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GreenTech winds up drilling to end “transformative” 2023

Updated: Apr 17

A GreenTech Metals diamond-core rig drilling the Kobe pegmatite zone. Credit: File

GreenTech Metals has wrapped up what it says has been a “transformative” year for the company after completing maiden diamond drilling program for both its Osborne joint venture (JV) and Ruth Well projects in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The program involved four holes for a total of 1611m and was designed to assess stratigraphic and structural aspects of the lithium-rich pegmatites in both areas. The company says completing the program sets it up for a big 2024 campaign once all analytical results are to hand.

The company clearly gained the attention of the ASX market this year. Its share price sat as low as 7 cents back in May, but reached a 12-month high of 99c last month – a whopping jump of more than 1314 per cent.

GreenTech put two holes into its Southern pegmatite zone trend in the south-western corner of the Osborne JV it shares 51:49 with Artemis Resources. It is east of and contiguous with GreenTech’s 100 per cent-owned Ruth Well project.

Rock-chip values in the 3km-long Southern pegmatite trend, comprising two arms to the pegmatite distribution, range from 0.71 per cent lithium oxide on the easterly Maddox arm of the trend, to a top value of 3.63 per cent in the shorter, more southerly Osborne arm.

The remaining two holes were put into the Kobe pegmatite trend in the company’s Ruth Well ground. Kobe, which passes eastwards into the adjacent Osborne JV ground, is remarkable for its strike persistence and continuity through more than 7.5km and features notable uniformity of grade among the many rock-chip samples reported to date.

A quick scan of Kobe rock-chip results shows they range between 0.74 to 1.82 per cent lithium oxide, with grades commonly ranging between 1.1 to 1.5 per cent along the trend. Values peak at 2.31 per cent in the east end of the Kobe trend, but also attain a maximum of 1.82 per cent lithium oxide 13km further east, just on the eastern side of the common boundary between the two licence areas.

Our maiden drilling at the ‘Kobe’ and the ‘Southern’ trends has delivered valuable stratigraphic and structural information on these pegmatite zones which will help refine a more detailed follow-up drill program and, with heritage clearances recently completed, provides GreenTech with a walk up start for early 2024. The company has progressed from confirmation of its discovery of lithium pegmatites in May, to completing a maiden drill program in just over 6 months, with 2023 proving to be a potentially transformative year for the company.
GreenTech Metals executive director Tom Reddicliffe

The company has been encouraged by its field exploration responses to date and its pulse has quickened with the recent news relating to the $1.7 billion takeover offer by Chilean lithium giant Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM) for the rest of lithium developer Azure Minerals that it doesn’t already own, in a joint bid with Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.

It comes at a time when the entire lithium market is heating up. Emerging Australian lithium companies are seeing a surge in JVs and buyouts as their lower valuations and cash needs attract some of the world’s top producers of critical battery materials in a frenetic race to secure supplies.

Azure’s lithium find at Andover is looming as a potential resource of between 100 and 240 million tonnes at a grade ranging from 1 to 1.5 per cent lithium oxide. It is centred just 30km east of GreenTech’s combined Ruth Well-Osborne JV tenure, although Azure does not expect to be in production until 2030.

Management says all its diamond-core samples have been sent for analysis and that all required permits for planned future work have been obtained, clearing the way for future drilling in the New Year once all surface and drilling results have been compiled and new targets lined up.

While 2023 was a ripper for GreenTech, it is clearly hoping it was just a springboard for bigger things to come next year.

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