• Gouna’s lithium was discovered by Russian geologists in the 1960s
  • Current project owner First Lithium in the midst of a 8,000m drilling program
  • Three cut sample lines at the Blakala prospect show grades up to 2.56% Li2O
  • 12 out of 35 channel samples are >2% Li20


Special Report: While its 8,000m drill program continues, outcrop samples from First Lithium’s Blakala prospect at Gouna, Mali, have returned from the lab and average an impressive 1.7% Li2O.

Blakala, initially identified by Russian geologists in the 1960s, stands out as one of the two lithium prospects in Mali that CSA Global recognised as Tier 1 priority targets back in 2008.

The other is Leo Lithium’s (ASX:LEO) 211Mt Goulamina project, ranked as the world’s fifth-largest lithium deposit.

Despite the suspension of its direct shipping ore operations, Goulamina remains on track to kick off spodumene concentrate production in H2 2024.

Nearby, First Lithium (ASX:FL1) owns the Gouna project – and was eager to start an 8,000m drill program to precisely define the extent of known spodumene-bearing pegmatites within the tenure.


Dining out on lithium samples

Of the 35 individual outcropping pegmatite samples, 12 are >2% Li2O with a best-in-show grade of 2.56% over 1m in the BCH02 West hole.

Sizeable results include:

  • BCH02 West with 1.91% Li2O over 18.7m
  • BCH02 East with 1.54% Li2O over 11m
  • BCH01 with 1.27% Li2O over 5m
First Lithium (ASX:FL1)
The Blakala sample areas at the Gouna project. Pic supplied: (FL1)

These samples validate the visually mapped and logged spodumene content in historical outcrop and diamond drill holes by the Russians all those years ago.


The drill rigs are still turning, along with trenching and sampling

An 8,000m drill program is continuing while trenching and outcrop sampling is also being conducted and analysis from the three outcrop sample lines have been sent to the ALS laboratory for further study.

“The outcrop channel sample results have delivered some fantastic interval percentages with the highest result of 2.56% Li2O showing the significance of this sampling especially as the average across all sampling to date was a high 1.70% Li2O,” FL1 MD Venkat Padala says.

“54% of samples delivered results between 1% and 2%, and 34% of results were >2%.

“The outcrop channel sampling also provides some very keen interest from those involved as to the formal core sample results – which are due within a week.”



This article was developed in collaboration with First Lithium, 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.