Description of Properties
Oroplata will have one of the largest land positions in the Southwest U.S. over a Lithium rich basin more than twice the size of Clayton.
The Western Nevada Basin (WNB)
The WNB Property is located in east central Nye County, Nevada (Figure 1) approximately 93 miles northeast of the county seat of Tonopah, NV, the major commercial center for the region; 56 miles southwest of the town of Ely, NV and 120 miles northeast of the village of Silver Peak the only currently operating Lithium producer in the State.
The WNB project is held by 260, 20 acre placer claims, which are located on public Federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The placer claims are located on U.S. Surveyed lands and fit to aliquot parts.
In Nevada the claim staking procedure requires recording documents with both the county Recorder’s Office and then with the state Bureau of Land Management office.
Claims must be held by posts at the claims four corners and Notice of Location which describe the claims legal description of location and owner. The claims are required to be recorded at the county courthouse within the proper jurisdiction within 90 days from the staking date.
Placer claims on Federal lands are held to a September 1 to August 31 assessment year when Intent to Hold or Proof of Labor documents need to be filed with the county for the annual assessment work. The pertinent documents are filed with the Nye County Recorder’s Office.
The claims were staked by the third Party, Plateau Ventures LLC of Moab Utah and official rights to the claims by Oroplata is subject to Quit Claim Deed Transfer Approval by BLM. Oroplata, through its 100% owned subsidiary, Lithortech Resources, Inc., received full entitlement to the Western Nevada Basin property by way of the Quit Claim Deed on January 2, 2017. The signed and approved Quit Claim Deed document is attached.
The current annual maintenance fee is $155 per 20 acre (or a portion thereof) placer claim (http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/iac/miningfacts.html). Payment of those fees allows the claim to stay on the BLM active data base. Non-payment results in the claims moving to ‘closed’ status. Before August 31st each year, a payment of $155 per claims is made to the BLM to hold the claims in good standing for the following assessment year. The total cost for the 260 WNB Claims was $42,060. In August 2017, the Company paid $42,060 to the BLM to for 260 Claims.
When fees are paid a claim is deemed ‘active’. Active and approved claims are listed and can be viewed on the BLM interactive website LR2000 ( http://www.blm.gov/lr2000/ ) Before October 31 st of each year, it is necessary to make a payment to the county of $10 per claim to file an affidavit of assessment fees paid and notice of intent to hold the claims into the next assessment year. The total cost for the current 260 WNB claims is $2,600.
As public lands, there is right of free access and both surface and mineral rights are held by the Federal government. Public records (Management, Bureau of Land) show no military withdrawals or Areas of Critical Environmental Concern. The Railroad Valley Wildlife Management Area is located to the west of the WNB claim boundary and has no effect on any planned work on the WNB claim area.
There is free access to the Federal land in Railroad Valley and there are no restrictions on casual prospecting. New exploration drilling will trigger a permitting process. There are two major levels of permitting: Notice of Intent (NOI) and Plan of Operations (POO). Historically, if the proposed disturbance was less than 5 acres or 1,000 tons, then the work can proceed under a NOI if there are no complications such as ancient ruins or endangered species. Application for a NOI is relatively simple with requirements like bonding the access route and re-seeding afterwards. A NOI is valid for two years and may be renewed on a two year basis. Maintaining it requires maintaining bonds and seeding disturbed areas when the work is complete. A POO is more complicated with requirements like an archeological survey, environmental assessment, etc. The BLM may respond within 15 days to a NOI application whereas a POO may require several months to years for final acceptance.
Any drilling planned will require a NOI filed with the Tonopah office of the BLM. To the best of the Company’s knowledge, there are no known environmental liabilities to which the property is subject or other significant factors and risks that may affect access, title, or the right or ability to perform work on the property.
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Railroad Valley is in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The region is arid to almost semiarid. Winters are cold while summers are hot. Average annual precipitation is approximately 5 inches; however, variations occur at differing altitudes. Exploration can be conducted year around.
