Itech Minerals has completed a $4.5 million placement at $0.25 per share, with plans to ramp up exploration at its two graphite projects in South Australia.

The Sugarloaf Graphite Prospect has an Exploration Target of 158 – 264 Mt at 7 – 12 % Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) and the Lacroma Graphite Prospect extends over an area of 6km by 3km with a drill intersection of 60m at 6.8% TGC.

The funds will also be used to undertake resource drilling at the Caralue Bluff Rare Earth Elements (REE) and Kaolin Prospect which has an Exploration Target of 110 – 220 Mt at 635 – 832 ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 19-22% aluminium oxide.

The company also plans to offer a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) to eligible investors, on the same terms, to raise up to a further $2 million.

Potential to boost graphite resources

“This placement and subsequent SPP fully funds iTech’s exploration and resource development plans for the Company’s Campoona Spherical Graphite Project,” Itech Minerals (ASX:ITM) MD Mike Schwarz said.

“Lacroma and Sugarloaf drill targets stand out as having high potential to significantly add to iTech’s current graphite resources.”

The Campoona Graphite Project contains a JORC 2012 graphite Mineral Resource of 8.55 Mt at 9.0% TGC, a granted mining lease and approved multipurpose licences for processing infrastructure and groundwater extraction.

Testing Kaolin and REE potential

Notably, the Caralue Bluff kaolin and REE prospect is a bit of a rare beast for Australia, in that it’s a high purity kaolin prospect that contains appreciable amounts of rare earth elements.

The combination of the two commodities has potential synergies that could lead to a low-cost base to produce both high purity kaolin and a REE concentrate/precipitate.

“[The funding] also allows for resource drilling at the Caralue Bluff REE and Kaolin Prospect and metallurgical development towards a viable flowsheet for both high purity kaolin and REE products from a single resource,” Schwarz said.

iTech has commenced stage two leaching trials with the aim of increasing recoveries by testing the effects of increasing acid concentration and/or increasing leaching temperature – with results expected this month.

Image: Supplied

Near-term drilling planned

iTech is planning to drill test both the Lacroma Graphite Prospect and Sugarloaf Graphite Prospect in coming months.

Landowner consent has been obtained to commence drilling in December once crops have been harvested and subject to no unseasonal weather events and applications for approval to drill are expected to be received within weeks.

The program is expected to take around 6-10 weeks to complete, and will commence at Sugarloaf, before moving to Lacroma.

This article was developed in collaboration with iTech Minerals Limited Minerals Limited, 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.