Westar weeds out new Opaline Well exploration targets

Westar Resources (ASX:WSR) is planning fresh geochemical sampling and mapping at its Opaline Well Project in Western Australia after outlining a string of new lithium, gold, and base metals targets. 

The Perth-based explorer says it found the ‘excellent’ pegmatite-hosted lithium targets through a hyperspectral study at the project that showed that the metal appears in places as a swarm of linear features occurring within granitoids. 

These pegmatites have been untested by Westar or previous explorers. 

At the same time, the company’s hyperspectral data helped define several gold and base metal targets that correlate with historical mining centres along-strike from its landholding. 

Westar Executive Director Lindsay Franker says the data from the ‘cutting-edge’ technology affirms the lithium, gold, and base metals potential within the Opaline Well area.

“These findings represent a significant step forward in our exploration efforts, highlighting Opaline Well’s potential.

We look forward to the upcoming field season, when we’ll conduct detailed mapping and geochemical sampling programs to validate these targets.” 

“These findings represent a significant step forward in our exploration efforts, highlighting Opaline Well’s potential”

As far as this mapping and sampling work goes, Westar says its first order of business will be to field-check the potential targets to determine if the linear features are pegmatites or other types of intrusions.

If it turns out the features in the potential lithium zone are pegmatites, Westar will then sample these to determine if they are, in fact, lithium-rich.

Any pegmatites sampled for lithium with also be tested for other critical and strategic metals such as tin, tantalum, tungsten, and molybdenum. 

At the same time, the company will correlate its gold and base metal hyperspectral features with historical geochemical and geophysical datasets to prioritise areas for further fieldwork.

The hyperspectral remote sensing method involves measuring the spectral radiance of the surface in a specific zone to identify and map surface minerals. 

Given that many rock-forming minerals have a ‘unique’ spectral signature, according to Westar, this data can then be analysed to determine rock types and the characteristic signature of hydrothermal alteration associated with gold and base metal mineralisation. 

Micas and spodumene can also be targeted to test for lithium potential through hyperspectral sensing. 

At Opaline Well, rock chip assays previously collected by Westar have shown grades of up to 1.3 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 3.1g/t silver, 0.8% lead, and 0.2% zinc. 

Further, an airborne electromagnetic survey flown over the area by Westar identified ‘highly prospective’ conductors that remain ‘unexplained’ despite the company’s fieldwork. 

The Opaline Well project lies in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, roughly 190km southeast of Port Hedland. 

Westar says several hydrothermal alteration anomalies with mineral signatures similar to gold and base metal mining centres and workings in the East Pilbara remain ‘largely untested’.

Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au 

Images: Westar Resources
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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.