Lithium Australia Completes VSPC Acquisition and Identifies Lithium in Lepidolite Hill Waste

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has completed procurement of advanced cathode material production technology by way of acquiring 99.7 per cent of technology company VSPC.

Lithium Australia took over the Brisbane-based VSPC, which has spent 14 years and approximately $30 million developing some of the world’s most advanced manufacturing techniques to produce cathode materials.

LIT explained these materials are critical components of lithium-ion batteries, the growing demand for which is currently driven by rapidly increasing demand for EVs and consumer electronics.

The advanced battery materials being developed by VSPC are also applicable to green energy solutions, including as back-up for sources of renewable energy.

Since completing the takeover in February, LIT has undertaken re-commissioning of the company’s cathode plant, including negotiating time-critical service agreements, recruitment of technical and operating staff and service agreements have been arranged with universities to support the technical demands of the project.

The VSPC facility is a two to four tonnes-per-annum pilot plant, incorporating an integrated laboratory, coin-cell production facility and battery-testing equipment.

LIT indicated that plant inspections and servicing are underway, as is evaluation of equipment upgrades, to prepare for resumption of production in July 2018.

“Recommissioning the VSPC pilot plant is a challenging task, but many of the past scientific and operating staff have made themselves available to ensure success,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We welcome their assistance and participation in our plan to provide the world’s battery producers with the best available cathode materials.”

Lithium Australia has also completed further testwork on ore-sorting products from its Lepidolite Hill lithium project that it said indicates successful separation of lithium micas using an X-ray transmission ore-sorting method.

The company said existing stockpiles at Lepidolite Hill are potentially an attractive source of feed for its proposed large-scale pilot plant (LSPP), either as supplementary feed or a major source of feed.

On the basis of these initial results Lithium Australia believes potential exists to not only separate out petalite, as well as lepidolite, from surface stockpiles but also to undertake further exploration at the project; the latter would target possible in-situ lithium resources outside and/or below the current historic open-pit mine workings.

“Although our aim at Lepidolite Hill is exploitation of lithium mica, it’s not surprising to find such abundant petalite in the mine dumps,” Griffin said.

“Lepidolite Hill operated as a petalite mine in the 1970s, and perhaps the recovery of the target minerals was not as good as the operators would have liked!

“Ore-sorting will certainly enhance rapid separation of the lepidolite.

“That said, we’ll also devote significant attention to the recovery of other lithium minerals that result in a grade of about 1.8 per cent lithium dioxide in the reject material.

“We’ll probably drill at the south end of the existing pit, to see how far the lithium mineralisation extends beyond what was left in the pit wall.”




Thundelarra Wraps up Garden Gully AC Drilling

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Thundelarra (ASX: THX) reported the completion of an Air Core (AC) drilling program at the company’s Garden Gully project in the Murchison region of Western Australia.

Thundellara has submitted samples from the drilling for assaying.

The company said the objective of the AC program was to test for near-surface extensions of known mineralised structures and to provide geological data over zones that its initial interpretation suggested might host previously unrecognised structures with the potential to be mineralised.

The drilling consisted 274 AC holes drilled for 14,025m, including 20 AC traverses across seven prospects testing for near-surface extensions of mineralised structures.

Reverse Circulation (RC) and diamond drilling (DD) rigs are currently on site conducting follow-up drilling.

“When all assay results have been received and collated then the resultant geological interpretations will be reported to the market, together with any significant findings,” Thundelarra said in its ASX announcement.

“Our initial shallow scout drilling at Garden Gully, which began in mid-2016, aimed to identify targets below the transported cover.

“The approach proved very successful, delivering several new prospects that were previously unknown, with Lydia a prime example.

“Given the positive outcomes of that initial exploration, we remain confident that these recently-completed air core traverses will identify multiple additional targets for more detailed follow-up in subsequent programs.”





Aruma Resources Drilling at Slate Dam

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Aruma Resources (ASX: AAJ) has commenced the second phase of drilling at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Slate Dam gold project in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

Aruma Resources informed the market that the drilling is progressing and to date has nine holes for a total of approximately 1,000 metres of Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling, out of a planned program of up to 30 holes for approximately 4,000 metres has been drilled.

“In line with our sediment-hosted gold model at the Slate Dam project, alteration and structure with stratigraphy are visible in drill chips from the current program, with fine grained pyrites evident in shales,” Aruma Resources said in its ASX announcement.

