Oar Resources gears up for busy second half of drilling, maiden resource debut

Oar Resources ASX Gibraltar kaolin Halloysite Mt Hope South Australia
Oar Resources has plans to reveal a maiden resource for the Gibraltar kaolin-halloysite project in August.

Oar Resources (ASX: OAR) is fast-tracking exploration at its Gibraltar halloysite-kaolin project in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, while also shoring up other mineral potential across its Western Australian and US projects.

Exploration at Gibraltar has already generated high-grade halloysite results – made even more promising by the project’s proximity to Andromeda Metals’ (ASX: ADN) Mt Hope halloysite-kaolin project.

The first round of aircore drilling was completed in late November last year, with 59 holes drilled for 2,045m.

Subsequent analysis revealed high-grade halloysite within 24 of the 59 holes, while kaolinite minerals were in all holes.

Notable intercepts were 13m at 5.3% halloysite and 80.9% kaolinite from 13m; 3m at 19.6% halloysite and 42.4% kaolinite from 26m; and 3m at 10.1% halloysite and 45.9% kaolinite from 11m.

Encouraged by the results, Oar undertook another aircore drilling program for a total of 40 holes for 1,400m.

This program was completed last month and focused on extending the known halloysite mineralisation, which remains open to the north.

During logging of the drill core, Oar noted “good white kaolinitic saprolite development” in the southern portion of the grid, adjacent to and along strike from previous drilling.

Assays are imminent from the extensional drilling program, with an infill campaign currently underway.

Infill drilling is focused on areas where logging identified good kaolinitic clay development, with Oar hoping to quickly calculate an inferred JORC resource, which is pencilled for release in August.

Meanwhile, planning for a regional reconnaissance drilling program has begun after the company secured approval to drill the wider Gibraltar project area. This program is due to begin once the infill campaign is finished.

Kaolin-halloysite markets

The global kaolin market is currently valued at around US$5.43 billion, and this number is expected to grow to US$8.23 billion by 2027.

Kaolin end-uses are typically in paper, fibreglass, rubber, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, paints, cement, plastics, cosmetics and agriculture.

When used in paper, ceramics etc, kaolin can increase whiteness, gloss, smoothness, brightness and paint absorbency.

The mineral attracts between $300 per tonne and $700/t.

However, the higher-grade halloysite, which is increasingly used in new technologies, commands up to $5,000/t.

As well as many potential applications in high-tech and nanotechnologies, halloysite and kaolin are facing mounting demand as high purity alumina feedstock for the lithium-ion battery industry.

Hunting for a Julimar lookalike

Over in WA, Oar is awaiting a tenement grant for the Crown project in the Yilgarn Craton.

This project is 45 minutes from Perth and hosts magnetic structures to the west of Chalice Mining’s (ASX: CHN) Julimar nickel-copper-gold and platinum group element discovery.

During the March quarter, reprocessing data over the project has generated 20 target areas, with four classified as high-priority.

Once the company has negotiated land access and secured the tenement, it will begin initial on-ground reconnaissance work including mapping and sampling to firm up drill targets.

A drilling program is scheduled to begin in the September quarter.

Nevada assets, US

As well as the Australian assets, Oar has two projects prospective for gold in Nevada – Douglas Canyon and Lambarson Canyon.

Douglas is drill ready with requisite permits.

Oar plans to complete two diamond core holes at the project for 560m. Drilling is targeting high-grade gold zones and is due to begin in June or July.

Previous rock chip sampling of the project’s outcropping veins returned up to 16.2 grams per tonne gold and 495g/t silver.

At Lambarson, Oar is carrying out a detailed review of all previous exploration data including drilling, and geochemical and geophysical results.

Once this review has finished, Oar plans to conduct mapping, sampling and follow up drilling.

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