Advanced Australian lithium developer Core Lithium (ASX: CXO) has announced a world-class spodumene pegmatite intersection at the BP33 Prospect within the Finniss Lithium Project, located near Darwin in the Northern Territory.
• World-class 119m drill intersection of pegmatite at BP33 Prospect;
• New intersection includes 105m of strongly mineralised spodumene pegmatite;
• New outstanding spodumene pegmatite intersections are outside of, and will substantially extend, the current Mineral Resource at BP33;
• Two other recent RC drillholes at BP33 also intersected pegmatite outside the current Mineral Resource, with an upgraded Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimate planned for the March 2020 quarter;
• The expanded, high-grade lithium deposit at BP33 is expected to contribute significantly to an increased mine life at the Finniss Lithium Project;
• Drill assays for recent diamond drilling at BP33 expected in January ahead of substantial Mineral Resource upgrade;
• Mining studies and updated Feasibility Study, to be completed in H1 2020, are expected to show high-grade continuous mineralisation at BP33 and Carlton is amenable to efficient underground mining methods; and
• Approvals and financing discussions continuing and further offtake progressing, with the plan for the project to be development ready as market conditions improve in 2020.
A world-class 119-metre continuous intersection of pegmatite was drilled by the Company as part of a recent deep RC and diamond drilling program at the BP33 Prospect.
Visual inspection of a 105m interval of the drill core and under UV light suggests that spodumene grades are in line with or better than the average grade 1.5% Li2O of the BP33 orebody.
Of note are the very coarse spodumene crystals of the BP33 pegmatite, which are typical of the spodumene pegmatites within the Finniss Lithium Project. The coarse crystalline nature enables the high recovery of lithium by simple, gravity dense media separation (DMS).
Effective DMS separation translates into significantly lower capex, lower processing costs and low start-up risk. The outstanding drill result indicates that the primary pegmatite body at BP33 extends with an ~40m true width for at least a further 100m vertically from previous drilling on that section and remains open at 400m vertical depth.
All the holes completed during the recent RC and diamond drilling program intersected spodumene mineralised pegmatite outside of the current BP33 Mineral Resource and are therefore expected to substantially expand the defined Mineral Resource at BP33.
Assay results from the recently completed RC and diamond core drilling programs at BP33 are expected in January and in combination with previously recently released RC drilling results will be used to upgrade BP33 shortly thereafter.
The lithium market has suffered from spodumene over supply during 2019. However, medium- and longer-term lithium demand is expected to exceed supply of lithium for lithium batteries to support global growth in electric vehicle and renewable energy storage.
The Company is progressing with the approvals process and progressing discussions with financiers and lithium customers to enable the project to be Final Investment Decision ready as the market recovers, expected to be during 2020.
We are well placed to be Australia’s next lithium producer and the first shovel-ready lithium infrastructure project in the Northern Territory.
Substantial value enhancing continues
The DFS clearly indicated the substantial upside potential for shareholders from increasing the mine life at Finniss.
As such, we have been drilling and undertaking resource and mining studies at Grants, BP33, Carlton, Lees, Booths and Hang Gong, all aimed at potentially increasing Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.
The outstanding new drill results combined with recent mining studies for Carlton and BP33 indicate that the wide, near vertical pegmatite bodies are potentially amenable to efficient underground mining methods, along with significant potential identified to materially increase the Finniss mine life.
Core’s Managing Director, Stephen Biggins, commented: “Core’s latest world-class spodumene pegmatite intersection at BP33 highlights the significant upside potential for the Finniss Lithium Project.
“Core are focused over coming months on increasing value for shareholders by growing Mineral Resources and increasing the mine-life of the Project.
“We are confident in having the Project shovel-ready in early 2020, so that we are wellpositioned to be Australia’s next lithium Producer as market conditions improve.”