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TORONTO, ONTARIO - (GlobeNewswire - July 24, 2018) - Plateau Energy Metals Inc. ("Plateau" "PLU" or the "Company")(TSX VENTURE:PLU)(FRANKFURT:QG1)(OTCQB:PLUUF), a lithium and uranium exploration and development company, is pleased to announce a maiden Lithium Mineral Resource estimate for the Falchani Project located on the Macusani Plateau in the Puno District of southeastern Peru. The estimate was prepared by The Mineral Corporation of South Africa and the NI 43-101 Technical Report in support of the estimate will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days.
Also, the Company is pleased to provide clarity on Areas of Cultural and Archeological Significance in the vicinity of the project.
Highlights of Lithium Mineral Resource Estimates by Category
The consolidated Mineral Resource estimates, based on a 0.1% Li2O cut-off grade are as follows:
Ian Stalker, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO of Plateau Energy Metals, commented: "To report our Maiden Lithium Mineral Resource estimate less than 9 months after our 'discovery hole' at Falchani is a wonderful achievement, and everyone associated with PLU can feel tremendously proud of this accomplishment.
The estimated size of the Mineral Resources is already significant and large but recognizing this only covers approximately 20% of the current known mineralization envelope PLU expects this resource to grow and grow quickly. Three drill rigs continue work at Falchani to expand out from the already defined resource footprint.
This result, and the earlier reported metallurgical work from ANSTO Laboratories in Sydney i.e. low cost open pit mining operations, simple atmospheric acid leaching of the lithium-rich tuff feed material followed by conventional lithium processing steps as envisioned, give us a great 'kick -off' point to demonstrate the viability of our project via the planned PEA.
We are cognizant of the need to fully comply with all environmental, archeological and community related issues as regulated in Peru and are working hand in hand with our highly respected Peruvian consultants to achieve this. To date our relationship with stakeholder groups has been excellent as evidenced by the ability to produce our maiden Resource over a very short time frame. At Falchani, the lithium mining potential is our target.
It is also important to note that adjacent to the Falchani properties, another mining company operating in the area of Chaccaconiza has just received its process plant construction permit."
Dr Laurence Stefan, COO of Plateau Energy Metals, commented: "We have achieved great results, unprecedented I would say, in a very short interval of time. That wouldn't have been possible without our talented team on site. The news that Peru will hopefully be a large player in the lithium business like their better known lithium producing neighbours, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia, has been well received by the Peruvian authorities at both the central government and local level. We continue to receive excellent support and assistance to grow the potential for future lithium and uranium production in Peru."
Ted O'Connor, Director of Plateau Energy Metals, commented: "This large maiden resource estimate at Falchani is a significant milestone for the Company - and the resource drilling covers only 20% of the surface expression of the currently known Li-rich tuffs in outcrop. We believe that this lithium resource will continue to grow with further planned drilling.
I would like to personally thank our technical team, management, Board, local supportive communities and shareholders for this tremendous success. I would like to remind everyone that we have established this resource in less than 9 months of work from the initial discovery to now, persevering through difficult weather and drilling conditions."
Mineral Resource Estimate Details
The Mineral Corporation has undertaken a Lithium Mineral Resource estimate for the Falchani Project.
Subhorizontal lithium mineralization occurs within a lithium-rich tuff, which varies in thickness from 50m to 140m, and in an upper and lower breccia unit, which occur in the immediate hangingwall and footwall of the tuff, respectively. The lithium-rich volcanic tuff unit, interpreted to be aqualain and the transitional Li-rich breccias are interpreted to have been deposited in a crater lake volcano-sedimentary environment.
The Mineral Resource estimates are based on 29 drillholes (Figure 1 - Falchani Drill Hole Location Map with Outcrop Samples).
Sampling was carried out at sampling intervals of between 0.5m and 1.0m. Samples used throughout the estimation process were composited to a downhole length of 2.5m.
The Mineral Corporation undertook a site visit to the Falchani Project during May 2018 during which, outcrops of the tuff and breccia units were visited, and the drilling and sampling operations observed. In addition, The Mineral Corporation visited the Certimin laboratory in Lima, where all of the Lithium analyses for the Falchani Project have been undertaken.
The exploration and sampling protocols for Lithium at this project are well established, and have been published in previous NI 43 101 Technical reports. Certified reference materials (standards) were inserted for Lithium, and The Mineral Corporation requested that the Company undertake a re-sampling and analysis exercise on a set of randomly selected sample rejects. The results of the standards and the re-assays are considered acceptable for the reporting of Mineral Resource estimates.
The Lithium distribution within the tuffs and breccias has a prominent vertical zonation. The breccias are referred to as the Upper Breccia (UBX) and Lower Breccia (LBX) that are found above, and below the lithium-rich tuff unit, respectively. The tuff was sub-divided into three sub-units (LRT1, LRT2 and LRT3), based on Lithium, Cesium, Rubidium, Strontium and Barium contents, and the upper and lower bounding surfaces were constructed utilizing Datamine Strad3D modelling software, applying Inverse Distance (ID) interpolation of the zone thicknesses.
Within the zones, well structured horizontal variograms were obtained for Lithium abundance. Ordinary Kriging (OK) oriented sub-parallel to the mineralization surfaces was employed for the estimation of Lithium grades. Grades were estimated into a block model of 25m X 25m X 5m.
The geological and Lithium grade continuity within the units is very consistent. The Mineral Corporation has based the Mineral Resource classification on the geostatistical confidence of the Lithium estimates, supported by data quality and data spacing considerations.
The Mineral Corporation has assessed that there are 'reasonable prospects of eventual economic extraction' for the Lithium in these Mineral Resource estimates. This assessment is informed by the preliminary metallurgical testwork undertaken by the Company, supported by the broad economic assumptions for the mining and marketing of Lithium provided in the Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) of the Macusani Project, published by the Company in January 2016.