Delta Lithium confirms ‘shovel-ready’ status for Mt Ida lithium-gold project following major resource upgrade

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By Colin Hay - 
Delta Lithium ASX DLI Mt Ida upgrade

Delta Lithium (ASX: DLI) is looking to fast-track its 100%-owned Mt Ida development in the goldfields of Western Australia following a major upgrade to the project’s mineral resource estimate (MRE).

The new MRE has identified an 82% increase in contained gold for the project, with inferred and indicated mineral resources of 6.6 million tonnes at 3.5 grams per tonne of gold, totalling 752,000 ounces.

Managing director James Croser said the significant increase in the contained gold estimates at the Baldock and Golden Vale deposits at Mt Ida has confirmed the project as a “shovel-ready” lithium and gold opportunity.

‘Significant scale and upside’

“This is a wonderful result for Delta shareholders, reaffirming our long-held belief that the gold system at Mt Ida has significant scale and upside,” Mr Croser said.

“The Baldock is fast becoming one of the very few large high-grade undeveloped gold deposits in WA in excess of 500,000oz.”

“The commencement of open-pit mining has been approved and the underground approval with the department has been submitted and is pending.”

“We are investigating the best options for Delta shareholders to crystallise value from our gold, which can then be applied to further developing our core lithium business.”

Follow-up drilling

Mr Croser confirmed that Delta has already commenced follow-up gold drilling at Mt Ida to target resource growth beyond 1Moz.

He also noted that all mineral resources at Mt Ida are located on granted mining leases with approval received late in 2023, allowing the company to start mining immediately if studies support this outcome.

The updated mineral resource estimates for the Baldock and Golden Vale deposits result from an additional 431 drill holes for 51,604m completed by Delta subsequent to the release of the Maiden Mt Ida gold MRE in October 2023 and 199 historical drill holes for 11,830m at Golden Vale.

Resource growth potential

Mr Croser noted that Delta has undertaken very little gold-specific exploration at Mt Ida since acquiring the project in 2021, with the majority of its drilling targeting lithium.

He said that, in addition to the excellent resource growth potential immediately along strike and down dip from existing resources at Baldock, Golden Vale and Kestrel, there are numerous drilling results exceeding 1g/t gold within the project that sit outside the current resource estimate.

The current drilling program will target high-grade resource extension opportunities to grow the resource significantly, with a reverse circulation rig recently mobilised to test both lithium and gold targets.

It will also include holes to test down-dip and plunge extensions to multiple high-grade lodes identified in the current gold resource at Baldock.

Further holes are also planned at Kestrel and Golden Vale, along with regional follow-up on high-grade assays.

A scoping level assessment of the gold resource is also underway to define the scale and scope of potential future gold mining options at Mt Ida.