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Lithium Ionic Announces 26% Increase in Global Mineral Resources with an Updated Mineral Resource Estimate at its Bandeira Project, Minas Gerais, Brazil

View PDF version of this release: ENGLISH
  • Global Mineral Resources increase 26% to 60.1Mt:
    • M&I: 32.51Mt grading 1.31% Li2O
    • Inferred: 27.57Mt grading 1.24% Li2O
  • Updated Bandeira Mineral Resources of 41.9 Mt grading 1.35% Li2O
    • M&I: 23.68Mt grading 1.34% Li2O
    • Inferred 18.25Mt grading 1.37% Li2O

TORONTO, ON, April 12, 2024 - Lithium Ionic Corp. (TSXV: LTH; OTCQX: LTHCF; FSE: H3N) (“Lithium Ionic” or the “Company”), is pleased to report an updated NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate (“MRE”) for the Bandeira Lithium Project (“Bandeira” or the “Project”), located within the Lithium Valley in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. The Lithium Valley is a unique geological belt that hosts a significant concentration of lithium-bearing pegmatites, which has emerged as a globally significant lithium producer. This new MRE increases the Company’s global mineral resources by 26% to 60.1Mt.

The Bandeira property covers only approximately 158 hectares, or 1% of its large 14,182-hectare land package. Two other NI 43-101 compliant lithium MREs have been outlined on the Company’s other regional properties, Salinas and Outro Lado, however the majority of its properties remain largely unexplored and represent significant future mineral growth potential for the Company.

Bandeira MRE Highlights:

  • Measured and Indicated (“M&I”) MRE of 23.68 million tonnes (“Mt”) at an average grade of 1.34% Li₂O, with an additional 18.25Mt of Inferred MRE grading 1.37% Li₂O, for a total of 41.93Mt*.
  • The updated Bandeira MRE significantly increases the Company’s consolidated, global mineral resources to 60.1Mt.
  • Significant mineral growth in only ~24months: The MRE estimate is based on 233 drill holes, or 50,760 metres, drilled between April 2022 and March 2024. 
  • Planned exploration programs at its existing deposits, Bandeira, Salinas and Outro Lado, as well as other regional targets, are expected to support continued mineral resource growth.

*See press release dated April 4, 2024, for details related to the Salinas MRE (effective date of January 4, 2024; QP: Leonardo Soares, P.Geo., M.Sc., of GE21), and the NI 43-101 compliant technical reports related to the Outro Lado deposit titled “Mineral Resource Estimate for Lithium Ionic, Itinga Project” (effective date of June 24, 2023; authored by Maxime Dupéré, B. Sc., P.Geo. and Faisal Sayeed, B. Sc., P.Geo). 

Blake Hylands, P.Geo., CEO of Lithium Ionic, commented, “Following closely on the heels of our initial resource at Salinas announced last week, this is yet another significant increase to our global mineral resources, highlighting the impressive pace and scale at which we have been able to delineate lithium deposits in this region. I commend our exploration team for their dedication and exceptional effort, which have driven these excellent results. This latest MRE positions us among the largest scale projects in the region, and with a largely untapped land package we expect this growth momentum to continue, aligning with our goal of becoming a major contributor to the global lithium supply chain.”

Carlos Costa, P.Geo., Lithium Ionic’s VP of Exploration, commented, “Reflecting on the past two years since we started drilling at Bandeira, I am immensely proud of our team’s accomplishments. Starting with just a few promising rock samples, we have now uncovered a significant mineral deposit and look forward to advancing Bandeira to the next stages of development.”

Bandeira Lithium Project – Mineral Resource Update

The MRE update for Bandeira was prepared by GE21 Consultoria Mineral Ltda. (“GE21”) in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”).

Bandeira is located in the lithium-rich Araçuaí Pegmatite District, in the northern part of the Eastern Brazilian Pegmatite Province, which hosts the largest lithium reserves in Brazil.

The updated MRE contains M&I resources of 23.68Mt grading 1.34% Li₂O, containing 783.0 thousand tonnes (“kt”) of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (“LCE”), the benchmark equivalent raw material used in the lithium industry, along with Inferred resources of 18.25Mt grading 1.37% Li₂O in the Inferred category, or 618.4kt of LCE (see MRE results in Table 1). The MRE is based on 233 diamond drill holes comprising 50,760 metres of drilling completed between April 2022 and March 2024.  

