• Visual spodumene in pegmatites flagged at Carlingup nickel project
  • NickelSearch and lithium major Allkem are collaborating to investigate projects’ lithium potential
  • AKE owns and operates the nearby Mt Cattlin lithium mine
  • Assays from the grab sampling program are pending


NickelSearch uncovers visual spodumene in pegmatites at its 155,000t Carlingup nickel sulphide project, 10km from Allkem’s Mt Cattlin lithium mine.



Explorer NickelSearch (ASX:NIS) re-rated earlier this month after teaming up with lithium producer Allkem (ASX:AKE)  to assess the lithium prospectivity of its Carlingup nickel project in WA.

Allkem is the owner and operator of the 140,000tpa Mt Cattlin lithium mine, just 10kms from Carlingup.

Last month Allkem updated the ore resource and reserve for the project, which supports extending the mine life out to at least FY28.

It also flagged latent capacity at Mt Cattlin to potentially toll-treat third party product – which could bode well for NickelSearch if Carlingup’s lithium potential is confirmed.


Successful start to lithium collaboration

The companies have since collaborated on a grab sampling program from which spodumene in pegmatites was observed.

The NickelSearch and Allkem geology teams collected the samples from a portion of the Carlingup tenements that is private land and currently operated as a quarry for sand and gravel.

“NickelSearch is excited to have identified spodumene in pegmatites following our first joint site visit with Allkem,” NIS MD Nicole Duncan said.

“This is a great start to the technical collaboration between the companies.

“Given the similar geology with Mt Cattlin, we have agreed to work together to assess the lithium potential of Carlingup.”

NickelSearch has a granted Exploration Licence over that private land, with two out of three consent and compensation agreements currently signed to undertake exploration and mining activities.

The third agreement is currently the subject negotiations, which must be satisfied before a formal exploration program can proceed.


NickelSearch ASX NIS
Pic: Grab samples from pegmatite containing coarse spodumene. Source: NIS.


Assays expected shortly

“There is a lot of work ahead, and the Mt Cattlin geologists continue to share their vast technical expertise on greenfield lithium exploration,” Duncan said.

“This collaboration sets NickelSearch up well to better determine where and how to target our exploration efforts.

“As our highest priority, we will agree next steps on the spodumene occurrence and submit the grab samples for assaying.”

Assays are expected in 3-4 weeks, with Allkem to review the geochemical results for elements that act as indicators for lithium specific to the broader Carlingup area.

Allkem will also advise on targeting and prioritisation for inclusion in the current broader Carlingup rock chip sampling program.

In the meantime, NIS has commenced a stream sediment sampling program across its the tenements and plans to begin a soil sampling program shortly.



This article was developed in collaboration with NickelSearch, 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.