Core Exploration intersects further high-grade and thick lithium at Finniss, mineralisation remains open

Core Exploration ASX CXO Finniss project diamond drilling lithium Grants Prospect
Track-mounted diamond rig at Grants Prospect, part of Core Exploration's Finniss Lithium Project.

Core Exploration (ASX: CXO) has intersected further high grade and thick lithium at its BP33 prospect, which is part of the company’s 100%-owned Finniss project in the Northern Territory, with mineralisation remaining open to the south.

Better results were 36m grading 1.61% lithium, including a 14m interval containing 2.05% lithium, and a thicker 49m intersection comprising 1.02% lithium, with a 3m interval grading 2.18% lithium.

According to Core, drilling has identified spodumene pegmatite extends along strike towards BP32 and BP32W prospects, indicating the pegmatites may be connected, which would suggest a “substantial” pegmatite system in the area.

Other recent drill results from BP33 include a 62m at 1.24% lithium, and 54m at 1.42% lithium with mineralisation also open at depth.

The BP32 and BO32W targets were generated from reviewing historic trenching results and a more recent shallow RAB drilling.

However, Core stated the prospects were yet to undergo more comprehensive reverse circulation or diamond core exploration.

These deposits and strike continuity will be tested once the current wet season ceases, sometime in the June quarter.

Meanwhile, assays from BP33 drilling are anticipated to keep coming through until March, with a maiden resource for the deposit due soon after.

Resource upgrade drilling is continuing at the nearby Grants deposit, which has a current resource of 1.8 million tonnes grading 1.5% lithium.

An upgraded resource estimate for Grants is anticipated by the end of March and Core will also conduct geotechnical drilling and evaluation studies for the deposit, which it will used in the mine engineering and design and feasibility studies.

Core des-risked Finniss late last year after inking a direct shipping ore (DSO) offtake agreement with China-based Ya Hua International Investment and Development.

The DSO agreement accounts for 1mt of ore, which is more than 50% of the anticipated production from Grants.

However, at this stage, Core is still examining whether it will sell its ore as DSO or install downstream processing to produce a lithium concentrate. The agreement between Core and Ya Hua is flexible and allows for alterations such as a lithium concentrate product.

In anticipation of production, Core has secured an agreement with Darwin Port which is about 100km from Finniss to ship 1mt per annum of DSO or 250,000tpa of lithium concentrate.

Shares in Core rose more than 4% in early morning trade to $0.068.

Lorna has more than 10 years' experience as a finance journalist and editor. She has written for an array of industry publications reporting on various sectors, including: resources, energy, construction, biotech, pharma, science and technology, agriculture, and chemicals. Specialising in resources, Lorna has covered a myriad of small and large cap ASX and dual-listed stocks.