Andromeda Metals (ASX: ADN) has unearthed “significant” intersections of white kaolin during air core drilling at its wholly-owned Mount Hope halloysite-kaolin project in South Australia.
The now completed drilling campaign, which comprised 40 holes for 1,383m, was undertaken to follow up on the historic 12.26-million-tonne Mount Hope kaolin resource identified in 1973.
According to the company, drilling recovered intercepts of white kaolin measuring greater than 20m in thickness. These significant intersections are located within the southern zone of the drill target area, which remains open to the south.
A total of 174 composite samples have been collected for analysis with final assay results expected within the next two months.
Further drilling planned
According to Andromeda, mineralogical analysis conducted by the South Australian Department of Mines and Energy in the late 1980s recognised the existence of high value halloysite-kaolin material similar to that found at Andromeda’s Poochera project, which contains the 26Mt Carey’s Well kaolin resource.
The objective of Andromeda’s latest drilling program was to verify the central portion of the historic kaolin resource in order to estimate a revised JORC 2012-compliant mineral resource.
The campaign also aimed to determine the suitability of the clay for various applications.
“The compelling visual observations from the drilling undertaken suggest that the kaolin mineralised zone remains open to the south and will warrant follow up drilling,” the company reported.
Andromeda said it anticipated reported the new mineral resource following receipt of the final assay results, due within two months.
Poochera pre-feasibility study
Andromeda is also continuing work on its Poochera project’s pre-feasibility study, which is planned for release next month.
Two weeks ago, the company announced the results of an updated scoping study to consider on-site wet processing of kaolinised granite sourced from a proposed open cut mine at the Carey’s Well deposit.
The updated study delivered improved economics for the proposed Poochera project, including a 40,000 tonne-per-annum increase in refined kaolin production to 227,000tpa (over a 15-year initial mine life) and a reduction in all in sustaining cost averages of producing the refined kaolin to $374 per tonne, with an anticipated selling price of $700/t.
The project’s net present value grew by $131 million to $544 million and estimated project cash flow increased $251 million to $1.05 million.
In today’s announcement, Andromeda said planning is now underway to undertake further drilling at the Condooringie prospect within Poochera to follow up on a high-grade halloysite zone identified in March.
By mid-morning trade, Andromeda shares were up 8.33% to $0.04.