Archer Exploration Limited (ASX:AXE) has identified through a review of historical reports the presence of halloysite in the Kelly Tank and Bunora prospect areas within its Eyre Peninsula High Purity Alumina (EPHPA) Project in South Australia.
The company also confirmed the presence of outcropping kaolin outside of the two prospect areas in fieldwork during a recent site visit, increasing Archer’s confidence in the project.
Rock chip samples were collected from the newly identified areas and have been submitted for analysis with results expected in the coming weeks.
Scanning electron microscopy is being undertaken to determine the morphology of the kaolin, i.e. the presence of halloysite.
Archer plans to unveil the kaolin potential in the district with the aim of drill testing the prospects as landowners are contacted and access granted.
“Multiple new targets for testing”
Archer executive chairman Greg English said the presence of halloysite at both Kelly Tank and Bunora confirmed the company’s view on the prospectivity of the EPHPA Project.
He added: “The presence of widespread kaolin outside of the area of the Kelly Tank and Bunora exploration target provides us with multiple new targets for testing.
“We appear to be only scratching the surface with the EPHPA Project with the area of the outcropping mineralisation much larger than originally thought.”
Mineralisation more widespread than originally thought
Kelly Tank and Bunora have an exploration target of 55 – 130 million tonnes at a grade of 33-36% aluminium oxide, with the target excluding other known kaolin occurrences within the tenement area.
The recently identified kaolin at the site occurred within council borrow pits, road cuttings, dams and within paddocks.
Appearing more widespread than originally thought, Archer intends to explore the area once all landowner consents and government approvals are in place.
Two samples were collected from Kelly Tank, one from the council borrow pit and the other from a nearby dam.
Additional kaolin clays were observed in paddocks under crop to the south of KellyTank, outside of the exploration target area.
One sample was also taken at Bunora adjacent to the roadside in which exposed kaolin can be seen extending along the road.
The company believes this provides support that additional kaolin and potentially halloysite can be discovered in this area.
Halloysite is a naturally occurring kaolin mineral that forms as a hollow tubular structure.
Its tubular structure is unique and has traditionally been used in the manufacture of porcelain, fine china and bone china.
The tubular structure also allows it to be filled with a variety of active ingredients that can benefit from slow release, including personal care products, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and cosmetics.
Halloysite has also been used as a petroleum cracking catalyst.
The EPHPA Project is close to existing rail, power, gas and other significant infrastructure which will support further exploration and possible project development.