Astro will soon have a better idea of what is present at its Polaris and Altair lithium-clay projects in Nevada – one of the world’s ‘hot spots’ for lithium exploration – with a maiden aircore drilling now underway.

The eight-hole (five testing Polaris and three targeting Altair) scout program totalling 1,220m will test for lithium mineralisation in prospective Siebert formation claystone host rocks, which hosts two lithium mineral resources north of the company’s projects.

Results from this program will guide further exploration drilling at the two projects.

Astro Resources (ASX:ARO) has good reason to be hopeful about the prospects of both Polaris and Altair given that they are located south of Nevada’s Big Smoky Valley lithium district, which is one of the world’s lithium exploration hotspots.

This reputation stems from recent activity such as American Battery Technology Corporation’s recent announcement of a 15.8Mt lithium carbonate equivalent Inferred resource for its Tonopah Flats lithium clay deposit, exploration drilling at Pan-American Energy’s Horizon South project, and Future Battery Minerals’ (ASX: FBM) lithium-clay discovery, which included an intercept of 109.7m at 766ppm lithium from 135.6m.

Additionally, both projects are located near outcropping tertiary sedimentary host rock units that are known to host claystone lithium deposits around Nevada.

These include Ioneer’s (ASX: INR) Rhyolite Ridge Project and Lithium America’s Thacker Pass deposit – the largest lithium deposit in North America.

At the same time as undertaking the drilling program for the Polaris and Altair lithium-clay projects, company’s management will also be undertaking a follow-up regional review of various areas in Nevada, after having completed desktop analysis of the region.  Further new projects are expected to be identified from this review, increasing Astro’s footprint in Nevada.

Astro’s lithium exploration endeavours are likely to attract considerable investor interest, not just because of the location of its projects but also because of the pedigree of its board and senior leadership team and the possibility of additional high grade new projects.

Two previous directors of lithium giant Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) sit on the company’s board – Tony Leibowitz, who recently stepped up to executive chairman, and John Young, who recently joined the board as a non-executive director.

“The maiden drilling campaign will provide early insight into the lithium production potential of the Polaris and Altair Projects, situated in what is a highly sought-after lithium district,” executive chairman Tony Leibowitz said.

Drilling is due to be completed by mid-May with assay results expected by mid-July.  New projects are also expected to be identified and announced during the course of the September 2023 quarter.

The USA lithium assets form part of a strong portfolio of assets held by Astro, which also includes an advanced mineral sands project in the south-west of WA and an 80% interest in the Georgina Basin IOCG exploration project in the Northern Territory.




This article was developed in collaboration with Astro Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.