Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) has unveiled a maiden resource for its Central target, which is a higher-grade than the flagship Core deposit, and mineralisation remains open in all directions.
The Core resource was based on 18 diamond drill holes and now totals 2.8 million tonnes at 1.34% lithium, with half also classified as indicated.
It compares to the flagship Core resource estimate of 16.2Mt at 1.12% lithium and brings global resources at the Piedmont project to 19Mt at 1.15% lithium.
Piedmont president and chief executive officer Keith Phillips said the company was “very pleased” with Central’s initial high-grade resource.
“This is a property with great potential and mineral resource estimate is based on only 18 holes, 16, of which, encountered thick, high-grade mineralisation,” he said.
“We hope to expand our land holding in this area and ultimately drill out a substantially larger resource at Central,” he added.
Only last month, assays from drilling at Central returned the “best ever” drill intersections from the entire Piedmont project including 43.2m at 1.73% lithium, 14.1m at 1.63% lithium and 28.1m at 1.35% lithium.
Piedmont lithium project
Core and Central are part of Piedmont’s namesake project in North Carolina’s tin-spodumene belt in the United States.
According to Mr Phillips, the project is rapidly becoming one of the largest lithium hard rock projects in North America.
Currently three rigs are operating at Core as part of a phase four drilling program, with Piedmont targeting a resource upgrade for this deposit before the end of June.
Piedmont is looking for construction at the project to begin in early 2020, with a scoping study due mid-this year and a definitive feasibility study scheduled for completion before the end of December.
Mr Phillips said as the US’ only conventional lithium project, the asset has attracted “considerable strategic interest”.
He added the company had engaged in initial conversations with parties from lithium, mining, chemicals, battery, automotive and private equity sectors.
At market open, shares in Piedmont were steady at $0.18.