On July 29, 2022, Cygnus announced that it had entered into a binding agreement for an exclusive option to acquire up to 70% of the Pontax lithium project.
Now almost 12 months later, Cygnus says it has begun what it believes will be the significant ongoing growth in the resource.
Drilling to date at Pontax has already identified extensive open mineralisation and known spodumene-bearing pegmatites up to 9km from the maiden resource.
Notably, the maiden resource has been defined at an exceptionally low discovery cost of $0.55 per tonne of resource and with only 11,328m of drilling of the entire Pontax footprint so far.
A new drilling program is scheduled to commence shortly to further examine that upside.
Cygnus managing director David Southam said James Bay is opening up as a major lithium play in North America and Cygnus is now one of only four ASX-listed companies in Quebec with a lithium resource after Allkem (ASX: AKE), Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) and Patriot Battery Metals (ASX: PMT).
He says the James Bay area is set to become a fundamental supplier of lithium to North America, with over 350 million tonnes of lithium resources, which are growing rapidly, with Cygnus strategically positioned in Central James Bay, with easy access to power and transport infrastructure.
It is also surrounded by significant developing lithium projects including Allkem’s 110.2 million tonne James Bay deposit located just 30km to the north.
Mineral resource estimate upside:
The Pontax mineral resource estimate has been defined over 1.2km of strike, demonstrating significant growth through recent exploration from a previously defined strike length of 700m.
Mr Southam says mineralisation remains open in all directions with significant upside for immediate resource growth through step out drilling.
On a regional scale, he says Cygnus has identified significant exploration upside with recent re-sampling of historic drill core on recently acquired ground, confirming spodumene mineralisation up to 9km from the Pontax Central resource.
Limited historic drilling has only been completed along this trend to date, much of which is under shallow cover.
“This is a very strong result, particularly given that it stems from just one season of drilling and comes within 12 months of getting our feet on the ground,” Mr Southam said.
“But it is also just the start of the growth trajectory at Pontax. The mineralisation is open in all directions, and we already know there is spodumene along strike where we have drilled less than 2% of our greenstone belt tenure. All of this is just 30km south of Allkem’s world class James Bay lithium project which announced on Friday a 173% increase in their resource to 110.2 million tonnes.”
“Our attention now turns to resource step out drilling and advancing our baseline studies at Pontax. At the same time, we are now onsite at Auclair with a drill rig and full geological crew working. Prospecting and mapping at some of the 67 pegmatite outcrops identified has commenced.”
With its focus now on resource growth, Cygnus’ diamond drilling next month will focus on both extensions at Pontax Central and discovery across the wider belt.
The company is also planning to conduct geophysics and mapping across Cygnus’ 44km strike of the greenstone belt with a focus on recent ground acquisitions where there has never been lithium-focussed exploration.
Along with its dual track strategy of exploration and project development, the company is continuing its project studies with ongoing environmental baseline assessments through experienced engineering consultants, Quebec-based BBA.
First pass metallurgical test work has already delivered excellent recoveries, generating a 6% spodumene concentrate using conventional processing techniques.