Lithium Australia NL (ASX:LIT, OTC:LMMFF, FRA:3MW) has welcomed the beginning of a SkyTEM312 time-domain electromagnetic (TEM) survey over Charger Metals NL (ASX:CHR)’s Coates Nickel-Copper-Cobalt-PGE (platinum group element) Project in Western Australia.
The lithium-focused stock owns nearly one-fifth of Charger, which listed on the ASX as a metals explorer in early July.
Charger's new exploration program will test the Coates mafic intrusion and surrounding ground for conductors, including previously defined nickel-copper and PGE geochemical targets.
Charger’s survey should finalise this week, while preliminary data will be made available shortly after.
The SkyTEM survey
The helicopter-borne SkyTEM312 system is used to target large areas that are considered prospective for nickel sulphides.
Promisingly, similar systems have been used by a number of Charger’s neighbours throughout the Julimar district.
The survey is described as a high-resolution, surface-to-depth exploration tool that provides not only mineral exploration data but insight that can be used to inform multiple scientific disciplines over the life of the project, from exploration and mining through to the rehabilitation phases.
Ultimately, high-resolution, near-surface data can facilitate groundwater modelling, overburden thickness calculations for seismics and mine planning and before-and-after studies for mine rehabilitation.
In addition, the survey’s conventional, deeper-looking electromagnetic capability may help detect conductive units between 300 metres and 400 metres deep.
Preliminary data from the SkyTEM survey will be available within days of completing the survey, which will then be processed and analysed by the Company’s geophysics consultant.
The Coates Project
Charger’s Coates project is a multi-element asset, located roughly 60 kilometres east of Perth at Wundowie in Western Australia.
Recent interest in the Western Yilgarn geological domain has been driven by a significant mafic intrusive-hosted, high-grade nickel-copper-cobalt discovery in the Julimar district.
Geochemical analysis for nickel, copper, gold and PGE has returned anomalous, and often co-incident, values including up to 37 parts per billion platinum, as much as 53 parts per billion palladium and up to 108 parts per billion gold next to the Coates mafic complex.
Lithium Australia becomes substantial holder
After Charger listed on the ASX in early July, Lithium Australia moved to substantial shareholder status with a 19.05% skate in the recent debutant.
Upon listing, Charger exercised its option to acquire a 70% stake in three of LIT's battery metals assets — the Coates, Bynoe and Lake Johnston projects.
Lithium Australia retains exposure to these battery materials projects by way of a 30% free carried interest.
At the time, managing director Adrian Griffin said: "Lithium Australia retains significant exposure to raw materials through its equity in Charger, as well as its free-carried project interests.
“The latter potentially provide access to raw materials that the Lithium Australia group of companies can further process.
“Charger Metals’ specialised expertise will expedite a focused exploration effort, leaving Lithium Australia to concentrate on its core business: the ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry and the development of a circular battery economy.
“We eagerly await exploration outcomes at the Coates, Bynoe and Lake Johnston projects.”