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Venus hunts more WA lithium at Youanmi project

Updated: Apr 17

Venus Metals has launched a new drilling campaign at Youanmi. Credit: File

Venus Metals Corporation has kicked off its maiden reverse-circulation (RC) drill campaign at its Youanmi lithium project where lithium-bearing pegmatites were recently discovered at its highly-compelling Deep South lithium prospect.

The Deep South lithium prospect sits 44km south of the Youanmi Gold Mine, which is about 450km north-east of Perth in Western Australia’s rugged Murchison region.

The company says mineralisation at the prospect represents a significant new lithium find within poorly-outcropping and underexplored ground, which is within a newly-defined southern extension of the Youanmi greenstone belt and directly east from the crustal-scale Youanmi Fault Zone.

A recent Venus program expanded the footprint of mapped lithium-rich pegmatites of greater than 1 per cent lithium oxide to a 450m-by-450m area.

The pegmatite area is within an extensive and regionally significant anomalous zone going more than 110 parts per million lithium that was identified through an Ultrafine soil sampling program. The work was was conducted on a 50m-by-50m grid and showed a strong geochemical anomaly up to 833ppm lithium oxide in soil samples.

The program identified an extensive and unexplored 1.75km-by-1.1km, north-easterly-trending lithium anomaly, with several outcropping zones discovered.

Management says rock chip samples from the associated pegmatites provided solid results, with up to 4.6 per cent lithium oxide uncovered in both the East and North zones, with the Central zone producing up to 4.5 per cent lithium oxide. Promisingly, the outcropping pegmatites appear largely obscured and that may indicate a much bigger system exists under shallow alluvial cover.

High lithium grades at Deep South are associated with coarse-grained petalite, a rare high-purity lithium mineral similar in composition to spodumene and known to contain fewer impurities than the more-commonly found lithium mineral.

Petalite is known to occur with spodumene in other lithium deposits to the south, for example at Covalent Lithium’s giant Mt Holland lithium project that contains an estimated mineral resource of 189 million tonnes of lithium oxide at 1.5 per cent.

The Youanmi lithium project is west of a slew of significant lithium projects such as Mt Holland, Mineral Resources’ Mount Marion mine that has a resource of 71.3 million tonnes going 1.37 per cent lithium oxide and the producing Bald Hill mine, which has an annual production capacity of about 150,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate at 5.5 per cent.

The Deep South Lithium Prospect represents a highly-compelling initial target, with this program seeking to investigate the source of pegmatites observed at surface bearing high lithium grades of up to 4.6% Li2O. Venus Metals Corporation managing director Matthew Hogan

The company has a range of other promising projects in its kit bag, including its Bridgetown Greenbushes lithium-nickel-copper and PGE play. Giant battery metals hunter IGO has a farm-in and joint venture (JV) agreement with Venus to acquire up to a 70 per cent interest in the project by spending $6 million and sole-funding all JV expenditure until the completion of a prefeasibility study (PFS).

Similarly, Venus’ Henderson nickel-lithium project has farm-in and JV agreements with IGO for the latter to acquire up to a 70 per cent interest by incurring $4 million in spending and reimbursing Venus with $1million. IGO is to sole-fund all JV expenditure until the completion of a PFS.

Venus also has a 90 per cent interest in the Sandstone gold project that features a JORC 2012-compliant resource estimate of 722,000 tonnes at 1.31 grams per tonne for 30,500 ounces, with 22,100 ounces classified in the indicated category.

The company is also the biggest shareholder in Rox Resources, holding about 55 million shares worth about $10 million. Hogan is also a director of Rox, a gold company that has its main focus on the Youanmi gold project that hosts a global mineral resource of 16.2 million tonnes at 4.4g/t gold for 2.3 million ounces.

Venus holds a significant and wide-ranging portfolio of gold, base metals, vanadium and lithium exploration projects in WA. If results from testing its many promising targets are proven to be successful, the company may well be on the pathway to the stars that its name suggests.

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