GE21 collaborated closely with the Company’s geological team to confirm the presence of a series of North-East trending moderately SE dipping pegmatite veins extending up to 1,000 meters along strike and from surface to a vertical depth of approximately 500 meters (see plan view of Bandeira in Figure 1 and an isometric view of the Bandeira deposit in Figure 2).

As press released on April 4, 2024, a Feasibility Study for Bandeira is currently being finalized by AtkinsRéalis (formerly SNC-Lavalin) and is scheduled for completion in May 2024. Furthermore, the environmental license for Bandeira is expected to be granted in early Q3 2024.

The NI 43-101 technical report related to the Bandeira MRE, will be accessible on SEDAR+ (www.sedarplus.ca) under the Company’s issuer profile and the Company’s website within 45 days of this news release.

Table 1: Bandeira Mineral Resource Estimate Summary

Deposit /
Cut-Off Grade
Category Resource
(% Li2O)
Contained LCE (kt)
(0.5% cut-off)
Measured 3.32 1.38 113.1
Indicated 20.36 1.33 669.6
Measured + Indicated 23.68 1.34 783.0
Inferred 18.25 1.37 618.4
  1. The spodumene pegmatite domains were modeled using composites with Li2O grades greater than 0.3%
  2. The mineral resource estimates were prepared in accordance with the CIM Standards, and the CIM Guidelines, using geostatistical and/or classical methods, plus economic and mining parameters appropriate to the deposit.
  3. Mineral Resources are not ore reserves and are not demonstrably economically recoverable.
  4. Grades reported using dry density.
  5. The effective date of the MRE is January 10, 2024.
  6. The QP responsible for the MRE is the geologist Carlos Silva (MAIG #7868).
  7. The MRE numbers provided have been rounded to the estimate relative precision. Values cannot be added due to rounding.
  8. The MRE is delimited by Lithium Ionic Bandeira Target Claims (ANM).
  9. The MRE was estimated using ordinary kriging in 12m x 12m x 4m blocks.
  10. The MRE report table was produced in Leapfrog Geo software.
  11. The reported MRE only contains fresh rock domains.
  12. The MRE was restricted by RPEEE with grade shell using 0.5% Li2O cut-off.

Figure 1. Bandeira Project Location

Figure 2. Isometric View of the Bandeira Deposit

Details related to the calculation of the MRE

The MRE was prepared by Carlos Silva P.Geo., M.Sc., of GE21 (the “Author” or “QP”) with an effective date of January 10, 2024.

The MRE was prepared using the following geological and resource block modeling parameters which are based on geological interpretations, geostatistical studies, and best practices in mineral estimation.

The QP is not aware of any factors or issues that materially affect the MRE other than normal risks faced by mining projects in the province in terms of environmental, permitting, taxation, socio-economic, marketing, and political factors, and additional risk factors regarding inferred resources.

