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Why a Lithium Company is Collecting Twigs

Georgia Lake, ON, Canada

Finding lithium in trees? Rock Tech is collecting the tree bark and twigs of black spruce trees on their site near Thunder Bay, Ontario. David Benson, Rock Tech’s Exploration Manager and Lead Geologist explains why.

„`Why is Rock Tech collecting samples of black spruce trees?„`

David: Trees take up metals through their root systems, via water, and the metal enrichment can be found in the bark, twigs and leaves. The black spruce is especially good as it has been shown to ‘soak’ up metals very effectively and coincidentally is by far the most abundant tree in the Canadian boreal forest. While we could never ‘harvest’ lithium from trees, they can serve as an indicator of where spodumene-bearing pegmatites – which contain lithium- are in the ground. We look for areas where assays from the biogeochemical samples are anomalously high to pinpoint areas for focused advanced exploration.

„`Biogeochemistry sounds complex – how do this testing work?„`

It is actually quite simple. We start by systematically taking samples of organic matter, in this case tree bark and twigs from black spruce trees, at designated intervals. For example, I set up lines for the sampling team to walk through the bush and take samples either every 25 or 50 meters. This is obviously most effective where the area is densely forested.

„`How reliable is this method?„`

There are many components that go into successful exploration surveying but this has been proven very successful over the years for identifying gold, copper, and nickel. In 2022, geologists from the Government of Ontario completed test surveys at Georgia Lake and neighboring lithium deposits and it worked. Samples of the bark and twigs directly over known spodumene-bearing pegmatites showed anomalously high results for Lithium as compared to samples with no known spodumene-bearing pegmatites.

„`Why would Rock Tech choose to use this over other methods?„`

Most of the Georgia Lake Property is covered by soils, swamps, lakes and rivers with only about 15% of the land area where the underlying rocks appear at surface. We will use biogeochemistry, along with geophysics, soil chemistry and remote sensing in concert to identify potential new deposits. Once new targets are identified, we can focus and advance our exploration efforts very efficiently to evaluate and discover new orebodies.

„`What are the implications of using this biogeochemical test for the exploration at Georgia Lake and Boston Lake?„`

Biogeochemical is just another method used in exploration. We will use this data, along with other methodologies such as geophysics and remote sensing to determine if an area has high potential for buried pegmatites. We cannot use the data from this area for any change in the resource model but possibly it will assist in determining areas for future drilling which can discover possible future resource areas. For instance, results may indicate a possible buried pegmatite that has dimensions of 200 meters length and 25 meters width. We would then design our drilling to evaluate this area.

„`Has Rock Tech already gotten the tests results back from the recent testings?„`

No results yet. But, once we get them, we will evaluate the the raw results and incorporate in to our geological models. We expect the results will contribute to any new future discoveries at Georgia and Boston Lake.

„`Thank you very much for taking the time, David.„`