Battery metals: Pioneer the latest to stand out at the Norseman lithium corridor
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If Western Australia’s Goldfields were renamed they would be called the Lithium fields because of Norseman.
Companies such as Galaxy Resources (ASX: GXY) and Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) have enjoyed exploration success and today Pioneer Resources (ASX: PIO) became the latest to stand out.
Three weeks ago the company discovered a new spodumene target area – rocks known to contain lithium – and began assays. Initial results have confirmed high grade lithium up to 3.70 per cent.
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Pioneer’s two targets returned 24 rock chips with the sample containing the least lithium still possessing 1.4 per cent.
Drilling will commence next month at the project with environmental and Indigenous heritage surveys being complete.
Pioneer also has nickel, cobalt and gold mines in Western Australia although Pioneer Dome remains its flagship project.
Pioneer Dome, which lies just over 100km south of Kalgoorlie, is Australia’s first caesium mine and is at production phase. But today’s success suggests lithium could be its fortune-bringer.
Pioneer jumped 8 per cent at market open. While the stock is still down 24 per cent in 2019, shareholders will be hopeful better days are ahead considering its neighbour Liontown has gained 403 per cent in 2019.
Also striking lithium was Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) at its West Australian Youanmi project. While the company did not mention specific figures, it had previously yielded rock chip samples with up to 4.2 per cent lithium. It has drilled 37 holes and found mineralisation in 36 of them. By the end of the month, drilling will be complete and the first assay results will be received.
Managing director Adrian Griffith said: “Our RC program continues to intersect good widths of lithium mineralisation in pegmatites at Youanmi. I am eagerly awaiting the first batch of assay results before the end of the month.”
Carolina focused Piedmont Lithium (ASX: PLL) announced results of pre-feasibility study level test work on its Piedmont project. Work showed grades of lithium at 6.35 per cent and low impurity. This was slightly ahead of three unnamed Australian producers in the area. CEO Keith Phillips said the results “confirm the outstanding mineralogy and metallurgy of the Piedmont Lithium Project”.
Who said oil and vanadium do not mix? Energy stock QEM (ASX: QEM) has announced results of test work using new oil technology which recovered 65 per cent of the oil in the Julia Creek project. But vanadium was also present in the original mass. An evaluation will be undertaken on the vanadium (and oil) and QEM managing director David Fitch said the results “give us great confidence in moving towards a commercially viable project”.
Alliance Mineral Assets (ASX: A40), which is also in the Norseman area, has formally changed its name to Altia Resources. Its new Certificate of Registration arrived from ASIC yesterday after shareholders approved last week. Its code is still the same.