Core Lithium Limited has outlined that new geophysical surveys have successfully shown a strong correlation with lithium pegmatite distribution within the company’s wholly-owned Finniss Lithium Project, located near Darwin. Gravity geophysics is now considered an important tool for mapping lithium-rich pegmatites within the Finniss pegmatite field.
The Finniss Gravity Survey was co-funded by the Northern Territory Government with survey data collected over a 500 x 500 metre and 500 x 1000 metre grid of gravity stations through the majority of Core’s Finniss tenements.
The survey has identified a major NNE-trending gravity high and potential lithium-pegmatite corridor that extends from the King Table Group in the north to the Leviathan Group in the south and includes the lithium-rich Observation Hill Group (main prospect: Grants, BP33, Carlton, Hang Gong and others – Figure 1).
Core said there is no reason to believe that these known lithium pegmatite groups are unique clusters. Rather, it is more likely that the currently defined distribution of pegmatites identified to date in this belt are due to large tracts of three prospective ground between Grants and Leviathan, which are covered by laterite or soil cover that have not been effectively explored yet.
The Finniss Gravity Survey has demonstrated that the gravity methodology is a valuable tool for pegmatite exploration in the NT.
The survey shows that the most important lithium-bearing pegmatites are largely constrained to the gravity highs, at the fertility ‘sweet spot’ above its granite source, where it is believed the thermal gradient favours precipitation and preservation of lithium minerals.
Interpretation of Core’s detailed gravity survey Grants has shown gravity as a direct targeting tool for spodumene pegmatites at Finniss as well (Figure 2).
Core will commence follow-up detailed gravity surveys this quarter at Finniss over key target areas, which have the potential to directly identify pegmatite drill targets and focus Core’s upcoming exploration and drilling campaigns and alongside the company’s major resource expansion drilling programs.
The company is in the process of finalising drilling contracts and is planning to mobilise field crews in coming weeks ahead of commencing a huge exploration and resource push this year.
Core’s Managing Director, Stephen Biggins, said that this new gravity survey, cooperatively co-funded with the NT Government, has shown to be a real gamechanger for lithium exploration in the NT.
“The Finniss Gravity Survey has identified new key target areas and we are planning follow-up gravity surveys alongside our huge lithium exploration and resource drilling push starting in May.”
“In parallel with anticipated resource growth from the Project, Core is finalising key commercial and financial Project milestones to enable the Company to reach FID next Quarter,” Mr Biggins commented.
The Finnis Lithium Project is forecast to generate more than 360 jobs during construction and over 250 ongoing jobs during operation.
When in production, Finnis will be the first Australian lithium-producing mine outside of Western Australia. The project also benefits from its close proximity to Darwin Port – Australia’s nearest port to Asia.
Last month the Federal Government awarded the Finniss Lithium Project ‘Major Project Status’, the Government’s recognition of the strategic significance of a project to Australia.
It provides companies with additional support from the Major Projects Facilitation Agency, including a single entry point for Australian Government approvals, project support and coordination with state and territory approvals.