Castle Minerals has applied for two exploration licences prospective for lithium-bearing pegmatites. The two applications, for a combined area of 242km² (ELA15/1846 and ELA15/1847), encompass some 10km of the prospective pegmatite trend. This area has been mapped by GSWA which, whilst recording the pegmatites, did not specifically explore for or sample them for lithium. Neither are there any records in public domain databases of any sampling or drilling of the pegmatites by other parties specifically for lithium or tantalum.
A gold focussed historical soil/auger program by Anglo Gold Limited that concentrated on sampling the pedogenic carbonate horizon, a technique used primarily in gold exploration, has highlighted lithium values that are above the background level for the whole program. The samples were digested using aqua regia and lithium values obtained from multi-element ICP/OES. The lithium values are dispersed throughout the application area and generally coincide with areas of moderate regolith cover. This method of sampling is not a usual method for detection of lithium mineralisation. Castle is evaluating these results to determine if they can be used for targeting.
Castle will shortly undertake a field orientation and reconnaissance site visit as a precursor to a proposed program (subject to grant of the licences) of mapping and rock chip sampling of outcropping pegmatites. It will also seek to validate the previous soil program with infill sampling. If warranted, an aircore drill program over areas of colluvium with anomalous lithium will be undertaken to test for the occurrence of pegmatites below the cover. If the results of surface and/or subsurface sampling indicates the presence of lithium in the form of spodumene, then an intensive RC drilling program would be the most likely next stage to determine the full extent of mineralisation.
Infrastructure in the region of Castle’s applications is excellent with good roads and a rail line nearby to the Port of Esperance.