Nevada, which is consistently regarded as one of the world’s best mining jurisdictions, is rapidly establishing itself as a leading producer of battery materials essential for manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs) and achieving global climate targets.1
With ground-breaking underway on the Thacker Pass project, the largest known lithium deposit in the U.S. could quickly become the nation’s largest lithium mine. Analysts are beginning to label Nevada as “sort of the Silicon Valley of lithium production”.2
Targeting annual production of 80,000 tonnes of battery-quality lithium carbonate capacity, Thacker Pass is expected to reduce domestic dependence on Chinese supplies for the metal – but perhaps even more important is how the project’s greenlight sends the message that Nevada’s lithium sector is now officially open for business.
But beyond the headlines of Lithium America’s Thacker Pass project, which received a $650M backing from General Motors Company,3 or the already established Silver Peak mine from Albemarle Corporation, the next big Nevada lithium contribution isn’t getting nearly as much attention as it deserves.
Immense potential and incredible infrastructure has incentivized Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) to triple its land position on its Nevada-based Jackpot Lake Lithium project en route to developing a lithium resource, led by the world’s most sought after QPs (Qualified Persons) in the industry, who worked on world-class lithium brine projects such as Sal de Vida, Pasto Grandes, and Cauchari-Olaroz.
On two occasions last year, the US White House signaled the importance of securing a Made in America supply chain for critical minerals4 with the hopes of driving US battery manufacturing and good-paying jobs.5,6
And while other potential lithium projects are sprouting up in other US states and Canada, Nevada justly draws the most attention with + 18,000 lithium prospecting claims active, filed, and submitted.7
However, not all lithium plays are created equal, thus it’s worthwhile to sift through the quantity to find the quality to hit a “Jackpot.”
At its Jackpot Lake Lithium project, Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) has strategically captured an enviable asset, with larger acreage than Century Lithium’s Clayton Valley Lithium Project, while hosting similar geology to Silver Peak, that also drew the attention and support of one of the most sought after QPs in the world, in Mike Rosko, P.G., known for being picky on which projects he joins, and whose extensive experience includes two of the world’s top upcoming Tier-1 lithium brine assets such as Sal de Vida8 and Caucharí-Olaroz9 (which is also developed by Lithium Americas).
Now as it embarks on its fully-funded 2023 campaign towards defining a company-making resource, the company’s current valuation, tight share structure, and other value creation opportunities in place, it’s worth taking a deep dive into the serious early mover opportunity presented by Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF).
Why Right Now is an Early-Mover Sweet Spot for Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF)
Nevada Lithium Scene Set to Explode: With judges removing the last remaining roadblocks for the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine’s construction, the stage is set for several more lithium dominoes to fall in the state of Nevada, including paving the way for Usha Resources’ Jackpot Lake Lithium project.
Assets in Mining Friendly Jurisdictions: Usha’s (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) flagship asset in Nevada where Fraser Institute ranked as the World’s #1 Mining Jurisdiction in 2020 a Top 3 in 2021,10 is joined by other assets in Arizona (#2) and Ontario (#20). But most importantly, Usha Resources is set to be a key player in the burgeoning Nevada lithium industry.
Fully-Funded 2023 Campaign with Tight Capital Structure: Usha is fully-funded to complete its drilling programs, and to develop out its resource at its Jackpot Lake Project, while retaining an ultra-tight share structure with just ~35.6 million shares outstanding and insider-management-strategic-shareholder ownership topping 70%.
Drillable Value Creation: There are still some of Usha’s (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) peers trading at nearly 3X ahead of its 2,700-meter drilling program planned at Jackpot Lake, and an anticipated resource calculation.
Extremely Qualified Team: Beyond itsmanagement team of experienced professionals with strengths in finding and financing, USHA is also backed by highly sought after Qualified Persons, including Mike Rosko, the man behind Tier 1 assets such as Sal de Vida, Pasto Grandes, and Cauchari-Olaroz deposits, and CEO & Director Deepak Varshney, P.Geo, who has over 14 years of expertise in the capital markets and mineral exploration and development sector, raising tens of millions of dollars in equity financings, including taking Western Metallica Resources Corp public and facilitating a $15M post-financing QT including an $8M capital raise.
Spinout Shares Opportunity: Thanks to a spin-out of the Nicobat Nickel project, completed on April 21, 2023, each Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) shareholder received 1 common share in Formation Metals (FMI) for every 5 USHA shares that they held—representing a pseudo 20% bonus dividend in another new company focused on nickel, another essential component in the EV battery revolution.
