IRIS Metals Limited (ASX:IR1) has unveiled a significant breakthrough in its ongoing Beecher Project exploration, as its diamond drilling program reveals a substantial pegmatite deposit beneath the Black Diamond target, signifying a major stride in comprehending the geological riches of the Black Hills region.
A Breakdown of the Drilling Program
The ongoing drilling program at the Beecher Project is aimed at exploring the strike and depth extensions of the Beecher pegmatites.
Two key holes have been completed so far, revealing promising insights into the potential of this mineral-rich region.
Hole BDD-23-001 initially revealed a 39-metre pegmatite with visible spodumene, although it was discontinued at a depth of 90 metres.
In contrast, Hole BDD-23-002 presented a significant breakthrough. Initially, it encountered a 30-metre wide pegmatite, prompting a decision to continue drilling deeper. At 85 metres, an uninterrupted pegmatite zone spanning an impressive 93.5 metres was unveiled, with the added fascination of a solid spodumene crystal measuring over a metre in length.
Figure 1: Large spodumene crystal over 1 metre in length intersected within a 93.5 metre intersection in BDD-23-002.
Unlocking the Potential of Blind Pegmatites
One of the significant findings from the second hole, BDD-23-002, is the confirmation of the existence of blind pegmatites beneath outcropping zones. This classification refers to pegmatites that don’t surface or are zoned with lithium-rich areas and not visible to the naked eye.
Following the maiden RC drilling program completed in early August, which covered 5,207 metres across 50 holes, IRIS has already received results for the first 18 RC holes from SGS laboratories in Canada, and results from an additional 20 holes are expected shortly, with an additional 12 RC holes’ results anticipated next month.
The Beecher Project and Its Significance
The Beecher Project, located seven kilometres from the township of Custer, South Dakota, is situated on a 15-acre patented claim, surrounded by 20,300 hectares of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staked claims.
These claims grant the owner exclusive mining rights, providing a strong foundation for IRIS Metals’ exploration efforts.
The Project encompasses the historic Longview, Beecher, and Black Diamond Mines, which were known for their lithium-rich spodumene ore in the 1950s.
The diamond drilling program aims to assess the strike and depth extensions of the Beecher pegmatites. While the first two holes have already yielded promising results, it’s important to note that further holes are required to confidently model the geometry of the western Beecher pegmatites.
Figure 2: Location plan of diamond and RC holes
Iris Metals’ Technical Director Chris Connell commented on the discovery.
“We are very excited by the discovery of a new, wide pegmatite at our Black Diamond target,” he said.
“We have known from inspecting our projects all over the Black Hills that outcropping pegmatites are only a small part of the potential of the Black Hills.”
“Many pegmatites are blind, or where they do outcrop are zoned with the lithium rich zones, not exposed. The discovery of an additional blind 93.5m pegmatite at Black Diamond is testament to the dedication of our geological team and their growing understanding of the district. We expect that given our aggressive drill programs planned that more discoveries such as this will be made.”
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