Research, Reconnaissance & Geophsyics
British Lithium is continuing to refine our understanding of enriched lithium granites in the United Kingdom through responsible exploration. At our Cornwall project site, geological exploration has followed a sequence of multidisciplinary activities: research, reconnaissance, discovery, targeted prospecting and RC drilling.
Subsequent stages of exploration continue to quantify and qualify our exploration targets through additional diamond drilling and sample collection for detailed mineralogical studies. British Lithium Limited is proud of our stringent Quality Control/Quality Assurance protocol, ensuring our various sources of exploration data are validated and integrated to generate 3D models for improved interpretation and predictive targeting.
Based on our exploration, we have made a significant discovery of hard rock lithium mineralisation.
Research & Reconnaissance
Initial exploration commenced with a survey of existing literature, examination of aerial photographs and satellite imagery alongside acquisition of geophysical data and geological maps of prospective regions. This research informed our understanding of the stratigraphic setting and structural architecture of the prospect, with previous data and lithium enrichment theories incorporated into the model.
Using helicopters and exploration vehicles, British Lithium has collected a number of field samples with additional samples obtained from various museums and the British Geological Society. The samples were logged and sent for chemical analysis. Topography data was compiled from regional LiDAR and complemented with targeted UAV Stereoautograph terrain modelling (Figure 1).
British Lithium has collected a treasure trove of historical records, samples and historic mining data. We have been busy digitising this data to create a unique 3D perspective of the geology of Cornwall. This has been supplemented with on the ground field working and most recently, our phase one drilling program.
Part of the challenge has been unravelling 300 years of mining and exploration in Cornwall. Our geologist have been using state of the arts tool to develop detailed understanding of unique genesis of the granitic lithium mica enrichment. We have also been conducting a detailed mineral tenure review and digitising title plans to produce detailed mineral ownership maps
Remote Sensing and Geophysics
Remote Sensing is the process of obtaining information on the physical characteristics of an area through measurement of a range of different properties from a distance. Sensors used to obtain these data can be mounted on satellites, aircraft or vehicles. In exploration, remote sending can include the use of aerial photographs, satellite imagery and airborne geophysical data to delineate deposits and structures that control them.
At British Lithium we have utilised regional radiometric, magnetic and gravity data, to draw conclusions about concealed geology.
For example, Radiometric Spectrography interrogates ratio calculations of radiometric components: K, eU and eTh to identify anomalous areas of granitic alteration. The natural decay products of potassium (K), uranium (U) and thorium (Th) vary across different granite lithologies in SW England and facilitates delineation of prospective outcrops (Figure 3).
British Lithium uterlisied the Tellus South West airborne geophysical data acquired in 2013, comprising of a high resolution magnetic/magnetic gradient survey combined with a multichannel (256 channel) radiometric survey.
An anomaly in the Remote Sensing and Geophysics data is a significant departure from the normal pattern of background values which may indicates the possible existence of mineralization and allows for the demarcation and ranking of targets for which prospecting can occur.
British Lithium uses top end software to create complex 3D environments of the terrain, lithologies, exploration data, infrastructure and all the inputs required in modern exploration and project development. Specialised server farms hosts the immense database and provides the computational power required to interpret and process the data streams to provide key outputs to the project team.
Trenching and Channelling Sampling
Where mineralisation occurs close to surface, trenching can be utilised to obtain samples, help establish structural controls and delineate the potential resource (Figure 4). This is a cost-effective method compared to drilling. British Lithium excavated a number of exploratory trenches through predefined targets to access mineralisation. Channels were then cut into the rock so continuous representative samples could be collected, structures such as faults and vein systems recorded and lithological variation noted (Figure 5).
Representative samples were obtained at 1m intervals across the trenches before being dried and crushed to -2 mm (Figure 6). After splitting, 200 g aliquots were dispatched for geochemical analysis by ICP, XRF assay as well as other tests such QEM an XRD. All trench data, including lithological variation, structures and geochemical data have been incorporated into a central database in order to formulate a model of mineralisation.