Latest drilling continues to extend North Aubry lithium deposit down-plunge to the north
Further Thick Spodumene-Bearing Pegmatites Intersected
- Multiple spodumene-bearing pegmatites intersected at various depths in the next eight diamond drill holes at the North 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 width of up to 19.38m (SL-17-71), with the mineralisation remaining open in all directions.
- Drilling reaffirms the presence of multiple pegmatite zones extending north-eastwards with down-plunge continuity at the North Aubry Lithium Deposit - with the mineralisation remaining open to the north, east, west and down-dip.
- Drilling continues to provide a greater level of confidence in the continuity of the mineralisation, while also steadily increasing the overall scale of the project.
- Latest results support the Company's objective of exercising the Yantai Term Sheet and progressing its fast-track development strategy at Seymour Lake.
The next eight drill holes have all intersected multiple spodumene-bearing pegmatites at various depths at North Aubry, including significant thick zones of mineralisation of up to 19.38m down-hole. This confirms the down-plunge continuity potential of the lithium mineralisation extending north-east from the North Aubry 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 continued drilling success at North Aubry clearly demonstrates the potential to expand the Mineral Resource at Seymour Lake, providing 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.
The additional eight diamond drill-holes completed at North Aubry (holes SL-17-66, SL-17-70 to SL-17-72 and SL-17-74 to SL-17-77) 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 multiple pegmatite layers at various depths, including (refer to Table 2 in link below for a full list):
- Hole SL-17-71, which intersected 19.38m continuous metres of spodumene-bearing sills from 136.2m down-hole over a total down-hole thickness of approximately 165m;
- Hole SL-17-75, which intersected a 15.45m spodumene-bearing sills from 71.30m down-hole over a total down-hole thickness of approximately 108m; and
- Hole SL-17-66, which intersected a continuous 13.20m zone of spodumene-bearing sills from 121.20m down- hole over a total down-hole thickness of approximately 141m.
The drilling has again verified the presence of multiple spodumene bearing pegmatite sills of various thicknesses, with the visual intersections confirming the potential to expand the mineralised zones at North Aubry to the north-east.
The identification within the drill core of very large white spodumene crystals is another good indicator of the high quality spodumene present at this location.
Ardiden confirms the drill core has been logged, cut and prepared and is currently being analysed at Activation Laboratories in Thunder Bay.
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 North Aubry deposit as further assay results are received.
The results further highlight the strong potential to expand the Seymour Lake Project, with the red crosses on the image (see Figure 3 in link 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, which contain the previously announced Exploration Target of 3-5Mt at 1.2 - 1.6% Li2O (announced on 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 North 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).
Based on the latest results from North and South Aubry, Ardiden is finalising plans for the next round of resource expansion diamond drilling at Seymour Lake.
Last month Ardiden announced the South Aubry drilling results (13 November 2017), which confirmed the pegmatites 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 4 in link below).
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 and overall structure of the pegmatite swarms of all the pegmatite sills contained at the North, Central and South Aubry prospects.
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 North 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 North 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 providing further updates as they come to hand.
To view tables and figures, please visit:
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.