Location, Access and Ownership
Avalon’s Lilypad Lakes Project consists of 14 claims totalling 3,108 ha, covering a field of tantalum and cesium-rich granitic pegmatites. The claims were staked by Avalon between January 1999 and October 2000 and are 100% owned by the company. The property is located 150 km northeast of Pickle Lake, Ontario near the Aboriginal community of Fort Hope of the Eabametoong First Nation. It is presently accessible by air.
Rare metal pegmatites occur over a minimum area of 10 km2 across the property. Diamond drilling conducted by Avalon (2001-2013) indicates that the dykes are continuous to depth, with little change in morphology or mineralogy. All pegmatites exhibit high degrees of fractionation and are enriched in tantalum, cesium, rubidium and lithium.
Project Timeline and Future Plans
An initial reconnaissance mapping and sampling program carried out by Avalon in 1999 confirmed the presence of economically-significant tantalum mineralization at several locations on the property. Data also revealed high-grade cesium mineralization in association with the tantalum.
Tantalum prices have increased roughly threefold since that time, from about $81/kg in 2001 to $239/kg in 2012 (USGS). Also encouraging is the fact that significant mineral discoveries to the north of the area have prompted discussions involving the Ontario government about developing road access to the area. This could greatly enhance the economic viability of any mineral deposits present in the region, including the tantalum-cesium deposits at Lilypad Lakes.
The Lilypad Lake Project has been inactive since 2003, awaiting new demand for cesium minerals and improved road access, before considering further expenditures.