The company has received the key permit allowing first phase drilling from the relevant authorities in mining-friendly Nevada.
Drilling is expected to get underway in the middle of this month (December) and as long as no issues arise, it should take 14- 20 days with assays expected back from the lab two to three months later.
The program, as explained by CEO Robert McAllister to Proactive. will consist of five diamond drill holes totaling around 2,000 feet.
Four of the holes will lead potentially to a first 43-101 project-wide lithium resource.
A fifth will be sunk to around 400 feet with the recovered lithium enriched material being used for metallurgical and pH solution testing.
Clayton Valley a key address
Enertopia, a British Columbia-based company, currently holds around 160 acres of pacer and lode claims in Clayton Valley - which is a lithium mining hotspot.
Notably, Albemarle Corp. (NYSE:AB) owns the Silver Peak mine and its processing operation has been unearthing lithium from Clayton Valley’s brines since the mid-1960s.
This is the only producing lithium mine in North America and Enertopia's Dan lode and Steve placer claims are nearby.
Enertopia's project is between Cypress Development’s and Noram Ventures’ properties, which both have published 43-101 lithium resources. Tesla's Gigafactory to manufacture lithium batteries in vast quantities is also located in Nevada.
Enertopia's Clayton Valley lithium project has had surface sampling with values up to 4,000 ppm (parts per million) lithium at surface.
Two bulk samples for a phase two bench test program returned 1,020 and 1,780 ppm respectively, while a 43-101 lithium resource has been reported east of its eastern claim boundary.
Demand for lithium not in doubt
Big banks like Deutsche are almost all in agreement that the next several years will see an increase of between 60% and 250% in demand for lithium — and that it will sell for 50% or more above historical levels.
The rise in demand will be driven by batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage for wind and solar plants
The metal is a vital component in electric vehicles (EVs), which are surely set to be the vehicle of choice in the future, while just as significant, but less discussed, perhaps is its application in the energy storage market.
According to Roskill’s 15th market outlook report this year, demand for lithium is expected to reach 1 million tonnes in the next nine years, with an annual growth rate of 16%.
Demand therefore is expected to increase an eye-watering 650% by 2027.
Innovative technology ...
The group's partner Genesis Water technologies has developed a lithium recovery process, which is aimed at reducing costs and optimizing the leaching process.
Tests have been carried out and a pilot plant is planned.
Lab testing early this year testing showed good results of the potential to create a clean synthetic lithium brine, which could be processed to battery-grade material.
Looking forward, in terms of processing the brines themselves, Enertopia plans to use 'off the shelf' processing equipment to adsorb lithium from its created synthetic brine solutions, which should keep a lid on costs.
Enertopia then is a developing story in a burgeoning and potentially highly lucrative industry. One to watch in forthcoming years.