Aim-listed Firering Strategic Minerals says further mapping by SEMS Exploration on and around Spodumene Hill at its flagship Atex project, in Côte d'Ivoire, has identified additional pegmatite outcrops, as well as more lithium-bearing pegmatite float, allowing for the fast-tracking of a diamond drilling programme.
As of February 4, Royal Mining completed 348 auger holes as part of the Phase 1 drilling programme, while 120 m of the first of four trenches across Spodumene Hill has been completed.
Mapping in the surrounding area has revealed several new pegmatites, with apparent widths ranging from a few metres to over 100 m and some of these pegmatites feature quartz-rich and muscovite-rich zones, like the one on Spodumene Hill.
Completion of the planned trenches on Spodumene Hill will allow for an accurate interpretation of the size and structure of the mineralised pegmatite and assist with the planning of a diamond drilling programme.
Initial discussions with drilling contractors have begun.
The diamond drill programme targeting the hard-rock lithium-bearing pegmatites is on track to begin in the second quarter.
A reinterpretation of the recent pegmatite map of the area has identified a number of pegmatites south-south-east of Spodumene Hill. This, again, confirms that the potential pegmatite field appears significantly larger than identified from previous historical results.
Initial observations of the first trench dug indicate a highly weathered pegmatite, comprising muscovite, feldspar and quartz, with an apparent width of about 100 m.
This pegmatite underlies the occurrences of spodumene on the hill and is upslope of numerous lepidolite boulders.
Several new areas containing boulders of lithium-bearing pegmatite float have also been identified around Spodumene Hill, suggesting that some of the pegmatites along strike of the deposit may be similarly evolved/mineralised pegmatites.
There have been 348 auger holes completed for a total of 2 153 m, with an average hole depth of 6.2 m. These auger holes are assisting in determining the location and extents of the pegmatite veins below the overburden, as well enabling the company to sample the overburden for the coltan-tantalum mineralisation.
Also, 2 316 prepared samples have arrived at Intertek Laboratories, in Perth, Australia, for four-acid digest. First assay results for the coltan mineralisation in the overburden are expected in quarter one.
Historical pits dug in three zones are being located and properly surveyed. Firering will select pits in each zone that will be 'twinned'.
A 100 kg representative sample from each zone will be sent to Coremet, in Johannesburg, South Africa, for metallurgical test work to confirm the coltan mineralisation identified previously and better characterise it.