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Askari Metals gets in trenches to test pegmatite corridor

Updated: Mar 26

An Askari Metals geologist sampling LCT pegmatite in Namibia. Credit: File

Askari Metals is preparing its backhoe for trenching across four lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites in a bid to reveal more battery minerals potential at its flagship Uis lithium project that sits within Namibia’s Uis-Cape Cross pegmatite belt.

The company plans to dig at least 3749m in 111 trenches to try and deepen its knowledge of the surface expression and level of mineralisation of the highly-fractionated pegmatites within the anomalous corridor that hosts Andrada Mining’s tin mine along strike.

Management says none of the pegmatites within a previously defined “corridor of interest” have been thoroughly drilled and sampled and one newly-discovered pegmatite remains completely unsampled. Most of the trenches will be at a 40m spacing, except for the “OP” pegmatite, which will be at an 80m spacing.

Askari says the upside potential of the permit is exemplified by the OP pegmatite revealing a greater footprint than expected, with a re-mapped strike length of more than 2km, and the discovery of the unmapped, spodumene-rich “K9” pegmatite striking greater than 1km.

The trenching program will entail more detailed mapping of the areal extent of the pegmatites and closer-spaced sampling of 1m intervals. The data, in addition to that obtained from concurrent soil and stream sediment geochemical surveys, will guide the later infill trenching and then the upcoming reverse-circulation (RC) and diamond drilling on the most promising targets.

The systematic trench testing of these typical fertile LCT pegmatites will provide critical information on the size, dimensions and lithium endowment of the targets. We expect a steady stream of assays over the next period from the Phase One program and this, coupled with the planned stream sediment and soil geochemical programs, will allow us to fast track exploration on these highly prospective pegmatite targets. Askari Metals chief exploration and project manager (Africa) Cliff Fitzhenry

Mr Fitzhenry also noted that assay results are imminent from rock chips and Askari’s earlier phase-one RC drilling of 173 holes for 9907m.

The four pegmatites occur within the company’s “EPL 7345” permit, which is juxtaposed next to Andrada’s operating tin mine that has an 81-million-tonne resource grading 0.73 per cent lithium oxide, 0.15 per cent tin and 86 parts per million tantalum. The mine produces more than 1000 tonnes of tin annually and has 180 mineralised pegmatites within 5km – laying testament to the prolific nature of the pegmatite belt.

Earlier this year, Andrada expanded its phase-one processing plant to include a tantalum stream and constructed a lithium processing plant.

And now, Askari’s exploration team is showing surgical precision in its systematic exploration focus to identify the rich source of battery metals lurking within its fertile LCT pegmatites in Namibia.

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