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Everest defines rubidium-lithium target at Mt Edon

Updated: Apr 19

Everest Metals is drilling Mt Edon for rubidium and lithium Credit: File

Everest Metals Corporation has determined a 2012 JORC-compliant rubidium-lithium exploration target at its Mt Edon project in Western Australia’s South Murchison region, but says more work is required to quantify the geological system.

The company has today outlined a resource target range of between 3.2 and 4.5 million tonnes, with potential grades going 0.23 to 0.35 per cent rubidium oxide and 0.08 to 0.12 per cent lithium oxide.

Management says the target is based on normal exploration data available to date, including mapping of the extent of pegmatites, limited rock-chip sampling and 600m of reverse-circulation (RC) drilling in the north-east corner of the Mt Edon mining lease. But it says that means the estimates are still conceptual in nature.

Everest says assays from five rock-chip samples taken last month, four of which were from a single pegmatite outcrop, yielded up to 2.3 per cent rubidium oxide, 3.7 per cent lithium oxide and 1495 parts per million caesium. All rock-chip results were close in value, ranging from 2 to 2.3 per cent rubidium and from 1.5 to 3.7 per cent lithium, with one sample containing both highest values.

Three RC holes put into the same pegmatite nabbed hits in the range of 0.21 to 0.32 per cent rubidium oxide and 0.09 to 0.12 per cent lithium oxide in intercepts ranging from 31m to 80m.

The company says all assays indicate a high degree of fractionation characteristic of high lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) fertility pegmatites, supporting results from previous sampling of high-grade surface rock-chips in June.

This initial exploration target comes off the back of world-class rubidium and lithium intersections and highlights the critical mineral potential at Everest’s Mt Edon project. The Company is confident in moving to the next phase of resource exploration drilling to quantify this system whilst exploring rubidium and lithium extraction technologies over the first half of 2024. Continued high grade assays from a wide variety of surface samples further confirms the development strategy. Everest Metals Corporation chief executive-chairman Mark Caruso

The company’s initial target zone is confined to the north-east section of its mining lease, within a mapped zone of mineralisation measuring about 450m by 100m (4.5 hectares) and is constrained to within 100m depth below natural surface level. It is based on a wire-framed computer model constructed around existing mineralisation data, which assumes a lower cut-off grade of 0.05 per cent rubidium and calculates a tonnage range with an assumed and acceptable bulk density of 2.6 tonnes per cubic metre for volume-to-tonnage calculations.

Everest’s single mining license, which comprises the Mt Edon project, lies about 5km south-west of the hamlet of Paynes Find on the Great Northern Highway in WA’s Mid West region. It contains a large pegmatite field that has been prospected for many minerals over the years, where pegmatites have intruded the Paynes Find greenstone belt suite of mafic, ultramafic and sedimentary rock types.

Management says it is undertaking mineral studies to better understand the composition and marketability of rubidium and to explore extraction and potential beneficiation technologies for rubidium and lithium.

Everest has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Edith Cowan University (ECU) to collaborate on studies into direct rubidium extraction from Mt Edon. It will allow cooperative activities in ECU’s Mineral Recovery Research Centre for 36 months to test direct rubidium extraction through processes such as ion exchange.

Today’s news comes just a day after Everest revealed it is also on the hunt for potential ore-grade gold and base metals mineralisation in an area of about 22 square kilometres at its Revere project, also in the Mid West region, following an initial drilling program.

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