Lithium miner Alliance Mineral Assets (ASX: A40) has uncovered evidence of more extensive lithium mineralisation at its Bald Hill project in Western Australia.
Exploration drilling has intersected 20m of coarse-grained spodumene-bearing pegmatite from 189m with assays pending.
The 20m intersection is between a 21m at 1.50% lithium oxide intercept that lies to the north, and several “significant” intercepts to the south.
According to Alliance, the results indicate there is a single sub-horizontal pegmatite or group of pegmatites (Pegmatite 3 West) below those currently mined.
“We anticipated that the deepest pegmatite body below and to the west of the current pit design, referred to as Pegmatite 3 West, could be linked to the 21m at 1.5% lithium oxide intercept in a water exploration drill hole located some 1.15km to the north,” Alliance managing director Mark Calderwood said.
He added this latest 20m intersection “strongly supports” the company’s interpretation.
Alliance has established an exploration target for Pegmatite 3 West of up to 24 million tonnes grading 1.4% lithium oxide and 180 parts per million tantalum oxide.
Mr Calderwood said the exploration target does not include overlying pegmatites which already have a 13.5Mt inferred resource.
He pointed out that only 20% of the 8.8 square kilometre South Mineralised Area at the project had been tested for lithium.
“The southern mineralised area itself represents only 1.1% of the entire Bald Hill tenure,” he added.
Bald Hill mine
Alliance has been producing a 6% spodumene concentrate from Bald Hill for about 12 months.
During the March 2019 quarter, Alliance achieved record production of 38,291 wet metric tonnes at 6.1% lithium oxide concentrate.
Production was 68% higher than the December quarter as a result of improved throughput, recovery and grade.
During the period, 44,305dmt of spodumene was shipped to Jiangxi Bao Jiang Lithium Industrial Ltd as well as a trial parcel to a new customer.
The ore attracted an average selling price of US$789/dmt (A$1,083/dmt) of 6% lithium concentrate, with production cash costs down 33% on the December period to US$553/wmt (A$772/wmt) lithium concentrate.
Meanwhile, production for the month of April (1-28) amounted to 13,315wmt at 6.29% lithium oxide.
For the half year ending June, output at Bald Hill is expected to sit between 65,000t and 80,000t at 6% spodumene.
Bald Hill is 50km south-east of Kambalda in WA’s eastern goldfields and encompasses 774sq km of tenements.