Heavily diversified explorer Latin Resources (ASX: LRS) has confirmed it has “very high-grade” halloysite and ultra-bright white kaolin at its Noombenberry project in Western Australia.
The company reports that, from the initial batch of 100 samples submitted for detailed test work, results have confirmed a very high grade halloysite, with multiple intercepts having grades above 20%.
The initial assay results comprised 17m at 15% halloysite and 79.2% kaolinite (including 7m at 27.3% halloysite) as well as another hole returning 32m at 11.8% halloysite and 75.6% kaolinite (including 13m at 28.9% halloysite.
Latin says that results received to date have confirmed bright white to ultra-bright white kaolinite development across broad zones.
Halloysite attracts premium price to kaolin
Halloysite is a rare derivative of kaolin where the mineral occurs as nanotubes. The size of the halloysite particles varies within 1-15 microns in length.
Halloysite has a wide variety of industrial uses beyond simple kaolin and commands a significant premium above the average kaolin price.
Its main applications are in ceramics, where it is used in the manufacture of high-quality porcelain by adding whiteness, transparency and exceptional strength to the final fired product.
It is also used as a petroleum cracking catalyst.
Project area served by infrastructure
Latin’s Noombenberry halloysite project covers 54sq km near Merredin, less than 300km from Perth, with Fremantle Port easily accessible via the Great Eastern Highway.
All services required for a low-cost mining operation are in proximity, the company noted.
Mineralisation is predominantly outcropping and flat lying over the project area.
Results from thickest intersections still to come
Latin executive director Chris Gale says the company is very pleased with the initial results.
“While these results are from just a small portion of the drilling completed at Noombenberry, our logging suggests that we have intersected similar kaolinised granite across the 18sq km tested by the full program — and we are yet to have results back from the area where we have logged our thickest kaolin intersections (which were up to 50m),” he added.
The company plans to re-commence drilling once all statutory approvals have been received.
Latin Resources says that logging of the air-core samples from all the holes across the very large 18sq km area tested at Noombenberry has shown the development of a thick consistent blanket of kaolinised granite.