ABTC finalizes design and receives approval for third drill program to advance development of its Nevada-Based Lithium Claystone Resource

American Battery Technology Company (ABTC), an American critical battery materials company that is commercializing both its primary battery minerals manufacturing and secondary minerals lithium-ion battery recycling technologies, has finalized design and received permit approval from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to commence its third drill program to advance its Tonopah Flats Lithium Project, identified as one of the largest known lithium resources in the U.S.  This drill program will focus on core infill drilling and material sampling at greater depths, marking the next step in progressing the inferred resource to a commercial reserve.

“We are extremely pleased to receive approval for our third drill program at our Nevada Tonopah Flats Lithium Project,” stated ABTC CEO Ryan Melsert.  “While the maiden resource report we published in Spring 2023 was impactful, this resource is still under-explored with only 65% of our claims explored. The resource is open both at the surface and at depth as we have only sampled to depths of approximately 800 feet to date.  We are proud to have developed this third drill program to more fully explore this unique resource and specifically sample down to a valley-setting depth of up to 1,500 feet.”

The ABTC Tonopah Flats Lithium Project encompasses 517 unpatented lode claims covering over 10,340 acres, and ABTC controls 100% of the mining lode claims and the rights to all locatable minerals without any royalties within this resource. ABTC began surface sampling of these claims in the summer of 2021, and subsequently performed multiple subsurface drilling programs at depths of up to 800 feet totaling over 12,000 feet of exploration covering approximately 65% of its claims.

The results of these initial successful exploration programs led to the development and publication of its third-party Qualified Person (QP) audited SK-1300 compliant maiden Inferred Resource Report in February 2023, which concluded that this is one of the largest known lithium resources in the United States containing approximately 15.8 million tons of economically accessible lithium on a carbonate equivalent basis (LCE).

Within this maiden Resource Report ABTC’s 3rd party contractor, RESPEC, recommended additional drill programs as a result of the ‘potential to significantly increase and upgrade the resource with further drilling extending to the north and south property boundaries, and at greater depths.’ ABTC will perform this new drill program in order to analyze additional areas within its claims and will be sampling to depths as great as 1,500 feet in order to fully evaluate the resource.

Additionally, and as stated in the Resource Report, “Continued infill drilling will likely upgrade resource classification and improve confidence in the mineral resource estimate for the project. New drilling and resource upgrade in classification to Measured and Indicated levels will be critical to support and maximize project economics in a pre-feasibility or higher study phase.”

As part of this third drill program, ABTC will collect samples from initially up to 5,000 feet of total drilling from at least 8 additional drill holes. With additional resource characterization samples, this drill program is intended to increase the geologic understanding and confidence for subsequent modeling of the deposit, particularly with respect to lithium mineralization to improve confidence in the underlying project data. The company anticipates that the drill program and third-party characterization assessments will be completed within the next 60-120 days.

ABTC has developed its lithium extraction and processing techniques specifically for use with this Nevada-based sedimentary claystone resource.  In 2021, ABTC, in collaboration with DuPont and the University of Nevada, Reno, was awarded a $4.5-million grant from the DOE to build and operate a multi-ton-per-day demonstration-scale system to validate the performance of these technologies and to accelerate the commercialization and scale-up of this critical battery-grade lithium resource. As a result of the early successes of this project, in October 2022 ABTC was selected for an additional competitively awarded U.S. DOE grant for a $115M project funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support the construction of a commercial-scale battery grade lithium hydroxide manufacturing facility.

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