Lepidico Ltd. advised that encouraging results have been recorded on multiple exploration fronts. Drilling at Helikon 4 has returned the broadest high grade lithium intercepts to date at the Karibib Project (80% Lepidico), while a new lepidolite bearing pegmatite has been identified at Homestead with a strike of at least 250 m and downhole width of up to 31 m. In addition, trenching and sampling of lepidolite rich stockpiles at Rubicon is complete with a revised Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) now in progress that is intended to upgrade the current high-grade Inferred material into Indicated category and thereby allow it to be included in the Phase 1 mine plan. Two new land access agreements have been entered into allowing exploration of priority targets to start within EPL5439, which is located immediately to the east the Phase 1 Mining Licence area (ML204).
The Homestead target is situated within this EPL, 1.6 km along strike from the Helikon 2-5 line of lepidolite pegmatites. Preparation is also underway to start exploration activities in the east of EPL5439 on several priority lithium and gold targets. Helikon 4 Mineral Resource infill drilling Helikon 4 has the larger Inferred Mineral Resource on the 1.5 km long E-W line of pegmatites, Helikon 2 - Helikon 5, situated one kilometre north of Helikon 1 within a folded sequence of marbles and metasediments.
These pegmatites were mined historically for petalite, a lithium mineral used mainly in ceramics and glass manufacture. Currently, Helikon 4 contains an Inferred Mineral Resource JORC Code (2012) of 1.51 Mt @ 0.38% Li2O (0.20% Li2O cut-off) based largely on diamond core drilling completed in 2017. An infill drilling program started in late January 2022, comprising 20 holes for 1,612 m, to provide additional data on the geometry of the pegmatite and continuity of mineralisation, with the objective of upgrading the Resource into Measured and Indicated categories.
Six of the holes from this RC program stopped short of their target depth due to heavy water flow. These holes were completed by a diamond rig with HQ core. Assay results for the RC phase of this work have just been received.
Logging of the diamond core tails confirms the presence of lepidolite, with assay results pending. All holes from this RC program intersected mineralised pegmatite and all but two holes intersected significant lepidolite mineralization. Better results (before receipt of core assays) include: 40 m @ 1.08% Li2O from massive and disseminated lepidolite in hole HRCH033, 20 m @ 1.16% Li2O from a zone of albite with disseminated lepidolite in hole HRCH039 and 6 m @ 2.15% Li2O from a mica rich zone in hole HRCH030.
Interpretation of geology and assays received to date is in progress to optimise the design of an additional phase of drilling to be implemented within the coming month. This next work phase will include step out drilling eastwards towards Helikon 3 and westwards where Helikon 4 remains open. A maiden drilling program started at the Homestead prospect in May 2022.
This target is marked by a small outcrop of lepidolite-bearing pegmatite and is located 1.6 kilometres east of the Helikon 2 - Helikon 5 line of pegmatite workings. Drilling to date has confirmed the presence of a mineralized pegmatite at depth. Hole HRC009 intersected 31 metres of zoned LCT-type pegmatite with bands of lepidolite, green (possibly lithian) muscovite and petalite, confirming the prospectivity of this pegmatite.
The pegmatite appears to plunge to the SW, with drilling now chasing the mineralized zone. Drilling continues with several diamond core holes planned to provide detailed information on mineralogy. This program is expected to complete mid-July.
RC assay results are pending. The Rubicon surface stockpiles currently comprise an Inferred Mineral Resource JORC Code (2012) of 414,506t @ 0.84% Li2O. An extensive sampling program recently completed, aimed at increasing the confidence in lithium distribution within and between the various stockpiles to aid in the potential upgrade of most of this Mineral Resource into the Indicated category.
A total of 44 trenches were excavated over various fine (< 60 mm) dumps. Trench spacing was nominally 20 m on the larger dumps and 10 m on smaller dumps. Trenches were sampled from top to base by vertical channels cut into one side of the trench, with a total of 406 samples collected.
The coarser (> 60 mm) Dump A was sampled by a grid of 25 pits excavated to colluvium at the base of the dump. One bulk sample of c.200 kg was collected from around the spoil at each pit. In addition, 424 bulk density determinations were taken from across the stockpiles.
All trenches and stockpiles were surveyed by differential GPS, including the top and base (colluvium) in each case. Assay results are pending. Work on a revised Mineral Resource estimate for the Rubicon stockpiles will start once the assays are received.
Drilling has commenced over conceptual LCT-type pegmatite regional targets (RT targets) generated by an algorithm developed in house. Targets are initially ground truthed and verified by soil sampling on a nominal 100 m x 50 m grid, with the soils subjected to analysis by portable hand- held XRF to determine the Rb content. Rubidium is used as a proxy for lepidolite-bearing pegmatites.
With an atomic number of only 3, lithium cannot be detected by XRF. So far, priority targets RT01 and RT18 located within ML204 have been tested by scout lines of RC holes drilled across the strongest parts of associated surface Rb anomalies. Fractionated pegmatitic granite was intersected in both cases similar to that seen proximal to the Rubicon deposit, with several pegmatite lenses also identified at RT18.
Assay results are pending. Regional exploration of other LCT pegmatite and gold targets withing EPL5439 using portable XRF is ongoing. The method provides a quick first-pass assessment of targets which allows certain works to continue while assays are awaited.
Assay turnaround times have exceeded three months and are currently in excess of two months. Additional work is also being undertaken at the Marble Hill pegmatite prospect where old surface scratchings and prior drilling has identified an LCT-type pegmatite over a c.700 m strike. To date, only 200 m of this strike has been effectively tested with drilling, identifying sporadic lepidolite mineralisation.