Pioneer Resources Limited (ASX: PIO) has announced an encouraging update from the inaugural drilling programme currently underway at the Dome North group of prospects in WA.
The company reported that all three drill holes PDRC263, PDRC264, and PDRC265 have hit pegmatite down dip from spodumene outcropping.
The drilling was done to follow up on 7 rock chip samples of between 1.40% and 1.99% Li2O (at Target 1); 17 rock chip samples of between 1.65% and 3.70% Li2O (at Target 2); and rock chip samples of 1.53% Li2O and 2.63% Li2O (at two Emerging Targets).
Pioneer reported that the drilling at Target2 (drill hole PDRC263) hit pegmatite from 175m down hole to termination of the hole at 311m, while two further holes drilled also hit pegmatite.
Pioneer Dome project
The Company’s 100%-owned namesake Pioneer Dome Project is located approximately 130 km south of Kalgoorlie and 200 km north of the port of Esperance in Western Australia.
The Pioneer Dome sits along an increasingly important ‘lithium corridor’ which includes three lithium mines: Mt Marion (Gangfeng, Mineral Resources), Bald Hill (Alita Resources) and Ravensthorpe (Galaxy Resources); as well as the emerging Buldania deposit (Liontown Resources).
Pioneer’s geology team had discovered pegmatites containing the premium lithium mineral spodumene at the Dome North Area, located approximately 18kms north of the Sinclair Mine, and additional targets were identified between these two areas.
Rock chip results at Dome North
On 17 July 2019, the Company had released rock chip results. The results were summarised as below
- Target 1 (currently 200m long): 7 rock chips returned between 1.40% and 1.99% Li2O;
- Target 2 (currently 300m long): 17 rock chips returned between 1.65% and 3.70% Li2O
- 2 Emerging Targets: rock chips returned 1.53 and 2.63% Li2O
Drilling programme underway
Pioneer announced that the inaugural drilling programme is currently underway at the Dome North group of prospects where spodumene has been mapped in outcrop.
The company said that the drilling is being done to follow up on rock chip samples.
PIO reported that the first orientation drill hole, PDRC263 was drilled in an easterly direction at Target 2, while two further holes (PDRC264, PDRC265) were drilled to the west.
Drill hole PDRC263
The first orientation drill hole, PDRC263, was drilled in an easterly direction at Target 2.
The company reported that the hole encountered pegmatite ‘downdip’ of the outcrop from which the 17 rock chips containing spodumene returned assays between 1.65% and 3.70% Li2O. 136m of pegmatite was intersected from 175m down hole and continued to the termination of the hole at 311m.
The company said that such an intersection suggests that the pegmatite is dipping approximately parallel to the first drill hole, which was angled at ‐60 degree from horizontal towards east, and therefore the apparent width is greatly exaggerated.
Drill holes PDRC264, PDRC265
The company reported that two further holes, PDRC264, and PDRC265 were drilled to the west.
These targeted the pegmatite intersected in PDRC263 from the opposite direction and are believed to have given a better indication of the true width of the pegmatite.
The company said that to date, pegmatites have been intersected in PDRC264, between 33‐54m (21m), 66‐71m (5m) and 107‐115m, and in PDRC265 between 122‐151 (29m) and 180‐188 (8m).
Further appraisal using Raman Spectrometer
The company reported that spodumene mineralisation is indicated in all pegmatites intersected to date.
PIO said that for drill intervals where its geologists have logged spodumene, selected individual drill chips of the respective 1m samples have been further appraised using the Bravo handheld Raman Spectrometer to support their observations.
However, Pioneer cautioned that the Raman does not give an indication of the proportion of spodumene in a drill sample, nor grade.
The company announced that drilling in and around the spodumene outcrops will be undertaken during the September quarter with assay results in October 2019.
Pioneer said that it has not included JORC Tables 1 and 2 with this report as the Raman information is not intended to be quantitative beyond the identification of selected samples of individual minerals.
PIO announced that when a full suite of chemical analyses has been received and compiled, it will report results comprehensively, and include JORC Tables 1 and 2.
Pioneer’s Managing Director David Crook said “The Company’s emphasis on first principle exploration practices has delivered an excellent priority target at the Dome North Area.
We are excited with what has been observed in the first few drill holes and look forward to delivering results to the market as they become available.”