LPI completes RC drilling stage at East Kirup lithium prospect

Lithium Power International (LPI) has revealed exciting results after successfully completing the reverse circulation drilling (RC drilling) stage at its East Kirup lithium prospect.

Ten holes were drilled during the RC drilling stage of the project – equating to a total of 573 metres of drilling along existing tracks. LPI initially planned on drilling 960m; however, a few holes were cancelled due to environmental considerations. Most holes were completed to 54m, and all have been rehabilitated.

A rehabilitated RC drill pad at the East Kirup Lithium Prospect

How was the RC drilling performed?

The East Kirup prospect is located 20km northwest of the Greenbushes Lithium Mine along the Donnybrook Shear Zone, which hosts the lithium-bearing pegmatites at the Greenbushes Mine.

The RC drilling programme was completed by Castle Drilling – industry experts in assessing difficult terrain with minimal environmental impact. The company employed a small self-contained drill rig that did not require support vehicles.

The rig carried nine rods on a carousel, which removed the need for rod handling and was also fitted with a dust extraction device, which generated minimal dust, both good for the environment and the workers’ health.

The average daily drilling was 58m because of the caution required for navigating the narrow forest tracks, avoiding damaging trees. The team spent as much time assessing the holes as drilling. They were also conscious of groundwater, with the RC drilling performed in a way that limited the amount of water reaching the surface, with only two holes requiring storage sumps. The groundwater quality was extremely good, with very low total dissolved solids.

Location of the drilling programme northwest of the Greenbushes lithium mine

What were the programme’s results?

The RC drilling intercepted several two-metre zones of quartz, pink potassic feldspar, biotite, and tourmaline. These were all the overall package of gneiss and granofels and are potentially pegmatites.

The East Kirup Prospect also demonstrated lithium anomalism in the soil, with results of up to 232 ppm lithium (GS10448) near GBRC001. The prospect also has the same metamorphic grade and rock types as the host rocks at Talison’s Greenbushes mine.

Completed RC holes at East Kirup Lithium Prospect

What are the next steps of the project?

Following the RC drilling stage, LPI will conduct 400m HQ core-sized diamond drilling, which commenced on 13 January and is expected to be completed by the end of January. A mapping and sampling programme will begin next week at the Thomas A Prospect, an area of arsenic anomalism. This is a proxy for lithium in the Greenbushes region and is where, historically, pegmatites and surface kaolinite have been mapped.

Andrew Phillips, the LPI Executive Director, concluded: “We are delighted with the RC drilling progress and results so far. The work has been carefully planned and conducted in accordance with an approved Conservation Management Plan (CMP). We look forward to the results of the diamond drilling program that is underway.”

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