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Dart Mining locks onto lithium in Victorian pegmatites

Updated: Mar 21

Dart Mining has powered through the winter chill in Victoria’s Dorchap Range. Credit: File

Dart Mining’s first diamond drilling assays, as part of its $12 million earn-in agreement with leading Chilean miner Sociedad Quimica y Minera (SQM), have confirmed lithium mineralisation after a 12-hole campaign in Victoria’s Dorchap Range.

Management says initial results from its first three holes include 0.81m going 1.2 per cent lithium from 111m and 0.62m grading 1.63 per cent from 80m. It believes the results indicate spodumene mineralisation in Ferguson Dyke and petalite and eucryptite mineralisation in Eagle Dyke.

These results are from the first 3 holes in the 12-hole Phase 1 diamond drilling program. These initial results confirm lithium mineralisation at depth within these dykes, and further defines the structural and mineralogical characteristics of this dyke system. The identification of spodumene in drill core is very promising, and we look forward to further assay results as they become available. Dart Mining chairman James Chirnside

The company’s 3032m phase-one campaign which was aiming to further define the project’s mineralisation below the surface has now wrapped up after it targeted five dykes with 12 holes. While the assays from the remaining nine holes are pending, planning and permitting for a second round of drilling has already begun.

Dart has previously identified more than 1500 pegmatite dykes in its Dorchap Range tenements and confirmed many as being lithium-cesium-tantalum (LCT) type. Many of them have been previously-worked for tin, although the company was the first to recognise the ground’s potential for lithium and the LCT character of the dykes.

The Dorchap lithium project exploration work is fully-funded by the earn-in agreement with SQM, which has the right to sole-fund exploration expenditure to the tune of $12m in the next six years. It can earn an initial 30 per cent interest in the Dorchap project by sole-funding $3m in exploration expenditure.

Previous extensive regional sampling by Dart resolved a 20km-long and 12km-wide zone of highly-fractionated pegmatites bearing enriched lithium, caesium, tantalum, beryllium and tin mineralisation. The company completed grab and channel samples that returned rock-chip results of up to 1.57 per cent lithium oxide near Glen Wills in the south, in addition to Dorchap Range channel samples with 10m grading 1.38 per cent lithium oxide and 10m going 1.22 per cent lithium oxide. One grab sample returned an incredibly-high tin assay of 9.98 per cent.

While it is only early days, Dart will be hoping the early sniffs from its mineralisation defining campaign will help it find a bigger honeypot at depth when it returns to the drill rig.

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