European Lithium Ltd (ASX:EUR) (FRA:PF8) (VSE:ELI) (NEX:EUR) has resumed resource extension drilling which is expected to increase the JORC-compliant lithium resource by around 45% at the Wolfsberg project in Austria.
The company, which has an integrated European lithium supply strategy, has developed a new flexible surface drilling program as part of an accelerated definitive feasibility study (DFS).
As well as upgrading the 4.86-million-tonne inferred resource to the measured and indicated categories, the program is expected to result in an increase in the overall resource.
The measured and indicated resource currently stands at 6.3 million tonnes at 1.17% lithium oxide (Li2O).
After completing the drilling, EUR expects that measured and indicated resources of 10.98 million tonnes at 1.0% Li20 will be included in the mine planning process within the DFS.
“Ambitious DFS schedule”
EUR chairman Tony Sage said: “We are very pleased with the progress of our ambitious DFS schedule.
“We feel assured the project has the Austrian government’s full support with receipt of the essential approvals for our drilling activities following a complex assessment process.
“At completion the significantly expanded resources will form the basis of our DFS targeted for completion later this year.”
The phase I surface drilling program is expected to be completed in five weeks and after assay results are obtained and evaluated, an upgraded JORC resource statement will be declared.
The area of investigation with drill holes of phases I and II at Wolfsberg.
This program is expected to confirm the inferred resource in Zone 1 and demonstrate an extension of the JORC inferred resource to the northwest in this zone.
The phase I program of 1,300 metres will comprise five shallow diamond holes between 250 metres and 290 metres in depth in Zone 1.
Phase II program
EUJR plans to complete seven holes for 2,770 metres in a phase II program with each hole between 320 and 470 metres in depth.
EUR’s CEO Dietrich Wanke said: “It is important to continue the resource extension with an optimised drilling program.
“We anticipate results will prove the measured and indicated JORC compliant resource base to be developed into JORC-compliant reserves during the complex DFS work.”
Planning of these holes has been completed by independent consultants GEO Unterweissacher and MineIT in collaboration with SRK.
NW-SE section view of drill holes at Wolfsberg. The orange holes are already drilled and the green and blue holes are proposed.
Chairman Sage said the company was confident that the upgraded resource would assist in finalising financing negotiations.
As well as being used in the DFS, several European corporate and federal investment and development banks have indicated that they will accept the current PFS with the addition of an upgraded resource in their approvals process.
Once drilling had been completed, Sage said the company would work to complete the negotiations and source early project finance.