Liontown Resources’ (ASX: LTR) Kathleen Valley project in Western Australia has provided even more good news for the company, with latest “spectacular” drill results revealing more high-grade intersections including several intervals exceeding 5% lithium.
Ongoing resource drilling at the project has now defined a lithium zone with mineralisation exceeding 3%.
Better intersections from this latest results batch were 43m at 3.1% lithium from 253m, including 21m at 3.8% lithium; 15m at 2.4% lithium from 182m, including 7m at 3.4% lithium; and 16m at 2.6% lithium from 308m, including 13m at 3.1% lithium.
The highest-grade assay uncovered was 5.7% lithium within a 1m interval, with two other 1m intervals grading 5% and 5.2% lithium respectively.
Kathleen Valley interim resource upgrade
Due to the ongoing positive drill results, Liontown released an interim upgrade to its mineral resource estimate for Kathleen Valley last week.
The interim resource of 139 million tonnes at 1.3% lithium and 140 parts per million tantalum was an 86% increase on the previous resource of 74.9Mt at 1.3% lithium and 144ppm tantalum, which was released mid-last year.
It is estimated the interim resource will generate 1.8Mt of lithium of 4.5Mt of lithium carbonate equivalent and 43Mlb of tantalum.
Commenting on the company’s decision to release an interim resource rather than wait for the final result at the end of March, Liontown managing director David Richards said it had become apparent the company was on track to exceed its published extension exploration target.
The extensional exploration target between 25-50Mt at 1.2-1.5% lithium.
Advancing Kathleen Valley
With drilling continuing to generate high-grade results, Liontown has extended the current program at the project’s north-west until mid-March.
Today’s drill results will be included in the mineral resource estimate which is no scheduled for completion at the end of next month or early April.
The updated estimate will underpin a definitive feasibility study.
A pre-feasibility study was published on Kathleen Valley late last year that revealed capital expenditure of $240.5 million would be required to develop a 2Mtpa operation that would produce 295,000tpa of spodumene concentrate grading 6%.
Total free cash flow over a 26-year mine life is forecast to exceed $1.9 billion, which would average about $84 million annually.
Underpinning this study was a reserve of 50.4Mt at 1.2% lithium.