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Dart Mining fires up drill rigs to chase more Victorian lithium

Updated: Mar 21

Dart Mining has recorded positive results from diamond drilling at its Dorchap lithium project in Victoria. Credit: File

Dart Mining is already planning second and third drill programs at its Dorchap lithium project in Victoria after unveiling positive results from the final assays from its first-phase diamond drill campaign.

The company recorded a 5.9m hit grading 0.81 per cent lithium oxide from 204m, including a 3.3m section at 1 per cent lithium oxide from 204.67m in a diamond hole sunk at its Fergusson’s Dyke target. Of the 12 holes drilled during the diamond campaign, only three failed to return significant intersections, giving Dart a greater understanding of the system at Dorchap.

Management says extensive mapping and rock-chip geochemistry, combined with the new drilling data, has now provided geological context regarding width, grade, mineral chemistry and continuity variations within the pegmatites.

The company received significant results from two holes drilled at its Boone’s dyke target, with one hole showing a 10m hit grading 1.08 per cent lithium oxide from 313m, including a 7m intercept running a solid 1.38 per cent lithium oxide from 315m. The second hole at the target showed a 2m section grading 1.07 per cent lithium oxide from 302m, including a 1m segment also at 1.38 per cent lithium oxide from 303m.

Initial results from the first three holes of the campaign include 0.81m going 1.2 per cent lithium from 111m and 0.62m grading 1.63 per cent from 80m.

A total of five separate pegmatite dykes were tested with 12 diamond drill holes for a total of 3032m during the first phase of drilling at the operation. A second-phase low-impact diamond campaign is planned for the summer, while Dart’s planning for a third-phase program is already at the permitting stage.

The Phase 1 drill program has confirmed the lithium fertility of highly fractionated pegmatites that occur within an area of some 160 km2. The imminent Phase 2 and permitting of Phase 3 drilling is eagerly awaited as drilling focus moves to high priority targets within the Gosport dyke Group. Dart Mining chairman James Chirnside

The company discovered lithium at Dorchap in 2016 when its reassessment of historically-untested samples revealed results of up to 1.57 per cent lithium oxide. It was Victoria’s first-ever lithium pegmatite discovery.

Exploration at the site is fully-funded by an earn-in joint venture agreement with Chilean lithium miner Sociedad Química y Minera (SQM), which has the right to sole-fund exploration expenditure to the tune of $12m in the next six years.

The earn-in is comprised of three key periods, the first of which is characterised by SQM’s ability to earn a 30 per cent interest by sole-funding an exploration expenditure of $3m during the next three years. SQM may then opt to sole-fund another $9 million in two additional periods, totalling three years to gain a supplementary 40 per cent stake.

Management says its peak lithium assays from drill holes across the first-phase scout diamond drill program are geologically compelling and have ensured continued support for ongoing lithium exploration under the SQM earn-in agreement.

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