iTech Minerals’ Campoona is a growing graphite monster
Special Report: iTech Minerals has expanded the scale of resource drilling at the Campoona project after the program identified that clay-hosted graphite mineralisation at Lacroma Central could fuel a low-cost mining operation.
Lacroma Central is part of the Campoona project in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, which already has a resource of 8.55Mt grading 9% total graphitic carbon (TGC) on a granted mining lease.
Notably, graphite sourced from iTech Minerals’ (ASX:ITM) project stands out from many other resources in the world as it is readily converted into high purity spherical graphite for use in lithium-ion batteries.
Drilling underway at its Lacroma and Sugarloaf prospects is aimed at increasing resources at the project – potentially by many times over if the drill results returned to date are any indication.
Initial drilling at Lacroma Central had confirmed that the underlying >6km airborne electromagnetic anomaly is caused by a significant graphite mineralised system, returning intersections such as 91m at 6% TGC from 4m and 76m at 7.1% TGC from 19m.
More recently, the company turned its attention southwards after infill drilling indicated that mineralisation increases in both grade and thickness from north to south.
iTech’s graphite deposits and prospects. Pic: Supplied (ITM).
The ongoing success of its graphite drilling prompted the company to carry out a review of Lacroma Central’s graphite potential with a view to identifying the next locations to grow its graphite inventory.
As part of the review, ITM compiled and merged over 1,470km2 of regional airborne electromagnetic surveys covering a significant portion of its graphite prospective licence
Airborne EM is a useful tool in identifying graphite – a very conductive mineral – as it measures the conductivity of rocks beneath the surface over a large area.
Using this method, the company has identified over 200km of conductive geological horizons, within its licences, that are likely to be formed by graphite mineralisation.
This has also led ITM to expand its drill program to nearby targets that are interpreted to contain clay-hosted graphite mineralisation.
The Lacroma North target is twice the size of Lacroma Central and extends for over 5 km while Balumbah is about 3km long and has an EM signature over three times stronger than Lacroma Central’s.
Lacroma North is just 3.5km from Lacroma Central and occurs along the same geological horizon and is most likely an extension of the latter.
Meanwhile, Balumbah appears to be on a different geological horizon and its strong EM signature suggests the potential for higher graphite grades
Both of these targets have confirmed graphite mineralisation in historical drilling.
ITM has also identified the Balumbah North target that appears to be an extension of Balumbah though it has not been drilled. It extends the Balumbah target length to over 5km.
All told, the new targets add another 10km of prospective strike to the upcoming drilling targets.
“iTech’s drilling program has had a strong focus on adding resources over the past four months and will continue to do so into next year,” managing director Mike Schwarz said.
“The addition of these new drill targets will add over 10km of highly prospective strike length and ensure significant upside to the company’s resource inventory.”
The company will continue drilling out the graphite resource at Lacroma Central into early next year.
It will also contact relevant landowners at Lacroma North and Balumbah to request access for drilling and if favourable negotiate land access agreements.
Once current resource drilling is completed, ITM intends to move the rig to Lacroma North and then Balumbah to assess the potential for further graphite resources.
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.