Australian Critical Minerals (ASX:ACM) has announced the successful conclusion of its inaugural exploration campaign at the Cooletha Lithium Project in Western Australia, showcasing promising mineralisation, including notable identification of spodumene and manganese, and underscoring its commitment to advancing high-value lithium and rare earth projects.
Figure 1: The location of the Cooletha Lithium Project in the Pilbara region, Western Australia.
Encouraging Mineralisation and Key Highlights
During the maiden campaign, the Company identified highly encouraging mineralisation within the Cooletha Project. Notably, visible spodumene sites were discovered on E45/4990, underlining the potential for lithium extraction. In addition, manganese mineralisation was pinpointed on E45/5228, indicating diverse mineral prospects within the region.
Reconnaissance efforts have traversed approximately 15% of the pegmatite prospective region, unveiling only a fraction of the vast mineral potential within the Cooletha Project. The Company’s proactive approach to exploration has been exemplified by the submission of the first batch of 94 rock samples from Cooletha to the laboratory for analysis. Anticipated within 6-8 weeks, these results will provide crucial insights into the Project’s mineral composition and economic viability.
Figure 2: Echo Valley Spodumene Pegmatite
Figure 3: Burnt Ridge Spodumene Pegmatite
Even as the analysis is underway, Australian Critical Minerals’ commitment to progress continues, with reconnaissance sampling and mapping efforts remaining ongoing at the Cooletha Project.
In parallel, the Company is eagerly advancing its plans at Rankin Dome, another prominent project in the portfolio. Preparations for a comprehensive drill program are in full swing, targeting anomalous rare earth prospects, with the Project’s scope including reverse circulation (RC), aircore, and auger drilling techniques, strategically selected to unlock the potential of diverse geological anomalies within the expansive Rankin Dome area.
A Jewel in Western Australia’s Crown
The Cooletha Lithium Project stands as the Company’s flagship venture, encompassing over 100 square kilometres of lithium prospectivity. Notably, the Project is located adjacent to renowned discoveries such as Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora Lithium Project and Mineral Resources’ Wodgina Lithium Project, both boasting significant lithium reserves.
Two pivotal sites, Echo Valley and Burnt Ridge, have emerged approximately 1km apart in the western region of the prospective pegmatite area, with these discoveries reinforcing the Project’s promise, and further sampling is poised to extend the sampled area, enabling a comprehensive evaluation of the mineralisation’s extent and significance.
Figure 4: Initial sampling focus area of NW and SE regions of Cooletha
In the southeastern region of Cooletha, on E45/5228, Australian Critical Minerals’ reconnaissance sampling has covered around 10 square kilometres, with 23 samples collected from this region. Extending several kilometres north of the sampled area, the potential for mineralisation expansion remains substantial.
Adding to the excitement, the identification of manganese shales associated with the basal Fortesque Group unconformity has opened a new exploration avenue within the Cooletha Project. These manganiferous shales, ranging from 1m to 3m in thickness, have been found in proximity, suggesting a wider presence.
Figure 5: Significant hematite-rich channel iron deposit ridges overlying basal unconformity hosting manganese rich shales
Unveiling Rare Earth Potential
The Rankin Dome Project, jointly undertaken with Kula Gold Ltd (ASX: KGD), positions Australian Critical Minerals’ to explore rare earth elements. This project, nestled in the established mining hub of Youami Terrane near Southern Cross, holds immense promise, with the Company’s positive review of an upcoming drill program at Rankin Dome, combined with active engagement with landowners, reflects their commitment to ethical and efficient exploration practices.
The upcoming drilling campaign, which incorporates various techniques tailored to the geomorphology of the anomalous areas, promises to unlock the Project’s rare earth potential. As planning proceeds apace, the Company’s dedication to responsible resource extraction remains a cornerstone of their operations.
Managing Director, Dean de Largie expressed optimism, stating, “We are delighted to have completed our maiden exploration campaign at the Cooletha Lithium Project so quickly after our IPO was finalised in July this year. We are very encouraged by the visible spodumene identified during this program and whilst we wait for the results of the first batch of rock samples within 6-8 weeks, reconnaissance sampling will continue. Having only covered 15% of the prospective pegmatite region so far, we are excited about the potential for exploration success.”
“We are also eagerly anticipating the commencement of our first drilling program at Rankin Dome which will target anomalous rare earth prospects. Final approvals and landowner access to allow this program to begin are imminent.”
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