Alvarrões Lepidolite Mine

Alvarrões Lepidolite Project

The Alvarrões property is located 10 km south of the city of Guarda in northeast Portugal. The Project area comprises an extensive system of flat-lying lepidolite-bearing pegmatite sills intruded into a granite host over an 8 km by 2 km corridor.

Lepidico completed a diamond drilling program at Alvarrões totalling 19 holes for 1,240 m of HQ core in mid-2017. This work resulted in an inaugural Mineral Resource estimate for Alvarrões, completed by AMC Consultants Pty Ltd (AMC). AMC reported a JORC Code-compliant Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.5 Mt @ 1.1% Li2O. Within this estimate, 1.1 Mt @ 1.1% Li2O is contained over approximately 400 m of strike at Blocks 1 and 2. An in-fill Mineral Resource drill program was completed in December 2018 that comprised 25 holes for approximately 1,677 m of core (351 m PQ and 1326 m HQ). The holes were drilled on nominal 75 m sections and 50 m centers over the central zone of interest at Alvarrões within the Block 1-2 and the southern part of the Block 3 areas. A revised Mineral Resource estimate is expected in the June 2019 quarter.

Drilling at Alvarrões has identified 13 stacked sub-horizontal mineralised pegmatite sills, confirmed to extend over a 900 m by 500 m area and that which range in thickness from 0.5 m to over 4.0 m, with 15% to 30% lepidolite content. The system remains open in all directions.

The Mineral Resource estimate is based on the geological interpretation by Lepidico of just three of the thicker pegmatite sills, where continuity across the deposit was established by drilling, designated Sill M, Sill N and Sill O.

The work at Alvarrões is part of Lepidico’s Mineral Resource definition program to establish a multi- deposit inventory of high-quality lithium mica Mineral Resources to provide feedstock for not just the proposed Phase 1 L-Max® Plant but also conceptual larger-scale L-Max® plants.

Figure 1. Alvarrões lepidolite mine, Guarda area, Portugal.

Alvarrões is located near the city of Guarda (left) in northeastern Portugal in an area of peraluminous S-type granites and Palaeozoic greywacke of the Central Iberian Zone (right). The Alvarrões mining concession (MNC 000008) is approximately 634 ha in size and encompasses most of the known outcropping lithium pegmatites in the area (Figure 3).

The pegmatites outcrop along the NE slopes of the Serra da Estrela mountains, between 450 m and 850 m elevation. Three types of sills are distinguished in the SAG area (Figure 3): Lithian Sills, which occur at higher structural levels; Stanniferous Sills, which generally occur in lower structural levels than the lithian sills; and Mixed Sills, intermediate to these.

 

Figure 3. The Alvarrões mining concession (MNC000008; in red) extends for approximately 5 km and encompasses most of the lithium-bearing pegmatites (pink) in the area. Lithian sills, or the lithium pegmatites, are usually complex, banded and zoned and exhibit a typical pink-violet colour (Figures 4 and 5). They are enriched in Al2O3, MnO, P2O5, Li, Rb, Nb, Ta. In addition to quartz and feldspar they contain Li-bearing minerals of the muscovite-lepidolite series and the amblygonite-montebrasite series, as well as topaz, cassiterite, manganocolumbite, zircon, monazite, Mn-oxides, etc. Lepidolite Occurs in both the pegmatitic and aplitic facies. In the coarse form, lepidolite crystals can reach 2 cm in diameter, and in the finer-grained aplitic facies the lepidolite occurs in dense aggregates, in paragenesis with albite, quartz and topaz. The intrusion of the pegmatite sills induced a metasomatic process in the host granite, leading to the enrichment of sill contacts in lithium through the substitution of black biotite by a light brown zinnwaldite, the iron-bearing form of lepidolite (Figure 5).

Lithian sills, or the lithium pegmatites, are usually complex, banded and zoned and exhibit a typical pink-violet colour (Figures 4 and 5). They are enriched in Al2O3, MnO, P2O5, Li, Rb, Nb, Ta. In addition to quartz and feldspar they contain Li-bearing minerals of the muscovite-lepidolite series and the amblygonite-montebrasite series, as well as topaz, cassiterite, manganocolumbite, zircon, monazite, Mn-oxides, etc.

Lepidolite Occurs in both the pegmatitic and aplitic facies. In the coarse form, lepidolite crystals can reach 2 cm in diameter, and in the finer-grained aplitic facies the lepidolite occurs in dense aggregates, in paragenesis with albite, quartz and topaz. The intrusion of the pegmatite sills induced a metasomatic process in the host granite, leading to the enrichment of sill contacts in lithium through the substitution of black biotite by a light brown zinnwaldite, the iron-bearing form of lepidolite (Figure 5).

Figure 4. Lepidolite-bearing pegmatite displaying different textural types, Alvarrões mine, Portugal.

Figure 5. Lepidolite-bearing pegmatite with striking colloform texture (left) and zinnwaldite selvedge in host rock (right), near Alvarrões mine, Portugal.

Summary of Terms between Lepidico and Grupo Mota

  • Lepidico will pay Grupo Mota €10,000 within 5 days of execution of the Term Sheet.
  • Lepidico will undertake Development Expenditure of at least €250,000 in success-based stages over an 18-month exclusive period on the Alvarrões Project with the goal of defining a Mineral Resource (compliant with the JORC Code, or similar) of more than 1 million tonnes grading 1.5% Li2O. Activities will commence once funding is secured.
  • All data will remain the property of Grupo Mota if Lepidico does not proceed with development.
  • Lepidico will have an exclusive/pre-emptive right for 3 years to effect a commercial relationship with Grupo Mota with regards to ore supply from Alvarrões including sale of ore or concentrate by Grupo Mota to Lepidico, and/or the right for Lepidico to develop and operate a lithium mica mining and concentration project at Alvarrões.
  • Under the latter circumstance, if requested, Lepidico will make available an agreed tonnage of lepidolite feed to Grupo Mota to allow continuation of the established Mota Ceramic Solutions operations using lepidolite.
  • Term Sheet is conditional on Lepidico due diligence on mining tenure.