NickelSearch looks for more lithium in WA

NickelSearch (ASX:NIS) is planning to re-enter some ‘priority’ exploration areas within its Carlingup Project in Western Australia, with a new access permit from the WA Mining Warden secured. 

The $8.5 million market capitalisation company has not yet secured approvals to conduct ground-disturbance exploration work in these priority areas — such as drilling or blasting — but plans to continue its geological mapping and sampling work across the region in November with the help of Newexco geologists. 

At the same time, NickelSearch is in the process of finalising access to the quarry in the area and draining the quarry pit. 

All this comes as regional lithium exploration continues across NickelSearch’s Carlingup tenements, which have up until recently been explored by the company primarily for nickel sulphides.

The pivot to searching for lithium in some key Carlingup areas comes from the project’s proximity to Allkem’s (ASX:AKE) Mt Cattlin lithium mine, which lies just 10km away. NickelSearch is collaborating with Allkem for its exploration work in the area. 

NickelSearch completed a geochemical review of the Carlingup area in April 2023 that highlighted the region’s prospectivity for lithium. This review outlined 22 ‘areas of interest’ (AOIs) for NickelSearch and prompted the start of early-stage exploration work.

Now, the company says its interpretation of geophysical and geological information from Carlingup has outlined another batch of AOIs, with 28 areas potentially prospective for lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites identified. 

As NickelSearch prepares to re-enter some priority zones within the project area, the company has commenced a program of works (PoW) to test the lithium prospectivity of the broader Carlingup tenement package. This work will include mapping, rock chip sampling, and infill soil sampling. 

NickelSearch Managing Director Nicole Duncan says the Carlingup Project has already demonstrated that mineralised spodumene pegmatites exist in a company-owned region within an area hosting an ‘economic spodumene operation’.

“We are stepping out from the initial target areas to assess the lithium potential across NickelSearch’s lithium tenement package, using the combination of geology, geochemistry, and geophysics to define our areas of exploration.

“We are stepping out from the initial target areas to assess the lithium potential across NickelSearch’s lithium tenement package…”

We will also analyse areas where pegmatites have been logged historically but not sampled for lithium.” 

NickelSearch’s new PoW will focus on 4 ‘higher-priority’ areas within Carlingup, and the company says planning for the systematic appraisal of the remaining areas of exploration interest is ongoing. 

The company and its exploration partners aim to access a small portion of the northern end of the quarry in the area but will need to complete a dewatering program before it can get there.

This program is expected to take between 2 and 3 weeks to complete. 

Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au

Images: NickelSearch
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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.