The Hidden Lake Lithium Property Northwest Territories, Canada
The Hidden Lake Lithium Property is located 45 km east of Yellowknife, NWT (Figure 1) and consists of 5 contiguous claims, totaling 1,659.29 hectares (Figure 2). The property is just north of Highway 4 (Ingraham Trail) providing excellent access. The exploration target on the property is lithium-bearing spodumene pegmatite dykes which are visible from aerial imagery as elongated white linear features visible through vegetation and soil due to their high reflectance.
The Hidden Lake Property lies within the southern Archean Slave Craton of the Canadian Shield which is comprised of Mesoarchean gneissic basement covered by the Neoarchean Yellowknife Supergroup supracrustal assemblage. The Yellowknife Supergroup consists of a thick sequence of metavolcanic rock and metasedimentary rock which is dominated by a regionally homogenous sequence of interbedded greywacke-mudstone turbidites of the multiply deformed Burwash Formation east of Yellowknife (Figure 3). This region was subsequently intruded by the Prosperous suite of S-type biotite muscovite leucogranite plutons which are spatially associated with granitic pegmatites.
These pegmatites intrude both the surrounding Burwash Formation and the granitic plutons and form the Yellowknife Pegmatite Field. Depending on their proximity to the granite intrusion, the pegmatite complexes commonly show regional zoning in their mineralization and can be rare element bearing. Lithium enrichment occurs in an outer zone typically 2 to 3 kms from the intrusion accompanied by Be, Ta, Nb and Ca enrichment (Sinclair, 1996).
The lithium bearing pegmatites that are targeted for exploration are white to light grey, coarse to very coarse-grained, and comprised of K-feldspar (microcline), plagioclase (albite), quartz, muscovite and spodumene with trace amounts of apatite, biotite, tourmaline, columbite and montebrasite. The dykes consist of long, discontinuous bodies oriented in an NNE-SSW direction (between 010° and 020°) and range from 3 to 11 m wide and 300 to 800 m long. The bodies are zoned and spodumene content typically ranges from 10% to 20% by volume, with up to 35% locally within the center of the bodies. Spodumene crystals were green to light greenish grey, up to 60 cm long and were typically oriented parallel to the dyke boundaries along the edges and perpendicular to the boundaries in the center of the dykes (Sinclair, 1996).
Initial prospecting of the Yellowknife district originated when rare-element pegmatites were first discovered in the 1930’s, followed by the discovery of lithium-bearing pegmatites in the 1950’s. The most significant historic exploration carried out on the property has been undertaken on the D12 pegmatite that was first discovered by the Geological Survey of Canada in1947. It is described as a 1,000 ft. long and 30 ft. wide, spodumene-bearing pegmatite dyke. It has since been subjected to trenching and detailed mapping1. In 1978, Canadian Superior Exploration Ltd. mapped and sampled several spodumene-bearing dykes on and surrounding the current Property, the largest of which was D122. Chip samples collected from the historic trenches at D12 yielded 1.37% to 3.01% Li2O (NWT Geoscience Detailed Showing Report ID 085INW0042).
Dahrouge Geological Consulting Ltd. (Dahrouge) undertook exploration work in 2016 and 2017 on behalf of 92 Resources Corporation3. This work consisted of prospecting, grab sampling, detailed mapping, and channel sampling. Only the results of the 2016 program are relevant to the Hidden Lake Property.
Prospecting in May of 2016 included outcrop examination and the collection of 5 grab samples from the D12 dyke. The samples were sealed in labelled bags and shipped to Activation Labs Ltd. (ActLabs), in Kamloops, B.C., where they were analyzed using the sodium peroxide fusion ICP-OES + ICP-MS Ultratrace 7 package (UT-7). Those samples with a Li value above the detection limit of 10,000 ppm underwent the sodium peroxide fusion ICP-OES lithium ore analysis package (Code 8 Li Ore).
Subsequently a channel sampling program was completed between August 16th and September 7th, 2016. A total of 308 channel samples were collected from 61 channels cut across dykes D12, HL1, HL3 and HL4 Table 1.
Table 1: 2016 channel sampling details.
|Pegmatite||Length (m)||Number of Channels||Number of Samples|
In 2016 a total of 5 grab samples and 308 channel samples were collected during the two Hidden Lake field programs carried out in 2016. Five grab samples from dyke D12 assayed 1.63 – 3.06% Li2O. Channel sample results were presented as weighted averages for individual channels for each dyke. The thickest section of D12 was 11.58 m wide and returned a weighted average of 1.53% Li2O and included a 9.02 m section of 1.90% Li2O. A channel from the HL1 dyke assayed 1.26% Li2O over 8.72 m and an 8.78 m channel from the HL3 dyke assayed 1.58% Li2O. A 5.78 m channel from HL4 assayed the highest Li2O of 1.71% over 5.78 m. Significant grades of tantalum were recorded with an average of 54 pm Ta2O5 for the four dykes. The maximum value was 402 ppm.
