Australia’s next lithium producer Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) has provided an update on its exploration activities in the Northern Territory.
- +40,000m RC drilling program underway
- Pipeline of existing and new targets at Finniss to be tested
- Two successful grants awarded under the Resourcing the NT Initiative
- High grade lithium rock chip results received from Anningie-Barrow Creek Project
Finniss Lithium Project
As previously announced, diamond drilling is well underway at BP33, with a focus on exploring the depth and strike extensions of the main pegmatite intrusions.
Diamond drilling at BP33 will be followed up with extensional exploration and resource definition programs at Carlton, Hang Gong, Lees and Sandras.
These programs are designed to further build on the Mineral Resource Estimates (CXO ASX Announcement 12 July 2022).
Core has commenced a +40,000m RC drill program, which will be split between greenfields and brownfields target areas.
A large RC rig has been mobilised to test some of the deeper targets. The program will be focused on following up prospects where excellent exploration results were reported from 2021 drilling, including Bilatos, Penfolds, Centurion and Talmina West, as well as many new conceptual targets.
Results of both RC and diamond drilling programs will provide a continuous flow of new results during the year, with the possibility of new prospects and new mineral resources being defined.
NT Co-Funding Grants
The Company is pleased to advise that Grants NT has approved two separate applications for co-funding in Round 15 of the Northern Territory Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations program. The approved programs are:
- Ambient Noise Tomography survey, which is now planned at the Shoobridge Lithium Project, EL31407, near Pine Creek NT. Seismic velocity data will be acquired to identify pegmatite drill targets. This work is planned to commence in September 2022 and the grant amounts to $100,000.
- A single deep diamond drill hole targeting the down plunge extension to the currently defined Mineral Resource at the Sandras Lithium Deposit. The current total Mineral Resource at Sandras is 1.44Mt @ 1.01% Li2O (refer ASX Announcement 12 July 2022). Sandras has been modelled to a vertical depth of approximately 250m below surface. The planned hole has been designed to intersect the projected down plunge extension to the mineralisation at approximately 450m below surface, approximately 200m deeper than existing RC drilling. This grant also amounts to $100,000.
Anningie-Barrow Creek (ABC) Project
Since 2018, Core has assembled a strong lease position covering approximately 2,805km2 in the Barrow Creek Pegmatite Field in the NT. The ABC Project is considered an early-stage lookalike to the Company’s high-grade discoveries at the Finniss Lithium Project, with a long history of tin and tantalum production around Barrow Creek and Anningie.
The ABC Project is favourably situated alongside the railway that links to the Darwin Port. Company geologists undertook a short familiarisation trip to the Bismark Prospect, located within the Anningie Tin Field, and assayed 13 rock samples. Six of these returned greater than 1% Li2O, with a maximum of 4.78% Li2O.
Unlike the Finniss Lithium Project, spodumene occurs at the surface. These results confirm the results of previous explorers and highlight the latent potential of this project. The Company is planning to recommence work on the ABC Project later this year.
Finniss Gold Project Update
While Core is firmly focused on delivering Australia’s next lithium project, the Company has also undertaken exploration of existing gold mineralisation within the Finniss Lithium Project.
Gold-focused activities completed since the start of 2021 have included increasing the number of samples in the Finniss Project’s geochemical database by over 25,600 through the sampling of new sites together with assaying retained analytical pulps from historical lithium-focussed surface samples for gold.
Interpretation of the results suggest that the gold mineralisation at Finniss is of a style closely comparable with that seen at gold deposits in the Pine Creek Orogen (“PCO”), a gold district with past production and current reserves totalling in excess of 18 million ounces.
The deposits in the PCO and at Finniss are turbidite-hosted epigenetic, fold-controlled deposits, with gold hosted in quartz lode structures and having associated arsenopyrite, pyrite, and bismuth-bearing minerals.
Core’s exploration has delineated more than 40 surficial gold geochemical anomalies on the Project tenements. Significant regions of the tenements remain to be geochemically sampled and the discovery of anomalies additional to those already delineated is a possibility.
Drilling programs have targeted five of the anomalies, with 429 RAB holes (7,703m), 21 RC (2,353m) holes and 3 diamond holes (722.7m) drilled. Strongly anomalous gold is present at shallow depths in all five of the targets drill tested, including at Golden Boulder where an auriferous, steeply east dipping quartz lode has been defined in drilling.
Gold anomalous zones exhibit quartz veins and sulphides or their weathered equivalent, with arsenopyrite particularly prevalent.
Core Chief Executive Officer Gareth Manderson said the Company has a full exploration schedule focused on growing its life of mine to support lithium production from northern Australia.