Quebec-focused critical minerals junior Renforth Resources Inc. (CSE:RFR, OTCQB:RFHRF, FSE:9RR) has been stepping up efforts to find lithium at its flagship Surimeau project.
Surimeau is a district-scale property hosting several areas prospective for gold/silver and battery/ industrial metals (nickel, copper, zinc, lead, cobalt, lithium and manganese). It is located south of the Cadillac Break, a major regional gold structure.
Up to now, Renforth’s exploration focus has been on the more advanced Victoria mineralized battery metals horizon and parts of the longer Lalonde horizon lying parallel to the north.
Victoria is a ~20km long magnetic structure bearing nickel, copper, zinc and cobalt mineralization at surface. It stretches between the Victoria West mineralization, which has been drilled over 2.2 km, by Renforth as well as historically, in the west, and the Colonie mineralization, historically drilled and surface-sampled by Renforth, in the east.
Lalonde, located ~3km north of Victoria West, was recently drilled by Renforth. This surface-mineralized system, similar to Victoria, currently stretches over ~9 km of strike.
2022/23 lithium exploration
Beginning in 2022, Renforth started paying more attention to the potential presence of lithium, separate from Victoria and Lalonde, through the sampling of pegmatites — coarse-grained intrusive igneous rocks formed from crystallized magma below the Earth’s crust — and anomaly clusters with the potential to contain lithium.
Pegmatites can contain extractable amounts of lithium, most commonly found in the mineral spodumene. This is why pegmatite lithium deposits are also known as hard-rock lithium.
Between May and June of last year, Renforth conducted grab sampling and mapping on the ~330-square-kilometer Surimeau property. A total of 229 samples were sent for assay. The program focused on the southern end of the property, along the metasedimentary and Decelles Batholith contact. Eleven anomalies were identified, based on elevated levels of lithium, rubidium, cesium, beryllium, niobium, tantalum and tin, within the assayed samples.
(The prospective metasedimentary/batholith contact, which forms the bottom portion of the Surimeau property, is approximately 24 km long. About 16 km of strike length has been explored historically and by Renforth, leaving 8 km unexplored.)
Renforth commissioned J.J. Minerals Inc. of Sudbury, Ontario, to write a report interpreting the lithium assays, to help the company plan its summer 2023 prospecting season for lithium.
Of the 11 rare-element anomalies identified by J. J. Minerals, anomaly clusters A and D have the most potential to host lithium mineralization and are recommended for stripping.
Anomaly cluster D has a 440-meter strike length, contiguous to and in a similar setting as the only lithium occurrence in the camp, Vision Lithium’s property and its Cadillac spodumene occurrences.
The pegmatitic granites enriched in rubidium, beryllium, niobium and tantalum, consistently contain coarse-grained muscovite based on eight assayed grab samples collected by Renforth. The rare-element enrichment and the presence of coarse-grained muscovite are recognized indicators for lithium pegmatites.
Cluster D plots within the Decelles Batholith, which is the same setting as Vision Lithium’s Cadillac spodumene pegmatites.
Anomaly cluster A has a 150-meter strike length with increasing lithium, berrylium, niobium and tantalum content, increasing from NW to SE based on 11 assayed grab samples. The pegmatitic granite samples contain coarse-grained muscovite and tourmaline clots, which again, are indicator minerals for lithium pegmatites.
The anomaly is located within metasedimentary rocks about half a km north of the contact with the Decelles Batholith. The NW-SE trend is the same orientation as Vision Lithium’s Cadillac spodumene dikes.
Based on a review of Renforth’s and Quebec government data sets, J.J. Minerals has identified three exploration targets:
“This report, authored by rare element pegmatite experts, demonstrates that there is lithium potential at Surimeau, which we will explore. Lithium is another facet to Surimeau, adding to our ~29 km of magnetic structures bearing nickel polymetallic mineralization and our copper discovery in the north of the ~330 sq. km property. We look forward to learning more about lithium on our property with our work this summer,” Nicole Brewster, Renforth’s President and CEO, said in the May 31 news release.
J. J. Minerals’ follow-up recommendations include stripping anomaly clusters A and D, and exploring unexplored target areas.
This summer, along with prospecting the exploration targets including the fertile Decelles Batholith, and the identified high-priority anomalies and pegmatites, Renforth will also be targeting outcrops identified through satellite imagery.
A field crew is expected to be deployed in early June to start prospecting and mapping.
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