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Tantalex Resources drills 34 m of 0.88% Li2O at Manono

2022-02-09 09:27 ET - News Release

Mr. Eric Allard reports

TANTALEX RESOURCES CORPORATION REPORTS RESULTS FROM INITIAL PHASE 1 DRILLING ASSAY RESULTS FROM 5 DUMPS AT MANONO LITHIUM TAILINGS PROJECT WITH BEST INTERCEPTS OF 34M AT 0.88% LI2O FROM SURFACE IN MDA-059 ON THE G DUMP AND 7M AT 1.22% LI2O FROM SURFACE IN MDC-056 ON THE K DUMP

Tantalex Resources Corp. has provided initial phase 1 assay results received from its 10,000-metre drilling program. Assays were completed by ALS in Ireland. Analysis was done by method ME-ICP82b for lithium and method ME-MS81 for tin and tantalum.

Drilling was performed on both the coarser material on the stacked dumps and the associated fine material on the terrace dumps using both aircore and shallow Cobra percussion gouge drilling. Drilling on the coarse stacked dumps was on a nominal 40-metre-by-40-metre grid spacing and on the fine terrace dumps at 80-metre centres along 160-metre-spaced lines.

Assay results have been received from drill holes on five of the main dumps. Four of the dumps -- G, H, I and K -- are from the Kitotolo sector in the southwest.

The C dump, the fifth dump, is from the Manono sector in the northeast. Assays are pending from 11 holes on the E dump from the Manono sector. Samples from the E dump have been in the lab since Jan. 25, 2022, with results significantly delayed by COVID-19 staff shortages.

The attached tables provide a summary on number of aircore and shallow Cobra percussion gouge holes and total metreage drilled for each dump.

The phase 1 assay program aimed to gain a broad understanding of the grade and continuity of the lithium-tin-tantalum distribution within the dumps.

The 1,381 assays (includes about 5 per cent quality assurance/quality control samples) received from the five dumps in phase 1 represent only about 15 per cent of the samples collected during the drilling program and have confirmed the widespread presence of significant lithium/tin/tantalum within the dumps. Four of the dumps are from the southeast Kitotolo sector and one dump is from the northeast Manono sector.

Based on these early encouraging results of the combined lithium/tin/tantalum, a bulk sampling program commenced on Feb. 8, 2022, to provide material for proof-of-concept metallurgical test work for the team's proposed process flow sheet to recover all three metals without using a conventional DMS (dense media separation) circuit. This new concept provides significant process cost savings compared with the typical DMS circuit to separate the lithium (spodumene) from the tin and tantalum.

Tantalex has retained the services of Coremet Mineral Processing to conduct the mineralogical and metallurgical test work on the bulk samples at Coremet's facilities in South Africa.

Additionally, Tantalex has retained the services of the MSA Group Pty. Ltd. to complete a National Instrument 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the Manono lithium tailings project. This MRE is expected to be completed by early Q2.

Summary of results

Kitotolo sector (G, H, I, J and K dumps)

Drilling background

In the southwestern Kitotolo sector, a total of 4,858 metres were drilled in 99 aircore holes on the large G, H and I coarse stacked dumps. Gc and Hc, the two largest dumps in the sector, represented -- along with the associate fine terrace material (Gf and Hf) -- about 26.11 million cubic metres, or 72 per cent, of the total estimated 36.32-million-cubic-metre volume of dump material in the Kitotolo sector. The J dump was not drilled during this drilling campaign.

An additional 120 metres were drilled in five aircore holes on the smaller K dump as follow-up of the shallow Cobra percussion gouge drilling.

In addition to the aircore drilling, a total of 480 metres were drilled in 76 shallow Cobra percussion gouge holes on the Gf (16 holes), Hf (31 holes) and K (22 holes) dumps.

The Cobra drilling on the G dump fine terrace (Gf) material, completed on an 80-metre-by-160-metre section, covers a large area of about 500 metres by 500 metres to an average depth of 8.8 metres.

The Cobra drilling on the H dump fine terrace (Hf) material, completed on an 80-metre-by-160-metre section, covers a large area of about 900 metres by 500 metres to an average depth of 6.2 metres.

The Cobra drilling on the K dump, completed on an 80-metre-by-160-metre section, covers an area of about 600 metres by 500 metres to an average depth of 4.8 metres.

Samples submitted for assay

One-metre-interval and three-metre-composite aircore samples (including QA/QC samples) have been assayed from the Gc, Hc, Ic coarse dumps.

One-metre-interval aircore samples (including QA/QC samples) from eight holes have been assayed from the Hf dumps.

A total of 21 three-metre-composite samples (including QA/QC samples) from eight shallow Cobra drill holes have been assayed.

Currently, no samples from shallow Cobra drilling on the Hf and Gf dumps have been submitted for assay as the focus has been on getting the aircore samples processed and there are no plans to submit these sample in Q2.

For the phase 1 assay program in the Kitotolo sector, samples were selected from:

  • Five of the 24 aircore holes drilled on the Gc dump (21 per cent);
  • Zero of the eight aircore holes drilled on the Gf dump (0 per cent);
  • Five of the 21 aircore holes drilled on the Hc dump (24 per cent);
  • Eight of the 26 aircore holes drilled on the Hf dump (31 per cent);
  • Five of the 20 aircore holes drilled on the Ic dump (25 per cent);
  • Zero of the five aircore holes drilled on the K dump (0 per cent);
  • Eight of the 22 shallow Cobra holes drilled on the K dump (36 per cent).

