Drilling Commenced to Upgrade Grants Lithium Resource
- Core has commenced resource infill drilling on the high-grade Grants lithium deposit to upgrade the JORC Resource classifications
- 2 multi-purpose RC/Diamond drill rigs currently operating, and a 3rd diamond drill rig scheduled to arrive in first week of February
- First assays from Grants resource upgrade drilling are expected during February 2018
- Grants lithium Mineral Resource upgrade expected in March 2018, and will feed into the Pre-Feasibility Study already underway
- Mining Lease application and mining and processing approvals are also underway for the proposed development of the Grants Lithium mine
Two multi-purpose RC and diamond core rigs are infill drilling at Grants to upgrade the confidence level of the initial high-grade lithium Mineral Resource announced in 2017. A third diamond core rig will arrive in the next few days once it has finished drilling at the nearby BP33 prospect which is also within the Company's Finniss Lithium Project.
The initial Mineral Resource announced in 2017 of 1.8Mt @ 1.5% Li2O, highlights Grants as one of the highest grade undeveloped lithium deposits in Australia. Although Grants itself is a small scale development, it is expected to be a highly profitable mining project given its high grade, and potentially provide a central hub for development of other lithium resources which may be delineated within proximity to Grants. In this regard, Core is maintaining an aggressive exploration programme that includes drilling of several pegmatite prospects within the Bynoe Lithium Field.
Core is aiming to announce an updated Mineral Resource estimate for the Grants deposit in March 2018 which will incorporate the new drill results and provide a key input into the Pre- Feasibility Study.
Geotechnical drilling and evaluation studies will also be completed during the current drill program which will feed into detailed mine engineering and design that is to be conducted in 2018 in preparation for mine development.
In addition, the Company is undertaking a five hole, wide diameter core drilling program for metallurgical studies that will feed into feasibility studies in 2018 that are considering production of spodumene products from Grants.
The Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) supporting the development of the Grants deposit is currently underway. The updated Mineral Resource estimate at Grants will underpin the PFS and following feasibility studies in 2018.
Finniss Lithium Project Background
Core has established one of Australia's highest grade lithium resources at the Grants Deposit within the Finniss Lithium Project near Darwin Port, Australia's closest port to China.
Core has recently entered into a binding lithium Offtake Agreement and a conditional US$20 million Prepayment Agreement with one of China's largest lithium producers. Core has also established an agreement (HOA) to export spodumene products from Darwin Port.
Core is progressing the regulatory and feasibility steps to drive the Grants Lithium Deposit through development and into production with the aim to establish long-life spodumene production from its large tenement holding located near grid power, gas and rail infrastructure and the skills and services of Darwin. The capital city of Darwin also provides an ideal technology, infrastructure and transport hub for potential downstream processing of lithium products as the EV and lithium battery industry continues to expand into the future.
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About Core Exploration Ltd
Core Exploration Ltd (ASX:CXO) is an emerging lithium producer focused on development of its Finniss Project near Darwin in the Northern Territory. Core owns 100% of Finniss, a major developing project that lies close to existing infrastructure such as the Darwin Port, grid power, gas and rail infrastructure.
The Finniss Project covers a 500km2 tenement holding and 25 historic pegmatite mines. The project area is about 80km from Darwin Port. Exploration work has generated a near term development timeline, with feasibility studies to be completed over the course of 2018 ahead of receipt of approvals in early 2019 and planned first production during 2019.
An aggressive exploration program is under way, which has confirmed the high quality prospectivity across much of the Finniss Project area. Core's stated ambition is to upgrade Finniss' resource base to fast-track commercialisation options.
Core Exploration Ltd