Eye on Lithium: Chinese scientists reckon there could be 1 million tonnes of lithium near Mount Everest
All your ASX lithium news for Thursday, February 17.
Scientists in China reckon they have found a “breakthrough” discovery of lithium near Mount Everest.
According to ScienceNet.cn, a website backed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the hard rock resource has the potential to host the third-biggest mine of its kind in China.
While it’s on the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, it’s not actually on Mount Everest.
But the scientists say it could hold as much as 1.0125 million tons of lithium oxide – and that’s an appealing story at a time when the world needs massive amounts of new supply to feed accelerating demand – and China itself relies on imports for more than 70% of its own supply.
An official science publication in China is trumpeting what its quoted geologists called a “breakthrough” discovery of lithium in the same region as Mount Everest https://t.co/26bt669vkx
— Bloomberg (@business) February 16, 2022
The gold-lithium explorer today announced high grade lithium assays up to 8.21% Li2O in rock chips from ‘Big Pegmatite’, part of the ‘Ravensthorpe’ project in WA.
Hard rock lithium operations usually produce at grades of ~1% lithium.
Successful geochemical programs (rock, soil sampling) like this one can be a precursor to drilling.
Big Peggie (700m by 500m) is part of the 4km-long Eastern Pegmatite Trend, which remains unexplored and ‘open’ to the north.
And another large and flat-lying outcropping pegmatite swarm has also been mapped 700m further south of Big Pegmatite, BNR says.
This is even more significant when considering the very close location to AllKem’s (ASX:AKE) Mt Cattlin lithium mine, CEO Mark Csar says.
“The exciting prospectivity of the Eastern Pegmatite Trend is now confirmed by the presence of these very high grade spodumene results at Big pegmatite,” he says.
“The proximity of these excellent results to spodumene bearing pegmatites at Deep Purple and Creek, 2.5km along strike to the north demonstrates that this discovery could be significant.”
“Such strong results at this early stage in our exploration makes us highly motivated to rapidly progress our Ravensthorpe project and be drilling as quickly as possible.”
GL1 has announced a maiden 9.9Mt resource grading 1.14% lithium and 49ppm tantalum for the ‘Manna’ lithium project in the goldfields of WA.
It almost doubles the company’s attributable resource base (Marble Bar project 100%, Manna project 80%) to 18.4Mt lithium – a pretty big achievement for a company which only listed on the ASX in May last year.
Importantly, GL1 says there is scope for significant growth at Manna, where the resource was defined by just 3,636m drilling at relatively shallow depths “with mineralisation open in all directions”.
A drilling program of at least 20,000m is being planned to further grow the resource and to upgrade the classification.
“This highly encouraging result supports GL1’s decision to acquire an 80% stake in the Manna Lithium Project in December 2021, giving the company its second asset in a Tier 1 jurisdiction,” GL1 chair Warrick Hazeldine says.
“The ability to declare this mineral resource estimate at such an early stage in the company’s ownership grows our confidence in the project ahead of a major targeting and drilling program, which is currently being planned.”
The holder of the remaining 20% is Breaker Resources (ASX:BRB)which is sitting pretty, with GL1 carrying all costs and expenditure to completion of a bankable feasibility study.
The explorer has flagged some high priority targets at its Yarrie lithium project in WA after completing a hyperspectral remote sensing survey.
The project is just 30kms from GL1’s Marble Bar project and borders the Marble Bar lithium project owned by Kalamazoo Resources (ASX:KZR).
“The prospectivity of the Yarrie lithium project is further underpinned by the sheer size of some of the targets, with one the targets measuring a staggering 88sqkm,” VP exploration and geology Johan Lambrechts said.
“We are excited to drive our lithium exploration forward at both the Yarrie and Barrow Creek lithium projects, especially after discovering fertile pegmatites at Barrow Creek.”
Askari plans to kick off on-ground exploration to field test the targets, who’s thermal signatures align with known lithium-tin-tantalum occurrences in the area.
The company’s latest drilling results from the Niobe project in WA have intersected the thickest pegmatites to date of 17m, 18m, and 26m thick.
Once the Niobe drilling program is completed, the RC rig will then mobilise to the Wyemandoo Project, where an extensive greenfields pegmatite drilling program has been planned.
Aldoro aiming to estimate a mineral resource once all assays have been received.
The company is ramping up exploration at its Seymour project in Canada, with phase 1 drilling at North Aubry nearing completion – ahead of scheduled despite COVID impacts on the drilling team causing a relocation.
GT1 plans to kick off drilling at Central Aubry soon, which it says has strong potential to connect the North and South Aubry deposits via a series of stacked, high-grade lithium pegmatites.
The company remains on track to complete an updated mineral Resource estimate for North Aubry during Q2 2022.
The company is well funded to accelerate exploration at its lithium and base metals projects after raising $12.5m.
Funds will go towards drilling at its high-grade Mavis Lake lithium project in Ontario, Canada, that is scheduled to begin in April.
This will follow-up on historical drill intersections such as 55.25m grading 1.04% lithium oxide from 80.75m, and 26.3m at 1.7% Li2O from 111.9m.
MD Alex Biggs said the cap raising is a step change for the company in terms of future development opportunities.
“Funds will allow the company to execute its strategy and continue its aggressive exploration activities already underway at Halls Peak in NSW, and furthermore across its newly acquired Mavis Lake and Graphic Lake lithium projects in Canada,” he said.
“This level of funding really does allow us to fast-track and accelerate our exploration strategies across our projects, which is an exciting value proposition for our shareholders.”