STRATEGIC LITHIUM-TANTALUM PROJECTS IN WA
Venus Metals has made EL applications over four strategic lithium-tantalum project areas in Western Australia, the Pilgangoora Northeast and Stannum projects in the Pilbara, the Nardoo project in the Capricorn and the Poona Project in the Murchison of Western Australia (Figure 1) (refer ASX release 17 November 2015).
Figure 1. Pilgangoora NE, Stannum, Nardoo & Poona Lithium-Tantalum Project Locations
These projects add further depth to the Company’s portfolio and compliment the Venus Metals specialty metal assets, including the JORC 2012 Southern Cross Vanadium mineral resource at Youanmi (refer ASX release 6 February 2015).
Pilgangoora Northeast Lithium-Tantalum Project, Pilbara Region.
The Pilgangoora Northeast Project (ELA 45/4630) covers over 163 km2 and is located 72 km to the southeast of Port Headland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The project is access via the Great Northern Highway then east along local formed roads and station tracks.
The Pilgangoora Northeast Project lies close to Pilbara Minerals Pilgangoora exploration area which hosts a substantial lithium-tantalum resource. An initial evaluation of the project area shows the area to be prospective for lithium-tantalum mineralisation, particularly in the north of the tenement area. The tenement also hosts a number of historic gold prospects and workings, including the McPhees workings (Figure 2). Venus is currently undertaking a detailed review of the open file exploration data for the Pilgangoora region to assist in evaluating the project and guiding the ongoing exploration program.
Figure 2. Pilgangoora tenement application area (yellow) & prospect locations over Google Earth Image
Stannum Lithium-Tantalum Project, Pilbara Region.
The Stannum Project is composed of two tenements (ELA 45/4627 & PLA 45/3004) covering more than 100 km2. The project is located 98 km to the south of Port Headland and is accessed via the Great Northern Highway, then west along local formed roads and station tracks.
The Stannum project lies on the southern extensions of the greenstone belt hosting the Wodgina Tantalum mine, 13 km to the north. The project area hosts a number of historical tin, tantalum and niobium occurrences including the Stannum & Mills Find North workings (Figure 3).
Venus believes the project to be highly prospective for lithium as well as tantalum, tin & niobium.
Figure 3. Stannum tenement application area (yellow) & prospect locations over Google Earth Image
Nardoo Lithium-Tantalum Project, Pilbara Region
The Nardoo tenement (ELA 09/2156) covers over 131 km2 and is located in the Capricorn region of Western Australia. The project is accessed from Gascoyne Junction by heading east to Dairy Creek, then heading north towards Cobra station. Yinnietharra station is located approximately 85 km north of Dairy Creek along the Cobra Station road; from Yinnietharra the Nardoo tenement can be accessed via station tracks.
The Nardoo project overlies the historical Nardoo & Morrissey Hill workings, with over a tonne of tantalum having been produced from the area in the 20th century. The regional geology is a pelitic and gneissic terrain that has been extensively intruded by pegmatites, which host the tantalum-lithium mineralisation. The largest mapped pegmatite occurs at Nardoo Hill and is estimated to be flat lying, covering 1,000 metres of strike, more than 700 metres wide with a thickness of ‘at least 30-60 metres’.2 This target alone has the potential to produce a significant deposit of tantalum-lithium (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Nardoo tenement application area (red) & prospect locations over regional geophysics.
Venus believes the project to be highly prospective for both tantalum and lithium and is presently undertaking a detailed review of the historical exploration data for the region.
Poona Lithium Project, Murchison Region (90% VMC)
The Poona tenement (ELA 20/885) covers over 152 km2 and is located in the Murchison Mineral Field, approximately 560 km to the north-northeast of Perth. The project is accessed via the Great Northern Highway to the town to Cue, then west along the Beringarra-Cue Rd on to the Kalli Rd and station tracks.
The Poona project has been explored for a range of metals, as well as emeralds in the pegmatites, since the early 1900s. Exploration has focussed predominantly on gold, whilst the area also shows the potential for nickel, tantalum, tin, niobium and lithium. The tenement overlies a number of known lithium and tantalum occurrences including Patons Lode and Poona Reward (Figure 5).
Historical rock chip sampling from the pegmatites north west of Poona Reward has returned highly anomalous results, including:
Sample 55213 6,999,111 N/ 542,439 E 24.6% Ta2O5 & 46.7% Nb2O5
Sample P1054 6,999,165 N/ 542,700 E 1.46% Li2O & 1.12% Rubidium
Sample P1064 6,999,169 N/ 542,703 E 1.61% Li2O & 1.33% Rubidium
Venus is currently undertaking a detailed review of the open file exploration data for the Poona region to assist in evaluating the project and guiding the ongoing exploration program.
Figure 5.Poona tenement ELA20/885 area (red) & Prospect locations over regional geophysics
The Lithium Market
The global lithium market1 is growing at a rapidly due to developments in the technology and energy sectors, especially in the use of lithium based batteries for automotive and domestic applications.
Presently the global lithium market consumes around 200,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate (or lithium carbonate equivalent, ‘VCE’) per annum. Two thirds of global consumption is utilised in ceramics, glass, polymers and alloys, however growth in the technology (smart phones and computers) and energy sectors (lithium batteries for automotive and home usage) may see consumption double to over 400,000 tonnes of LCE by 2025.
The short to medium term growth in the lithium market will be limited by supply constraints, with few new operations being commissioned and four producers controlling much of the market. In the last year alone the price of LCE has risen more than 20%, from less than US$4,900/tonne in September 2014, to over US$6,100/tonne today. Current price predictions indicate that LCE may rise to over US$7,000 in 2016.
It is clear that new sources of lithium carbonate are required to meet growing demand. Other key metals in demand by the technology and energy sectors include vanadium, with Venus Metals owning a substantial JORC 2012 resource and exploration targets at its Youanmi project in the Murchison, which compliments the recent applications made by the Company.
- Lithium – The Future is Electric, Citi Research, 16 October 2015.
- An Evaluation of the Rare Metal Potential of Pegmatites at the Pilgangoora, Paynes Find, Yinnietharra, Wodgina, The Fence, Lalla Rookh, Tabba Tabba and Strelley Prospects, WA, Pancontinental Mining Ltd, 1983 (A19207, WA DMP Wamex Open File Report)
- Poona Project, Annual Technical Report, Poona Mining PL, 1997. (A51567, WA DMP Wamex Open File Report)
- Aga Khan/ Poona Project, Information Memorandum, Legendre & Associates, April, 2015.
Competent Person’s Statement
The information in this report that relates to Exploration Results, Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves is based on information compiled by Mr T. Putt of Exploration & Mining Information Systems, who is a member of The Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Mr Putt has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity that he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the “Australian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resource and Ore Reserves”. Mr Putt consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
This document may include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning Venus Metals Corporation Limited planned exploration program and other statements that are not historical facts. When used in this document, the words such as "could," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may”, "potential," "should," and similar expressions are forward-looking statements. Although Venus Metals Corporation Ltd believes that its expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements.