Renforth Resources Inc. (CSE: RFR) (OTCQB: RFHRF) (FSE: 9RR) has once again kicked off field exploration at its 330-square-kilometre Surimeau battery metals property located in southern Quebec.
The initial focus will be the exploration targets developed by Renforth earlier this summer, which include various lithium, nickel and zinc occurrences identified in historic and government soil surveys located near or within the Decelles batholith in the southern part of the property,
The exploration team will prospect the 11 anomalies (A to K) identified by Dr. Julie Selway of JJ Minerals Inc. based on elevated lithium, rubidium, cesium, beryllium, niobium, tantalum and tin contents in samples taken by Renforth geologists during the summer 2022 prospecting program.
Renforth will also be targeting outcrop identified through satellite imagery and prospecting other exploration targets including the fertile Decelles batholith and other high-priority anomalies and pegmatites.
“I am very happy to be able to finally announce the return of field operations on one of our two core properties (the other core asset being our Parbec gold deposit). Unfortunately, fires in the first half of the summer, along with our crews having to take other work when we were delayed, has made this start much later than envisioned,” Nicole Brewster, president and CEO of Renforth, stated in an August 16 news release.
“However, we are going to make good use of this window of time generating information which will help in planning the next steps in different areas of the property, likely to include stripping and drilling, based in part on the results of this work,” she added.
Surimeau Project Overview
Renforth’s Surimeau project 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.
For the better part of two years, 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 (see map below).
Victoria is a ~20km long “ground truth” 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 in the west, and the Colonie mineralization, drilled and surface sampled by Renforth in the east.
The Lalonde mineralization, located ~3 km north of Victoria West, was only recently drilled by Renforth. This surface mineralized system, similar to Victoria, currently stretches over ~9 km of ground-truthed strike.
Both zones are about 250-500 metres in thickness, running east-west across the central portion of the property. The two systems are interpreted by the company as two arms of a fold, with the fold nose located off the property and to the east.
While the defined area of mineralization spans a total length of ~29 km, which by industry standards is a long distance to cover, this is still just a small portion of a district property that remains underexplored.
Lithium Exploration Potential
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 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.
(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.)
As mentioned earlier, a total of 11 anomalies were identified based on elevated levels of lithium, rubidium, cesium, beryllium, niobium, tantalum and tin within the assayed samples.
Renforth then 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.
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-metre 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-metre strike length with increasing lithium, beryllium, 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 sqkm property. We look forward to learning more about lithium on our property with our work this summer,” chief executive Brewster said in the May 31 news release.
J. J. Minerals’ follow-up recommendations include stripping anomaly clusters A and D, as well as exploring unexplored target areas.
With the Renforth team returning to the field to prospect these pegmatite anomalies and targets, there should be plenty of exciting results ahead for shareholders to look forward to. In the past, the company has proven to be very good at prospecting, and having this kind of success is literally the very first step in creating value.
Keep in mind the Surimeau property has been mainly explored for nickel sulfides, and the potential to host lithium mineralization could really add a new dimension to the project. Out of all battery metals, lithium arguably has the biggest demand, with Benchmark Mineral Intelligence projecting up to $42 billion of mine investments needed by the end of the decade.
And with the increased risk of resource nationalism (i.e. Chile), we’ll likely see a major reconfiguration of the lithium industry, which makes projects located in favourable jurisdictions, like Quebec, savvy choices for investment.
CSE:RFR, OTCQB:RFHRF, FSE:9RR
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