Drilling success at South Aubry prospect highlights potential to further build the resource at Seymour Lake following the Phase 1 resource defined at North Aubry
Thick Spodumene Bearing Pegmatites at South Aubry
- Multiple spodumene-bearing pegmatites intersected in the first seven diamond drill holes at the South Aubry prospect, part of Ardiden's 100%-owned Seymour Lake Lithium Project in Ontario, Canada.
- Thick mineralised zones containing large spodumene crystals were intersected with a down-hole of up to 21.43m thickness (SA-17-15) from shallow depths, with the mineralisation remaining open in all directions.
- Drilling indicates that the pegmatite swarm is potentially connected across the three separate Aubry prospects, extending over a total strike length of 1,100m.
- Drilling continues to provide a greater level of confidence in the interpreted mineralisation around the South Aubry prospect, while also steadily increasing the overall scale of the Seymour Lake Lithium Project.
- Planning is underway to complete further exploration drilling across all the Aubry prospects.
The first seven holes have intersected multiple spodumene-bearing pegmatites either at or close to surface at South Aubry, including significant thick zones of mineralisation of up to 21.43m down-hole. This confirms the significant strike potential of the area extending from the North Aubry lithium deposit, where Ardiden recently defined a Phase 1 Mineral Resource estimate.
Assays for the holes are awaited and planning is already underway to undertake further exploration drilling across all the Aubry prospects.
The initial drilling success at South Aubry clearly demonstrates the potential to build the resource at Seymour Lake and provides strong support for the Company's fast-track development strategy, including its immediate objective of exercising the Term Sheet with its Chinese development partner, Yantai.
Seven diamond drill-holes completed at South Aubry (SA-17-05, SA-17-07, SA-17-08, SA-17-11, SA-17-12, SA-17-15 and SA-17-16) successfully intersected multiple spodumene-bearing pegmatites, with all of the holes now completed and logged by the Company's geological team. Visual logging of the core has confirmed the presence of various pegmatite layers from close to surface down to depth, including (refer to Table 1 in link below for a full list):
- Hole SA-17-15, which intersected 21.43 continuous metres of spodumene-bearing sills from 2.00m down- hole over a total down-hole thickness of approximately 60m;
- Hole SA-17-11, which intersected a 20.00m spodumene-bearing sill from 11.00m down- hole over a total down-hole thickness of approximately 60m; and
- SA-17-05, which intersected a continuous 13.15m zone of spodumene-bearing sills from 1.50m down- hole over a total down-hole thickness of approximately 101m.
The drilling has verified the interpreted mineralisation zones identified at the South Aubry prospect from the historical data and the mapping and sampling program conducted by Ardiden in 2016.
Ardiden is pleased with these initial drilling results as the majority of the drill holes were drilled to a maximum down- hole depth of 60m.
The true potential of this location has not been fully drill tested and the mineralisation remains open in all directions and at depth. The Company is targeting known lithium mineralisation hosted in multiple sills, and will continue to develop its geological interpretation of the South Aubry prospect as further assay results are received.
The results further highlight the significant potential of the Seymour Lake Project, with the red crosses on the image (see Figure 3 in link below) below identifying numerous pegmatite exposures that have not yet been fully explored or tested.
The area highlighted in green contains the North Aubry lithium deposit and the Central and South Aubry prospects and contains the previously announced Exploration Target of 3-5Mt at 1.2 to 1.6%Li2O (announced 4 October 2017). The remaining 5km strike zone highlighted in blue remains open and untested.
Only about 5% of the regional pegmatites have been drilled, and the broader potential of the project is yet to be fully evaluated. The South Aubry prospect is just one of approximately 40 pegmatite exposures that were identified along the 5km strike zone during that exploration program, with several of these exposures hosting visible spodumene (refer to Figure 3 in link below).
Ardiden advises that the current drill programs at North and South Aubry are being wound down due to the onset of the cold winter weather. With the slow-down in drilling, this will provide the Company with the opportunity to fully assess the Seymour Lake drilling and assay results to obtain a better understanding the pegmatite formations and regional structures.
Based on the latest results from North and South Aubry, Ardiden is finalising plans for next round resource expansion diamond drilling programs at Seymour Lake. Subject to budget and staffing requirements, Ardiden will endeavour to undertake the next phase of the drilling programs as soon as reasonably possible.
HIGH QUALITY SPODUMENE POTENTIAL
These latest drilling results at South Aubry confirm the presence of multiple pegmatite sills of various thicknesses close to surface, demonstrating many similar physical properties to those already found at the North Aubry Lithium deposit and the Central Aubry prospect, including the identification within the drill core of very large white and red spodumene crystals.