Aruma also announced the acquisition of Exploration Licence (EL) E25/526, in the southern region of the project.

The new EL comprises six blocks and covers an area of 19 square kilometres and hosts the historic Transville (and Mt Juglah) gold mines, which are reported to have historically produced 970 tonnes of gold ore at 26.7g/t gold for 25.76 kilograms of gold.

“The Slate Dam project now covers some 330 square kilometres of very prospective sediments situated on granite centres,” the company said.

“The leases are mostly granted and cover a strategic 330 square kilometres situated only 40 to 60 kilometres from Kalgoorlie.

“These leases contain over 60 kilometres of strike of the prospective beds that host Trojan and Majestic.

“Aruma’s exploration program has been designed to locate the mineralisation centres that will exist along these trends and potentially host several major centres capable of supporting mining operations.”





Intermin Resources Hits Immediate Results at Teal Gold Project

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Intermin Resources (ASX: IRC) released results from reverse circulation (RC) being carried out on the company’s 100 per cent-owned Teal gold project, northwest of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia.

Intermin Resources is conducting the self-funded $4 million, 55,000 metres drilling program across its Kalgoorlie gold projects focussed on new discoveries and resource extensions at the key Teal, Anthill and Blister Dam projects.

As part of the program, 20,000m of RC and diamond drilling is planned for the Teal project area to grow the current Resource base and test new discovery targets identified by the company’s 2017 program.

Intermin has completed 31 holes of infill and extension drilling to date at the Jacques Find and Yolande prospects.

High-grade downhole RC intercepts at Jacques Find include:

8m at 10.31 grams per tonne gold from 123m including 5m at 15.21g/t from gold 123m;

8m at 5.7g/t gold from 64m;

3m at 10.28g/t gold from 102m;

6m at 4.72g/t gold from 54m and 6m at 4.34 g/t gold from 42m;

5m at 1.26g/t gold from 36m and 8m at 1.60 g/t gold from 44m;

9m at 1.69g/t gold from 34m; and

5m at 1.81g/t gold from 53m.

The drilling has extended the Jacques Find strike length to over 500m intercepting new areas of hallow oxide gold mineralisation with mineralisation remaining open at depth and to the north.

High-grade downhole RC intercepts at Yolande include:

37m at 2.16g/t gold from 90m including 12m at 2.51g/t gold from 90m;

9m at 4.45g/t gold from 118m;

7m at 2.12g/t gold from 145m; and

3m at 2.79g/t gold from 124m and 1m at 5.6g/t gold from 136m.

Intermin said the results from Yolande demonstrate potential for multiple parallel structures as part of a large mineralised system across the Teal project area.

The company has drilling continuing with two RC rigs on site to complete the 20,000m Teal program in the June Quarter with further results expected in coming weeks.

Drilling at the Binduli and Anthill prospects is planned to commence in June with results expected in the September Quarter 2018.

“These latest drilling results further demonstrate the potential scale and quality within the Teal project area and certainly justifies the priority placed on this large mineralised system just 15 minutes’ drive from the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder,” Intermin Resources managing director Jon Price said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The ongoing drilling program at Teal will test the full extent of this system to add free milling oxide to our production profile and determine the scale of the deeper, higher grade, primary sulphide mineralisation to enable assessment of future development options.”





Venture Minerals to Reassess Mt Lindsay Tin Potential to Meet Electric Vehicle Demand

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Venture Minerals (ASX: VMS) has responded to industry chatter regarding the expected high demand from the fast growing (electric vehicle) EV market.

Venture Minerals indicated it has commenced a detailed reassessment of the high-grade tin and tungsten resource base at the company’s Mount Lindsay project in Tasmania.

Venture presented data indicating tin being independently ranked as the number one metal most impacted by modern technology demand.

The company considers itself as being uniquely positioned with Mount Lindsay being one of the largest undeveloped tin projects in the world, containing in excess of 80,000 tonnes of tin metal.

The Mount Lindsay project also hosts, within the same mineralised body, a tungsten resource containing 3.2 million MTU (metric tonne units) of tungsten trioxide (WO3).

Venture declared it has a large resource base to draw from and indicated it intends to look at strategies to optimise the higher-grade portions at Mount Lindsay, which previously reported resources included 4.7 million tonnes at 0.4 per cent tin and 0.3 per cent WO3.

