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Aurumin knuckles down on “unfinished” lithium business


Aurumin’s drill rig onsite at Mt Palmer. Credit: File

ASX-listed explorer Aurumin has started work on what it calls “unfinished business” by kicking off a new drilling campaign aimed at lithium-bearing pegmatites at its 100-per-cent-owned Mt Palmer project in Western Australia.


The company this morning set the drillbit spinning on the first of its four 250m-deep diamond drillholes for 1000m of planned drilling into what it believes is geology analogous to Wesfarmers’ and Chilean lithium giant Sociedad Química y Minera’s Mt Holland lithium deposit that sits 65km to the south.


Aurumin’s pegmatites have already thrown up lithium results of up to 146 parts per million and historical tantalum results of up to 391ppm. The targets are part of the company’s previously-announced drilling program that was awarded State Government co-funding for direct costs.


Under the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) – a WA Government initiative to encourage exploration in the State – Aurumin can claim up to 50 per cent of direct drilling and mobilisation costs up to $150,000. The EIS is ultra-competitive and management believes it recognises its work completed to date and points to the lithium potential at Mt Palmer.


The company intends to drill four vertical diamond holes to test for interpreted broad flat-lying pegmatites and lithium potential. The diamond core will provide material for the geological, spectral and geochemical analysis that is part of the requirement for EIS funding.


Two high-priority targets are based on an ultrafine soil-sampling program where multi-element lithium anomalism was defined. Other targets were derived via tantalum anomalism in resampled historical drill spoils from shallow holes.


Mt Palmer is prospective for lithium mineralisation and shows great potential, remaining unfinished business for the Company since we announced results from orientation drilling in June last year. The EIS funding results from a competitive process and is excellent recognition of the lithium potential at Mt Palmer and the work completed to date. We are excited to be drilling these holes, and look forward to the results and updating the market. Aurumin managing director Brad Valiukas

The company has good reason to be optimistic, as exploration to date has identified lithium and pathfinder-element anomalism from rock-chip, soil and drill-spoil sampling programs.


Previous reverse-circulation (RC) drilling has confirmed sheet-like pegmatites greater than 20m thick, extensive pathfinder elements and low-level lithium. However, it was unable to adequately test the area due to ground conditions and water ingress.


The drilling now underway will test the most prospective targets from the “Goldilocks Zone” that were previously unable to be drilled because of permitting requirements.


Management says it will complete the drilling at Mt Palmer before moving to its Sandstone project, where the company ultimately aims to support a gold mining operation.


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