Core Lithium Ltd (ASX:CXO) has received wider than expected spodumene pegmatite intersections in resource expansion drilling at Carlton prospect, which is being considered for development at Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Carlton is expected to contribute to an increased mine life at the Finniss Lithium Project and the reverse circulation drill results along with other upcoming results will be used in calculating an upgraded resource.
Assay results from the RC program are expected within three weeks and drilling of diamond tails is expected to begin within the next week.
All six RC holes were completed to target depth and intersected spodumene pegmatite of downhole width greater than 31 metres such as:
- 35 metres spodumene pegmatite in NRC151;
- 34 metres spodumene pegmatite in NRC152;
- 36 metres spodumene pegmatite in NRC156;
- 44 metres spodumene pegmatite in NRC157; and
- 41 metres spodumene pegmatite in NRC158.
Visual inspection of RC chips under UV light suggests that spodumene grades are in line with or better than the previous drilling at Carlton.
The drilling also indicates that the primary pegmatite body at Carlton extends at least a further 100 metres vertically from previous drilling and extends south by an additional 100 metres.
Confident in converting into resources
Managing director Stephen Biggins said: “Recent and current drilling at the Finniss project is continuing to discover and define more spodumene pegmatite close to port and road infrastructure near Darwin.
“Core is confident in converting these new spodumene pegmatite intersections at Carlton through mining studies into additional mineral resources and substantially increase ore reserves and mine life over the coming months.
“With the definitive feasibility study complete, approvals near to finalising, additional offtake and project finance advancing, Core remains on track to becoming Australia’s next lithium producer.”
Shares are up more than 8% today, to an intra-day high of 3.8 cents.
Second pegmatite body intersected
The deeper drill holes also intersected a second pegmatite body east of the current ‘primary’ pegmatite.
This body does not outcrop at surface and may become more significant at depth, which provides further upside in any potential underground mining scenario.
The more than 220 metres strike extent of pegmatite at the surface is now mirrored in the subsurface, with true pegmatite width estimated to increase by up to 20% in some sections.
Importantly, the pegmatite remains open at depth and to the south and will be easily accessible in an underground mining scenario.
The new intersections strongly support the concept that the Carlton pegmatite is plunging steeply to the south, a feature in common with both the nearby Grants and BP33 ore bodies.
During this program, Core drilled eight deep RC holes at Carlton to test the known pegmatite at deeper, down-plunge levels and to the south along strike of the current resource.
The two holes that failed to reach target depth as a result of groundwater have been prepared for immediate diamond drill hole tails in the coming weeks.
Core is positioned to be Australia’s next lithium producer, developing one of Australia’s most capital efficient and lowest cost spodumene lithium projects located in close proximity to Darwin Port.
The 2019 DFS highlights annual production of 175,000 tonnes of high-quality lithium concentrate at a C1 Opex of US$300/tonne and US$50 million capex through simple and efficient DMS (gravity) processing of some of Australia’s highest-grade lithium resources.
Core is working toward increasing resources, reserves and mine-life ahead of project construction and lithium production, subject to financing and regulatory approvals.