Reno, Nev., June 21, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — American Battery Technology Company, (ABTC) (OTCQB:ABML), an American critical battery materials company that is commercializing both its primary minerals manufacturing and secondary minerals lithium-ion battery recycling technologies, is pleased to announce positive drill results from its initial exploratory subsurface drill program, Phase 1, at its Tonopah Flats Lithium Project in Big Smoky Valley, Nev.  This initial exploratory drilling program consisted of 16 targeted drill holes on ABTC’s 10,340 acres of lithium-bearing claims, and was guided by surface sampling results collected in early 2022.  ABTC drilled approximately 7,895-feet in this Phase 1 program and based on these results the company intends to further expand these exploration efforts to continue to advance this project.

ABTC has developed its own proprietary processing train for extracting lithium from this type of unique Nevada-based lithium-bearing sedimentary claystone resource and for the subsequent manufacturing of this extracted lithium to battery grade lithium hydroxide for sale to the domestic battery supply chain.  Whereas many proposed extraction processes are only able to produce economically competitive lithium products from high lithium grade material, the low-cost and low-environmental impact manufacturing process that ABTC has developed is able to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide from a wide variety of lithium concentrations hosted within these sedimentary resources.  ABTC, in collaboration with DuPont, was recently awarded a $4.5M grant from the US Department of Energy to build and operate a multi-ton per day demonstration-scale system to accelerate the commercialization and scale-up of this critical lithium manufacturing technology.

Highlights from this Phase 1 drilling program include:

  • Shallow Overburden: Anomalous lithium concentrations were measured at very shallow depths, less than 50 ft below the surface in many cases, indicating that low-cost and low-strip ratio techniques can likely be applied to access these near-surface lithium-bearing sedimentary materials
  • Consistent Lithium Concentrations: Lithium concentrations above the reference cutoff concentration of 300 ppmw were observed in every drill hole, in consistent concentrations throughout a large percentage of the total sampled depths, and with significantly higher peak concentrations observed in many sample holes (see Table 1), which makes this deposit especially attractive to the internally-developed ABTC processing train
  • Depth of Mineralization: The drilling infrastructure employed in these explorations was able to drill to a depth of approximately 500-ft, and in several of these drill holes the significant mineralization of lithium is still present at these depths, indicating that the anomalous lithium presence could extend even beyond the sampled depths (see Figure 3)
  • Breadth of Exploration: With these initial 16 drill holes a wide breadth of ABTC claims have been explored, and when considering a 0.5-mile radius area of influence (AoI) around each drill hole, approximately 4,990 acres out of 10.320 acres of total claim area has been explored within this Phase 1 program
  • Magnitude of Deposit: With the anomalous lithium concentrations observed throughout the detailed exploratory drill holes, and throughout the listed sampling depths, the ABTC team is excited to accelerate the further exploration and characterization of these claims to advance this deposit to an inferred, indicated, and measured resource through the established S-K 1300 guidelines
  • Next Steps: ABTC will utilize the results from this Phase 1 program to develop a step-out drill program, Phase 2, to further characterize the deposit.  Additional drill results on Phase 2 will aid in the determination of area-wide grade and thickness assessment of the in-situ amount of lithium in order to progress this deposit to a quantified resource
Table 1:  Summary of Phase 1 Exploration Results
Drill HoleTotal Depth DrilledThickness above CutoffConcentration,300 ppmwThickness above CutoffConcentration,600 ppmwPeak Concentration(ppmw Li)
TF – 2101400 ft40 ft0 ft490
TF – 2102550 ft380 ft195 ft1,161
TF – 2103480 ft360 ft180 ft1,201
TF – 2104550 ft470 ft270 ft1,404
TF – 2105550 ft475 ft410 ft1,403
TF – 2106440 ft360 ft180 ft1,149
TF – 2207415 ft295 ft210 ft1,109
TF – 2208510 ft455 ft405 ft1,371
TF – 2209500 ft340 ft175 ft1,230
TF – 2210500 ft215 ft100 ft1,250
TF – 2211500 ft280 ft45 ft1,340
TF – 2212500 ft320 ft40 ft718
TF – 2213500 ft395 ft140 ft1,700
TF – 2214500 ft420 ft140 ft1,640
TF – 2215500 ft345 ft30 ft867
TF – 2216500 ft235 ft35 ft1,140

