• Chariot Corporation has recommenced lithium exploration in Wyoming
  • ERM appointed to assist with 2024 Wyoming exploration activities
  • Drilling will initially utilise a cost-efficient man-portable rig
  • Truck-mounted drilling on Black Mountain will be deployed once a larger area of disturbance has been approved


Special Report: Chariot Corporation has resumed hard rock lithium exploration at its Black Mountain project in Wyoming as the 2024 North American summer season kicks off. 

The company will recommence exploration activities at Black Mountain via a U.S. Subsidiary and undertake exploration activities at its six other lithium caesium tantalite (LCT) pegmatite projects in Wyoming.

Chariot Corporation (ASX:CC9) was one of the biggest lithium IPOs of 2023 thanks to its 27sqkm Black Mountain project in Wyoming, an emerging hard rock province quickly gaining in popularity.

This project had never, prior to Chariot’s involvement, been drilled, despite 60cm long spodumene crystals (~6-7% lithium) being observed back in 1997 and subsequent early-stage exploration returning assays up to 6.38% Li2O from rock chips.

A short and shallow 9-hole drill program confirmed Black Mountain’s potential, returning hits like 15.5m at 1.12% lithium from 2m depth.

“The North American summer is upon us and we are now rapidly escalating exploration activities in Wyoming,” Chariot managing director Shanthar Pathmanathan said.

“Wyoming is the promised land for hard rock lithium supply in the United States – more mining friendly with a long history of supplying critical resources than other states with lithium pegmatites.”


K feldspar testing first cab off the rank

Prior to any further drilling, an expanded exploration program will kick off across the broader project areas comprising geological mapping and geochemical sampling focused on exposed pegmatites.

The sampling will include the collection of K-feldspar samples to be screened by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) using a portable XRF (pXRF).

Where potential lithium mineralisation may not be exposed at surface, the company says that the analysis of K-feldspar samples can produce meaningful insights for the drilling program. Unmineralised K-feldspar bearing wall and core zones often outcrop and can be readily sampled – which is a cost-effective method of identifying the most prospective targets across a large project area.


Black Mountain the focus for 2024

At Black Mountain, the focus will shift from drilling outcropping pegmatite dykes to exploring one or more of the larger sub-surface pegmatite stock(s) indicated by large magnetic lows and associated surface pegmatite dyke swarms.

The stock(s) are interpreted to be present at depth to the north and south east of the central areas, which were the initial focus of the 2023-24 winter drilling program due to outcropping pegmatite dykes.

At Copper Mountain, where there are hundreds of outcropping pegmatite dykes, the initial approach will be to identify the areas of most highly fractionated pegmatites for further follow-up work, which will consist of detailed mapping and sampling to define potential targets for drill testing.


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Copper Mountain project outcropping pegmatites and terrain. Source: CC9


This rock-chip/Soil sampling and K feldspar testing is expected to be complete by mid-July to define targets for summer drilling programs.

Pathmanathan says recent industry events illustrate a palpable hunger in the North American markets for lithium supply.

“The United States domestic lithium sector is rapidly coming to prominence very soon,” he said.

“I was just at the Benchmark-hosted GIGA conference in Washington D.C., and the mood was very exciting.

“A tremendous amount of investment is going into the the EV supply chain ecosystem – battery manufacturing sectors, chemical and materials processing to supply the battery manufacturers, and of course charging infrastructure sectors.

“The fund flow is coming from OEMs, car makers, private equity, venture capital and most importantly the U.S. Government. The U.S. market can re-tool and re-purpose for new opportunities like no other market, and that is happening right now for EVs.”


Cost-efficient summer drilling planned

Once suitable targets have been identified, Chariot will commence drill testing using a wireline, man-portable diamond drill at Black Mountain and potentially the other Wyoming projects.

The use of a man-portable rig will avoid the effort and expense of clearing of roads and tracks necessitated by truck-mounted rigs – enabling the company to maximise the reach of its drilling activities under the 5-acre disturbance limit at Black Mountain.

“The man-portable rig will be a game-changer for us, because one of our real limitations is the 5-acre disturbance limit,” Pathmanathan said.

“The man-portable rig can be transported by foot without clearing tracks, so more of the 5-acres can be used for more drill pads – dramatically expanding our ability to more widely explore our full claim position.

“Once we get our Exploration Plan of Operations, we will have 2,500 acres of disturbance allowing truck-mounted drilling.”


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Pic: Black Mountain project 2024 surface exploration. Source: CC9


Truck-mounted drilling will be deployed once the Exploration Plan of Operations (EPO) is approved by the Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming, U.S.A. which is not expected until autumn at the earliest.

If approved, the EPO will increase the permitted area of disturbance from 5-2,500 acres.

Drill pads and access roads placed in the 2,500-acre disturbance area should enable exploration of the full 6,637-acre extent of the Black Mountain project area.



This article was developed in collaboration with Chariot Corporation, 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.