Eastern Resources (ASX:EFE) has started reverse circulation (RC) drilling at its Lepidolite Hill Lithium Project 8km south-southwest of Coolgardie in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.
Historical drilling discovered thick and ‘high-grade’ lithium-bearing pegmatites at the project. Spodumene-bearing pegmatites also have been identified at Future Battery Minerals’ (ASX:FBM) Kangaroo Hill Lithium project, which is adjacent to the project.
At Lepidolite Hill, outcropping exposure of lepidolite and petalite was mined in the early 1970’s and there is significant potential for further discoveries of lepidolite, petalite and spodumene.
The 48-hole RC drilling program, totalling 5,000m, will be progressed in 3 phases. This drilling program is designed to assess the potential for extensions of lithium-bearing pegmatites, and to target the area between the existing Lepidolite Hill pit and Tantalite Hill, and East of Signal Hill towards Future Battery Minerals’ spodumene-bearing pegmatite at the east of the project.
The Lepidolite Hill Lithium Project is strategically located in the Southern Yilgarn lithium belt. The Project is located some 18km south-southwest of Coolgardie WA, and 32 km west of the Mt Marion Lithium mine.
The project was a historical old lepidolite and petalite mine in the early 1970s. Lepidolite-rich pegmatites are common in the Lepidolite Hill project area. An exploration drilling program conducted by Lithium Australia (ASX:LIT) in 2019 discovered further lithium mineralisation at the project.
Pegmatite horizons were encountered in all drillholes and visual lepidolite and/or petalite and zinnwaldite were recorded in 19 out of the 35 drillholes, with an outstanding result of lithium bearing pegmatite grading 18m @ 1.45% Li2O from 5m within drillhole LHRC023.
Mine stockpiles and limited drilling have confirmed high grade lithium, tantalum, and rubidium. The project has significant potential for further discoveries of lepidolite, petalite, and spodumene.
Eastern Resources’ partner Yongxing Special Materials has strong demand for lepidolite and notes the promising test work completed by Lithium Australia which indicates potential for high recovery of lithium.
The company is also developing the Nowa Nowa Iron project in East Gippsland, Victoria. It has formed a strategic partnership with Ya Hua International Investment and Development Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yahua Group – one of the largest Chinese lithium converters – to acquire and develop spodumene projects.
Eastern Resources also has executed a strategic partnership agreement with Yongxing Special Materials Technology Co to acquire and develop lepidolite projects. Yongxing is one of the major Chinese lithium converters using lepidolite concentrates as feed to produce battery grade lithium carbonate.
Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au
Images: Eastern Resources