Initial assays from drilling at iTech’s Sugarloaf prospect have irrefutably concluded that graphite mineralisation is very much present in its southern reaches.

Assays from the first six of 17 reverse circulation holes targeting the prospect in South Australia returned intercepts prove that high-grade graphite mineralisation extends well into the southern half of the 4.3km long exploration target

Notably for iTech Minerals (ASX:ITM), hole SLRC23-006, which returned two intercepts of 28m grading 15% total graphitic carbon (TGC) from a down-hole depth of 75m and 18m at 11.2% TGC from 114m that ended in mineralisation, is believed to have hit the main graphite target at depth.

This allowed for more effective targeting of later holes to test the main graphite horizon at Sugarloaf and obtaining samples for metallurgical test work.

“With combined intervals of over 46m at greater than 10% graphite, the company has shown that thick, high-grade graphite mineralisation extends well into the southern half of the 4.3km long exploration target and further estimates, from holes yet to be reported, show that the mineralisation extends to within metres of the surface,” managing director Mike Schwarz said.

Holes SLRC23-0013 and 0014, for which assays are still pending, had demonstrated continuity of mineralisation to surface.

iTech had previously noted that the intersection of graphite in the southern end of the prospect confirmed the southern extent of its Exploration Target of between 158Mt and 264Mt at 7% to 12% TGC.

While Exploration Targets are no replacement for defined resources, they do provide a hint of the prospect’s potential scale especially in light of the drill results received to date.

Drill results

The 17 hole program was designed to test the southern extent of a 4.5km electromagnetic anomaly at the Sugarloaf graphite prospect with the northern 2km area being the subject of drilling by Archer Materials between 2008 and 2012.

While it took several holes at the start of the program to locate the best graphite horizon due to its distance from the last known location in drilling, subsequent holes from SLRC23-006 were much more effective in intersecting the target horizon at shallower depths.

This drilling has also recovered samples that will be used to determine what kind of processing will be required to produce a fine flake concentrate with suitable grade and recoveries, which will allow for further research to progress to the spheronisation and purification stages.

Previous metallurgical test work has already confirmed that Sugarloaf graphite mineralisation has the right properties to produce battery anode material.

Drilling of a 10,000m RC program is currently underway at the Lacoma graphite prospect to the north.


MD Mike Schwarz from iTech talks about first drilling results from the Sugarloaf Graphite Prospect: Video supplied 


This article was developed in collaboration with iTech 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.