- All drilling approvals have now been received at both the Lacroma and Sugarloaf Graphite Prospects on the Eyre Peninsula
- Drilling will commence once harvest has been completed as per landowner agreements
- $4.5 million program with over 12,000m of drilling planned with additional metallurgical test work
- Focussing on Lacroma (10,000m), where metallurgy has confirmed graphite mineralisation can produce a high-quality concentrate
- The Lacroma Prospect extends across a conductivity anomaly measuring 6km by 3km with graphite outcropping at surface and confirmed by drilling with 60m @ 6.8% TGC (see ASX Release 4 October 2022)
- Further exploration drilling at Sugarloaf (2,000m, metallurgical test work underway) to test extent of graphite mineralisation and obtain further sample for metallurgical test work
- 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)
- Latest round of metallurgy at Caralue Bluff Kaolin-REE project show no significant increase in REE extractions. Further test work is ongoing.
The Company has modelled several of the most significant airborne electromagnetic anomalies that have a confirmed source of graphite mineralisation, to determine the best location to add additional graphite resources to iTech’s current inventory. As a result of this process, two prospects stood out as having significant potential for both tonnage and grade. 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, however, planned drilling will provide the necessary information.
iTech is planning to drill test both the Lacroma Graphite Prospect and Sugarloaf Graphite Prospect in coming months. All required approvals have been obtained to commence drilling once crops have been harvested and subject to no unseasonal weather events. We had planned to commence drilling towards the end of December, as this is usually when the local harvest has been completed. However, due to this year’s unseasonal weather events, it appears as though the harvest may continue into early January. The Company is monitoring the progress of the harvest and will commence drilling a soon as access is available. A suitable reverse circulation drill rig has been secured to complete the program.
iTech has budgeted up to $4.5 million to drill over 12,000m on the Eyre Peninsula graphite prospects. Each hole is expected to average 150m in depth.
The Company will commence this next phase of drill testing at Sugarloaf with exploration drilling of 2000m to confirm the extent of graphite mineralisation and obtain further samples for metallurgical test work. Sample from Sugarloaf is currently undergoing metallurgical test work and the number of holes may be expanded if positive test results are received. This test work is preliminary in nature and is not aimed at producing a battery grade spherical product. The purpose of this test work is to determine what kind of processing will be required to produce a fine flake concentrate with suitable grade and recoveries. It is expected that further test work will be required after these results have been received.
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. Most of the drilling will focus on Lacroma with 10,000m planned, where metallurgy has confirmed graphite mineralisation can produce a high-quality concentrate.
The combined program is expected to take up to 10 weeks to complete with assay results to follow.