• Over 200km strike of interpreted graphite bearing rocks mapped by recently merged airborne electromagnetic surveys across iTech’s Campoona Graphite Project
• The review highlights the large scale of the Sugarloaf Exploration Target and Lacroma drill target, with drilling commencing later this year
• The Lacroma Prospect extends across a conductivity anomaly measuring 6 km by 3km with graphite outcropping at surface and confirmed by drilling with 60m @ 6.8% TGC (see ASX Release 4 October 2022)
• The Sugarloaf Graphite Prospect has an Exploration Target of 158-264 Mt @ 7-12 % TGC determined from drilling and a conductivity anomaly measuring 4.5 km by 1.3 km (see ASX Release 19 September 2022)
• iTech’s current JORC resource of 8.55 Mt @ 9.0% TGC (across three deposits) occur within the same geological horizon identified in the merged electromagnetic surveys
• All graphite prospects and deposits are within easy trucking distance to iTech’s proposed centrally located graphite processing facility at Sugarloaf
Location of iTech’s Graphite Deposits and Prospects on AEM image (conductive horizons appear as red areas) – Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
To determine the best location to add additional graphite resources to iTech’s current inventory, the Company has modelled several of the most significant airborne electromagnetic anomalies that have a confirmed source of graphite mineralisation. As a result of this process, two prospects stood out as having significant potential for both tonnage and grade. Both prospects have been previously announced by the Company.
An Exploration Target at Sugarloaf of 158-264 Mt @ 7-12 % TGC was determined from drilling and a conductivity anomaly measuring 4.5 km by 1.3 km and was reported to the ASX on 19 September 2022.
A drill target at Lacroma determined from drilling and a conductivity anomaly measuring 6 km by 3 km and was reported to the ASX on 4 October 2022. Limited drilling to date at the Lacroma target prevented determination of an Exploration Target. The upcoming drilling program will provide the necessary information to assess the graphite potential at Lacroma.
3D view looking NW across the Campoona Project showing the relative sizes of the drill targets.
The Campoona Graphite Resource
The Campoona Graphite Project contains a JORC 2012 graphite Mineral Resource of 8.55 Mt @ 9.0% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC), a granted mining lease and approved multipurpose licences for processing infrastructure and groundwater extraction. iTech is currently investigating the best pathway to produce “green graphite”, including the use of abundant renewable energy available in South Australia.
iTech continues to build its portfolio of critical minerals projects with the production of both 99.99% fixed carbon (FC) spherical graphite and flake graphite, from Campoona graphite concentrates. Test work was undertaken on bulk sample (407 kg) of run-of-mine (ROM) graphite ore collected from reverse circulation and diamond drilling at the Campoona Central Deposit. The drill holes were located within areas representative of low strip ratio mineralisation of prime economic interest. A concentrate of ~94% TGC with recoveries of ~80% were achieved through conventional flotation processes. Over 96% of the sample was classified as fine flake and had less than 75-micron flake size. Spheronisation of graphite flakes typically uses the small to fine flakes which means >99% of the sample is suitable for PSG production. Purification of flake and spherical graphite samples using both caustic bake and autoclave assisted caustic leach methods consistently achieved 99.99% purity.
Testing of the spherical product confirms it is within or exceeds all relevant industry standard parameters for lithium-ion battery anode material. High yields of spherical product, of 47%, show the potential for excellent conversion of flake into high value spherical graphite. Additionally, the ability to purify the flake concentrate to 99.99% FC prior to spheronisation, opens the possibility to produce a high value purified fine product rather than the normally low value waste generated during spheronisation. Purified fines left over from spheronisation can be used as conductivity-enhancement additives in the battery cathodes. Premium performance conductivity enhancement materials are typically worth more than spheroidal graphite produced from natural graphite.
3D Flythrough of the Sugar Loaf and Lacroma Targets
Next Steps – Drilling Program
iTech is planning to drill test both the Lacroma Graphite Prospect and Sugarloaf Graphite Prospect in coming months. Landowner consent has been obtained to commence drilling in December once crops have been harvested and subject to no unseasonal weather events. Applications for approval to drill have been submitted to the government and are expected to be received within weeks. A suitable reverse circulation drill rig has been secured to complete the program. iTech will commence this next phase of drill testing at Sugarloaf:
• To supply representative material for additional metallurgical test work and
• As graphite mineralisation has already been confirmed by historical drilling and appears to be over a relatively over a large area according to the conductivity cross sections
The drill rig will then move to Lacroma and start at Lacroma West where graphite is known to outcrop above the conductivity anomaly. Several test holes will also be drilled into Lacroma East, which is expected to be deeper, to confirm the anomaly is caused by graphite and determine the depth to mineralisation. The combined program is expected to take up to 6-10 weeks to complete with assay results to follow.