Could FBM’s Kangaroo Hills project be the next Kathleen Valley?
The intersection of further spodumene-bearing pegmatites has further reinforced the potential of Future Battery Minerals’ Kangaroo Hills project to host a lithium deposit of both scale and tonnage.
Kangaroo Hills is just 17km south of Coolgardie and 30km from Mineral Resources’ (ASX:MIN) Mt Marion lithium mine, placing it in one of Australia’s hottest lithium addresses with ready access to skilled labour and critical infrastructure.
The project was deemed a separate project from the Nepean nickel project in late 2022 after Future Battery Minerals (ASX:FBM) – then known as Auroch Minerals – discovered spodumene mineralisation within lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites during regional exploration drilling.
Subsequent exploration – including two rounds of drilling totalling 6,000m over 47 holes that returned hits up to 29m @ 1.36% Li2O from 38m – led to the identification of the Big Red prospect as an outcropping shallow north dipping pegmatite.
More recently, the intersection of new pegmatites from the Phase 3 reverse circulation and diamond drilling programs at the Rocky prospect led to the company more than doubling the planned coverage of the Phase 3 drill program with the addition of more than 6,000m of RC drilling to test the Rocky, Wallaroo and Eastern Grey prospects.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
Not only have all four diamond holes at the Rocky prospect intersected spodumene-bearing pegmatites – including up to 23.3m in hole KHDD006 – their orientation has also led Technical Director Robin Cox to draw comparisons with Liontown Resources’ (ASX:LTR) tier 1 Kathleen Valley project that is pegged as a $895m, 500,000tpa operation
“Following the outstanding results of the recent RC drilling at the Rocky prospect, which identified multiple stacked pegmatites semi parallel to the Big Red discovery, our ongoing diamond core drilling has extended the assessment of the prospect,” he says.
“This phase of drilling has successfully intercepted numerous pegmatites formations displaying visible spodumene mineralisation. These findings are consistent with the modelled stacked system and is further proof we are on track for discovering a significant lithium system.
“The modelling of these numerous near surface pegmatites share a common orientation that draws an analogy to Liontown Resource Ltd’s Kathleen Valley Project during its early exploration phase in 2019 before the discovery of deeper thick source pegmatite.”
The company added that not only did numerous pegmatite intercepts at Rocky return coarse visible spodumene, detailed structural logging of the core samples has provided valuable guidance for optimising the direction of the upcoming RC drilling.
Drill cores are currently being processed and sampled with assays to be fast tracked to further guide exploration at Rocky.
Given the hints that Future Battery Minerals might be on to something significant at Kangaroo Hills, it is no surprise that the company is keen to keep up the exploration tempo with the RC rig now back at the Rocky prospect in preparation for the expanded drill program.
“We are aiming to further test Rocky, specifically targeting the potential extensions and thickening of the mineralised pegmatites,” Cox said.
“In addition, the company is conducting further geophysical surveys to identify new regional targets and we look forward to the results of this survey.”
The expanded RC program will further test Rocky and the neighbouring Eastern Grey Prospect, where the pegmatites have the potential to significantly add to the scale of the Kangaroo Hills project.
Specifically, this will target the potential for thickened or swell zones of the pegmatite.
Future Battery Minerals’ technical team is also assessing the pegmatite intercepts at both the Wallaroo and Pademelon prospects and is preparing for additional follow-up drilling.
Assays are also pending for about 50 holes drilled to date in the Phase 3 program.
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.