Lithium play Ardiden has failed to impress investors despite a identifying significant minerals at its flagship Canadian project — satisfying one of the conditions of a deal to develop the project.

The lithium resource at Ardiden’s Seymour Lake site, has come in at 1.23 million tonnes at an average grade of 1.43 per cent lithium oxide containing 8200 contained tonnes of lithium.

The “indicated” mineral resource stands at 440,000 tonnes at 1.52 per cent lithium oxide. Mineral resources are categorised in order of increasing geological confidence as inferred, indicated or measured.

Despite the news, Ardiden (ASX:ADV) closed yesterday 5 per cent lower at 1.9c. More than 14 million shares changed hands.

The news comes after Ardiden signed a deal with Chinese mining equipment manufacturer Yantai Jinyuan Mining Machinery to fund, design and build a lithium processing facility at Seymour Lake in June.

The deal was subject to Ardiden defining a 1 million tonne mineral resource at the project — a condition that has now been met.

Ardiden could now follow a fast-track development strategy with Chinese partner Yantai, Ardiden chief Brad Boyle said.

“This marks the first stage of that strategy, and will allow us to meet one of the key conditions precedent under the development MOU signed with Yantai earlier this year,” he said.

The maiden resource covered only a relatively limited strike length of the broader mineralised strike zone at Seymour Lake.

“It is evident from the drilling data received to date that the recent drilling has confirmed the geological continuity at North Aubry and, together with the consistency of the lithium grades provide us with an outstanding opportunity to rapidly expand the initial resource.”

Lithium mineralisation at North Aubry remains open along strike and at depth.

Meanwhile, an exploration target has been estimated for the Central and South Aubry prospect areas of 3 to 5 million tonnes grading at 1.2 to 1.6 per cent lithium oxide.

The target only covers a 1 km strike of an interpreted 5 km mineralised strike zone.

Ardiden will now seek to rapidly advance further work at North Aubry towards production.

Ardiden has a market cap of $18 million.