The aircore drill holes were selected on a nominal 80-metre spacing on the dumps within the 40-metre-by-40-metre drilled grid to provide an initial understanding of the broad-scale trends in the grade and continuity of the lithium-tin-tantalum distribution.

Best intercepts on Gc, Hc, Hf, Ic and K dumps are:

  • Gc dump:
    • 34 metres at 0.884 per cent Li2O (lithium oxide) from surface in MDA-059;
  • Hc dump:
    • 12 metres at 0.341 per cent Li2O from 45 metres in MDA-143;
  • Hf dump:
    • Nine metres at 0.175 per cent Li2O from surface in MDA-027;
  • Ic dump:
    • 30 metres at 15 metres at 0.147 per cent Li2O, 630 parts per million Sn and 20.32 parts per million Ta from eight metres in MDA-093;
  • K dump:
    • Seven metres at 1.22 per cent Li2O, 675 parts per million Sn and 40.33 parts per million Ta from surface in MDC-056;
    • Seven of the eight holes drilled averaged 1.04 per cent Li2O.

G dump

The coarse stacked G dump (Gc) is divided into two sections:

  • The upper section (Gcu) covers an area of about 140 metres by 200 metres at the top of the dump and averages about 79 metres in thickness.
  • The lower section (Gcl) covers an area of about 100 metres by 300 metres and averages about 46 metres in thickness.

A total of 1,458 metres was completed in 24 holes on the Gc dump. Of these 24 holes, 11 holes were drilled on the upper Gcu section and 13 were drilled on the lower Gcl section.

A total of three out of 11 holes were selected from the upper Gcu section and two out of 13 holes were selected from the lower Gcl section for initial analysis.

A total of 223.5 metres were completed from eight holes in the fine material on the associated terrace dump (Gf). The Gf unit covers a wedge-shaped area of about 600 metres to 400 metres wide and 800 metres long. These eight holes drilled at 80-metre centres provide a representative 600-metre cross-section of the Gf unit at its thickest northeastern end. The thickness of the unit varies from about 30 metres in the northwest end of the section to 22 metres in the southeast end of the section. Three-metre composites of these holes will be sent for assay early in Q2.

K dump

On the K dump, seven of the eight shallow Cobra drill holes returned an average of 1.04 per cent Li2O, with a maximum value of seven metres at 1.22 per cent Li2O from surface in MDC-056.

Manono sector (dumps A, B, C, D, E and F)

In the northeastern Manono sector, a total of 4,302 metres were drilled in 70 aircore holes on the C and E dumps coarse stacked dumps (Cc and Ec) the two largest dumps in the sector -- representing, along with the associate fine terrace (Cf), about 25.25 million cubic metres, or 74 per cent, of the total estimated 34.11-million-cubic-metre volume of dump material in the Manono sector.

In addition to the aircore drilling, a total of 488 metres were drilled in 56 shallow Cobra percussion gouge holes. The Cobra drilling in the C dump fine terrace (Cf) material, completed on an 80-metre-by-160-metre sections, covers a large area of about 1,400 metres by 500 metres to an average depth of 8.7 metres.

To date, no samples from the Cobra drilling have been prepared for assays as the focus has been on getting the aircore samples processed. Selected Cobra holes from the Cf dump will be prepared for submittal to the lab in Q2.

For the phase 1 assay program, seven of the 38 aircore holes drilled on the Cc dump and 11 of the 32 aircore holes drilled on the Ec dump were selected and composited to three metres for analysis.

The drill holes were selected on a nominal 80-metre to 120-metre spacing on the dumps within the 40-metre-by-40-metre drilled grid to provide an initial understanding of the broad-scale trends in the grade and continuity of the lithium-tin-tantalum distribution.

Results for the Cc dump were received on Feb. 7, 2022. Results for the Ec dump are pending.

Best intercepts on Cc dump are:

  • 12 metres at 0.564 per cent Li2O from 12 metres in MDA-143;
  • 12 metres at 0.341 per cent Li2O from 45 metres in MDA-143;
  • 15 metres at 0.353 per cent Li2O from surface in MDA-150.

C dump

A total of 2,448 metres were completed in 38 aircore drill holes. Holes were sampled at one-metre intervals and three-metre composites and seven of the 38 holes were submitted for analysis.

Drilling on the Cc dump covers and area of about 350 metres by 350 metres.

E dump

A total of 1,854 metres were completed in 32 aircore drill holes. Holes were sampled at one-metre intervals and three-metre composites and 11 of the 32 holes were sent to ALS Ireland on Jan. 11, 2022.

Assays are pending, with results significantly delayed by COVID-19 staff shortages.

Drilling on the Ec dump covers an area of about 300 metres by 200 metres.

Eric Allard, president and chief executive officer, commented: "These initial assay results prove that we have a multiresource asset (lithium, tin, tantalum) which we know can be exploited very cost-effectively. This gives us the confidence to continue working with our more detailed sample processing and assay towards establishing our maiden mineral resource estimate in Q2. Additional samples will be sent to the laboratory immediately.

"More importantly, once our process flow sheet is engineered and tested, we can actually begin production in the very near term with an easy-to-mine surface asset and an exploitation licence already approved. Two thousand twenty-two promises to be a turnaround year for Tantalex as we move closer to production on the tailings asset and commence our exploration drilling on the pegmatite corridor."

Qualified person

The scientific and technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Gary Pearse, MSc, PEng, who is a qualified person as defined by NI 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

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