Alto Metals eyes lithium exploration following new ‘encouraging’ targets at Sandstone Gold Project, WA

Alto Metals (ASX:AME) is preparing for a deeper reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the Indomitable Camp within its Sandstone Gold Project in Western Australia. 

This announcement comes after the company completed a ‘successful’ drilling program at Indomitable and regional exploration uncovered several new lithium targets at the project.

The company says there has never been any lithium-focused exploration on its Sandstone Project, but the newly mapped pegmatites lie on the eastern flank of a project area where Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) recently secured additional ground targeted for lithium exploration.

Alto believes this is an endorsement of the area and has subsequently engaged CSA Global and Terra Resources to support ongoing lithium targeting work.

In any case, Alto says even in light of the new ‘encouraging’ lithium targets, its focus remains primarily on gold. 

In this vein, the company says the preparation of its next exploration phase is already well advanced, with drilling planned to target the orientation of the interpreted ‘high-grade’ structures within the fresh rock, as well as follow-up diamond drilling. 

Additionally, Alto is conducting further field mapping and sampling, with planning underway for an infill soil geochemistry program. Assays are currently pending for selected rock chip samples. 

Commenting on the next exploration phase, Alto Metals Managing Director Matthew Bowles says: “Planning for the next phase of drilling at Indomitable is well underway and intends to follow up some of the exceptional results recently announced, including 16m @ 13.1g/t Au from 19m intersected in SRC918. 

While our focus remains firmly on gold exploration at the Sandstone Project, our campaign-based exploration programs have allowed us to undertake low-cost regional exploration in parallel, targeting lithium. 

While our focus remains firmly on gold exploration at the Sandstone Project, our campaign-based exploration programs have allowed us to undertake low-cost regional exploration in parallel, targeting lithium”

Sandstone has never had any previous exploration focused on lithium and, whilst at an early stage, several targets have been identified, which is encouraging. We are now moving to implement follow-up field verification and mapping programs to further define these targets.”

Alto also recently announced a ‘significant’ increase to its Independent Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE), outlining in April 2023 an optimised and pit-constrained 17.6 million tonnes (Mt) @ 1.5g/t Au for 832,000 ounces, within $2,500/ounces pit-shells. 

The updated MRE includes rapid resource growth at Indomitable Camp, almost tripling in size to 5.4Mt @ 1.2g/t Au for 210,000 ounces of gold. 

Indomitable Camp is defined over a +3km strike length and sits within a +20km northwest/southeast trending gold corridor, which also hosts the Vanguard and Havilah deposit within the Alpha Domain priority target area.

The Sandstone Greenstone Belt is considered to be ‘highly’ prospective for lithium given that within Western Australia, the rare-earth lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) family of pegmatite deposits occur dominantly within the Archean greenstone belts in upper greenschist to amphibolite-facies.

Alto Metals is a gold exploration company, holding a ‘significant’ land position of over 740km-square in the Archaean Sandstone Goldfield, 600km north of Perth in the East Murchison Mineral Field of Western Australia.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au

Images: Alto Metals Ltd
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.