Nevada’s Big Lithium Launch Underway
Based on policies in place in May 2021, the International Energy Agency projects a 13x increase in demand for lithium between 2020-2040.11 We’re talking about a global surge in lithium demand never seen before, as the National Mining Association has stated: “A Strong Domestic Lithium Supply Chain Will Secure America’s Future.”12 At the center of that will be the state of Nevada, a Top 3 Mining Jurisdiction for two years in a row according to the Fraser Institute,13 creating an exciting opportunity for Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF).
According to Tom Burns of Nevada’s Governor’s Office for Economic Development, “[Nevada is] the only state in the union that has the ability to produce an electric vehicle from cradle to grave.”14
The Thacker Pass property alone was hailed as being potentially able to produce 25% of the world’s lithium once it reaches its full production potential.15
Despite pushback from detractors, the upcoming Thacker Pass Lithium mine has been approved,16 and re-confirmed by the 9th Circuit of Federal Appeals Court17 – giving the official greenlight to Lithium Americas to move forward with the project.
At the same time, billions of dollars are flowing into the state, including a $2 billion conditional loan for start-up battery recycler Redwood Materials,18 $700 million to ioneer for another lithium mine,19 and a $650 million investment from GM to help cover the costs of constructing Thacker Pass.20
It’s worth noting that Thacker Pass is not the lone promising lithium project on deck in the state. As of the publishing of this report, the state of Nevada still houses the only producing lithium mine in the USA (Silver Peak from Albemarle). But that’s about to change in the very near future.
Australia’s Jindalee Resources is now claiming it has the largest deposit in the US after updating its resource to an impressive 21.5 million tonnes (Mt) of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE).21
And right in the heart of the Clayton Valley near Silver Peak, Century Lithium Corp. is on the cusp of a production decision on its 5,585-acre Clayton Valley Lithium Project, with a probable mineral reserve of 213 Mt and an indicated mineral resource of 1,304 Mt.22
So where does that put the Jackpot Lake Lithium project of Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF)?
- Usha Resources Reports Highest Lithium Grades To-Date In Second Core Hole Of Drill Program At The Jackpot Lake Lithium Brine Project
- Usha Resources Acquires Second Ontario Lithium Project With 119 Reported Prospective LCT-Pegmatites
- Usha Resources Provides Reminder Of The April 12, 2023 Share Distribution Record Date For The Spin-Out Of Formation Metals Inc.
- Usha Resources Enters Hard-Rock Lithium Space With Acquisition Of Significant Ontario Land Package With Highly Evolved LCT-Pegmatites
- Usha Resources Announces Closing Of Non-Brokered Private Placement Pursuant To New Listed Issuer Financing Exemption
After more than tripling its land position, USHA’s Jackpot Lake project at 8,714 acres dwarfs the footprint of Century Lithium’s 5,585-acre Clayton Valley Lithium project.23
Now Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) is in the process of its 2,700m drilling campaign over six holes, having already announced reaching the 1,755-foot mark (535m).24 The ultimate goal is to define a 43-101 resource.
Perhaps the most intriguing part is that Jackpot Lake’s geologic setting is very similar to that of Albemarle’s Silver Peak Nevada Lithium Mine, where sediments from lithium-rich surrounding source rocks accumulate and fill the deposit leading to a potential concentration of lithium brine due to successive evaporation and concentration events.
Considering the elevated lithium concentrations identified in historic soil samples, such events could theoretically concentrate lithium as rainwater passes through these materials, developing enriched brines at depths.
Let’s now look at how Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) and its flagship Jackpot Lake asset compare to other players in the Nevada lithium space.
Hitting the Jackpot
Located only 35 km northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, Usha Resources’ (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) flagship Jackpot Lake Project is a drill-ready lithium brine project comprised of 442 mineral claims with a total area footprint of approximately 35.3 km2 or 8,714 acres used to target an underground lake with a total closed basin of approximately 10,900 acres.
Why are these types of closed basins important? Well, let’s look at how Albemarle talks about systems that are just like Jackpot:
“Closed basins like Clayton Valley became accumulation points for clastic sediments and evaporites as water accumulated in the low areas of the basins and then evaporated… They suggest that the halite formed in the playa during the aforementioned climatic periods of low precipitation and that the concentrated lithium was incorporated as liquid inclusions into the halite crystals.” – Albemarle Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS): Silver Peak Lithium Operation32
In Usha Resources’ (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) update to its shareholders approving the spin-out company, the company included a very important point about Jackpot Lake that may have been missed. The press release stated that “halite has been identified, further supporting the presence of a brine environment at depth as halite would not form under freshwater conditions.”33
Going through a detailed reading of Albemarle’s Silver Peak PFS shows that the experts are convinced that halite is a primary source of the lithium. It goes on to say:
“It is hypothesized that the current levels of lithium dissolved in brine originate from the relatively recent dissolution of halite by meteoric waters that have penetrated the playa in the last 10,000 years. The halite formed in the playa during the aforementioned climatic periods of low precipitation and the concentrated lithium was incorporated as liquid inclusions into the halite crystals.”
