The significant growth in Indicated Resource underpins the Scoping Study currently underway and due for completion in January
Lithium within the higher confidence Indicated Resource category has increased from 5.4Mt@ 1.3% Li2O containing 70,000 tonnes of lithium to 8.6Mt @ 1.23% Li2O containing 105,000 tonnes, an increase of 50%.
An impressive 81% of the total contained lithium within the Mineral Resource has now been upgraded to the higher confidence Indicated Category, reflecting the thick, high grade and out-cropping nature of the deposits.
Metallurgical test work has confirmed minimal oxidation of the spodumene at Cade with excellent recoveries demonstrated from the shallow mineralisation.
The total lithium Mineral Resource was little changed, updated to 11.2Mt @ 1.16% Li2O containing 129,000 lithium tonnes (from 136,000 lithium tonnes).
The upgraded Mineral Resource will be used to complete a mining optimisation study based on three open pits. The pit optimisation outcomes will then be incorporated into the Scoping Study due for completion in January.
All exploration targets generated from the structural review are on track to have been field checked by early January. Assays from field samples will be received during January and February.
Essential Metals Managing Director, Tim Spencer, said:
“The work undertaken this year to improve the quality and confidence of the Dome North lithium Mineral Resource has paid off and we are now positioned to move into feasibility studies to determine the optimal development pathway. This work, which entailed drilling and metallurgical test work focussed on the Mineral Resource, allows the Company and its Scoping Study manager, Primero, to complete a scoping study that will assist in attracting a project partner that is prepared to help fund development of the Project in return for offtake rights. We will of course be considering all development options including fast-tracking Direct Shipped Ore (DSO) cargoes as a means to bring forward cashflow.”