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Ora Banda confirms lithium near gold processing plant

Updated: Apr 23

Ora Banda Mining identified pegmatites at its Federal Flag prospect after exploring the historical open-pit gold mines at the site. Credit: File

Ora Banda Mining has hit significant lithium results from an initial three-hole exploration campaign at the company’s Federal Flag prospect, just 10km from its Davyhurst gold processing plant near Kalgoorlie.

The traditional gold explorer has confirmed the presence of lithium-caesium-tantalum pegmatites, along with potential lithium-bearing spodumene, with an 11.1m hit at 1.28 per cent lithium oxide from 54m.

The initial intercept includes 8m going 1.56 per cent lithium oxide from 54m and a maximum 1m section grading a solid 2.13 per cent lithium oxide.

Ora Banda initially identified the lithium potential of Federal Flag after several pegmatites were intersected during resource drilling between historical open-pit gold mines at the site. The company says lithium mineralisation was observed in drill spoil during the field-mapping exercise and pegmatites were also visible on the wall of a shallow open pit.

X-ray diffraction and petrography analysis shows spodumene to be the dominant lithium-bearing mineral with assays still pending on the remaining two holes.

The fact that we have intersected high grade spodumene in the first hole targeting lithium prospectivity is both a testament to the excellent work completed by the geology team and the outstanding potential of the entire tenement package. Ora Banda Mining managing director Luke Creagh

Initial reconnaissance has identified five additional lithium prospects, with the company’s Barney and Waihi targets given high-priority status. Barney sits to the south-west of the Riverina open pit and hosts a high-density pegmatite outcrop. The Waihi prospect is directly west of the Davyhurst plant where analysis of rock-chip sampling has highlighted the presence of spodumene.

Regional rock-chip sampling conducted across all six targets collected 209 samples. A total of 86 samples contained anomalous lithium, while seven contained spodumene. Follow-up drilling is scheduled for Federal Flag using a small team dedicated to the lithium potential of the company’s tenements.

Ora Banda says that while the initial lithium results are encouraging, further exploration will not compromise its gold-focused objectives of finding a second high-grade underground mine to complement the company’s Riverina underground operation.

Just last month, management received the green light to commence mining at Riverina after receiving financial investment decision approval from its board of directors.

In February, the company announced it had doubled the underground mineral resource at Riverina to more than 300,000 gold ounces. The gold producer also announced a maiden ore reserve for the Riverina system near Kalgoorlie of 73,000 ounces at a solid grade of 4.3 grams per tonne gold, with an additional reserve limited only by drilling density at the site.

The updated underground resource now sits at a credible 303,000 ounces at a grade of 4.1g/t gold.

While Ora Banda’s primary focus remains on its 2025 financial year production target of 100,000 gold ounces per annum, the impressive results from its early lithium exploration highlights the potential of its tenements. The market will certainly be keeping a close eye on what the company has unearthed when the last two assays from Federal Flag are released.

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