Astro adds ex-Pilbara pair for US lithium mission

TINY explorer Astro Resources is ramping up its US lithium plans with two key appointments it hopes will position it in the vanguard of next generation battery metals developments.
Astro adds ex-Pilbara pair for US lithium mission Astro adds ex-Pilbara pair for US lithium mission Astro adds ex-Pilbara pair for US lithium mission Astro adds ex-Pilbara pair for US lithium mission Astro adds ex-Pilbara pair for US lithium mission

Nevada is the US's lithium heartland. Image by Joel Protasio.

Haydn Black


Chair Tony Leibowitz, who together with Neil Biddle joined Astro last year with the acquisition of an 80% interest in a greenfields copper-gold exploration play in the Northern Territory's Georgina Basin, is getting the band back together with the addition of geologist John Young as a new non-executive director.
Leibowitz, Biddle and Young were key movers and shakers behind ASX-50 lithium producer Pilbara Minerals.
Leibowitz is also moving into an executive role with Astro, promising to take a "take a hands-on approach" to advancing Astro's lithium strategy.
Astro has staked more ground in Nevada, adding the Polaris and Altair projects in the Montezuma Valley, close to ioneer's Rhyolite Ridge Project and Lithium America's Thacker Pass deposit - the second largest lithium deposit in North America.
Jindalee Resources' massive 21.5Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent McDermitt lithium clay deposit, recently crowned the largest lithium deposit in the US, on the Nevada-Oregon border, is also in the neighbourhood. 
Young, who is also involved with Canada-focused lithium explorer Green Technology Metals  as non-executive chair, is expected to provide invaluable expertise as Astro seeks to carve a niche in the US battery supply chain.
Polaris and Altair are said to be close to outcropping tertiary sedimentary host rocks, and offer the opportunity for drilling in the near future.
Astro already had a toehold in Nevada with the Needles gold project, before staking its Kibby Basin claims, 60km north of Clayton Valley Basin, where it saw the potential for lithium clays and brines.
It has also considered a joint venture with Canada's Luna Lithium, but those discussions have since ended.  
Astro says it has "refined" its focus towards sedimentary clays in the US, although it will continue to advance its Governor Broome mineral sands play in Western Australia through a revised scoping study, and the long-dated Georgina Basin exploration project.
It is still considering what to do with its legacy diamonds projects in WA's Kimberley, having terminated plans for a dedicated gemstone explorer due to prevailing market conditions. A JV is now the preferred approach.
Astro started the quarter with A$2.5 million, having recently raised $2 million at 7.5c.
Shares in the junior were 6c this morning, valuing it at $16 million.