Lightning Minerals to strike with further surface geochemical sampling infilling

Lightning Minerals (ASX:L1M) will continue surface geochemical sampling infilling within areas of interest at its Dundas Project, which so far included in soil anomalism of up to 218ppm lithium.

The initial sampling program was completed on 400m x 400m centres.

Lightning Minerals says the results will provide a higher resolution of surface soil geochemistry coverage, which will feed directly into follow up exploration aircore drilling, anticipated to begin as early as Q4 CY23.

Further infill sampling is being assessed across the company’s other Dundas tenements with the plan to delineate additional targets for drill testing. The results of the various iterations of sampling programs will include all applicable prospective commodities for the Dundas Projects including lithium, rare earth elements (REE), gold, copper, nickel, and platinum group elements (PGE).

Assays for the company’s maiden drill campaign on tenement E63/2001 have now been received. Lightning reports that while pegmatites have been intersected during drilling, no significant lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) results are reported.

Pathfinder elements within assay results are now under review to determine an appropriate exploration strategy towards identification of potential LCT mineralisation within E63/2001.

Infill soil sampling is also ongoing on neighbouring tenement E63/2000 to follow up on positive lithium in soil anomalism up to 218ppm lithium within an approximate 8km-square lithium anomaly. The maiden drill program at the Dundas South Project has been successful in locating a felsic pegmatitic hydrothermal system within E63/2001.

Assays have now been received for all pegmatite samples submitted for laboratory analysis. Results for lithium-caesium-tantalum are subdued overall, the company notes. Some minor but non-material elevations in caesium, tantalum and tin are present in drill hole DSRC0029.

The company says these may form the basis of further review which may determine future exploration activities within tenement E63/2001. Evaluation of results is currently underway to determine a relevant strategy for targeting potential LCT pegmatite bodies concealed under salt lakes to the north-west of the completed drilling.

This area falls within the prospective Mt Kirk mafic geological unit that transects the tenement in a north-north-west orientation. Exploration on nearby tenement E63/2000 remains ongoing, with the infill soil sampling campaign currently underway and nearing completion.

The Dundas Project area is located near Norseman in Western Australia and comprises 8 tenements totalling approximately 454km-square. Norseman has a strong history of mining dating back to 1892 and is located 190km south of Kalgoorlie.

Addressing the recent results, Lightning Minerals Chief Executive Officer Alex Biggs says: “Completion of our phase 1 drilling on our E63/2001 tenement at Dundas is a positive step forward for the company in understanding and refining our exploration strategy for the Dundas region.

To intersect pegmatites within a hydrothermal system is a success and provides a positive indicator of lithium potential in the area

To intersect pegmatites within a hydrothermal system is a success and provides a positive indicator of lithium potential in the area. We are continuing our soil sampling works on tenement E63/2000 with a view to defining drill targets and following up on our highest lithium in soil assay of 218ppm lithium.

Our aim at Lightning Minerals is to develop and test targets quickly and efficiently, generating multiple pipelines of work both on our Australian assets and the recent acquisition of assets in James Bay, Canada.

We are developing a number of high-quality opportunities in the critical minerals sector that we are aggressively exploring with a view to generating excellent returns for the Company’s shareholders. I look forward to keeping you all updated on our progress.”

As previously reported, exploration efforts on tenement E63/2001 uncovered pegmatites that were concealed under transported cover. Following this development during the aircore drilling program, a limited number of additional RC drill metres were then allocated to define the spatial orientation and test the mineral assemblage present at deeper intersections.

The follow up RC holes successfully intersected pegmatites beneath those identified by the earlier Aircore drilling. The mineralogical assemblage present in the RC drilling was consistent with that reported in the Aircore drilling, which is a feldspar-quartz-mica composition.

The pegmatites exhibited a variable grainsize with common chilling at the host rock contacts, with considerable interfingering with host lithologies suggesting that the pegmatites may have intruded as a swarm with the potential for multiple phases of intrusion.

The thickest intersection of pegmatite was returned from drillhole DSRC0029 which returned three pegmatitic zones from 52-64m, 66-72m, and 76-93m downhole. These intersections appear of an adequate scale to support a thesis that a sizeable hydrothermal system may be present in the vicinity.

While the scale of the hydrothermal system is a positive indicator, the assay results returned for all intersected pegmatites are not consistent with a high degree of LCT fractionation from a lithium rich parent source melt, at the locations that have been drill tested. Lightning says while lithium content for the program has been found to be low, there are elevated responses in LCT pathfinder elements with results of up to 363ppm caesium (Cs), 422ppm tin (Sn), and 422ppm tantalum (Ta) being returned from drillhole DSRC0029.

the analytical results are subdued, however the company says exploration upside remains for the E63/2001 tenement, as hydrothermal systems that emplace pegmatites at this scale warrant further exploration, particularly considering the context that they are located within 7kms of a known >15Mt lithium resource @ 1.0% Li2O (Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) Buldania/Anna project).

Lightning also has 100% interest in the Mt Jewell and Mailman Hill Projects to the north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The company holds a 100% interest in the Mt Bartle Project where licence applications are pending.

The Mt Jewell Project covers approximately 9km2 and is highly prospective for nickel with dominant lithologies consisting of mafic and ultramafic domains. Mt Jewell is in the locality of the high-grade Silver Swan, Carr Boyd, and Scotia historic nickel mines.

The Mailman Hill Project covers approximately 102km-square and is located 25km east of Leonora and 10km west of the Murrin Murrin nickel Project. The project is prospective for both gold and nickel. The Mt Bartle Project covers about 396km-square and is prospective for base metals. The project is situated in the locality of the Magellan lead Mine and 27km north-west of the mining centre of Wiluna.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: Lightning Minerals
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.