‘A game changer’: Future Battery Minerals upgrades drill program as new pegmatite find boosts potential scale, tonnage at Kangaroo Hills
The identification of multiple new stacked spodumene-bearing pegmatites underscores why Future Battery Minerals was so keen to secure full ownership of the Kangaroo Hills project.
Earlier this month, the company acquired the remaining 20% in the project in WA’s Eastern Goldfields region for $4m in cash and shares after the last round of diamond drilling returned hits of up to 29m grading 1.36% Li2O from a down-hole depth of 38m at the Big Red prospect.
The identification of the new pegmatites from the Phase 3 reverse circulation and diamond drilling programs at the Rocky prospect has now delivered a significant increase in the scale of the pegmatite swarm and potential tonnage at Kangaroo Hills, with pegmatites now confirmed over a 1.2km by 1.5km area that remains open in all directions.
Thanks to these strong results, Future Battery Minerals (ASX:FBM) has more than doubled the planned coverage of the Phase 3 drill program – of which about 4,800m of the original planned 5,000m had already been drilled – by adding another 6,000m of drilling to the Rocky, Wallaroo and Eastern Grey prospects.
“The initial geological results of the Phase 3 drilling program are a game changer for the scale and potential tonnage of the Kangaroo Hills project,” Technical Director Robin Cox said.
“Our interpretation of the intercepted pegmatites at the Rocky Prospect illustrate a stacked system with multiple spodumene bearing pegmatites now intercepted and which remains open in all directions.”
Cox added that the previously identified shallow high grade spodumene bearing pegmatites at Big Red are now recognised as a larger system.
Kangaroo Hills is located just 17km south of Coolgardie and 30km from Mineral Resources’ (ASX:MIN) Mt Marion lithium mine, putting it right smack in one of the hottest lithium addresses in Australia.
It also benefits from its proximity to Kalgoorlie, which gives Future Battery Minerals access to skilled labour and infrastructure critical to the development of any future mining project.
In its previous incarnation (as Auroch Minerals), the company had discovered spodumene mineralisation within lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites during regional exploration drilling of the Nepean nickel project in late 2022.
This led to Kangaroo Hills being carved off as a project in its own right with subsequent exploration – including two rounds of drilling totalling 47 holes totalling over 6,000m – identifying the Big Red prospect as an outcropping shallow north dipping pegmatite.
Regional target generative work, which involved mapping, geophysics and geochemistry, then identified six additional high priority prospects with the Phase 3 drilling now proving that spodumene-bearing pegmatites are present within the top Rocky prospect.
Phase 2 drilling had returned a 5m intercept at 1.12% Li2O from 104m at Rocky and the focus of the Phase 3 drilling was to step out from this intercept on a wide spaced 160m x 160m grid to evaluate the continuity of the pegmatite.
The intersection of several pegmatite units with visible spodumene modelled as continuous and semi parallel to the mineralised Big Red pegmatite demonstrates the potential for a larger stacked system comprising both the Big Red and Rocky prospects to be present.
Additionally, the wide-spaced drilling lends support to the potential scale of the discovery.
But it is not the only new discovery.
Phase 3 drilling also successfully intercepted a continuous pegmatite across the east-west fence line which ranged in thickness from 5m to 43m at the Pademelon prospect – a structural feature identified in the magnetic data north of the historical Londonderry tantalum and beryl mine that hosts LCT pegmatites.
This shows a potential continuation of the Londonderry pegmatite to the north.
Meanwhile, drilling at the Eastern Grey prospect intersected thin lenses of pegmatite.
Ground preparation work is currently underway to accommodate the expanded drill program whilst a close-spaced resistivity survey is scheduled to commence during the next two weeks as part of the ongoing target generative exercise at Kangaroo Hills.
Resistivity has proven successful in identifying pegmatites at the project with the Big Red pegmatite hosting a correlative resistivity anomaly with a northwest trending strike length of over 1km.
Data from expanded ground gravity surveys completed to date are currently being analysed to detect shallow pegmatites with no surface expression.
Additionally, a 1,500m diamond drilling program to test both the Big Red and Rocky prospects is currently underway.
The expanded drill program will seek to further delineate the Rocky pegmatites and test strike extensions for further thickening of the pegmatite as seen at the Big Red.
Drilling is also planned to the northwest of Eastern Grey to evaluate the target while geochemistry will assist in the vectoring to further lithium mineralisation at Pademelon.
This article was developed in collaboration with Future Battery Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.