Core Lithium Ltd (ASX: CXO) has announced an encouraging update from the drilling at its Finniss Lithium Project, near Darwin in the Northern Territory.
The company reported the world-class lithium intersection of 107m @ 1.70% Li2O at Finniss Lithium Project.
The company said that two other recent RC drill holes at BP33 Prospect have also intersected spodumene pegmatite.
CXO said that these new spodumene pegmatite intersections are outside of, and will substantially extend, the current Mineral Resource at BP33.
The company said that substantial upgrade to BP33 Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve is planned next month.
CXO said that the expanded, high-grade lithium deposit at BP33 is expected to contribute significantly to an increased mine life at Finniss.
The company reported that the mining studies and updated Feasibility Study, to be completed in the first half of 2020, are expected to show high-grade continuous mineralisation at BP33 and Carlton and is amenable to efficient underground mining methods.
CXO reported that the approvals and financing discussions are continuing and further offtake is progressing, with the plan for the project to be construction-ready as market conditions improve in 2020.
Finniss Lithium project
Core Lithium owns 100% of the Finniss Lithium Project, located just south of Darwin port in the Northern Territory, which has JORC 2012 compliant Mineral Resources of 3.45 million tonnes (Mt) at 1.4% lithium oxide (Li20).
The Company is proposing to develop one of Australia’s highest-grade lithium resources at the Grants Deposit and is also actively exploring the highly prospective BP33 Deposit, Two of the integral components of the Finniss Project are the Grants Deposit (Australia’s highest-grade lithium resources) and the highly prospective BP33 Deposit.
Drilling at BP33 prospect
The company had recently commenced a deep reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling program at the BP33 Prospect.
Core Lithium reported a world-class, high-grade lithium intersection of 107m @ 1.70% Li2O from hole NRCD003.
The company said that the outstanding drill result indicates that the primary pegmatite body at BP33 extends with an ~40m true width for at least a further 100m vertically from previous drilling on that section and remains open at 400m vertical depth.
COZ announced that other holes completed during the recent RC drilling program at BP33 also intersected spodumene mineralised pegmatite including 19m @ 1.35% Li2O (hole NRC148) and 14m @ 1.02% Li2O (hole FRC216).
COX said that all these new lithium drill intersections are outside of the current BP33 Mineral Resource and are therefore expected to substantially expand the defined Mineral Resource at BP33.
Updates and next steps
The company said that the results from the recently completed RC and diamond core drilling programs in combination with previously recently released RC drilling results will be used to upgrade BP33 Mineral Resource in February.
CXO said that further drilling is being planned for the 2020 dry season to both expand the resource and infill to enable categorisation as an Indicated or Measured Resource.
The company said that the metallurgical test-work and petrology are underway to characterise the pegmatite generally and it constituent spodumene and any other lithium-bearing phases. Work to date suggests a simple mineralogy.
CXO said that the early mining studies at BP33, and also nearby Carlton Prospect have highlighted important opportunities to increase mining efficiency and to substantially extend mine life, and will be applied to the upcoming Mineral Resource expansion updates over the coming months.
The company noted that these opportunities include the potential to substantially increase Ore Reserves and mine life through cost-efficient underground mining of the wide, near-vertical pegmatite orebodies that continue at depth at BP33 and Carlton, subsequent to initially developing Grants as a simple open-cut mining operation.
Core Lithium reported that the new mining studies and updated Feasibility Study are expected to be completed in H1 2020 following updated Mineral Resource estimates through February from the Finniss Lithium Project.
Core’s Managing Director, Stephen Biggins, commented: “Core’s announcement today of over 100 metres of high-grade lithium mineralisation located 25km from Australia’s closest port to Asia highlights the natural advantages the Finniss Project has in regard to quality and cost.
We are confident in having the Finniss Project construction-ready in early 2020, so that we are well-positioned to be Australia’s next sustainable lithium producer as market conditions continue to improve.”