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Eyes on Future after shallow lithium hits in Goldfields

Updated: Apr 19

Future Battery Minerals has received positive assays from phase 2 RC drilling at its Kangaroo Hills project in the Goldfields. Credit: File

Future Battery Minerals has outlined bright lithium prospects in shallow results from high-priority assays taken during a second-phase RC drilling program at its 80 per cent-owned Kangaroo Hills project in Western Australia’s Goldfields region.

The company has revealed assay highlights that feature a wide 27m hit going 1.32 per cent lithium oxide from 64m, including a 4m section at an impressive 2.5 per cent lithium oxide from 80m.

Additional results include 19m grading 1.03 per cent lithium oxide from 42m, 16m at 1.09 per cent lithium oxide from 11m and a 12m hit going 1.02 per cent lithium oxide from just 8m.

The assays came from holes planned as immediate step-outs to the north, south and east from the company’s initial discovery hole at the project that returned a 29m segment reading 1.38 per cent lithium oxide from 38m in March this year.

Future says all four of the high-priority holes identified a thick pegmatite unit believed to be the host rock of high-grade lithium mineralisation. The encouraging results have prompted the company to begin diamond drilling at the operation to confirm the orientation of the pegmatite and provide bulk samples for metallurgical analysis.

The Kangaroo Hills lithium project is an 80-20 joint venture between Future and Lodestar Resources that sits about 17km south of Coolgardie. Phase-two exploration at the site kicked off early last month, with 2500m of RC drilling and 500m of diamond drilling planned.

Given the immediate success of the 2023 Phase 1 and Phase 2 RC exploration drilling programs, the company is keen to better understand the mineralogy and metallurgy of this important discovery through the DD programme now underway.

Formerly known as Auroch Minerals before a name change in March this year, Future is building an impressive portfolio with a focus on minerals critical to present and future battery needs. Future Battery Minerals technical director Robin Cox

The first phase of exploration at Kangaroo Hills included a 14-hole RC campaign across 3400m, with 12 holes intercepting pegmatites. Results from the initial program include a 7m hit at 1 per cent lithium oxide from 198m and a shallow 2m section going a significant 1.68 per cent lithium oxide from only 1m.

The company’s flagship Saints nickel sulphide project sits 70km north of Kalgoorlie and hosts a high-grade komatiite nickel sulphide deposit. Last year, Future completed resource drilling and mineral resource estimates to upgrade its resource to a JORC 2012-compliant 911,000 tonnes at 2.3 per cent nickel, 0.17 per cent copper and 0.07 per cent cobalt for 21,000 tonnes of nickel, 1500 tonnes of copper and 600 tonnes of cobalt.

The resource is mainly in the indicated category, with a scoping study into the viability of an underground mining operation set to lead to an ongoing pre-feasibility study and further exploration at the site.

Saints comprises of two mining leases covering an area of about 20 square kilometres of prospective Archaean greenstone belt geology within the Eastern Goldfields province of the Yilgarn Craton. The operation sits in the same sequence of rocks as the historical Scotia nickel mine that produced 30,800 tonnes of contained nickel at 2.2 per cent nickel before closing in 1977.

Future also holds an 80 per cent share in the Nepean nickel project, with Lodestar controlling the remaining 20 per cent. The site near Coolgardie contains the historic high-grade Nepean nickel sulphide mine that produced more than a million tonnes of ore between 1970 and 1987 for 32,202 tonnes of nickel metal at an average recovered grade of 2.99 per cent.

In March, the company also completed its maiden drill program at its 80 per cent-owned Nevada lithium project in the United States. It has identified five key prospects, with its Traction, San Antone, Heller, Lone Mountain and Western Flats targets within 90sq km of tenements.

Early results from Nevada returned a whopping 109.7m hit at 766 parts per million lithium from 135.6m, including 29m going 1010ppm lithium from 210m. Planning and permitting are currently underway for a follow-up 2500m RC drilling campaign that is expected to begin this month.

Future also holds 100 per cent of highly-prospective exploration ground at the Leinster nickel project in WA, in addition to 90 per cent interests in the Arden, Bonaventura and Torrens base metals projects in South Australia. The company is continuing to explore these projects with the aim of discovering significant mineralisation.

With 23 assays pending from its second-phase drill program at Kangaroo Hills, the market will be keeping a close eye on what Future can deliver across its impressive portfolio of battery metal projects.

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