Australian Critical Minerals (ASX:ACM) has announced its initial mapping and sampling program at the Cooletha Project, located in Western Australia, has confirmed lithium prospectivity with trace elements and spectral analysis indicating a LCT pegmatite system which has garnered 10 priority targets within the untested goldilocks zone.
Figure 1: The location of the Cooletha Lithium Project in the Pilbara region, Western Australia.
The Cooletha Lithium Project
The Project is strategically located near significant lithium discoveries including Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX:PLS) Pilgangoora Lithium Project with a resource of 223Mt @ 1.25% Li2O, and MinRes’ (ASX:MIN) Wodgina Lithium Project holding a resource of 259Mt @ 1.17% Li2O.
The initial sampling at the Project encompassed approximately 65 square kilometres and resulted in the successful collection of 251 rock samples, offering invaluable insights into the region’s geological composition.
These first-pass rock chip assay results have now been received, confirming lithium prospectivity of the Cooletha Project.
The sampling was also useful in generating 10 high priority targets totalling over 24 kilometres in length, which are untested and offer new exploration opportunities for the Company.
‘Encouraging Assay Results’
Australian Critical Minerals reports the assay results returned were encouraging, demonstrating lithium and LCT pegmatite indicator elements.
Figure 2: Lithium rock chip results, prioritised spectral targets and Cooletha geological setting
The Cooletha Project boasts a portion of the Pilbara’s lithium rich ‘goldilocks zone.’
The extension of the Pilbara scale goldilocks zone has been interpreted from analysis of various elemental ratios and provides the targeting required to explore the Cooletha tenure efficiently.
The samples collected from the outskirts of this zone are reported to be lithium bearing, providing confirmation of the fertility of these locations.
The Company reports the aim of the initial sampling program was to understand the scope and the broader geology upon which further exploration can be based.
Table 1: Lithium and Indicator Elements Results
The Next Steps
Australian Critical Minerals is preparing to continue sampling at the Project with a focus on the newly identified target areas.
Although it remains focused on the lithium potential for the Project, the Company reports the sampling indicated the prospectivity for other minerals including iron ore and manganese which offer future opportunities for growth and diversification.
Australian Critical Minerals is still awaiting the results from the recently completed auger and RC program at its Rankin Dome Rare Earths Project, with planned follow-up exploration to commence during the first quarter of 2024.
Australian Critical Minerals’ Managing Director Dean de Largie said that the positive results from its initial exploration program across the large Cooletha Lithium Project have been integrated with world-class spectral analysis to detail a clear pathway to exploration success.
“ACM has benefited from the assistance of our technical consultants who have brought together a team of multi- disciplinary geoscientists to rapidly deliver a science-backed understanding of the geology of the Cooletha Lithium Project,” he said.
“Our initial 251 samples of intrusive and pegmatitic rocks have delivered the geochemical information required to develop our understanding of the intrusive fractionation processes that have occurred at Cooletha. Identifying the location and vectors in fractionated rocks is the first important step to the discovery of evolved pegmatitic LCT systems.”
“We look forward to building on this data with a scientifically robust exploration plan which includes the sampling of the identified targets within the modelled LCT pegmatite goldilocks zone.”
“The majority of the initial program was focused in the western part of the Cooletha tenure due to access issues, with future exploration anticipated to include support to provide a faster test and evaluation procedure of the specific targets identified, especially on the central and eastern side of the Project area.”
ACM’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently trading at $0.190 (11:50am UTC+ 8 hours).