Client NewsFirering Strategic Minerals plc – Update on Atex Lithium-Tantalum Project: Part 1 of Phase II auger drilling campaign completed with six new pegmatite zones identified Commencement of 3,000 metres RC drilling campaign
Firering Strategic Minerals plc, an exploration company focusing on critical minerals, is pleased to announce that it has completed part 1 of its Phase II auger drilling campaign at Atex Lithium-Tantalum Project (“Atex”), its flagship lithium project in Côte d’Ivoire which has resulted in the identification of six new pegmatite zones. Firering, in conjunction with Ricca Resources (“Ricca”), is now planning to commence its initial round of Reverse Circulation (“RC”) drilling targeting these zones in Q4 2023.
· A total of 14,116 soil samples were collected during the large-scale soil sampling campaign and tested in Atlantic Lithium’s laboratory in Ghana using portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometry (“pXRF”) and Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometry (“LIBS”), with over 50% of the results reported in May (announced on 30 May 2023).
· A total of nine target areas were identified, including six new pegmatite zones in some of the target areas, and have been geologically mapped in detail. The recent auger campaign focused initially on three of the nine target areas.
· A total of 1,039 holes were drilled during part 1 of the Phase II auger drilling campaign for a total of 6,015m of drilling and an average depth of hole of 5.79m. End of Hole (“EOH”) samples clearly identified previously unidentified pegmatites.
· An initial 3,000m of RC drilling is planned to better define the pegmatites identified during the auger drilling in terms of mineralisation, size and orientation.
Yuval Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of Firering, said:
“I am delighted to announce that Firering, in conjunction with Ricca, has completed the first part of its planned Phase II auger drilling campaign, after successfully having completed its large-scale soil sampling campaign in May 2023.
“Our partnership with Ricca has allowed us to significantly accelerate the work at Atex to the benefit of all shareholders.
“Six new pegmatite zones were identified because of this auger drilling and were geologically mapped in detail to direct our initial 3,000m of RC drilling, planned for Q4 2023. We are also expecting the remaining c.45% of the LIBS results that are still outstanding during Q4 2023.
“So far, the results of all our exploration work at Atex have been very encouraging, indicating the potential of Atex becoming the first lithium producing project in Côte d’Ivoire.
I am looking forward to keeping the market updated with our achievements at Atex”.
Interpretation of soil sampling and geological mapping
Firering’s and Ricca’s technical teams have interpreted soil sample results from more than 50% of the pXRF and LIBS test work and completed detailed geological mapping over the area covered by these results. Nine target areas for detailed geological mapping and auger drilling were identified (refer Figure 1), which included six new pegmatite zones in some of the target areas.
Completion of Part 1 of Phase II Auger Drilling
The first part of the Phase II auger drilling campaign was completed in August 2023. A total of 1,039 holes were drilled during this first part for a total of 6,015m of drilling, resulting in an average depth of hole of 5.79m and ranging from two to eighteen metres. All completed auger lines are shown in Figure 2. The lithology of the EOH samples in the auger holes (marked in yellow in Figure 2) clearly identifies pegmatites in some of the holes and was used to delineate these sub cropping pegmatites (shown in red in Figure 2).
Identification of tourmaline zones
Additional geological mapping identified tourmaline zones that had not been mapped previously. These tourmaline zones could be indicative of pegmatites; tourmaline bearing schists occurs in the wall rocks close to some of the pegmatite contacts as observed in the drill core collected during the initial scout drilling programme completed in 2022. Tourmaline is a common accessory mineral in pegmatites, including spodumene pegmatites, and tourmaline bearing alteration aureoles may have developed in the host rocks around the pegmatites.
An updated geological map, showing these tourmaline zones and completed auger lines is shown in Figure 3.
Planning of next 3,000m of RC drilling
Based on the results from the soil sampling and the first part of the Phase II auger drilling campaign, drill hole locations were planned for the initial 3,000m of RC drilling commencing in Q4 2023 (refer Figure 4). Holes drilled as part of the 2022 Diamond Drilling (“DD”) scout drilling campaign are shown in black in Figure 4, and the planned RC holes in blue. Results from this RC campaign will direct the future drilling programmes.
Figure 1: Updated geological map showing the nine identified target areas that were mapped in detail; the auger drilling focused initially on Areas 1,2 and 6.
Figure 2: Completed auger lines in Areas 1, 2 and 6 superimposed on updated geology and showing EOH lithology that clearly identifies the pegmatites.
Figure 3: Updated geological map showing tourmaline zones and completed auger lines.
Figure 4: Plan view showing recently completed auger lines with end of hole (EOH) geology in yellow (pegmatite) and cyan (aplite). 2022 DD holes are shown in black and planned 2023 RC holes in blue.
In accordance with the AIM Note for Mining and Oil and Gas Companies, Firering discloses that Michael Cronwright of CSA Global is the Competent Person that has reviewed the technical information contained in this document. Michael Cronwright has a Pr.Sci.Nat with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (“SACNASP”) and is a member in good standing with SACNASP. Mr Cronwright has the appropriate relevant qualifications, experience, competence and independence to act as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the “Australian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”. Michael Cronwright consents to the inclusion of the information in this announcement in the form and context in which it appears.
THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION AS STIPULATED UNDER THE UK VERSION OF THE MARKET ABUSE REGULATION NO 596/2014 WHICH IS PART OF ENGLISH LAW BY VIRTUE OF THE EUROPEAN (WITHDRAWAL) ACT 2018, AS AMENDED. ON PUBLICATION OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT VIA A REGULATORY INFORMATION SERVICE, THIS INFORMATION IS CONSIDERED TO BE IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.
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