feet to allow formation fluids to flow through the casing. The hole was terminated at 1,723 due to mechanical and hole stabilization issues attributed to saline conditions as the bentonite mud broke-down very quickly below approximately 213 meters (700 ft) and greater than usual quantities of bentonite were required.
The Company now will proceed with preparation for sampling. Fluids in the wellbore will be developed out of the hole via airlift to remove potential drilling contaminants. The well will be allowed to recover and equilibrate after the airlift development. Upon completion of well development activities, individual passive discrete samples will be collected using HydraSleeve™ and Snap Sampler™ technology. Sample zones will target stratigraphic features expected to contain brine and informed by geophysical logs of the wellbore taken prior to sampling. These samples will be sent to an independent lab and analyzed for lithium, boron and other minerals typical of lithium enriched brine systems.
Jackpot Lake Lithium Brine Property
USHA’s Jackpot Lake Lithium Brine Property is located within Clark County, 35 kilometres northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, and is comprised of 140 mineral claims that total 2,800 acres (approximately 11.3 km2).
The Project’s geologic setting is similar to that of Albemarle’s Silver Peak Nevada Lithium Mine, the only producing lithium mine in North America, which has operated continuously since 1966, where sediments from lithium‑rich surrounding source rocks accumulate and fill the deposit leading to a potential concentration of lithium brine due to successive evaporation and concentration events. Considering the elevated lithium concentrations identified in historic soil samples, such events could theoretically concentrate lithium as rainwater passes through these materials, developing enriched brines at depths.
The Company has permitted 2,700 metres over six holes and has commenced a maiden drill program with the goal of defining a 43-101 resource. The Project target was identified based on geophysical studies and 129 core samples collected by the USGS with an average lithium value of 175 ppm with a high of 550 ppm. The present average grade for Albemarle’s project is approximately 121 ppm.
Modelling indicates that the Project target comprises the entirety of the Company’s claim block (2,800 acres; 11.3 km2) and is open in all directions for expansion. The target is shallow, predominantly above bedrock depths of 625 meters, and is approximately 450 metres thick. The total basin within which the target is situated is estimated to be approximately 10,900 acres.
The Project’s Qualified Professional (QP) is Michael Rosko, a professional geologist with over 30 years of experience, with extensive experience with world-class lithium brine projects including Tier 1 projects such as Galaxy’s Sal de Vida Deposit, Millennial Lithium’s Pasto Grandes Deposit, and Lithium America Corp’s Cauchari-Olaroz Deposit.
The technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Mr. Seth Cude, P.G., CPG. RM, M.Sc., a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”).
About Usha Resources Ltd. Usha Resources Ltd. is a North American mineral acquisition and exploration company focused on the development of quality battery and precious metal properties that are drill-ready with high-upside and expansion potential. Based in Vancouver, BC, Usha’s portfolio of strategic properties provides target-rich diversification and consist of Jackpot Lake, a lithium project in Nevada; Nicobat, a nickel‑copper‑cobalt project in Ontario; and Lost Basin, a gold-copper project in Arizona. Usha trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol USHA, the OTCQB Exchange under the symbol USHAF and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol JO0.
USHA RESOURCES LTD.
“Deepak Varshney” CEO and Director
For more information, please call Tyler Muir, Investor Relations, at 1-888-772-2452, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.usharesources.com.
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This news release may include “forward-looking information” under applicable Canadian securities legislation. Such forward-looking information reflects management’s current beliefs and are based on a number of estimates and/or assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company that, while considered reasonable, are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause the actual results and future events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking information are neither promises nor guarantees and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, general business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties, uncertain and volatile equity and capital markets, lack of available capital, actual results of exploration activities, environmental risks, future prices of base and other metals, operating risks, accidents, labour issues, delays in obtaining governmental approvals and permits, and other risks in the mining industry.
The Company is presently an exploration stage company. Exploration is highly speculative in nature, involves many risks, requires substantial expenditures, and may not result in the discovery of mineral deposits that can be mined profitably. Furthermore, the Company currently has no reserves on any of its properties. As a result, there can be no assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.