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Castle on mission to prove Woodcutters lithium potential

Updated: Apr 17

Castle Minerals’ Woodcutters project sits between two major lithium resources near Norseman. Credit: File

Castle Minerals is set to get boots on the ground at its Woodcutters lithium project near Norseman in Western Australia that sits between and within the same trend and pegmatite field as the bulging Bald Hill and Buldania deposits.

The company has today revealed plans to continue a reconnaissance program, with the aim of identifying and sampling pegmatites outlined in a high-priority zone at the site that includes a 10km trend to the north-east of the site. Management says it then plans to locate more anomalous pegmatites within the higher-priority areas of soil anomalism and extend its search to other regions.

A previous campaign was stopped due to heavy rain and other logistical restraints.

The operation sits between the Bald Hill lithium mine, which hosts 26.5 million tonnes at 1.0 per cent lithium oxide and the Buldania lithium deposit with 14.9 million tonnes at 1.0 per cent lithium oxide.

Mining giant Mineral Resources recently struck a deal with administrators of Alita Resources, which went into administration in 2019, regarding the proposed acquisition of Bald Hill, which is owned and operated by an Alita subsidiary. However, several boxes need to be ticked before the agreement is finalised.

The Buldania deposit is owned by Liontown Resources, which was this week the subject of a takeover offer from United States lithium giant Albemarle.

While neither of the deals have come to pass to date, Castle says the considerable recent corporate activity around the projects and their owners highlights the intense interest and competition in securing assets in what is known as a “lithium district”.

Previous work at Woodcutters identified multi-element signatures consistent with possible hard-rock lithium mineralisation associated with lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites. The Geological Survey of WA also previously mapped pegmatites in the area that have not been followed up for examination.

We have rapidly advanced Woodcutters from an opportunistic and conceptual pick-up to a stage where we have confirmed its lithium prospectivity by delineating several zones of consistent lithium anomalism in soils along with supporting anomalous pegmatite rock chips. Castle Minerals managing director Stephen Stone

Castle has 410 square kilometres of tenure at Woodcutters, which is almost entirely covered with soil. The company says its soil sampling enables it to focus on specific lithium zones within what it calls the most favourable geological terrane.

The company’s previous soil sampling comprised 937 samples on a 200m-by-200m grid and assays revealed 21 lithium anomalies of varying priority. Lithium oxide results varied up to 85 parts per million, with the 90-percentile value of 53ppm defining the anomalies that were prioritised by a range of criteria including pathfinder-element anomalies in beryllium, caesium, niobium and tantalum.

Woodcutters is a key component of Castle’s battery metals strategy, which also comprises the Wilgee Springs lithium project, in addition to its Kendenup and Kambale graphite projects.

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