Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) has been given the green light to complete a drilling program at the Area C prospect, which yielded up to 4.6% lithium from preliminary rock chip sampling and is part of the Mallina project in Western Australia’s renowned Pilgangoora district.
The WA Government granted Sayona regulatory approval to carry out drilling which will involve subjecting Area C to a 20-hole, 2,500 reverse circulation drilling campaign that will begin next month.
In addition to the government go-ahead, Sayona will also receive a 50% rebate from the body for its drilling costs up to a A$150,000 maximum.
Several spodumene bearing pegmatites have been pinpointed across Mallina. The pegmatites are found within a 20 square kilometre zone, with the Area C target identified across 1,400m of strike.
“The company is encouraged by the strong lithium mineralisation at the Area C prospect and having been awarded a grant of cofunding, providing confirmation of the high calibre targets at Mallina,” Sayona managing director Dan O’Neill said.
“The drilling program is consistent with the company’s strategy to realise value from its large portfolio of lithium [projects] in WA,” Mr O’Neill added.
In addition to Mallina, Sayona plans to carry out a first pass drilling campaign at Tabba Tabba, as well as other targets across its tenements, which encompass 1,780sq km in the region.
Sayona’s 15 tenements are close to lithium operators in the area including the Mineral Resources’ (ASX: MIN) Wodgina asset, Altura Mining’s (ASX: AJM) namesake lithium operation and Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX: PLS) Pilgangoora lithium mine.
“WA is a world-class province for the discovery of spodumene pegmatites, with excellent infrastructure and in proximity to the Chinese converter markets,” Mr O’Neill said.
Authier lithium project
In addition to its WA assets, Sayona is advancing the Authier lithium project in Quebec, Canada.
A definitive feasibility study is underway at Authier and is due for completion this month.
Sayona published an updated resource of 20.46 million tonnes grading 1.02% lithium for Authier in April. The upgraded resource provides for 209,476t of contained lithium.
A maiden reserve will be released in conjunction with the definitive feasibility study’s results.
An earlier pre-feasibility study revealed it would cost Sayona about A$65 million to develop the project, which would attract annual earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation of A$38 million.
The project hosts two main pegmatites which remain open in all directions.
By late afternoon trade, Sayona’s share price had spiked almost 19% to reach A$0.038.