Staff Writer | February 28, 2023 | 2:01 pm

Tonopah Flats property in Nevada. Image from American Battery Technology Company.

American Battery Technology Company (OTC: ABML) (ABTC) announced Tuesday the results of a third-party audited inferred resource report on the lithium deposit at its Tonopah Flats project in Nevada, which it said has resulted in the identification of one of the largest known lithium deposits in the United States.

The Tonopah Flats lithium project in Big Smoky Valley encompasses 517 unpatented lode claims covering approximately 10,340 acres, and ABTC controls 100% of the mining lode claims comprising the Tonopah Flats property and the rights to all locatable subsurface minerals without any royalties.

ABTC began surface sampling of these claims in the summer of 2021, and subsequently performed multiple subsurface drilling programs totalling 12,000 feet of exploration covering approximately 65% of its property.

Through the this analysis, an open-pit resource estimate was developed that would support a processing rate of at least 200,000 tons of claystone per day, the company said.

The ABTC Tonopah Flats inferred resource has an estimated 15.8 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent, according to the analysis.

The company said that combined with its internally developed lithium extraction and hydroxide manufacturing techniques makes it a potentially critical source of domestically produced lithium to meet increasing demand for lithium products.

There is also potential to significantly expand the resources with further drilling extending to the north and south property boundaries and at greater depths, it said.

“Having identified one of the largest premier lithium deposits in the US is extremely exciting,” ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert said in the statement. “However, the identification of an inferred resource in and of itself is not enough to address our critical challenges of increasing our domestic production of critical battery metals, reducing the costs of manufacturing of these battery metals, and decreasing the environmental impacts of their production.”

The development of a resource needs to be paired with the development of targeted technologies for the extraction of these metals, he said.

“We have spent the past several years developing technologies specifically targeted at these Nevada-based claystone lithium resources and to have been recognized by the US Department of Energy for the performance of these technologies through our selection for a competitive R&D scale grant in 2021 and for a competitive grant to construct a commercial scale claystone lithium hydroxide refinery in 2022.”

American Battery Technology Company’s stock surged 37% on the OTC on the news. Trading volume reached 13,486,442, nearly 13 times the daily average of 1,380,062. The company has a $566.8 million market capitalization.

Published by Mining.com