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Askari Metals scours data to pinpoint Namibian pegmatite prospects

Askari Metals is assessing the lithium potential of pegmatites discovered at its Uis project in Namibia. Credit: File

A comprehensive analysis study by Askari Metals (ASX: AS2) has identified seven new lithium pegmatite targets at the company’s Uis project in Namibia, with a detailed mapping and rock sampling campaign already underway.

Management says its recently-discovered K10 pegmatite has an interpreted strike length of 3.1km, the GP target has an estimated length of 2.4km and its Tawny prospect extends for 2.2km.

Additional targets include the Eve and MW pegmatites, with respective strike lengths of 1.7km and 900m, on the same tenements as K10 and GP, while the Martial and Zebedeus prospects, with strike lengths of 1.7km and 1.4km, respectively, are within the same exploration licence as Tawny.

The current exploration campaign has been designed to develop the new targets for a trenching program, which will be a first for the licence area around the Tawny prospect and a second-phase trenching campaign for the tenements that surround the K10 and GP pegmatites. Askari has also commissioned its pellet press and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) machine on-site at Uis to ensure a faster turnaround time on samples from its upcoming exploration campaign.

A detailed soil and stream sediment geochemical sampling program has been designed and it expected to follow the completion of the mapping and rock chip sampling program, with analysis to be conducted on-site.

We have designed a project-wide stream sediment and soil geochemical sampling program, which will focus on the previously-identified Corridor of Interest and will target any potentially buried pegmatites present. These programs will commence following completion of the high-priority prospect mapping and rock-chip sampling program.
Askari Metals (African) chief exploration and project manager Cliff Fitzhenry

In July last year, 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 project sits some 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.

In addition to the recently-identified pegmatites, mapping and sampling at the Kestrel target last month unveiled visible high-grade spodumene – a lithium mineral – with rock chips assaying up to 3.06 per cent lithium oxide. Of the 32 samples taken, 10 produced lithium grades exceeding 1 per cent lithium oxide, with the top five assaying 3.06, 2.97, 2.91, 2.88 and 2.28 per cent, respectively.

Kestral is Askari’s prime target in the southern licence area. Exploration mapping to date has outlined the surface exposure of the pegmatite area along a strike of at least 1.4km and up to about 1.5km.

The company says it is also reviewing several highly-prospective uranium opportunities in Tanzania as potential additions to its portfolio. However, its immediate focus appears to be on the lithium potential at Uis in Namibia where it is fast-tracking its exploration campaign to focus on the seven new pegmatite targets.

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