Auroch Minerals has the rods spinning as it looks to make a major new discovery in an area quickly emerging as the United States lithium industry elephant country.

Auroch (ASX:AOU), which also owns nickel and lithium prospects in Western Australia, has started a maiden 3000m reverse circulation drill campaign at the Nevada Lithium Project.

The junior acquired 80% of the NLP in June and has moved quickly to prove up the asset, where 150-200m deep holes will be drilled at the San Antone East and Western Flats prospects to test for lithium-bearing claystone after permitting approval.

All the geological signals are there.

The explorer plans to test the Siebert Formation, which comprises tertiary age sediments from or near surface and hosts TSXV-listed American Lithium’s nearby TLC deposit.


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Auroch’s Nevada Project is accessible all year round. Pic: AOU


Given that hosts an impressive 4.2Mt of measured lithium carbonate equivalent resources, 4.63Mt of indicated resources and 1.86Mt of inferred resources, it’s a pretty prospective spot.

Auroch is on the hunt for lithium intercepts of a concentration of more than 300ppm Li, which it says would be considered anomalous and indicative of lithium bearing claystone.

Its contractor Alford Drilling, out of the nearby mining community of Elko, is already onsite commencing the work.

“Today marks a very important milestone for Auroch and the NLP,” Auroch technical director Robin Cox said.

“Since the acquisition of the NLP in June 2022, the company has accelerated its technical evaluation of the land holding to reach this point of defining several high priority drill targets and the commencement of the maiden drilling programme.

“We are extremely happy to report that Alford’s RC rig is on the ground and rods are spinning. The company is very excited about what this programme may discover as we explore an area which is well known for hosting lithium claystones.”


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Auroch is surrounded by major lithium deposits. Pic: AOU


Elephant Country

‘Elephant Country’ is a commonly used term which basically boils down to the idea that if you want to find an elephant (i.e. a big bad lithium deposit) you head to their home.

Nevada has a long history of mining even before the emergence of its lithium sector, with the NLP located in Esmeralda and Nye Counties near the historic silver mining town of Tonopah.

Not only is American Lithium’s TLC nearby but creep 50km to the southwest of Tonopah Flats and you’ll find Ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge.

The Australian company recently announced a $700 million US Government loan to develop the deposit, which contains 1.25Mt of LCE and 11.9Mt of borate.

Both are hosted within the lacustrine derived tertiary claystone which Auroch is hoping to find, while Tesla’s Reno Gigafactory is a few hundred klicks to the northwest.

Albemarle’s operating Silver Peak mine and Lithium Americas’ large Thacker Pass are also in the vicinity.

Beyond the initial drilling programme, expected to take five weeks, further work is planned for the remaining three prospects to firm them up for drill testing over the coming months at Traction, Lone Mountain and Heller.

The program will be completed over wide spacing to aid Auroch’s understanding of the prospect stratigraphy.




This article was developed in collaboration with Auroch Minerals, 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.