Layman’s translation: If you don’t have the halite, you don’t have the right lithium source.
Usha’s (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) exploration team has repeatedly encountered multiple zones of evaporite crystals present as interbeds, veining, and inclusions within lacustrine sediments comprising clays, silts, and sands.
The presence of evaporite crystals within both drill holes so far further supports the presence of a brine-forming environment throughout the Dry Lake Basin as the crystallization of evaporites would not occur in a freshwater system—and these two drill holes were located approximately 2.75 kilometers apart north-northwest.34
As the drilling results continue to roll in, the market is learning more about what Usha (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) truly has with Jackpot, and it’s looking good—so much so that it led the company to more than triple its land position as of mid-February.35
Now Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) continues to learn more about the value of what they have underneath them at Jackpot Lake, it’s worth noting that the property is open for expansion in all directions, affording the potential for total control over the basin.
To date, there have been 129 samples by the USGS, with an average Li value of 175 parts per million (ppm) and a sampled high of 550 ppm and the company’s preliminary sampling of shallow soils has shown grades between 200 and 300 ppm. To put that in perspective, the current grade of Albemarle’s resource is 121 ppm. Nearby surrounding mountain formations are known to contain clay-rich altered volcanic units with reported samples as high as 3,761 ppm Li.
Usha is fully financed and in a position to move closer to completing a 43-101 resource estimate by early Q2 2023.
What does that mean in terms of timing? Beyond the historical data, and non-compliant resource estimates near the Jackpot Lake Project, Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) remains at this stage in what’s known as the Pre-Discovery phase36 – meaning it’s ideal timing to pay more attention to the company because a potential game-changing drill result could arrive any day now.
USHA’s Tight Share Structure
Unlike many junior miners out there, Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) has retained a tight share structure, with only 35.6M shares outstanding, and only 8.5M warrants issued.
Formation Metals Inc. Spin Out
As already announced by the company, Usha Resources’ (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) Nicobat nickel-copper-cobalt project is destined to be spun-out into a separate public vehicle, Formation Metals Inc., with USHA shareholders receiving one share of FMI for every five USHA shares they own as of April 12, 2023.37
For example, upon completion of the arrangement, for every 10,000 common shares of USHA owned on the Share Distribution Record Date, the USHA Shareholder will own 2,000 common shares of FMI.
Usha Resources’ Has an Extremely Qualified Team of Mining Professionals
Heading up the Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) is a group of industry experts with a history of wins, with one of the most sought-after QPs in the lithium space. The USHA team includes
RECAP: 6 Reasons
to Seriously Consider Usha Resources Ltd. (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) Today!
Nevada Lithium Boom: Judges cleared the way for Thacker Pass Lithium Mine, opening doors for Usha‘s Jackpot Lake Lithium project and other Nevada lithium developments.
Mining-Friendly Jurisdictions: Strong presence in mining-friendly jurisdictions, including top-ranked Nevada, Arizona, and Ontario.
Fully-Funded 2023 Campaign: Usha (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) is fully funded for Jackpot Lake Project’s drilling and development while maintaining a tight share structure and insider ownership of over 70%.
Drillable Value Creation: Usha’s drilling program at Jackpot Lake offers potential value creation, with peers trading at almost three times the value of Usha.
Experienced Team: Usha’s (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) team of experienced professionals and Qualified Persons behind Tier 1 assets, including Sal de Vida, Pasto Grandes, and Cauchari-Olaroz deposits.
Spinout Shares Opportunity – Usha Resources’ shareholders gain one FMI stock for every five USHA shares held. Completed on April 21, 2023
Knowing that the Nevada Lithium space is just heating up now, and that Usha Resources (TSXV:USHA) (OTC:USHAF) has a large land position with geology like that of the only producing mine in the USA, it’s apparent that it’s a company worth taking a second or third look at, right away. As the Nevada lithium industry heats up, Usha Resources is poised for success with its expert team and valuable assets.
Drilling is ongoing, and we can expect to see results later in 2023. This means this is the year that should deliver pertinent updates that could truly make things move.
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