iTech is shifting its hunt for graphite at its tenements in the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, into high gear with the start of over 12,000m of drilling.

The first 2,000m of drilling will test the extent of graphite mineralisation at the Sugarloaf prospect, which has an Exploration Target of between 158Mt and 264Mt grading 7% to 12% total graphitic content (TGC) determined from previous drilling and identification of a conductive anomaly measuring 4.5km by 1.3km.

iTech Minerals (ASX:ITM) will then move the rig over to the Lacroma prospect – where metallurgy has already confirmed that graphite mineralisation is amendable for the production of a high-quality graphite concentrate – for another 10,000m of drilling.

Lacroma extends across a conductivity anomaly measuring 6km by 3km with graphite outcropping at surface and drilling in 2022 returning results of up to 60m grading 6.8% TGC.

Drilling at both prospects will also obtain further samples for metallurgical test work.

“iTech is pleased to announce that drilling has commenced at the Eyre Peninsula Graphite Project in South Australia,” managing director Mike Schwarz said.

“The program will be one of the largest single programs undertaken to explore for graphite on the Eyre Peninsula in recent years.”

Drilling has started at the Sugarloaf graphite prospect. Pic: Supplied

Focus on graphite

The company’s decision to focus on graphite and put its kaolin and clay-hosted rare earths exploration on hold follows its modelling of airborne electromagnetic anomalies with a confirmed source of graphite mineralisation to determine the best location to add additional graphite resources to its inventory.

It currently has a Resource of 8.55Mt at 9% TGC at the Campoona graphite project, which also features a granted mining lease and approved multipurpose licences for processing infrastructure and groundwater extraction.

The modelling resulted in the identification of both Sugarloaf and Lacroma as having the best potential for both tonnage and grade.

Each hole in the current drill program will have an average depth of about 150m with the combined program expected to take about 10 weeks to complete with assays to be released regularly.

For more details on the drill program, click here for an in-depth video presentation.

iTech added that previous metallurgical test work at Sugarloaf had confirmed that it consists of a fine crystalline flake graphite and that further work is planned to determine what kind of processing will be required to produce a fine flake concentrate with suitable grade and recoveries.

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.