Emerging Northern Territory lithium developer Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) has announced the global Mineral Resource Estimate for its Finniss Lithium Project in the Northern Territory has been increased to now total 9.63Mt @ 1.3% Li2O with the addition of an initial MRE for the Lees Deposit. The initial Lees MRE is 0.78Mt at 1.3% Li2O and is classified as Inferred under the JORC code 2012.
Emerging Northern Territory lithium developer Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) has announced the global Mineral Resource Estimate for its Finniss Lithium Project in the Northern Territory has been increased to now total 9.63Mt @ 1.3% Li2O with the addition of an initial MRE for the Lees Deposit.
· Rapidly growing Finniss Lithium Project global Mineral Resource Estimate expanded to 9.63Mt at 1.3% Li2O through addition of a Resource Estimate for the Lees deposit
· Further resource growth is expected from an Exploration Target now defined in the adjacent Lees-Booths Link
· Assay results returned recently from Lees Prospect include some wide highgrade intersections (hole NRC116):
· 18m @ 1.59% Li2O from 210m, including 7m @ 1.91% Li2O from 211m, and
· 3m @ 1.93% Li2O from 174m
· Assay results returned recently from Booths include multiple high-grade intersections (hole NRC117):
· 4m @ 1.20% Li2O from 121m,
· 3m @ 1.53% Li2O from 156m, and
· 3m @ 1.24% Li2O from 174m
· Expanding global Mineral Resource base at the Finniss Project aimed at increasing mine life and further enhancing project economics, following the recent release of Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS)
· Considerable scope remains to further increase the Mineral Resource from additional lithium-rich pegmatites within Core’s large >500km2 of tenure at Finniss
The initial Lees MRE is 0.78Mt at 1.3% Li2O and is classified as Inferred under the JORC code 2012. The maiden MRE announced today is expected to be significantly upgraded in scale and in confidence category over the course of 2019, resulting in additional resources with further drilling.
In addition to the new MRE at Lees, a further Exploration Target of 2 to 3 million tonnes grading between 1.0% and 1.3% Li2O has been identified by Core at the adjacent Lees-Booths Link.
The potential quantity and grade of this Exploration Target is conceptual in nature; there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of additional Mineral Resources. Lees is located 3km from the proposed mine and processing facility at the Grants Deposit and only 2km from the BP33 Deposit, both of which are central to the recently published Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) (ASX 17/4/2019).
The Lees MRE combines existing RC drilling data with recently received assays for two targeted drill holes:
· NRC 116: 18m @ 1.59% Li2O from 210m, including 7m @ 1.91% Li2O from 211m & 3m @ 1.93% Li2O from 174m
· NRC 115: 5m @ 1.04% Li2O from 159m
There are at least five separate spodumene pegmatites at Lees, with only two of those having adequate drilling to date to enable estimation for the initial MRE at Lees. There are a number of additional infill pegmatite targets at Lees requiring further drilling to test to bring those into the MRE.
The north west extent of spodumene pegmatites at Lees remain open and untested due to limited drill rig access early in the 2019 wet season. To the south east, the spodumene pegmatites at Lees join with the new Exploration Target defined at Lees-Booths Link.
Based on the potential outlined by the 2-3Mt Exploration Target grading between 1.0% and 1.3% Li2O at Lees-Booths, along with the 3-5Mt Exploration Target grading between 1.0% and 1.4% Li2O at Hang Gong (ASX 31/1/2019), Core will be conducting follow-up drilling in the coming months with the aim of expanding on these two prospects. Note that the potential quantity and grade of the Hang Gong Exploration Target is conceptual in nature; there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of additional Mineral Resources.
Commenting on the results, Core Lithium’s Managing Director, Stephen Biggins, commented: “The global Finniss Project Mineral Resource has increased over 500% from the start of 2018 to now at almost 10Mt. Along with an additional Exploration Target of 5-8Mt, Core is confident in being able to rapidly build the resources in the upcoming 2019 field season, with the aim to potentially deliver more reserves for mining.
“The solid economics highlighted in detail in the recently released DFS focussed on development of the first two well-defined orebodies at Grants and BP33 – are highly sensitive on the upside to increasing the life of the project. Core very much has a plan in mind to deliver upside to shareholders through continuing resource growth as we finalise regulatory, offtake and financing in 2019.
“The huge premium offered by Wesfarmers in their recent $766M takeover bid proposal for Kidman Resources Ltd (ASX:KDR), highlights that some of Australia’s most sophisticated investors understand the deep value currently offered in the Australian lithium industry and the significance and international interest in development ready lithium projects to the global battery and EV industry.
“We continue to be excited by the new results that the Finniss Project turns up for us, and we are confident that Lees, together with the other prospects and deposits at Finniss, will add up to a substantial long-life lithium project.”