The first pass reverse circulation (RC) drilling is targeting lithium, caesium, tantalum (LCT) pegmatites within the project area with assay results expected by the end of this month.
It is testing down-dip extensions of outcropping lithium-bearing pegmatites where rock-chip samples yielding up to 4.2% lithium oxide had been identified.
Managing director Adrian Griffin said: “Our RC program continues to intersect good widths of lithium mineralisation in pegmatites at Youanmi.
“The lithium is hosted in lepidolite which is ideally suited for processing using our proprietary SiLeach® process.”
Up until July 15, 37 RC holes had been drilled for 1,579 metres on the 3-kilometre by 200-metre lithium target with lepidolite mineralisation hosted in pegmatites observed in all but one hole.
Nineteen of the holes have included mineralised intersections greater than 5 metres with the longest downhole intercept being 9 metres.
Lepidolite is a lithium mica from which lithium and valuable by-products can be recovered using LIT’s 100%-owned SiLeach® process.
Pegmatite intersections have been reported on drill lines where there was no surface outcrop and all pegmatites intersected so far are dipping at shallow angles of up to 40 degrees towards the east.
Griffin added: “This first pass drill program is testing a lithium target with a strike of around 3 kilometres and I am eagerly awaiting the first batch of assay results before the end of the month.”
Resource potential to be assessed
Drilling activities at the Youanmi project area are expected to be completed within 14 days.
The company will use information from the drilling to assess the resource potential and geometry of the pegmatites.
Mineralisation characterisation and metallurgical testing will be performed on RC samples recovered from the program.
LIT has an option to acquire full rights and title to three exploration licences at Youanmi which contain the pegmatites and also vanadium mineralisation in a nearby layered mafic complex.
Much of this complex is weathered, resulting in vanadium-bearing minerals that are acid soluble, which means roasting is not required to recover the vanadium.
In May 2019 a JORC-compliant inferred resource of 185 million tonnes at 0.33% vanadium pentoxide was declared.
Four RC holes for 252 metres were drilled into the complex at the start of the current program with assays sent for chemical analysis in Perth and for metallurgical testing at ANSTO’s facility in Sydney.