Dahrouge also undertook an exploration program in 2018 on behalf of Foremost Resources4. The purpose of the drilling was to test the vertical continuity of spodumene mineralization in the subsurface. This work took place between May 22nd and June 10th, 2018 and consisted of 1079.37 m of core drilled in ten drill holes on pegmatite dykes HL-001 through HL-003 and D-12 (Figure 4). A total of 197 core samples were collected and submitted for assay at SGS Mineral Services Lakefield facility. Intersected pegmatites were typically composed of quartz, plagioclase, feldspar, muscovite, spodumene and accessory minerals consisting of tourmaline and epidote.
Drill hole specific information including core samples collected for assay is provided in Table 2.
Table 2: Pegmatite intersection and sample collection summary.
|Hole ID||Target||Easting||Northing||Overburden Depth (m)||EOH Depth (m)||Pegmatite Intersection Sum (m)||Number of Samples|
|Total:||10793.37 m||171.82 m||197|
Pegmatites intersected in this drill program were marked by fine to very coarse grained spodumene crystals varying from 7-10 modal percent in dyke HL3 to 15-25% modal percent spodumene crystals in dyke D12.
All spodumene-bearing dykes tested during the 2018 drill program intersected high-grade 1.0-2.0% Li2O over individual widths that varied from 2.0 to 9.2 m or total widths of between 3.79 m and 15.10 m (Table 3; cf. September 10, 2018, news release). The assay results for 2018 drill core confirm the presence of high grade spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes on the property and reflect the historic assay results from 2016 surface channel samples.
Table 3. Summary of assay results, 2018 Hidden Lake drill program.
|BHID||Li2O (%)||Ta (ppm)||Cs (ppm)||Nb (ppm)||Length (m)|
|Dyke D-12: HL18-001||1.5||33.4||40.6||48.7||9.0|
|Dyke D-12: HL18-002||1.7||34.0||33.2||45.3||5.0|
|Dyke D-12: HL18-003||1.6||32.4||47.2||44.4||9.2|
|Dyke HL-1: HL18-004||1.6||24.4||29.0||29.0||7.0|
|Dyke HL-1: HL18-005||1.2||41.8||33.1||45.8||2.0|
|Dyke HL-3: HL18-006||1.4||21.5||46.2||25.6||7.0|
|Dyke HL-3: HL18-007||2.0||43.6||32.9||52.8||5.2|
|Dyke HL-3: HL18-008||1.3||42.5||40.9||54.6||3.8|
|Dyke HL-2: HL18-009||1.5||7.8||28.6||12.0||2.0|
|Dyke HL-2: HL18-010||1.0||15.1||31.4||17.2||7.0|
Pegmatite intersections in the drill core were sawn in half with one half of the sample collected for assay. The samples were shipped to Activation Laboratories (Ancaster, Ontario) digested with a sodium peroxide fusion followed by ICP-OES/MS analysis. Assay results are summarized in Table 3.
Future exploration is planned to expand the lithium resource at Hidden Lake with additional diamond drilling based on an integrated exploration plan using state-of-the-art drone assisted geophysical surveys and rock and soil geochemical techniques.
1: Mulligan, R. 1975. Geology of Canadian Lithium Deposits. Geological Survey of Canada, Economic Geology Report No. 21
2: Morrison, M. 1978. Report on a trenching programme and geological survey of the LU3, 5, 8, 9 and 10 mineral claims, Yellowknife area. NWT assessment report 080847.
3: Goreham, J. 2018: 2016 and 2017 geological and geochemical exploration on the Hidden Lake property, Yellowknife, N.W.T. report for property owner 92 Resources Corp., 29p.
4: Wood, A. 2018: Summary memo for the 2018 Hidden Lake P1 drill program, Yellowknife area, N.W.T., 12p. Sinclair, W.D., 1996. Granitic Pegmatites; in Geology of Canadian Mineral Deposit Types, (ed.) O.R. Eckstrand, W.D. Sinclair and R.I Thorpe. Geological Survey of Canada, Geology of Canada. No. 8 p. 503-512.
Figure 1. Location of the Hidden Lake Lithium Property, Yellowknife area, N.W.T.
Figure 2. Current claim map, Hidden Lake Property, N.W.T.
Figure 3. Geological setting of the Hidden Lake Lithium Property.
Figure 4. Summary of drill hole locations and targets, Hidden Lake Lithium Property, N.W.T.