Brightstar combs its Menzies project and spots 162 pegmatites with lithium-bearing potential
Special Report: Brightstar Resources is advancing greenfields exploration within the Northern Trend at Menzies and has uncovered numerous, potentially lithium-bearing pegmatites over a 3km strike length.
Gold-focused Brightstar Resources (ASX:BTR) completed a merger with Kingwest Minerals back in May this year which consolidated both the Menzies and Laverton projects in WA.
BTR also has a profit sharing JV deal with BML Ventures which will see the company as Western Australia’s next gold producer with a first gold pour from mining at the Selkirk gold deposit in Menzies due in Q1 CY 2024.
Last month the company announced a maiden resource of 21,200oz at 1.07g/t gold for the Link Zone prospect, bringing the total resource estimate at Menzies to 525,000oz @ 1.3g/t gold – yet has recently been investigating lithium prospectivity within its project tenure, specifically within its Northern Trend.
As part of first-phase lithium exploration, analysis of hyperspectral imagery has identified 162 potentially lithium-bearing pegmatite targets within the Menzies project’s Northern Trend zone.
On top of that, 28 rock chip assays received from first pass field mapping indicate a fertile lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) type pegmatite with significant anomalies in key indicators including cesium, rubidium, tantalum and lithium providing pathfinders for future lithium exploration targeting.
A comprehensive soil sampling program for 1,311 samples across the entire 11km of NW-SE strike of the Northern Trend has been completed too, aimed at providing background geochemical information for the entire area given its predominantly shallow cover sequence over bedrock lithology.
Multi-element assays for the soil survey program and 12 further rock chip samples have been submitted to the lab for analysis for gold, lithium and pathfinder elements which will be used to vector further exploration efforts.
In parallel, drilling is underway at the Aspacia and Link Zone gold deposits within the Menzies project area as the miner looks to restart operations at both Menzies and Laverton.
BTR MD Alex Rovira says the structural and geological setting is ideal to host lithium-bearing LCT pegmatites, given the greenstone terrane and proximal granitic intrusion to the north is a similar geological setting to Delta Lithium’s (ASX:DLI) Mt Ida project ~70km to the northwest.
“Recent transactions from WA gold miners such as Ora Banda Mining’s (ASX:OBM) transformational $26m joint venture with Wesfarmers and Pantoro’s (ASX:PNR) sale of lithium and base metals rights for up to $60m to Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) have shown that it is commercially pragmatic to conduct greenfields exploration for lithium in the greenstone belts in parallel with Brightstar’s gold drilling and study work.
“Brightstar’s recently commissioned hyperspectral survey has delineated 162 potential lithium-bearing outcropping targets, with many being ground-truthed via rock chip sampling, mapping and soil sampling programs to define potential drill targets,” he said.
“The existence of overlapping data sets and the presence of numerous outcropping pegmatites over a strike length of 3-4km is significant and warrants further considered exploration in parallel with the gold infill and extensional drilling and various workstreams within our PFS underway.”
“We eagerly await the results from the recent sampling program which will aid in generating targets for further follow-up sampling and potential drilling.”
BTR says it intends to conduct follow-up work to ascertain the potential of lithium-bearing pegmatites across the Northern Trend.
This includes detailed specialist mapping and sampling of areas of outcropping pegmatites and those identified from the soil survey, with a maiden lithium-focused program, including follow-up drilling, envisaged in 2024.
PFS workstreams are also underway, following up on a scoping study, released in September to examine a large-scale restart of gold mining operations at Menzies and Laverton, utilising mill processing infrastructure Brightstar owns at Laverton.
This article was developed in collaboration with Brightstar Resources, 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.