Oceana is collaborating with the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Exploration Targeting – and other lithium explorers – in a research program over the North Arunta pegmatite province.

The program, which is co-funded by Oceana, Core Lithium, Australasian Metals, Askari Minerals and Lithium Springs, will focus on defining a mineralisation framework for rare metal pegmatites in the highly prospective region within the Northern Territory.

Various rare metal pegmatite fields – including Oceana Lithium’s (ASX:OCN) Napperby lithium project – have been identified in the highly prospective North Arunta pegmatite province.

While many of these are interpreted to be lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites that host world-class deposits such as Greenbushes in Western Australia, others may be associated with REEs.

Research program

This program is aimed at addressing the lack of knowledge on the systematic structural and petrogenetic constraints on the Arunta rare metal pegmatite province, which has hindered systematic, cost-effective exploration targeting using modern geochemical, hyperspectral and mineralogical tools.

It will seek to achieve this by first defining a robust lithochemical mineralisation framework for rare metal pegmatites in the Arunta Province that will provide the context for available structural constraints.

Detailed mineralogical and mineral chemistry investigations on Li-bearing and pathfinder minerals will also be undertaken, allowing for cost-effective exploration targeting for granite hosted lithium, tantalum and potentially REEs.

Napperby lithium project

Oceana recently carried out an intensive field exploration program at Napperby to improve its understanding of the area’s geology.

Initial work indicates that the central area of the tenement is dominated by a granite pluton (Wangala Granite), with differing characteristics observed in the way it has crystallised and fractionated.

Over in the north, large feldspar crystals are common, suggesting slow cooling while further south the granite is generally finer grained with more biotite and possible tourmaline, indicating that this granite is more evolved.

The company’s field team has also observed a zonation in the pegmatites where dykes in the north of the project area consist of quartz, feldspar and muscovite while in the south the pegmatites also contain tourmaline, which is a clear indicator of greater fractionation typical of lithium hosting rock sequences.




This article was developed in collaboration with Oceana Lithium, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


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