Could Juno be sitting on a significant lithium haul near its Mount Ida magnetite project?
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What started out as a hunt for magnetite in Western Australia is looking mighty promising for lithium, with Juno Minerals uncovering two significant, well-defined lithium-caesium-rubidium-beryllium soil anomalies.
Juno Minerals’ (ASX:JNO) investigation into the lithium prospectivity at its Mount Ida magnetite project has returned further positive results from a phase two infill soils sampling program.
While the company is still very focused on advancing its large 5.9-million-tonne Mt Mason DSO hematite project in Western Australia, it has added another string to its bow with these promising new lithium results.
The program showed the pathfinder metals associated with spodumene-bearing pegmatites lithium, caesium, rubidium, and beryllium, are all enriched within the well-defined anomalies indicating it is a “fertile” system.
Each anomaly stretches over a kilometre in length and up to 500m wide, with the southern anomaly remaining open to further exploration to the south.
Regionally, the Mt Ida fault in the prolific Yilgarn region of Western Australia is attracting greater interest for its rare metal pegmatites.
Delta Lithium’s (ASX:DLI) Mt Ida lithium project is located 19km north of Juno’s Mount Ida lithium prospect and is being developed to initially produce a direct shipping ore (DSO) product with the intention to produce spodumene concentrate.
Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) has set its sights on Delta’s Mt Ida ground, amassing a 17.44% stake in the company and installing its rich lister boss Chris Ellison at the helm.
Meanwhile, Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person and chair of private miner Hancock Prospecting, has increased her exposure to lithium in the region as well.
Hancock previously partnered with Legacy Iron Ore (ASX:LCY) and Hawthorn Resources (ASX:HAW) on its Mt Bevan magnetite project, but now the trio has expanded that partnership to include lithium exploration not too far at all from Juno’s Projects.
Spodumene is the most widely exploited mineral source of lithium because of its high lithium content.
Aussie companies are the biggest lithium producers in the world. Their hard rock mines make up over 50% of the market, far outstripping supply from brines in South America, small hard rock assets in Canada or lepidolite in China and Africa.
Juno was prompted to consider further the lithium potential at Mount Ida after the exploration success at Delta’s Mt Ida lithium project and a subsequent regional desktop review for lithium prospectivity.
Geological mapping was commissioned and conducted by respected lithium expert and structural geologist Dr Mike Grigson of Arc Minerals on Juno’s tenements with an area in the southern part of the Mount Ida mining lease indicating moderate potential for the discovery of rare metal pegmatites.
Dr Grigson definitely knows how to spot a good lithium patch, having continually mapped multiple lithium projects including Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project since 2015 and Wodgina for the previous owners.
There are no outcropping rare metal pegmatites as walk-up targets for rock chipping and drilling at Mount Ida, which meant Juno had to undertake geochemical soil sampling to test for rare metal pegmatites under cover.
The phase one soil program successfully defined a north-south geochemical trending anomaly for 3km with a width of 500m to 1km, which led to Juno completing the phase two program.
The continued positive outcomes have given Juno enough confidence to quickly begin a 34-hole, 5,440m drilling campaign to test the anomalies down to a depth of 160m.
“We commenced investigation into lithium potential at Mount Ida just over a year ago and the work completed thus far has identified two significant lithium anomalies south of our Magnetite resource. This presents a fantastic opportunity in an emerging region for lithium and are we looking forward to drilling this lithium prospect as soon as possible”
This article was developed in collaboration with Juno 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.