Lodestar Minerals plots exploration plans to extend gold discovery at Earaheedy Project in WA

Lodestar Minerals (ASX:LSR) is planning follow-up reverse circulation (RC) drilling to extend the depth and strike length of its Earaheedy Project in Western Australia.

As stated in its latest quarterly report, the $18.43 million market capitalisation company completed a maiden aircore (AC) drilling program that intersected gold for the first time at the project during the June quarter, with 99 holes completed across 7 targets for 5,386m.

Lodestar reported ‘significant’ gold intersections, including hole LEA0008 with 7m @ 1.03g/t Au from 36m and LEA0021 with 8m @ 0.95g/t Au from 56m, including 4m @ 1.69g/t Au from 56m, were returned from 3 of the 7 targets.

While all gold assays from the maiden AC drilling program have been returned, Lodestar says all copper and multi-element assays are pending and are expected to be returned in August 2023. A soil sampling program comprising 2,200 samples is also underway at the project.

During the June quarter, Lodestar acquired Tripod Resources, which owns 2 granted exploration licences within the Earaheedy Basin, for $65,200 cash and 24.96 million Lodestar shares at $0.005 each. Along with applications for 3 additional tenements, this acquisition expanded the total footprint of Earaheedy to 1,420km-square.

At the 20% held Kangaroo Hills Lithium Project, shared with Future Battery Minerals (ASX:FBM), Lodestar says 27 RC holes for 3,216m and 5 diamond holes for 313m were completed at the project under a phase two drilling program.

Lodestar reported the assay results further support the ‘significance’ of the initial March 2023 discovery at the Big Red prospect, while a series of vertical holes testing the fresh mineralised pegmatite confirmed the shallow thick ‘high-grade’ mineralisation that remains open to the north and northwest.

These results indicate further follow-up drilling is needed to test for extensions to the mineralisation. Following a recent geophysical review, a resistivity anomaly was identified within Big Red, further indicating a potential strike up to 1km in a north-northwest direction and extending from the current drilling area and highlighting the potential scale of the prospect.

Meanwhile, a single drillhole completed at the Rocky prospect intercepted a spodumene-bearing pegmatite returning 5m @ 1.12% Li2O from 104m.

Lodestar said these occurrences validate Rocky, which lies 500m from Big Red and remains open to the south and east and is possibly connected. The company reports ‘high-priority’ infill and extensional drilling are now required to further understand the nature of the pegmatites in this area and their association with Big Red.

Phase three drilling will see 4,000m of RC drilling completed, along with diamond and infill drilling to test the ‘high-priority’ Rocky and Eastern Grey prospects and other regional prospects, including Wallaroo and Pademelon. 

As a Program and Work (PoW) and permits are received, the program will expand on the remaining target areas, including Big Red North, Western Grey, and Quokka, while diamond drilling will be further used within the Big Red discovery zone to investigate the structural constraints of the pegmatite and provide ‘high-quality’ samples for detailed geological analysis.

Core samples will also be used in early-stage metallurgical testwork, with results expected in the September 2023 quarter.

During the June Quarter, Lodestar and Future Battery Minerals sold the jointly held Nepean Nickel Project in Western Australia for $10 million, of which Lodestar will receive $2 million due to holding a 20% interest in the project.

The company also entered an at-the-market (ATM) subscription agreement with Acuity Capital, providing up to $2 million of standby equity capital to 31 July 2026. As security for the ATM, Lodestar agreed to place 80 million shares at nil cash consideration to Acuity Capital. These shares can be re-purchased for nil consideration upon early termination or maturity of the ATM.

Lodestar has full discretion to use the ATM, and if it does, it will be able to set the issue price floor at its sole discretion, with the final issue price calculated as the greater of the nominated floor price and up to a 10% discount to a volume-weighted average price (VWAP) over a period of its choosing. The company closed out the quarter with $637,000 cash at hand on 30 June 2023.

Commenting on the company’s work over the June quarter, Lodestar Minerals Managing Director Ed Turner says: “The June quarter was a significant period for Lodestar, highlighted by the commencement of our maiden drilling program at our flagship Earaheedy Project, which has already yielded some very encouraging outcomes. First-pass drilling at Earaheedy has highlighted the clear potential for both base metal and gold mineralisation, so we are eager to further test our suite of priority targets in the near term.

First-pass drilling at Earaheedy has highlighted the clear potential for both base metal and gold mineralisation”

On the lithium front, exciting progress continues to be made by our JV partners Future Battery Minerals at the rapidly emerging Kangaroo Hills Lithium Project in WA. Drilling continues to expand the scale of the project, delivering consistent shallow, thick, high-grade lithium intersections.

Lodestar remains committed to unlocking further value this quarter through our systematic exploration, including the commencement of RC drilling at Earaheedy to follow up the positive outcomes from recently completed aircore drilling.

Lodestar Minerals is a Western Australian base metals, lithium, and gold explorer focused on its Earaheedy, Jubilee Well, and Coolgardie West projects. The company also holds a 20% interest in the Kangaroo Hills Lithium Project shared with Future Battery Minerals and is earning a 51% interest at Vango Mining’s (ASX:VAN) Ned’s Creek JV.

Write to Harry Mulholland at Mining.com.au

Images: Lodestar Minerals Ltd
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.