PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The mineral resource estimate for the Kathleen Valley lithium/tantalum project, in Western Australia, has increased by 353%, on the back of new drilling results.
ASX-listed Liontown Resources told shareholders on Tuesday that the Kathleen Valley measured, indicated and inferred resource was now estimated at 74.9-million tonnes, grading 1.3% lithium oxide and 140 parts per million of tantalum pentoxide, containing some 0.97-million tonnes of lithium oxide and 2.5-million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent.
“This is an outstanding result for our shareholders which confirms that Kathleen Valley has all the key attributes required to underpin the development of a new long-life, high-quality Australian lithium/tantalum mining operation; grade, scale, access to infrastructure and importantly, promising metallurgy,” said Liontown MD David Richards.
“Following the positive scoping study completed in January, we have been able to deliver a more than three-fold increase in the mineral resource base after just three months of intensive drilling.”
Richards said that the deposit is high grade, has a significant tantalum component, and that the mineralisation outcrops, meaning it would be largely amenable to openpit mining.
“In addition, it is located on granted mining leases close to established, modern, high quality infrastructure. The other encouraging feature of the project is that, based on the initial metallurgical results and ongoing testwork, the lithium mineralisation, which is spodumene-related, is likely to be conducive to conventional processing.”
A prefeasibility study for Kathleen Valley is currently under way, and is due for release in the fourth quarter.