Liberty Project - South Dakota, USA

Liberty Lithium Project

CUSTER COUNTY, SOUTH DAKOTA, USA

OVERVIEW

The Liberty Lithium Project is located in an historically significant Li Be producing area and covers nearly 40 square kilometers near Custer, South Dakota.

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CLAIM AREA

The Liberty Lithium project is well served by interstate highways 385 and 16A with an airport central to the claim area. Expertise and equipment are available as other operating pegmatite mines are in the area.

The company holds a large land position in an historic lithium-beryllium producing area near Custer, South Dakota. The Company has staked over 500 unpatented lode claims covering more than 15 square miles (nearly 40 square kilometers) in the west and southwest parts of the Black Hills.

The project hosts numerous pegmatite bodies, many of which were mined for Li-Be during World War II. United Lithium’s claims include or are immediately adjacent to (if the property is privately owned) all of the Li-Be producing properties  from this era. A reconnaissance rock chip sampling program was recently carried out in conjunction with the staking program to identify new areas for detailed field work, samples of which have been submitted to the laboratory and assays are awaited.

The property lies approximately 10 miles (16 kms) away from several operating pegmatite quarries that produce feldspar, mica and quartz for the market. Lithium mining at the Liberty project would be identical to these operations, with spodumene as an additional valuable production mineral.

Liberty Lithium Project Tenure (green), Custer County, South Dakota, USA. Click to view larger image

History

Historic Lithium Pegmatite Mining in the Black Hills

The earliest recorded exploration in the Black Hills was an expedition led by General George A. Custer in 1874. The first pegmatite mining was in 1879 for sheet mica about 3 miles (5 kms) northwest of Custer. During World War II the Black Hills were an important source of lithium minerals, mica, feldspar and beryl with production peaking during 1943 and 1944. The total value of pegmatite minerals produced from 1941 to 1958 in the Black Hills is recorded at approximately US$ 400 million in 2021 dollars. This production is large in comparison to most other US pegmatite districts of the time since individual mines were modest in size and operated by relatively simple techniques. Notable Li and Be production during the 1940s came from the Helen Beryl mine, (spodumene, beryl, microcline-perthite, and columbite-tantalite), the Tip Top mine (spodumene and rare phosphate minerals), and the Tin Mountain mine (spodumene, pollucite, with minor amounts of beryl, columbite-tantalite, microlite, mica, and quartz). Spectacular spodumene crystals to 16 ft (5 m) in length are not uncommon in the intermediate zones at the Tin Mountain mine including one that was 42 feet long and weighed 90 tons.1

Gigantic crystals of Spodumene (1904) For size comparison, note the mine worker in center of right side of photo. Etta Mines — Black Hills, Pennington County, South Dakota. Plate i-B in U.S. Geological Survey. Bulletin 610. 1916. Click to view larger image.

The Custer and Keystone areas in the Black Hills of South Dakota produced significant amounts of lithium in the 1940s and 1950s. Records indicate nearly 200,000 tonnes of lithium was mined and recovered from the Black Hills during this time.  Open-pit methods predominated in the area, and although underground mines exist they are rarely more than 200 feet (70 m) deep.

  1. Source: Tween Tribune, an educator’s support website of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex).

EXPLORATION

FOLLOW-UP ROCK SAMPLING PROGRAM

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LITHIUM VALUES FROM OUTCROP SAMPLING

(PHASE 1 SAMPLING ONLY)

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INTERPRETED REGIONAL GEOCHEMICAL ZONING

BASED ON LITHOPHILE ELEMENT ABUNDANCES

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MORE EVOLVED LCT PEGMATITE ZONES

BASED ON THE RATIO (Li + Be + Cs+ Rb) / (Fe + Mg + Sr) in ppms

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FINLAND

KOVA

FINLAND

KANNUS

FINLAND

KAST

SWEDEN

BERGBY

FINLAND

Kietyönmäki

COLORADO

PATRIOT

WYOMING

FREEDOM

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