Battery minerals developer Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) has reported significant widths of high-grade mineralisation grading up to 3% lithium oxide from initial assays relating to a maiden drilling program within the Youanmi project area in Western Australia.
Launched in June, the reverse circulation program was designed to test down-dip extensions of outcropping lithium-bearing pegmatites where rock-chip samples yielding up to 4.2% lithium oxide had been identified and lepidolite mineralisation had been observed in RC drill cuttings.
So far, 54 RC holes have been completed for 2,455m targeting lithium, caesium and tantalum pegmatites variably outcropping on surface over a strike length of 3 kilometres.
In July, Lithium Australia confirmed “almost every hole drilled to date” in the program had unearthed visible lepidolite.
Today the company confirmed the first batch of assays contained significant lepidolite mineralisation hosted in pegmatites over “good widths of high grade, shallow and open down dip and along (1,200m of) strike”.
Lithium Australia said the results included a solid 6m at 1.64% lithium oxide from 11m including 1m at 3.07% lithium oxide.
Other highlight intersections were 8m at 1.39% lithium oxide from 8m, 7m at 1.42% lithium oxide from 20m, and 3m at 1.47% lithium oxide from 24m.
Managing director Adrian Griffin said the assays were to the company’s expectations.
“These great results from our first-pass drilling program vindicate our exploration model and suggest Youanmi could provide critical local feedstock for our lithium-cathode and battery business units,” he said.
The company expects to receive assays from the program’s remaining 19 holes before the end of August, with all information used to assess the resource potential and geometry of the pegmatites.
In October, Lithium Australia announced it had expanded its extensive lithium holdings in WA with the acquisition of additional acreage in the Youanmi region by taking an option over the Youanmi project, located in the Archean Yilgarn lock, 450km north-east of Perth.
The option was secured through a binding agreement with Diversity Resources Pty Ltd, and allows Lithium Australia to acquire full rights and title to three prospective exploration licences containing lithium pegmatites, as well as vanadium mineralisation in a nearby layered mafic complex.
Rock sampling has confirmed the presence of potentially-economic lithium values of up to 4.2% lithium oxide, as well as anomalous tantalum values.
Regional zoning patterns in the lepidolite-strong pegmatites suggests the possibility that spodumene could also occur in the area.
At midday, shares in Lithium Australia were trading 6% higher at $0.053.