Latin Resources Ltd’s (ASX:LRS) first pass and infill aircore drilling has confirmed highly encouraging significant intersections of bright white kaolinite across the area tested at its 100%-owned Noombenberry Project, east-southeast of Merredin in Western Australia.
Drilling intersected the kaolin up to 50 metres thick across the 18-square-kilometre area drill tested, which remains open to the north, south, east and west.
The company is confident of the potential to expand the footprint of this kaolinite occurrence within its considerable tenement holdings in the future.
Detailed test-work from the sampling from the Phase I drilling is underway, with Phase II samples dispatched to the laboratory and initial results are expected in February 2021.
Initial observations “very encouraging”
Latin Resources exploration manager Tony Greenaway said: “Our field team has worked incredibly hard to get both the first pass and infill drilling campaigns completed in a short period of time, and the samples off the laboratory for testing.
“Our initial observations from drill cutting are very encouraging, with our logging showing the development of a thick, consistent, flat dipping blanket of bright white kaolinitic clay across the area of our drill testing, just meters below the surface.
“The geometry and consistency of the kaolinite layer will bode well for any potential future development.”
“Significantly advance project”
Greenaway said: “We are now able to significantly advance the Noombenberry project to the next stage, which includes a resources estimation and other preliminary studies.
“While we wait for the results from the test-work to be returned from the laboratory, we will build our preliminary wireframes and advance discussions with suitably qualified resource consultants, with the aim of generating a maiden mineral resource for the Noombenberry project as soon as possible.
“The whole team at Latin Resources is very excited by our initial observation at Noombenberry, and the potential that this emerging project is showing at such an early stage.”
Shares have been as much as 32% higher this morning to 4.2 cents.
Samples sent to laboratories
Latin completed 197 drill holes for a total of 4,430 metres of vertical shallow aircore drilling to test the extent of a known kaolinite-halloysite occurrence, where previous sampling has returned results of 38.9% kaolinite, 15% halloysite and 31.8% K-feldspar from the 45-180 micron fraction.
The initial phase of drilling on a regular 400 x 400 metres grid pattern was completed prior to the Christmas break, with a second phase of off-set infill drilling to a nominal 200 x 200 metres pattern focused on thicker zones of logged kaolinitic clays completed in the first weeks of January 2021.
This sequence of well-developed kaolinitic clay (saprolite) beneath a thin layer of soil cover is consistent across the area tested.
Composite samples from the aircore drilling will be sent to laboratories in Perth and Adelaide for detailed test-work including: size fraction analysis, brightness testing, definitive clay mineral species quantification via a combination of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and spectral scanning, along with other elemental analysis via X-Ray Florence (XRF).
Maiden resource estimate
Discussions have commenced with suitably qualified geological consultants in respect to the generation of a maiden resource estimate for the Noombenberry Project.
Once all results from test-work have been received, a detailed geological interpretation will be produced by Latin Resources’ geological team, including geological and mineralisation domain wireframes to be used in the estimation process.
Strong demand for halloysite/kaolin
Noombenberry, which hosts halloysite and kaolin, offers a particularly compelling opportunity for Latin Resources as halloysite is a globally scarce commodity, with strong demand drivers.
Kaolin is used in the manufacture of paper, ceramics, porcelain, cement, paint and polymers.
Primary main markets for halloysite are ceramics, batteries, supercapacitors, the construction industry and the petroleum industry as a catalyst for fluid catalytic cracking.
Further, emerging markets are also developing such as nanotube technologies and cancer therapeutics.