The Deer Musk East Property (“DME” or the “Property”) represents a greenfields lithium brine exploration target located in Clayton Valley, Nevada (“Clayton Valley” or the “Valley”). Clayton Valley currently hosts the only operating lithium brine mine in North America, the Silver Peak Mine, owned by Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB). It is east of Pure Energy Minerals (TSXV:PE) Clayton Valley Property, south of Century Lithium Corp. (TSXV: LCE) Clayton Valley Project and Noram Lithium Corp.’s (TSXV: NRM) Zeus Lithium Project.
On March 20, 2023 the Company filed a technical report in compliance with National Instrument NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Project (“NI 43-101”) on the Property. The report, entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report, Exploration Results for the Deer Musk East Lithium Property, Clayton Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada, USA”, prepared on behalf of Ameriwest Lithium Inc. by Raymond P. Spanjers, MS., RPG., with report date of February 26, 2022 and effective date June 4, 2022, can be found under the Company’s corporate filings at www.sedar.com.
The report recommended that additional geophysics at the southern end of the property to be followed by permitting and drill program design.
The Property is located 170 miles south of Reno, Nevada and 3 miles from the town of Silver Peak. The Property consists of 371 placer mining claims totalling about 7,400 acres. It is 100% owned by Ameriwest, with no underlying royalties.
*Note that on January 7, 2022, Ameriwest announced by press release that Ameriwest was advised in December 2021 of a complaint from Authium LLC related to a claim dispute at DME. The potential for this claim dispute is discussed in the National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report for the Deer Musk East Property, Clayton Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada USA, dated August 23, 2021 and available under Ameriwest’s corporate filings at www.sedar.com. Ameriwest staked certain placer claims that make up part of the DME property over Authium’s existing lode claims. Ameriwest’s position is that the deposit where it staked its claims is clearly a placer deposit, not a lode deposit, and Authium’s lode claims are therefore invalid. As stated, Ameriwest plans to defend the validity of its placer claims through litigation. Ameriwest and Authium LLC are currently in Discovery.
(1) Source: State of Nevada Division of Water Resources Hydrographic Regions and Basins(2) Estimated from Google Earth(3) The presence of operating mines, mineral resources and reserves, or exploration activities on properties in the vicinity of Ameriwest’s property does not guarantee exploration success on Ameriwest’s properties or that mineral resources or mining reserves will be delineated.(4) Source: Lithium in Sediments and Rocks in Nevada, U.S Department of Interior Geological Survey, Open File Report 76-567, 1976, Bohannon and Meter
The Property is situated adjacent to the Silver Peak Caldera and associated felsic volcanic tufts in the Silver Peak Range, and is west of the Goldfield Caldera near the town of Goldfield. The presence of these calderas and silicic tuffs is considered a positive sign for successful lithium exploration.
Lacustrine sediments characterise the deep parts of the basin, largely consisting of bedded stratiform clay, ash, and tuffaceous units. Travertine deposits mark the locations of paleo hot springs throughout the basin. Major structures control these locations and the occurrence of brine within the basin. The region has a rich history of volcanic activity. A geologic map of the claim area is shown below.
*Note the geologic similarities between Albemarle’s Silver Peak Mine and the DME Property does not guarantee exploration success at the DME Property. No mineral resources or reserves have yet been delineated on the DME Property.
In 2021, the Company completed a geophysics program at the DME Property consisting of a three-tiered geophysical program that included 30,200-feet (9.05 km) of seismic surveys in four lines that contained 2,210 stations, a detailed gravity survey with 85 station readings, and a selective seven-station transient electromagnetic (“TEM”) resistivity survey. The work was initiated to identify the subsurface sedimentary composition, locate, and identify possible tectonic structures, to ascertain the potential depth to groundwater, and to determine if the groundwater is brine rich. Brine rich groundwater has the potential to host concentrated lithium.
On September 15, 2021, Ameriwest announced it has received a report, titled “Geophysical Exploration for Deer Musk East Claim Area” prepared by Advanced Geoscience Inc. The report concluded that the results from the geophysics program “…demonstrate a strong likelihood for the occurrence of lithium brine deposits beneath the claim area.” The report recommended additional geophysics studies to further improve the definition of the brine targets. It also recommended drilling to assess the lithium content of the brine targets with the goal of ultimately generating mineral resources.
The location of the gravity stations, TEM stations, and seismic lines from the 2021 geophysics program is shown to the right. Gravity stations are represented by the crosses. The TEM stations are in red. The seismic lines are in black.
The Bouguer gravity anomaly resulting from the gravity survey is shown in the figure to the left (blue lines). A north-south trending horst is interpreted in the location of the gravity high, and a graben is interpreted in the location of the gravity low. Faults, interpreted in the claim area, are shown below in yellow. Based on these gravity results, the Company expanded the claim block to the east, resulting in the expansion of the Property from 283 placer claims to the current 371 placer claims to cover the entire gravity low.