The Railroad Valley contains several small communities; which include Currant, Crows Nest, Green Springs, Lockes, and Nyala. Electrical power is available within the valley area. The larger population centers of Ely and Tonopah are connected via U.S. Route 6 to the project area. Tonopah has a population of approximately 2,500 and is the governmental center for the region. Ely has a population of approximately 4,250 and is the closest commercial center. Groceries, hardware, a bank and a choice of motels and restaurants are available in both Ely and Tonopah. The area has a long history of mining. Mining personnel can be sourced mostly from the larger towns of Tonopah or Ely.
A reasonable network of 4×4, graded and paved roads connects the claim area to the rest of Nevada. Electrical power is available at several sites throughout the valley and could easily provide power to any operation at the project area. The nearest rail and large commercial airline service is to Las Vegas, NV approximately 169 miles to the south.
The Western Nevada Basin Property covers just over 26,000 acres. It consists of a total of two hundred sixty (260) placer claims (Figure 2). Each claim covers approximately 20 acres and was laid out by aliquot parts as required by the Bureau of Land Management.
The claims are located in the Basin and Range physiographic province which stretches from southern Oregon and Idaho to Mexico. It is characterized by extreme elevation changes between mountains and flat intermountain valleys or basins. Plate tectonics powered by crustal spreading broadly generates two types of forces: compression as plates are moved together and extension as those forces relax. Compression was the dominant geologic force affecting the western United States beginning about 200 million years ago as the Pacific Ocean plate moved eastward under the North American continent. Those forces compressed the overlying pile of sedimentary rocks accumulated over hundreds of millions of years into a thick stack reaching up to elevations of 10 – 14,000 feet, similar to the altiplano of Mexico and South America which formed at the same time from similar forces. That highland plateau stretched west – east from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California to the Wasatch Range in Utah. Extension became the dominant force beginning in the Eocene – Oligocene epochs approximately 55 to 25 million years ago. Also, the relative movement of the tectonic plates changed about 30 million years ago with the movement becoming more oblique to the continent. That relaxed the compressional forces and also tended to ‘tear’ the crust apart, creating diagonal extensions. The resulting compressional and extensional tectonics have created throughout Nevada a classical Basin and Range province consisting of narrow, N- to NE-trending, fault block mountain chains separated by flat, linear valleys. This geological pattern is repeated across the State and has created a number of currently arid, ‘trapped’ or closed basins with respect to drainage that have the potential of containing Lithium Brine deposits.
Geology of Lithium Brines
Lithium brine deposits are accumulations of saline groundwater that are enriched in dissolved lithium. All producing lithium brine deposits share a number of first-order characteristics: (1) arid climate; (2) closed basin containing a salt flat (Playa or Salar); (3) tectonically driven subsidence; (4) associated igneous or geothermal activity; (5) suitable lithium source-rocks; (6) one or more adequate aquifers; and (7) sufficient time to concentrate a brine. The single most important factor determining if a nonmarine basin can accumulate lithium brine is whether or not the basin is closed. Lithium enriched brines are formed by complex and multiple processes of evaporation, re-mobilization, and salt and lithium clay dissolution and precipitation. In essence, lithium is liberated by weathering or derived from hydrothermal fluids from a variety of rock sources within a closed basin where Lithium, a lightweight element, cannot escape. Lithium is highly soluble and, unlike sodium (Na), potassium (K), or calcium (Ca), does not readily produce evaporite minerals when concentrated by evaporation. Instead it ends up in residual brines in the shallow subsurface. Economic brines have Li concentrations in the range of 200 to 4,000 milligrams per liter (mg/l). 1 mg/l = 1 ppm. Clayton Valley contains the only currently producing Lithium Brine project in Nevada. Production has been on-going since 1967. The production at Clayton Valley is located approximately 120 miles west of the Railroad Valley. Evidence from Clayton Valley suggests that felsic vitric tuffs are a particularly favorable primary source of Lithium as well, uplifted Neogene lake beds from earlier in the basin’s history, which have been altered to hectorite, may provide a source of Lithium.