  • The Project geology comprises Neoproterozoic age sedimentary rocks of Araçuaí Orogen intruded by fertile Li-bearing pegmatites originated by fractionation of magmatic fluids from the peraluminous S-type post-tectonic granitoids of Araçuaí Orogen. Lithium mineralization is related to concordant and discordant swarms of spodumene-bearing tabular pegmatites hosted by cordierite-biotite-quartz schists.
  • Drilling conducted by Lithium Ionic included diamond core drilling of NTW (64.2mm diameter).
  • Diamond core has been sampled in intervals of ~ 1 m where possible, otherwise intervals less than 1 m have been selected based on geological boundaries. Geological boundaries have not been crossed by sample intervals. ½ core samples have been collected and submitted for analysis, with regular field duplicate samples collected and submitted for QA/QC analysis.
  • Drill core samples were submitted to SGS Geosol laboratories in Brazil where they were analyzed for a 31-element suite via ICP90A (fusion by sodium peroxide and finish with ICP- MS/ICP-OES). Assay data were composited to 1 m.
  • The MRE was estimated from the diamond drill holes completed by Lithium Ionic from April 2022 until March 2024. Data from a total of 233 drill holes comprising 8,693 assays were included in the mineral resources model.
  • The 3D modelling of lithium Mineral Resources was conducted using a minimum cut-off grade of 0.3% Li2O within a preliminary lithological model.
  • The interpolation was conducted using Krigging methodology with three interpolation passes.
  • The block model was defined by a block size of 12 m long by 12m wide by 4 m thick and covers a strike length of approximately 1,200 m to a maximal vertical depth of 300 m below surface.
  • The MRE was classified as Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource based on data quality, sample spacing, and pegmatite continuity. The Measured Mineral Resource was defined using a search ellipsoid of 50 m by 50 m by 30 m, and where the continuity and predictability of the mineralized units was reasonable. The Indicated Mineral Resource was defined using a search ellipsoid 100 m by 100 m by 50 m. The Inferred Mineral Resource was assigned to areas where drill hole spacing was greater than 100 m by 100 m by 50 m for all remaining blocks.
  • Classification focused on spatial relation using a minimum of five composites in at least three different drill holes for the Measured and Indicated resources.
  • Validation has proven that the block model fairly reflects the underlying data inputs. Variability over distance is relatively moderate to low for this deposit type therefore the maximum classification level is Indicated.
  • Mineralization at the deposits extends to surface and is expected to be suitable for open cut mining; no minimum mining width was applied; internal mining dilution is limited to internal barren pegmatite and/or host rock intervals within the mineralized pegmatite intervals; based on these assumptions, it is considered that there are no mining factors which are likely to affect the assumption that the deposit has reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction.
  • It is the QP’s opinion that the current classification used is adequate and reliable for this type of mineralization and MRE.
  • The MRE reported is a global estimate with reasonable prospects of eventual economic extraction.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Lithium Ionic Corp.

Blake Hylands
Chief Executive Officer, Director

About Lithium Ionic Corp.

Lithium Ionic is a Canadian mining company exploring and developing its lithium properties in Brazil. Its flagship Itinga and Salinas projects are located in the northeastern part of Minas Gerais state, a mining-friendly jurisdiction that is quickly emerging as a world-class hard-rock lithium district. The Itinga Project is situated in the same region as CBL’s Cachoeira lithium mine, which has produced lithium for +30 years, as well as Sigma Lithium Corp.’s Grota do Cirilo project, which hosts the largest hard-rock lithium deposit in the Americas.

Qualified Persons

Carlos José Evangelista Silva, MSc Geo. (MAIG membership number 7868), of GE21 is a Qualified Person as defined by NI 43-101 and has reviewed and approved the technical information and data regarding the MRE included in this news release. Mr. Silva is independent of Lithium Ionic. All other scientific and technical information in this news release has been reviewed and approved by Carlos Costa, Vice President Exploration of Lithium Ionic and Blake Hylands, CEO and director of Lithium Ionic, and both are “qualified persons” as defined in NI 43-101.

Investor and Media Inquiries:

+1 647.316.2500
[email protected]

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains statements that constitute “forward-statements.” Such forward looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements, or developments to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes, in light of the experience of its officers and directors, current conditions and expected future developments and other factors that have been considered appropriate that the expectations reflected in this forward-looking information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on them because the Company can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. When used in this press release, the words “estimate”, “project”, “belief”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “plan”, “predict”, “may” or “should” and the negative of these words or such variations thereon or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements and information. The forward-looking statements and information in this press release include information relating to the prospectivity of the Company’s mineral properties including Salinas and Bandeira, the Company’s ability to produce a NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate, PEA and/or  Feasibility study and the timing thereof, the Company’s ability to obtain the requisite licences and permits, the economic viability of the Bandeira project, the Company’s ability to obtain adequate financing, the mineralization and development of the Company’s mineral properties, the Company’s exploration program and other mining projects and prospects thereof and the Company’s future plans. Such statements and information reflect the current view of the Company. Risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in those forward-looking statements and information. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause our actual results, performance or achievements, or other future events, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The forward-looking information contained in this news release represents the expectations of the Company as of the date of this news release and, accordingly, is subject to change after such date. Readers should not place undue importance on forward-looking information and should not rely upon this information as of any other date. The Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the event that management’s beliefs, estimates or opinions, or other factors, should change.

Information and links in this press release relating to other mineral resource companies are from their sources believed to be reliable, but that have not been independently verified by the Company.

Neither the TSXV nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSXV) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

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