Venture said it would now look to focus on assessing the underground mining potential of this high-grade Resource.

“Knowing that the Mount Lindsay project has a large tin resource that could be harnessed to meet applications in Electrical Vehicles and renewable energy has refocussed the company to revisit its approach in developing this asset,” Venture Minerals managing director Andrew Radonjic said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“With Mount Lindsay, Venture is now well placed to take part in the EV revolution.”




Calidus Resources Extends Klondyke Mineralisation

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Calidus Resources (ASX: CAI) provided an update on drilling of 12 RC holes along a reconnaissance traverse directly East of the company’s Klondyke gold deposit, located in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

Calidus Resources claimed the broad-spaced RC drilling program had outlined the continuation of the main Klondyke mineralised shear zone up to two kilometres further East from where the current 654,000 ounce resource ends.

Assays from the latest RC holes above a 10gm include:

16 metres at 2.34 grams per tonne gold from 136m;

10m at 3.67g/t gold from 58m;

7m at 4.58g/t gold from 175m;

6m at 3.32g/t gold from 167m;

13m at 1.24g/t gold from 104m; and

2m at 5.44g/t gold from 39m.

“The Klondyke East maiden drilling campaign has confirmed that the main Klondyke Shear is proving up as a substantial gold system,” Calidus Resources managing director Dave Reeves said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Drilling has intersected outcropping gold mineralisation for over two kilometres from the eastern limit of the existing 2.6 kilometres long, 654,000 ounce resource.

“With deep drilling underway beneath the existing resource, the true scale of Klondyke is beginning to be revealed.

“Mapping of the shear to east of this shows a continuation of the host rock sequence for a further two kilometres along strike from this drilling.

“These results increase our confidence that with the extensional drilling planned this year, we will see a significant increase in defined resources at the Klondyke Prospect.”

Calidus has completed detailed field mapping and pXRF sampling that will allow the company to commence further infill and further extensional drilling in May.

The field work has also highlighted similar geology continues for a further 2km east of this drilling.




Lithium Australia Set to Complete Maiden Sadisdorf Drilling

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) informed of progress at the company’s polymetallic tin-lithium Sadisdorf project in Saxony, Germany where the company is farming into a Joint Venture with German company Tin International AG.

Lithium Australia said the Sadisdorf project has the potential to provide feed to a commercial scale SiLeach® lithium carbonate plant.

The project is located on the doorstep of the German automotive industry, which is rapidly gearing up to produce large numbers of electric vehicles.

Late last year, LIT announced a JORC (2012) Inferred Mineral Resource of 25 million tonnes grading 0.45 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) (at a cutoff of 0.3% Li2O) at the project.

Sadisdorf JV partner Tin International AG has previously defined a JORC (2012) tin Inferred Mineral Resource of 3.36 million tonnes at 0.44 per cent tin (at a cutoff of 0.25% tin).

The JV is just about to complete a diamond-drilling program at the Sadisdorf project, which was designed to validate historical drilling data and increase confidence in future mineral resource estimates.

LIT explained that geological logging of the core has shown encouraging visual indications.

The company has made completion of sampling and assaying of the remaining core a priority over April and May and it expects to provide a further update from Sadisdorf, including assay results from the completed drill program, in coming weeks.

“The mineralisation encountered in the drilling to date supports our vision of unlocking the value of the historic tin-tungsten mine Sadisdorf by adding lithium as an additional value driver,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Further metallurgical evaluation, including SiLeach® testing, will follow the drilling program with results being announced as they become available.”





Magmatic Resources Makes Yamarna Move

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Magmatic Resources (ASX: MAG) picked up two highly prospective gold exploration licences, within the proven Yamarna greenstone belt northeast of Laverton in Western Australia.

Magmatic Resources’ Yamarna gold project consists of exploration licence E38/2918 where the company has a binding agreement to acquire Landslide Investments Pty Ltd, the holder of the tenement, and exploration licence application E38/3312.

The total 252 square kilometre Yamarna project area is situated just 15 kilometres northwest of the six million ounce Gruyere gold mine, currently under construction by major gold miner Gold Fields and its Joint Venture partner Gold Road Resources (ASX: GOR), which made the initial Gruyere discovery.

Gold Fields also owns 20 per cent of Magmatic Resources.

