While boosting its stake in Envirostream, Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has also identified pegmatites at the Dudley prospect within the company’s South Australian Kangaroo Island project, with rock chips revealing the presence of lithium, tantalum, niobium and rubidium minerals.
The company undertook reconnaissance exploration at Dudley in October last year and again, more recently, in March.
According to Lithium Australia, the area has not previously been explored for lithium but hosts historic tourmaline and tin mine workings.
The identified pegmatites cover more than 5km of strike and comprise individual dykes up to 80m thick.
Reconnaissance exploration at Dudley involved collecting 66 rock chip samples and another 35 samples of float material.
Rock chips assayed up to 0.43% lithium, 770 parts per million tantalum, 460ppm niobium and 1,600ppm rubidium.
Lithium Australia pointed out these anomalous results were despite strong weathering and that the tantalum samples were “significant” because any values above 200ppm were considered economic grades.
“Lithium is extremely soluble during weathering, so highly anomalous results from very weathered samples are uncommon and indicate the potential for high grades in the unweathered bedrock,” the company stated.
Meanwhile, the float material samples returned 0.11% lithium, 1,100ppm rubidium, and 560ppm caesium.
“Early results from the Dudley prospect indicate good potential for a new lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatite field, and we look forward to extending our exploration coverage later in the year,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said.
With data indicating the potential for a lithium deposit at the project, Lithium Australia is currently planning a geochemical soil sampling program for the Dudley prospect and surrounding areas where anomalous lithium was identified.
Results from this campaign will assist in determining further work, with exploration to begin in the December quarter.
Lithium Australia increases holding in Envirostream
As part of the company’s strategy to become an integrated ethical and sustainable lithium miner, processor and lithium-ion battery technology developer, Lithium Australia has increased its equity in Envirostream Australia Pty Ltd to 11.76%.
The increase is also part of an existing agreement where Lithium Australia will extend its interest in Envirostream to 18.91%.
Under today’s increase, Lithium Australia made a further equity subscription of $100,000 in Envirostream.
The funds from Lithium Australia’s equity subscription will enable Envirostream to boost its lithium-ion battery recycling capacity.
“Processing of spent batteries improves the sustainability of energy storage systems and is an ethical source of critical raw materials that can be directed back into the battery industry,” Mr Griffin explained.
“Together with Envirostream, we plan to lead the industry in environmental best practices and reduce the harm created by disposal of battery materials in landfill.”
“We look forward to developing a strong partnership with Envirostream and encourage all consumers to dispose of their spent batteries responsibly,” he added.
A renounceable rights issue is expected to give Lithium Australia an extra $6.5 million to fund the advancement of its various plans.
Lithium Australia’s share price was steady at $0.061 in late afternoon trade.