Highly Prospective Assets Targeted for WA Drilling Program
- Lithium Power International Limited (LPI) is to start the drilling of its portfolio of highly prospective lithium pegmatite assets in Western Australia (WA), as part of the first stage of its development program.
- Drilling activities will commence in May 2019 and will continue over Q2 and Q3, representing the first stage of the development program on the Tabba Tabba and Strelley lithium properties, located in the Pilbara along the highly productive Tabba Tabba Shear Zone.
- Positive preliminary sampling over the greenstone belts at Tabba Tabba demonstrate elevated concentrations of lithium (up to 689 ppm) in addition to caesium, tantalum, tin and beryllium - all indicators for productive LCT lithium pegmatites.
- The objective of these activities is to define an initial resource that can serve as the base for a Scoping Study and PFS preparation.
- The Shear Zone hosts a significant recent lithium discovery by Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) adjacent to LPI's Tabba Tabba project. Li2O results of up to 1.2% have been recorded in the belt containing the historical Tabba Tabba tantalum mine and Strelley pegmatites.
- Initial exploration program will consist of 4000 m of drilling, targeting greenstone lithologies at Tabba Tabba hosting a 4.3 km long zone of elevated lithium, along with further drilling on the extension of the greenstone belt north into Strelley.
- Exploration activities on LPI's Greenbushes properties, adjacent to the world's largest and highest-grade hard rock lithium mine, will be ramped up once the final access permits are granted.
- LPI continues to evaluate other lithium assets for acquisitions or potential partnerships to further increase the scale of its WA projects.
A decision to expand activities on the Company's WA properties resulted from positive preliminary sampling results and the freeing up of resources following the lodgement of both the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) of the Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile. The Maricunga project now progresses through the Chilean environmental approval process in parallel with discussions for off-take agreements and project finance with international institutions.
The development of the WA properties advances the execution of the Company's strategy of being a diversified international lithium project developer, both in terms of geography and lithium source by having hard rock and brine projects.
The WA properties, subject to little or no exploration for lithium in the past, have the potential to create significant additional value for LPI as shown by the changes in market capitalisation of other companies making attractive pegmatite discoveries in Western Australia.
The Company will direct further resources to this development process, with a new, expanded Perth office and additional staff to supervise all activities. All WA properties are 100% owned by LPI and are located a short distance from the ports of Port Hedland or Bunbury.
Lithium Power International's Chief Executive Officer, Cristobal Garcia-Huidobro, commented:
"The Company's properties in Western Australia are in highly prospective locations in the Pilbara or adjacent to the world-class Greenbushes lithium mine in the south-west of the state and we are mindful of the value the development of these assets can create for shareholders. We will be increasing the staff and budget dedicated to these projects, looking to define resources as the first stage of our development in Western Australia and undertaking assessments of project economics. Following the successful completion of the Maricunga DFS, we are becoming a multi-project lithium development Company with a very well diversified asset base. We view Western Australia as one of the premier global locations for lithium development and look forward to developing a mine in this jurisdiction."
Tabba Tabba - Pilbara, WA
LPI's Tabba Tabba project is located along the highly productive Tabba Tabba Shear Zone (see Figure 2 in link below), which hosts the historical Tabba Tabba tantalum mine and the Strelley pegmatites. Additionally, a recent advanced lithium pegmatite discovery has been made by FMG directly adjacent to LPI's property, for which a resource has yet to be announced. There is known spodumene mineralisation with lithium oxide concentrations of up to 1.2% within greenstone belts in which pegmatites have intruded along the shear zone. With the recent and historical discoveries, the shear zone is shaping up as one of the most interesting areas for lithium in Australia and globally.
LPI has conducted an extensive soil survey over the three greenstone belts that are identified in this property (E45/4637). This demonstrated that the Eastern and Central belts (1 and 2 in Figure 2 in link below) have elevated concentrations of lithium in addition to caesium, tantalum, tin and beryllium - all indicator elements for productive LCT lithium pegmatites (see Table 1 in link below). Elevated levels of nickel and gold were also identified. The sampling defined a 4.3 km long zone in the Eastern Belt, with values of Li2O greater than 200 ppm (see Figure 3 in link below), and elevated but lower levels of lithium and associated elements over approximately 2 km in the Central Belt.
Targets have been defined for an initial 3000 m drilling program in mid-2019, with drilling to test the upper 100 m of the target. Positive drilling results would lead to resource definition, potentially to be followed by a Scoping Study and additional resource drilling.
Field mapping has also identified that the zone of elevated soil geochemistry contains numerous outcrops of coarse to fine grained pegmatite dykes (see Figure 4 in link below). They vary in width and length and will be mapped and sampled in more detail by the Company.
The soil program, completed over the three north-east trending greenstone belts (see Figure 3 in link below), comprised lines that were nominally on 200 m spacings, with samples taken every 25 m along lines. A total of 1661 primary samples were taken during this program, with 184 duplicate samples taken and analysed.
