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Askari Metals hits trenches to define Namibian lithium targets

Askari Metals has launched a trenching program at its Uis lithium project in Namibia. Credit: File

Askari Metals has launched a targeted trenching campaign at its flagship Uis lithium project in Namibia, where it will test four high-priority pegmatites within its recently-identified “corridor of interest”.

The first phase of the program will focus on the company’s OP target, which has an estimated surface strike of more than 2km, before moving onto the PS, DP and K9 prospects for a total of 111 trenches through 3750m.

Askari says initial works at OP will include a systematic campaign of 21 trenches with an 80m spacing for the main portion of the pegmatite for a total of 2074m. A minor portion of the strike extent was tested through rock-chip sampling and four shallow reverse-circulation (RC) holes as part of the first-phase drilling campaign.

The trenching program will also take in more detailed mapping of the extent of the pegmatites and closer-spaced sampling of 1m intervals. The data, which will include that obtained from concurrent soil and stream sediment geochemical surveys, will guide the later infill trenching and then the upcoming RC and diamond drilling on the most promising targets.

In July, the company confirmed that a reassessment of exploration data had revealed a “corridor of interest” about 15km long and 5km wide and with visible lithium mineralisation at Uis. Interestingly, management says all anomalous rock-chip and drill assays to date are within the prospective corridor that also hosts Andrada Mining’s flagship Uis mine, about 15km along strike to the north-east.

The start of this extensive, targeted trenching campaign at Uis is an exciting milestone for Askari, marking the beginning of an aggressive period of exploration at the Company’s flagship asset. This campaign, combined with planned soil and stream sediment geochemical sampling programs, will ensure a steady series of assays are returned over the next few months. Askari Metals chief exploration and project manager (Africa) Cliff Fitzhenry

The project sits less than 5km from the township of Uis and less than 2.5km from Andrada’s operating lithium-tin-tantalum mine in west-central Namibia that hosts a 2012 JORC mineral resource of 81 million tonnes grading 0.73 per cent lithium and 0.15 per cent tin. It is also less than 230km from the deep-water port of Walvis Bay and management says infrastructure in the region is readily-accessible, with a well-maintained network of roads direct to site and easy access to power and water.

Earlier this month, Askari expanded the project by more than 68 square kilometres after completing the 100 per cent strategic acquisition of Namibian company Green Lithium, which held an exclusive prospecting licence directly along strike from the Uis project.

The deal increased the company’s total tenement area along the high-grade Uis pegmatite belt out to about 380sq km.

Management has been on an exploration blitz at the Namibian operation and is expecting results from its recently-completed RC drilling and sampling program in coming weeks.

And with strong lithium numbers still popping on the ASX for the companies that deliver them, they could well be assays worth waiting for.

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