An ongoing expansion drilling campaign by Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) at its flagship Kathleen Valley lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia has continued to intersect thick zones of high-grade mineralised pegmatite, highlighting the potential for significant growth in the mineral resource.
The latest round of drilling produced a best ever intersection of 52m at 1.4% lithium oxide from 199m, including 10m at 2% lithium oxide from 202m and 7m at 2.0% lithium oxide from 227m.
Other results were 30m at 1.6% lithium oxide from 139m, including 13m at 2.1% lithium oxide from 143m; and 26m at 1.4% lithium oxide from 208m, including 10m at 1.9% lithium oxide from 218m.
Thick zones of mineralisation
Drilling has been designed to increase the size of, and confidence in, the project’s existing mineral resource estimate by drilling immediately along strike, down-dip and between known intersections at Kathleen Valley.
The campaign to date has confirmed thick zones of lithium mineralisation up to 300m along strike and 150m down-dip of the project’s conceptual open pit.
Liontown has a further 6,000m of reverse circulation drilling planned over the next four weeks using two rigs.
On completion, the results will be used to prepare an upgraded resource estimate for Kathleen Valley, which will be incorporated into future feasibility studies, including ongoing metallurgical test work at ALS Metallurgy’s Perth-based laboratory.
Updated exploration target
Earlier this month, Liontown updated its exploration target for Kathleen Valley to include an additional resource of between 15 million tonnes and 22.5Mt at grades of up to 1.5% lithium oxide.
Today’s announcement has resulted in the company further increasing that target to between 19Mt and 31Mt grading up to 1.5% lithium oxide, in addition to the current mineral resource estimate of 21.2Mt at 1.4% lithium oxide.
If this target is successfully converted to a JORC-compliant mineral resource, it could substantially extend Kathleen Valley’s potential mine life.
Managing director David Richards said the resource expansion program continues to demonstrate the robust nature, high grade and strong growth potential of the Kathleen Valley deposit.
“Our latest drilling shows that the Kathleen’s Corner and Mt Mann pegmatites [within the project] are coalescing at depth to form a thick pegmatite body which is delivering some of the impressive intercepts we are now seeing,” he said.
“We are looking forward to seeing what the balance of the program can deliver and then getting to work on an updated mineral resource.”
The Kathleen Valley project is approximately 680km north-east of Perth within the eastern goldfields of the Archaean Yilgarn Craton.
Following the release of a positive scoping study in January, Liontown has continued to fast-track the project with resource expansion drilling and feasibility-level metallurgical test work, with a view to releasing an updated mineral resource estimate by mid-year.
At midday, shares in Liontown were trading 7.41% higher at $0.029.