NickelSearch planning first lithium-focused drill program

NickelSearch (ASX:NIS) is planning its first lithium-focused drill program to test the lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) anomalies identified at the Quarry and those to its west, south, and north.

The $7.68 million market capitalisation company will also seek to resolve negotiations for access and compensation to enable drilling to be carried out on the private land, as it complete works to expose the bedrock geology of the Quarry, under Mining Warden permits.

Drill programs for targets outside of this private land are being prepared and drilling in areas where there is an existing approved Program of Work will be fast-tracked.

NickelSearch says additional soil sampling is underway to continue to test areas of interest (AOI) where there was little exposure of bedrock geology.

Follow up work will be conducted on those historical drillholes that had positive indicators for Li mineralisation where no assay material is available. Lithium exploration programs at the newly acquired tenements will also be accelerated, including mapping, soil sampling and rock-chip sampling.

NickelSearch Managing Director Nicole Duncan says the company has been encouraged by its assessment of the lithium potential and defining targets within its wider Carlingup Project near Ravensthorpe in Western Australia. Following on from successful work around the Quarry, exploration has progressed into other target areas within the 100% owned tenure.

“We have completed the review of the historical drilling database and have identified a number of historic results that are of great interest. 

At the Nindilbillup Nickel Laterite deposit area, we were able to re-assay historic pulps, and the results confirm anomalous LCT pegmatite indicators.”

The company previously identified 28 areas of interest across a portion of its Carlingup tenement package. Geological work and sampling at each was undertaken in late 2023, and all assays from this work have been received.

Reconnaissance mapping was conducted across the AOIs in an attempt to locate any pegmatites
or associated rock types and collect samples for assaying. During the regional reconnaissance
work, a number of samples of felsic intrusive rocks were encountered that contained anomalous
levels of elements associated with LCT-pegmatites.

The company says these finds have enhanced the prospectivity of those areas. However, in many areas the bedrock geology was obscured by soil and/or transported cover, so these areas were tested by infill soil sampling.

NickelSearch notes that it has now completed its review of the extensive historical geological database. Nickel, not lithium, has been the main focus of historical exploration within the Carlingup tenements. As a result, the previous drilling, mapping, and geochemical work were typically conducted in a way that was sub-optimal for lithium exploration.

Despite this, the geological database has proved useful in progressing lithium exploration. The database contains observations of pegmatites and associated rocks, and a small proportion of drill samples were assayed with a method sensitive to Li and associated elements.

The company says there are several historic drill intersections with anomalous Li, caesium (Cs), Ta, Rb, Sn and/or Ga, which may indicate proximity to rare-metal pegmatites and associated rocks

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.