“The addition of the Yamarna gold project is in-line with the company’s acquisition and evaluation strategy being applied to its advanced exploration portfolio in New South Wales,” Magmatic Resources managing director David Richardson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Both the Yamarna project and separate acquisition of the Mt Venn copper-nickel-cobalt project, just 40 kilometres to the west, are located in proven mineralised districts and are targeting gold and growth commodities.”





Barra Resources Ready to Drill at Main Lode Gold Mine

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Barra Resources (ASX: BAR) outlined its 2018 exploration program, which will commence with RC drilling at the company’s wholly-owned Burbanks gold project, southeast of Coolgardie in Western Australia.

Barra Resources has completed a geological assessment and strategic review of its gold portfolio which it indicated to have resulted in a comprehensive update to the company’s gold strategy.

“The updated gold strategy is based on an initial Exploration Target of 223,000 to 564,000 ounces of gold for Burbanks alone,” Barra Resources said in its ASX announcement.

“The potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Target is conceptual in nature as there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource beyond Birthday Gift.

“It is uncertain if further exploration will result in an estimation of a Mineral Resource.”

Barra will kick off the drilling phase of its updated strategy with 4,000m of RC drilling at the high-priority Main Lode Gold Mine.

The Main Lode underground mine produced 146,000 tonnes at 18.3 grams per tonne gold for 85,900 ounces of gold to a depth of 240 metres below surface level between 1885 and 1914.

From 1946 to 1951, Western Mining Corporation accessed Level 8 at Main Lode and undertook extensive strike drive sampling, yielding a pay-run of 160m at 16.1g/t gold at an average width of 0.4m.

Drilling carried out by Barra in 2017 at Main Lode returned encouraging results, including:

11 metres at 5.70g/t gold from 44m;
5m at 9.62g/t gold from 33m;
5m at 8.65g/t gold from 37m;
5m at 3.70g/t gold from 44m; and
5m at 3.29g/t gold from 82m, including 2m at 6.77g/t gold from 82m.

“The 2017 program at Main Lode successfully defined a 400 metres long strongly mineralised zone along the Burbanks Shear to a depth of 70 metres below surface level, immediately adjacent to the historical mine workings,” Barra Resources said.

“This demonstrated the potential for significant resources to be delineated along strike and below the historic underground mining areas.

“Based on this history and results, Main Lode has been deservingly selected as the highest priority drilling target.”

Barra has approvals in place from the WA Mines Department and a drilling contractor ready to go.

The company explained drilling will focus on extending the strike of the existing mineralised zone from 400m to 800m by initially testing an additional 200m of strike extent to the north and south.

The 4,000m program also aims to increase the depth extent to 250m below surface level by testing the next 180m vertically below the 2017 program.




Alliance Resources Returns to Wilcherry for Diamond Drilling

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Alliance Resources (ASX: AGS) has commenced regional diamond drilling for base metals at the Wilcherry project, along with Joint Venture partner Tyranna Resources (ASX: TYX).

The Wilcherry project is located within the southern part of the Gawler Craton in the northern Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

“Our exploration objectives are twofold, (1) to access the economic potential of the high grade Weednanna gold prospect for development, and (2) to assess the regional potential for base metals,” Alliance Resources managing director Steve Johnston said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Should we make a base metals discovery, it has the potential to materially and positively impact the company’s value.

“In support of this, previous exploration suggests the project is highly prospective for gold, iron, tin, copper, zinc, lead and silver.”

Alliance Resources explained the drilling is expected to possibly take up to 12 weeks to complete on single shift, however, initial results are anticipated to start flowing through within four weeks from completion of the first hole.

During February, the JV completed ground moving loop electromagnetic (MLEM) surveys over the last of the heli-electromagnetic (HEM) target areas to better define those HEM conductors.

Fourteen MLEM targets were defined as follows:

Eight targets were RC drilled for 1,256 metres during February and March (results awaited); and

Six are planned to be drilled using a multipurpose rig capable of rotary mud pre-collars and triple tube diamond core tails for 1,960 metres.

In addition to the drilling above, hole 17EMRC006 at HP2 (North), drilled in late 2017, was abandoned at 162m due to broken ground and clay, yet intersected 3 metres at 0.4 per cent zinc from 159m to end of hole.

Alliance Resources said the diamond drilling will return to commence at the MLEM target HP2 (North) in the western part of the project area to test the zinc mineralisation, then move to HP2 (South) and the remainder of the MLEM targets.