Drown-drop blocks (grabens) are interpreted from a composite of TEM Lines 1-7, below, to be to the east and west of an up-thrust block (horst). The dark blue colour in the TEM profile indicates low resistivity (high conductivity), which shows a brine target at depth across the Property. Low resistivity with readings of 1-2 ohm-metres is indicative of brine, which has potential to be rich in lithium and associated minerals.
The seismic data, interpreted below, clearly shows the “seismic stratigraphy” as a complex fault zone that both lifts up as well as down drops vast sections of the Property (horst and graben fault blocks) which have created potentially favourable traps for lithium-rich brines and brought potentially lithium-rich sediments to the near-surface. The seismic data also indicates the location of bedded and stratiform lithological units and the location of projected faulting. Lithologic units and faults can be interpreted from this seismic data.
In 2022, Ameriwest retained Zonge International to conduct an Magnetotelluric (“MT”) geophysics study over eastern side of the claim block, including the area of the new 88 mineral claims, where Ameriwest believes the best brine target is located. Five east-west oriented MT lines were completed. The MT results delineated brine targets, as shown in a typical MT cross section below. Low resistivity with readings of 1-2 ohm-metres is indicative of brine, which has potential to be also rich in lithium and associated minerals.
Of 38 soil samples taken, assays ranged from 42 to 134 ppm, with an average of 65 ppm.
Advanced Geologic Exploration Inc. made sure quality assurance and control standards were maintained after sample collection. Samples were stored at Advanced Geologic Exploration’s facilities in Chester, CA, and sorted and catalogued. Standards and blanks were obtained from Moment Exploration Services, Inc. of Elko, Nevada, and inserted into the sample string. Three standards and three blanks, for a total of 6 additional samples, were numbered and mixed in with the samples. All samples were delivered in person to ALS Laboratories in Reno, Nevada for analysis. ALS is an ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC17025-17025 accredited laboratory.
All samples were prepared using ALS’s PREP-31 sample preparation process, and then analysed using ALS ME-MS61 analytical method which uses a Four Acid Digestion and Mass Spectrometry – Inductively Coupled Plasma (MS-ICP; method ME-MS89L). All samples were analysed for 51 elements. The assay results for the blanks and standards were judged to be adequate.
Ameriwest has not yet drilled on the Property.
No mineral resources or reserves have yet been delineated on the Property that have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 (“NI 43-101) or meet CIM standards for disclosure.
Based on the Technical Report completed in February 2023, Ameriwest plans to do additional geophysics at the southern end of the property and plans to commence drill program design and permitting, subject to financing.
Geological similarity of this property to other adjacent or nearby properties does not guarantee exploration success. No mineral resources or reserves, as defined by National Instrument 43-101 standards or CIM standards have yet been delineated on the property.
A majority of Ameriwest’s unpatented placer mining claims (an estimated 292 of 371 claims partially or fully overlap) are located on federal public lands on which another party, Authium LLC, previously recorded certificates of location for unpatented lode mining claims. Ameriwest believes that any brine and sedimentary lithium clay deposits on Ameriwest’s mining claims are properly located as placer mining claims under US federal law. Ameriwest believes that Authium’s claims are improperly staked as lode claims and therefore invalid. Both companies have filed lawsuits against the other which will require the courts to determine the validity of their claims, should a settlement not be reached prior to going to court.
A concern to future development of the DME will be securing water rights. Exploration for lithium in sedimentary or brine deposits, which includes drilling and pump testing, can be performed through temporary discharge permits. Should Ameriwest conduct exploration and ultimately define mineral resources or mineral reserves (note that none are currently defined on the property), the company will have to be concerned about availability of water rights. This can potentially be addressed through acquisition of water rights from other holders, permitting of new water rights (if there is availability at the time), and through selection of technology that minimizes water use and recycles water. Potentially the company could look to option, joint venture, or sell the property to a company that has water rights in the valley.
The scientific and technical information regarding this project has been reviewed and approved by Robert Pease, CPG, a consultant to Ameriwest and a Qualified Person as defined in National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
Statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company provides no assurance that actual results and future performance and achievements will meet or not differ from the expectations of management or qualified persons. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “will,” “may,” “may have,” “would,” “estimate,” “continues,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “expects,” “budget,” “scheduled,” “forecasts” and similar words are intended to identify estimates and forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Actual results and developments may be substantially different from the expectations described in the forward-looking statements for a number of reasons, many of which are not under our control, among them, exploration results, the activities of our competition, the future global economic situation, weather conditions, market prices and conditions, exchange rates, and operational and financial risks. The unexpected occurrence of one or more of the abovementioned events may significantly change the results of our operations on which we have based our estimates and forward-looking statements. Our estimates and forward-looking statements may also be influenced by, among others, legal, political, environmental or other risks that could materially affect the potential development of the Project, including risks related to outbreaks of contagious diseases or health crises impacting overall economic activity regionally or globally.
Please refer to the NI 43-101 Technical Report for the Deer Musk East Lithium Property, Clayton Valley, Esmeralda County, Nevada USA, report date August 23, 2021, prepared by Raymond P. Spanjers, MS, PG, a consultant to Ameriwest, a SME Registered member, and an independent Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101, available under Ameriwest’s corporate filings at www.sedar.com.
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