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Lincoln Minerals approaches million-tonne club with SA graphite

Drilling at Lincoln Minerals’ Kookaburra Gully graphite deposit in SA.

Lincoln Minerals (ASX: LML) has doubled its graphite resource to a whopping 973,000 tonnes at its Kookaburra graphite project (KGP) on South Australia’s renowned Eyre Peninsula.

The company says it has increased the resource at its Kookaburra Gully deposit to 412,000 tonnes of total contained graphite (TGC) after drilling its first holes there since 2017 and is now eyeing an updated pre-feasibility study (PFS) in the second half of this year.

Lincoln has extended the resource at its Kookaburra graphite project by 114 per cent since September last year, after targeting growth at Kookaburra Gully with its first drilling program in seven years.

The latest mineral resource for the project sits at 12.8 million tonnes at 7.6 per cent TGC for the 973,000 tonnes of contained graphite. The company says that makes the KGP the second-biggest graphite resource on the Eyre Peninsula, which it describes as “Australia’s premier graphite province”.

It says the high-grade component of the resource consists of 2.9 million tonnes at 13.6 per cent TGC, with resources in the much-vaunted measured category also doubling to one million tonnes. The KGP resource comprises the Kookaburra Gully, Koppio and Kookaburra Gully Extended deposits.

We believe the KGP is a tier-1 graphite project that should garner strong interest from project partners and offtakers.
Lincoln Minerals chief executive officer Jonathon Trewartha

The increase to Kookaburra Gully’s resource is based on results from 127 drillholes for a total of 11,011m drilled. Management says there is an expanded high-grade core near the surface at the Kookaburra Gully Expanded deposit and coupled with a flat-lying orebody, will improve the economics of the overall project.

This updated MRE will serve as the basis for our PFS update planned for delivery later this year, which will build on the 2017 FS, but will target production at a much higher rate of 60,000 to 100,000 tonnes per year, which we believe will position KGP as a tier-1 graphite project that should garner strong interest from project partners and offtakers.
Lincoln Minerals chief executive officer Jonathon Trewartha

Trewartha said the company had undergone a “remarkable transformation” in the past six months. He also said it had identified several highly-prospective uranium exploration targets and was excited about the potential value that could be realised from its 1.24-billion-tonne Green Iron project where it was seeking a strategic partnership.

The KGP has a multitude of electromagnetic (EM) anomalies that spread south-west and north-east and span more than 15km. The anomalies are the result of an airborne EM survey conducted in 2012, with the company systematically working its way through the targets with each drill program.

Lincoln is planning further drilling later this year on targets outside the known mineralisation areas, with an emphasis on reverse-circulation (RC) drilling to penetrate the banded-iron formation to the north-west, in addition to extra drilling to the south-west of the eastern anomaly.

Drilling is also planned down dip and along strike using an RC rig combined with diamond drilling for resource expansion, along with geotechnical and metallurgical testing. The company has an exploration target of between 6 million tonnes and 126 million tonnes, based on a graphite grade of between four per cent and 16 per cent.

Management says it is considering up to 100,000 tonnes per annum of concentrate being produced. It adds that the project has started to attract interest from potential partners and offtakers.

The KGP sits about 30km from Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula, which is responsible for about 60 per cent of Australia’s JORC-classified graphite resources. It sits between Renascor Resources’ Siviour project that contains 8.5 million tonnes of graphite at 6.9 per cent TGC to the north-east and Quantum Graphite’s Uley play that consists of 760,000 tonnes at 10.5 per cent TGC to the south-west.

All three projects are situated on the Hutchison Group – the region’s dominant graphite mineralisation trend.

Lincoln holds 100 per cent of the graphite rights over 1151 square kilometres of exploration tenure and the Kookaburra Gully mining lease, of which 982.5sq km are considered prospective for graphite.

Management says pricing for graphite appears to be supported by the recent export restrictions imposed by China on the battery commodity.

With graphite being Lincoln’s core project, coupled with its growth potential as it ramps up drilling at the site later this year, the company may well be in the driver’s seat to meet future demand for the important battery mineral.

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