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NickelSearch Unveils Significant LCT Pegmatite Anomalies at Carlingup Project

15 January 2024 10:44

NickelSearch Limited (ASX: NIS) has announced its made significant progress at its Carlingup Project, located in Ravensthorpe in Western Australia, unveiling a lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatite presence through soil and rock chip sampling collected in and around the Quarry.

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Figure 1: Map showing soil sampling coverage and status in the vicinity of the Quarry.

Soil Sampling Assay Results

The focus of the soil and rock chip sampling conducted at the Project was to analyse the areas surrounding the Quarry for LCT anomalism.

The initial findings demonstrate the trend and presence of LCT pegmatites, with a specific emphasis on lithium (Li), caesium (Cs), tantalum (Ta), and tin (Sn) elements.

The Company reports soil sampling assay results, derived from the analysis of 72 samples, unveiled a discrete area of anomalism immediately north of the Quarry pit.

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Figure 2: Results of the soil sampling completed around the Quarry. The samples are coloured by lithium assay. FF soils = fine fraction soils; UFF soils = ultra-fine fractions soils; refer to JORC table for commentary on the colour legends.

This dataset highlighted a peak lithium value of 139ppm, with tantalum exhibiting similar levels of anomalism, and both caesium and tin showing peak values approximately 2.3–2.4 times the average background.

Geological Significance

Encouragingly, the tight spatial association of anomalous Li-Cs-Tn-Sn samples indicates potential mineralisation in an LCT pegmatite system.

The anomaly trends northeast, paralleling a major bounding structure, commonly linked with pegmatite emplacement in the Ravensthorpe region.

Infill sampling has refined the anomaly’s extents, supporting drill testing planning, with the anomaly reaching the eastern limit of current soil sampling coverage, prompting further scheduled sampling to the east.

Quarry Geological Mapping

During the geological exploration of the Quarry, NickelSearch performed extensive mapping and gathered rock chip samples, revealing notable tantalum levels of up to 123 ppm in boulders of pegmatite rubble.

Despite low lithium content, the findings strongly indicate association with a LCT rare-metal pegmatite.

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Figure 3: Geological mapping in the vicinity of the Quarry. Rock chip and grab sample locations are annotated

Recent work identified sub-cropping pegmatite material in the Quarry floor, lacking visible spodumene but likely sharing composition with the boulders.

Pending rock chip results will contribute to the ongoing exploration, with plans to fully expose the Quarry pit floor using different equipment to reveal the spodumene pegmatites responsible for high-grade samples in 2023.

In-situ Pegmatite Outcrop

Recent geological work exposed in-situ pegmatite material adjacent to the western wall of the pit.

Although lacking visual spodumene, rock chip samples from this in-situ material are expected to provide valuable insights into the composition of the pegmatite vein.

Access Negotiations

The Company is continuing negotiations for consent and compensation to access areas for exploration, with these negotiations crucial for the commencement of ground-disturbing exploration activities.

Future Exploration Steps

NickelSearch has outlined its next steps in advancing lithium exploration at the Carlingup Project, with these including analysis of assays from rock chip and in-fill soil samples in high-priority geochemical areas around the Quarry.

Ongoing efforts involve exposing bedrock geology at the Quarry surface, awaiting assay results from regional lithium exploration, and conducting further exploration across 28 identified areas in the Carlingup tenements.

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Figure 4: Work underway to expose the natural surface of the Quarry.

The Company has additionally committed to an accelerated exploration strategy for its recently acquired Ravensthorpe tenements, aiming to complete thorough desktop analysis to define drill-ready targets by the first half of this year.

Concurrently, NickelSearch is delving into its exploration database to uncover evidence of potential lithium host rocks and mineralisation.

Management Commentary

NickelSearch’s Managing Director Nicole Duncan expressed optimism at the annoucned results.

“The ultrafine soils have defined a north-east trending zone of anomalism to the north of the Quarry, with LCT indicators well above background,” she said.

“Infill sampling has recently been completed to better constrain the anomalies.”

“We have also partially completed exposing the Quarry floor; however, equipment issues have slowed progress. New equipment is planned to be brought in to expand the area of exposure, aimed at identifying the source of the high-grade lithium within spodumene-bearing pegmatites that was confirmed in 2023.”

“It is very encouraging to see these results, which show us that the Quarry is located adjacent to an anomalous trend of LCT pegmatite-related minerals.”

NIS’s Australian Securities Exchange-listed share price is currently trading at $0.06 (10.00am UTC+ 8 hours).

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