A heritage site avoidance survey with traditional Wajarri landowners has approved a series of planned drill sites at Aldoro Resources’ (ASX: ARN) Niobe rubidium-lithium-tantalum project northwest of Mount Magnet in Western Australia.
The approvals pave the way for a 66-hole drilling campaign to commence this week over the Niobe East, Breakaway, and Niobe Southeast prospects.
Work will start at the Niobe East pegmatite system and will aim to increase the exploration target based on limited historic drilling and recent rock chip sampling results which indicated anomalous rubidium and lithium values extending over 400m in strike length.
Sampling at the Breakaway pegmatites also found anomalous rubidium and lithium over a strike length of 100m, while at Niobe Southeast, the few samples collected are believed to have anomalous rubidium values.
The average rubidium value across all three prospects was 1,892 parts per million with a range between 34.7ppm to 9,307ppm.
The average lithium value was 0.0725% with a range between 0.005% to 0.40%, while caesium averaged 200ppm with a range between 3.1ppm to 1934ppm.
The outcrop dispersion of rubidium-lithium results are reported to be generally consistent with those obtained by Pancontinental Mining in the mid-1980s, giving confidence to assays from the same period which were used to define an exploration target over the Niobe main pegmatite.
That target sits at between 33,000 tonnes and 150,000t at grades between 696ppm and 1457ppm rubidium oxide over an area measuring 80m by 65m.
In September, Aldoro team members conducted a site visit to the Niobe project area to delineate the extent of the rubidium footprint over the prospect areas.
The use of portable X-ray fluoroescence found elevated rubidium values associated with Zinnwaldite micas which have lateral surface extent over parts of the Niobe pegmatites.
The micas are believed to vary in morphology from finely disseminated, equigranular in greisen-like expressions to large books up to centimetres thick, often exhibiting botryoidal forms.