Tawana Resources (ASX: TAW) reported lithium grading up to 4.27% below the planned open pit from ongoing exploration at its flagship 50%-owned Bald Hill project, which is scheduled for commissioning by March next year.
Extensional step out drilling below the starter pit returned deeper intersections of 7.78m grading 2.46% lithium, including a 2m interval grading 4.27% lithium.
Drilling to the eastern extension of known high grade mineralisation returned up to 35m grading 1.74% lithium including a 15m interval grading 2.11% lithium.
Better results from other intersections were 7m at 1.38% lithium from the south east extension and 7m grading 1.35% from the Fenceline prospect within the project area.
Tawana managing director Mark Calderwood said the drilling campaign would pick up in the new year at a number of targets throughout Bald Hill which is situated in Western Australia’s eastern goldfields.
“One rig will continue with infill drilling while one to two rigs will work on step out drilling and testing newly discovered lithium pegmatites,” Mr Calderwood added.
In mid-October, Tawana announced a 47% increase to JORC-compliant resources at Bald Hill, which only incorporates 25% of the known pegmatites in the project’s south and a small portion of results from the August to October 94-hole drilling campaign.
The updated indicated and inferred resource for Bald Hill currently sits at 223,300 tonnes of contained lithium and 5.1 million pounds of tantalum.
Meanwhile, late last month Tawana said its was on track to produce its first lithium concentrate by the end of March 2018.
The 774 square kilometre project comprises four mining leases and one mining lease application. It also includes 12 exploration licences, eight prospecting permits and a general purpose lease.
Project development is advancing with the mining contractor mobilised to site along with installation of necessary infrastructure including bins, hoppers, screens and pumps.
After securing an offtake agreement in April 2017 with Burwill Holdings, Tawana and its joint venture partner Alliance Mineral Assets (SGX: AMA) are funded to production.
Under the agreement Tawana was prepaid A$12.5 million and the offtake agreement covers a five-year period with set lithium prices for 2018 and 2019 of US$880 free on board from Esperance.