“These initial results are beyond our expectations as they suggest a widespread lithium mineralization that is consistent in both area and depth throughout the sampled materials,” stated ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert.  “We are excited to have generated these high-potential results from our initial Phase 1 exploratory drilling program, and we look forward to expanding these drilling, sampling, mapping, geochemical, and analysis efforts to be able to fully define and quantify this resource moving forward.  These sampling and characterization efforts provide the foundation for the validation and commercialization of our internally-developed selective lithium leaching and lithium hydroxide manufacturing technologies that are critical to solving our domestic and global critical battery metals challenges.”

“The results from the first 16 drill holes indicate limited overburden with a significant near surface, 500-ft or better, thick lithium enriched area of mineralization,” stated ABTC Chief Resource Officer Scott Jolcover.  “We aim to maximize our step-out and build upon the initial drill hole program to shape our drill targeting and understanding of the area. While our holes are intentionally wide spaced at this time, the consistency of grade throughout the current results should lead to a very low strip ratio in a surface mining scenario.”

The ABTC Tonopah Flats Lithium Exploration Project encompasses 517 unpatented lode claims covering approximately 10,340 acres.  As part of the company’s battery metals resource development exploration efforts, ABTC is performing bench scale characterization and extraction trials to confirm the technical and economic competitiveness of extracting elemental lithium from these domestic sedimentary resources in order to produce battery grade lithium hydroxide for sale to the battery metals market.

Figure 3: Sampling results from exploration hole TF-2208
QA/QC Statement

Drilling was conducted by Harris Exploration Drilling and Associates Inc., of Fallon, Nevada, utilizing Schramm reverse circulation equipment with a 5.5” diameter hole with face centered bit, and by Drillrite LLC, Spring Creek, Nevada, using an Australian Air-Core Bit. Sampling was conducted using a cyclone splitter over 5-foot intervals. Sample custody was maintained by the company’s consultants throughout the sampling and logging process. The company has a rigorous QA/QC program utilizing blanks, duplicates, and a high and a low-grade lithium standard material. Duplicates and standard material are inserted into the sample stream, and blank material was inserted at the start and finish of drill hole sample set. Samples were analyzed by American Assay Laboratories in Reno, Nevada and Paragon Geochemical in Sparks, Nevada for analysis utilizing the ICP-MS analysis protocol.

Forward-Looking Information: Exploration Results

There has been insufficient exploration of the relevant property or properties to allow for an estimate of a mineral resource.  It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a mineral resource.  The exploration target therefore does not represent, and should not be construed to be, an estimate of a mineral resource or mineral reserve.

About American Battery Technology Company

American Battery Technology Company, which recently changed its name from American Battery Metals Corporation, is uniquely positioned to supply low-cost, low-environmental impact, and domestically sourced battery metals through its three divisions: lithium-ion battery recycling, primary battery metal extraction technologies, and primary resources development.

American Battery Technology Company has built a clean technology platform that is used to provide a key source of domestically manufactured critical and strategic battery metals to help meet the near insatiable demand from the electric vehicle, electrical grid storage, and consumer electronics industries. This ESG-principled platform works to create a closed-loop circular economy for battery metals that champions ethical and environmentally sustainable sourcing of critical and strategic materials.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are “forward-looking statements.” Although the American Battery Technology Company’s (the “Company) management believes that such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it cannot guarantee that such expectations are, or will be, correct. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause the Company’s future results to differ materially from those anticipated. Potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, interpretations or reinterpretations of geologic information, unfavorable exploration results, inability to obtain permits required for future exploration, development or production, general economic conditions and conditions affecting the industries in which the Company operates; the uncertainty of regulatory requirements and approvals; fluctuating mineral and commodity prices, final investment approval and the ability to obtain necessary financing on acceptable terms or at all. Additional information regarding the factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements is available in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2021. The Company assumes no obligation to update any of the information contained or referenced in this press release.

SOURCE: American Battery Technology Company