• Allkem will assess the lithium prospectivity of the project
  • NIS flagged Carlingup’s lithium potential back in April
  • Nearby Mt Cattlin mine could potentially toll-treat third party product
  • Allkem will review data and advise on target generation and prioritisation


NickelSearch will team up with lithium producer Allkem (ASX:AKE) for a technical collaboration to assess the lithium prospectivity of the company’s Carlingup 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 (ASX:NIS) if Carlingup’s lithium potential is confirmed.


Lithium potential at Carlingup

Carlingup has an existing resource base totalling 155kt contained nickel and is strategically located in the same greenstone corridor as IGO’s (ASX:IGO) Forrestania nickel mining complex, and adjacent to First Quantum Minerals’ Ravensthorpe nickel operation.

In April, NickelSearch highlighted the project’s lithium potential via an independent geochemical review on ultra-fine soil sampling results which indicated Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (LCT) pegmatite potential.

This collaboration follows Allkem’s review of existing NickelSearch datasets, including rock chip samples, soil sampling and review of geophysical surveys.


Greenfield lithium exploration expertise

“Given the similar geology between Mt Cattlin and Carlingup, the companies have agreed to work together to assess the lithium potential of our project,” NickelSearch MD Nicole Duncan said.

“The exploration team at Mt Cattlin is sharing its vast technical expertise on greenfield lithium exploration and NickelSearch is sharing the data from the work completed to date.

“These discussions are based on the spirit of partnership, where success sets both companies up well to negotiate further steps in the relationship.”

The company notes that the arrangement is not yet at the level of a formal lithium joint venture and there is no guarantee that the technical collaboration will lead to a formal agreement in the future.


NickelSearch ASX NIS
Pic: Map of Ravensthorpe area showing Allkem’s Mt Cattlin and NIS’ Carlingup. Source: NIS.


Target generation the next step

In collaboration, Allkem will review the lithium-related data for Carlingup and advise on target generation and prioritisation.

NickelSearch is undertaking additional rock chip and stream sediment sampling over areas already cleared for exploration, targeting the 22 areas of interest identified by the independent geochemical review.

Analysis of historical geological studies and geophysical surveys has also allowed extrapolation of the results from the geochemical review to extend beyond the areas where soil was sampled – with further areas for rock chip sampling added to the current program.



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.