Aim-listed Firering Strategic Minerals has completed Phase 1 of an auger drilling and soil sampling campaign at its Atex dual lithium/coltan (tantalum) project, in Côte d'Ivoire.
Auger drilling and soil samples have been prepared by the local branch of Intertek Group and forwarded to its Perth facility for assaying.
Results of the auger drilling and soil sampling are expected to be delivered in batches during the first quarter of this year.
Mapping of the auger drill holes shows continuation of the potential lithium-bearing pegmatites on either side of Spodumene Hill and that it is still open in both directions.
Trenching on Spodumene Hill is set to start in the coming weeks to determine the extent and grade of the outcropping lithium mineralisation at this target.
A 2 100 m diamond drill programme is scheduled to begin in the second quarter, targeting both the lithium-bearing pegmatite veins and tantalum.
Geological mapping in the Atex licence area will continue with the potential to further enlarge an already growing pegmatite field discovered during the 2021 mapping programme.
Meanwhile, the first metallurgical sample is set to be dispatched to gravity mining separation processes expert Coremet Services in the coming weeks, for metallurgical testing.
The technical flowsheet design of the tantalum pilot plant is expected to be completed during the second quarter.
An order to buy one or two C900 multi-gravity separators to produce pilot tantalum production has been earmarked for the second half of 2022.
"We are excited about the first half of 2022 and beyond as we push ahead with exploration at Atex. With lithium being in high demand for the production of batteries for the electric vehicle market, the time is right to focus on what we believe could be the next major lithium resource in West Africa.
“Equally, we look forward to advancing our near-term tantalum ambitions towards pilot production and maiden cash flow during the year ahead and will regularly update the market regarding our progress,” CE Yuval Cohen says.