Previous exploration programs at North Aubry have identified a multitude of extremely large spodumene crystals formations at surface, up to 4.4m (see Figure 5 in link below) and returning some exceptionally high lithium grades of up to 6.01% lithium oxide (Li2O) (as announced 28 January 2017) both at surface and at depth.
Ardiden considers the identification of large spodumene crystals at or near surface in the South Aubry prospect to be very encouraging. Taking into account the strong drilling and exploration results obtained from the other Aubry sites, the Company is confident that this latest drilling has the potential to further strengthen the project.
The South Aubry pegmatites have been confirmed as being either at or close to surface and extend to depth. The physical similarities identified in the pegmatites at each of the different prospects indicates that the pegmatite swarm maybe connected across all three Aubry prospect areas, which covers an initial strike length of approximately 1,100m.
Ardiden notes that the initial JORC Resource estimate of 1.23Mt at 1.43% Li20 (announced on 4 October 2017) at North Aubry is only contained within the first 300m of this Aubry strike (see Figure 6 in link below).
Ardiden confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the announcement made to the market on 4 October 2017, for the initial JORC Resource estimate at North Aubry and that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimate in that announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed.
The identification of pegmatites either at, or close to surface represents a strategic advantage for the project, potentially allowing easier access to high-quality mineralisation in a future mining scenario. The proximity of the pegmatites to surface is likely to reduce the required pre-strip.
Ardiden confirms the estimated combined initial Exploration Target range for the Central and South Aubry deposits of approximately 3Mt to 5Mt at 1.2% Li2O to 1.6% Li2O, as well as extensions to North Aubry (announced 4 October 2017). The potential quantity and grade is conceptual in nature, and there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource.
The Exploration Target has been reported in accordance with the JORC Code, 2012 Edition on a qualitative basis taking into consideration numerous factors including regional and local context, data support, surface mapping and sampling and historical data. All factors that have been considered are outlined in the Company's ASX Announcement dated 4 October 2017. The Exploration Target is conceptual in nature and should not be construed as a Mineral Resource that may or may not be defined as a result of further drilling and sampling.
Ardiden confirms further drilling and exploration is required in order to obtain a true understanding of the size and scale of the pegmatite sills contained at the South Aubry prospect and how these fit into the overall structure of the pegmatite swarms found at the Aubry prospects. Once the drill core has been logged, cut and prepared, the drill samples will be sent to Activation Laboratories in Thunder Bay for assay.
Ardiden notes that although the pegmatites at Seymour Lake can be somewhat difficult to model and predict due to the variable fluid pathways, confirmation of the interpreted extensions of the spodumene-bearing pegmatites and the verification of multiple pegmatite sills in the latest drilling provides the Company with a greater level of understanding and confidence in the project, while also steadily expanding the overall scale of the project and its future resource potential.
Ardiden confirms that the drill logs contained in this announcement refer to the identification and distribution of visible spodumene crystals of various sizes and colours contained within drill core samples. Ardiden notes that the estimated distribution of visible spodumene crystals in the drill core is not an accurate reflection of potential lithium grade and this will be determined with additional laboratory analysis.
The Company also notes that it has reported various widths of the highly evolved spodumene-bearing pegmatites. The South Aubry pegmatites are classified as highly evolved, complex type, spodumene-subtype, lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites. These pegmatites generally form under high-pressure-low-temperature conditions, display complex internal zoning, have relatively low Nb/Ta ratios in the ore-forming assemblages, and contain significantly elevated tantalum values.
Ardiden confirms that the South Aubry prospect contains multiple layers of highly evolved complex pegmatites and, as such, a number of the diamond drill-holes have been reported with a down-hole aggregate of visible spodumene- bearing and non-spodumene-bearing pegmatites.
The highly evolved non-spodumene-bearing pegmatites have been clearly identified in the drill log, however the lack of spodumene crystals being externally visible in the drill core is not an accurate reflection of the potential spodumene crystal content within the drill core or the potential lithium grade of the sample, which will be determined with additional laboratory analysis.
Ardiden looks forward to receiving additional drilling results, which should provide the Company with sufficient data to generate cross-sections and assist in the overall structural understanding of the South Aubry prospect.
Ardiden looks forward to providing further updates as they come to hand.
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About Ardiden Ltd
Ardiden Limited (ASX:ADV) is an emerging international diversified exploration and development company possessing a mature multi-element asset portfolio, with a near term development pipeline, focused quality projects located in the established mining jurisdiction of Ontario, Canada.