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Arkle Resources finds lithium in Ireland

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Diversified explorer Arkle Resources said on Thursday it had found lithium bearing pegmatites at its Mine River Block gold project in Ireland.

The company, until 2019 known as Connemara Mining, said that of 34 rock chip samples taken from the site late last year, six returned lithium grades of more than 0.02%, with one returning 0.09%.

The six samples that showed elevated lithium were all boulders of pegmatite rock collected around mapped granite bodies.

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Geochemical results also showed clear pathfinder elements for lithium – caesium, rubidium and tantalum – which can be used to target a coarse type of igneous rock in future soil surveys, Arkle Resources said.

The company, which has so far focused on gold in Ireland, said its directors believe these results are “compelling” as they suggest the Mine River Block is fertile for lithium caesium tantalum (LCT) pegmatite deposits

“These are exciting results,” chairman John Teeling said in the statement. “We have discovered lithium on our licences. We found the rock type needed, pegmatites, and in the pegmatites found lithium and other indicator minerals. This opens compelling new opportunities for our Mine River Block. Prospecting will resume in the near future.”

Shares in the company jumped as much as 21% to 69p after the announcement, but fell sharply in afternoon trading, changing hands at 56p by 2pm local time — 2.6% lower than at Wednesday’s close. This leaves it with a market capitalization of £2.21 million (about $2.6m).

Arkle Resources has been exploring for gold and zinc in the Wicklow granite for more than two decades, but searching for lithium in hard rocks has only been viable since 2018, the company said.

Lithium prices have softened after an outstanding two-year rally labelled “insane” by Elon Musk and “unreasonable” by China’s electric vehicles maker BYD, Mining reports.

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