Mineral explorer Oar Resources (ASX: OAR) has completed the latest phase of extensional aircore drilling at its Gibraltar halloysite-kaolin project along South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
The 1,400m shallow drilling program was a follow-up to previous aircore work which confirmed the presence of high-grade halloysite mineralisation within a blanket of saprolitic clays developed above a gneissic granite basement.
It focused on extending current zones of high-grade halloysite which remain open to the north, and identifying new areas of more felsic basement lithologies.
Extending drill coverage
The latest phase of drilling comprised 40 holes across a 400m by 400m wide-spaced grid pattern to extend the previous drill coverage 3.5km north of work completed late last year, which identified a well-defined kaolinitic clay and high-grade halloysite layer.
Oar said logging of drill cuttings has shown “good white kaolinitic saprolite development” in the southern portion of the grid, adjacent to and along strike from previous drilling and with the depth to basement (or thickness) of cover increasing to the north.
Composite samples have been collected for detailed analysis, with results expected next month.
Targeted infill drilling of an additional 20 holes for 700m on a 200m by 200m grid is now underway to focus on areas where logging has already identified good kaolinitic clay development.
Oar today also announced it had received approvals for a regional reconnaissance-scale drilling campaign across the wider Gibraltar project area.
The program will aim to identify additional weathered granite basement material considered favourable for target kaolinite clays.
Reconnaissance work will start immediately after infilling drilling has been completed.
It has been a busy start to the year for Perth-based Oar since confirming the presence of rare high-grade halloysite and kaolinite minerals at Gibraltar, which adjoins Andromeda Metals’ (ASX: ADN) advanced Mount Hope project.
Halloysite is a rare form of kaolin which commands a much higher price.
In February, the company said it would pursue an aggressive exploration strategy to build on a single halloysite occurrence identified in a historic report.
By March, it had commenced the fully-funded extensional aircore program initially planned to comprise 47 holes for 2500m, but altered to 40 holes for 1,400m.
Oar expects the results from all drilling programs will underpin a maiden resource estimate for the project.