The property is easily accessed by road, and is approximately 60 km south of Port Hedland, a major port, from which lithium concentrates are regularly shipped. The closeness to infrastructure reduces both project risk and potential C1 cost. Few global projects are so well located to port and support infrastructure. The 3000 m drilling program is planned for mid-2019, following the completion of heritage surveys and clearances, geological mapping and rock chip sampling.
The Tabba Tabba Shear Zone is identified as an important regional fault, which has controlled intrusion of lithium and tantalum-bearing pegmatites. It also hosts gold and base metal mineralisation further to the south-west of the LPI project. The elevated lithium in soils is located 5 km north-east of the historical Tabba Tabba tantalum mine, which is outside LPI's property. Fortescue Metals Group has recently conducted a significant drilling program on their project, to within 500 m SSW of the LPI property, directly along the trend of LPI's soil target.
Strelley - Pilbara, WA
The Strelley project has a similar structural setting to the Tabba Tabba project. It is located 15 km to the north along the Tabba Tabba Shear Zone (see Figure 2 in link below), where the greenstone belt with the highest lithium in soil geochemistry on the LPI Tabba Tabba project continues. This area has shallow, wind-blown sand cover. An initial 1000 m of systematic aircore drilling will be undertaken to obtain samples for geochemistry and mapping of the rock type. Structures will be targeted in the greenstone belt that are considered to potentially host pegmatites. The mineralised Tabba Tabba tantalum pegmatites are located 5 km south-south-west of LPI's Tabba Tabba property, and the Strelley pegmatites are located between the two LPI properties. Drilling is planned for the project in 3Q19.
Pilgangoora - Pilbara, WA
The Pilgangoora project is approximately 110 km south-south-east of Port Hedland. The property abuts and is immediately west of the mining properties held by Pilbara Minerals and Altura Mining, where lithium is being mined from one of the world's largest lithium pegmatite deposits. Pilbara Minerals, has a resource base of 226 Mt of lithium mineralisation at 1.27% Li2O and a capitalisation of $1.2 billion, having rapidly grown from an explorer to a developer and miner aiming to produce 330,000 tpa of lithium 6% concentrate. Altura Mining has a resource base of 50.5 Mt at 1.01% Li2O and 41 Mt of reserves, with a capitalisation of $250 million. The Pilgangoora project is located within 1.5 hours drive of Port Hedland, from where lithium concentrates are currently being shipped.
To date LPI has conducted two soil sampling programs and drilled 35 reverse circulation holes. Further evaluation of these results is planned prior to additional exploration on the property in 2019.
Greenbushes - South-west WA
The Greenbushes project is located 250 km south of Perth and comprises two properties located immediately north and south of the block hosting the Greenbushes mine, which is owned by major lithium producers Tianqi Lithium and Albemarle, multi-billion dollar public companies. The mine supplies approximately 29% of global lithium supply and is undergoing an expansion to more than double the current production. In 2012 the mine had Measured and Indicated resources of approximately 118.5 Mt at 2.4% lithium oxide, the highest grade producing hard rock lithium mine globally.
LPI's properties are considered to be highly prospective for the discovery of lithium pegmatites along the same geological units and faults as Greenbushes' pegmatite. The properties E70/4763 and E70/4774 cover extensive areas of forestry land, and LPI is seeking access to these areas for surface geochemical sampling and subsequent drilling.
LPI continues to evaluate third party projects that would be highly prospective additions to the WA project portfolio. A number were evaluated in 2018 and more are being considered.
To view tables and figures, please visit:
About Lithium Power International Ltd
Lithium Power International Limited (ASX:LPI) (FRA:24L) is a pure-play lithium explorer and developer, focusing on developing and fast-tracking to production the high-grade Maricunga lithium brine project in Chile.
LPI has a well known performing technical team with the experience to take the Maricunga project all the way through the development stages to production.
The regions that LPI is currently focussed on are:
1. Maricunga JV (Chile) – On 13th September 2016, Lithium Power announced the creation of a new JV to develop the world-class Maricunga lithium brine deposit in northern Chile.
2. Pilbara (Western Australia) – LPI has one granted exploration tenement and two pending exploration applications covering 203km2 in the Pilbara region of northern Western Australia. The largest granted exploration tenement is at Pilgangoora-Houston Creek is 2-3km west of the Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) and Altura Mining (ASX:AJM) lithium deposits.
3. Greenbushes (Western Australia) – LPI has two granted exploration tenements covering 400km2 in the Greenbushes area of southern Western Australia. The tenements are adjacent to the world’s largest hard rock lithium mine owned & operated by Tianqi/Talison.
4. Centenario (Argentina) –Through its Argentinian subsidiary, Lithium Power holds a total of 6 granted tenements in the Centenario lithium brine salar within the Salta province of the Puna Plateau. In total, the 6 granted tenements cover an area of 61.52km2. In addition, there is 1 further tenement in the grant review stage.
With the exception of the Maricunga JV, all tenements are 100% owned by LPI or LPSA (including rights to the Centenario tenement which is the subject of review by the Argentinian mining authorities).
Lithium Power International Ltd