The Poona project is located in the Murchison Mineral Field, approximately 560 km to the north northeast of Perth. The project area comprises three exploration licenses (E20/885, E20/896 and E20/929) covering c. 473 km2 (Figure 1). These tenements overlie a number of recognised lithium and tantalum occurrences including Patons Lode, Poona Reward and Coodardy North.
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. VMC tenement E20/885 overlies a number of known lithium and tantalum occurrences including Patons Lode and Poona Reward (Figure 2).
Figure 1. Location of VMC Poona tenements E20/885, E20/896 and E20/929
Figure 2. Poona tenement E20/885 area (red) & prospect locations over regional geophysics
Following field reconnaissance in 2016 (refer ASX releases 17 Aug 2016 and 6 Oct 2016), drilling was completed in two key targets at Poona in 2016:
Poona East – Target Area C:
Three holes (PORC 001-003) were drilled (Figure 4 & 5) along the northwest-southeast structural trend, with mineralisation associated with intrusive pegmatites. Previous surface sampling had returned high grade lithium assays of up to 2.58% Li2O1. Drilling consistently intersected anomalous lithium mineralisation (>0.1% Li2O) in the near surface environment, including:
PORC002 9 metres @ 0.77% Li2O & 0.28% Rb from surface
Including 3 metres @ 0.96% Li2O & 0.35% Rb from 3 metres
This drilling confirmed that the Poona East Trend extends for more than 1,000 metres, may extend to over 250 metres in width, and remains untested along strike. Analysis of the drilling data indicates that the subsurface orientation of the pegmatite mineralisation is such that it has not been properly tested by this initial phase of drilling. (refer ASX release dated 23 Nov 2016).
Six holes (PORC 004-009) were drilled on the southern extents of the Poona Lithium Trend, in areas that had previously returned high-grade lithium assays at surface. These drill holes returned anomalous lithium mineralisation (>0.1% Li2O) in both the near surface environment and at depth. The locations of reconnaissance RC drillholes are shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Location of Reconnaissance RC drillholes and previous surface samples at E20/885
Jackson’s Reward Giant Pegmatite
Further reconnaissance mapping in 2017 discovered the so-called Giant Jackson’s Reward Pegmatite at E20/896 (refer ASX releases 11 Oct 2017 and 30 Oct 2017). The mineralized Jackson’s Reward pegmatite is located c.18 km from the proven lithium – tantalum bearing Pegmatite on VMC tenement E20/885.
Soil sampling program was completed across the pegmatite on a 400m by 40m grid (measuring c. 1.6km x 1km) for a total of 130 samples; an additional 39 rock chip samples were taken from across the pegmatite and near historical Beryl workings. A further 19 soil samples and 13 first and second order stream sediment samples were collected to test a historical Sn anomaly in stream sediments c. 1.5km west of Jackson’s Reward.
Highly anomalous Lithium (up to 2756 ppm Li2O) and Tantalum (up to 768 ppm Ta2O5) recorded in recent rock chip sampling (refer ASX release dated 26 April 2018) confirmed the presence of LCT pegmatites at Jackson’s Reward, Poona East Li-Ta Project, E20/896 (Figure 4). Recent soil sampling also outlined lithium-rich zones over a strike length of c. 1.6km with up to 220 ppm Li2O. At Jackson’s Reward, Li and Ta anomalies in skeletal soil on out- and sub-cropping granite and pegmatite extend for more than 1.6km and remain open to the north and south, varying in width between approximately 40m and c. 200m, and appear to continue into colluvium along strike. Historical Tin (Sn) anomalies in first and second order streams (refer ASX Release 31 January 2018) to the west of Jackson’s Reward appear to be associated with north-trending Pegmatites and show anomalous Li and Ta concentrations of up to 129 ppm Li2O and up to 29 ppm Ta2O5.
Other potential pegmatite targets on ELs20/885 and 20/896 that are based on historical stream sediment Sn (tin) anomalies are yet to be tested.
Figure 4. Location of anomalous Li2O in Soil/Rockchip samples at E20/896
Planned Future Work
The Company is planning to further explore Jackson’s Reward and Poona East Target Area C using geochemical techniques followed by RC drilling.
VMC ASX Releases
17 August 2016; “Poona Lithium Project: High-Grade Lithium In Sampling”.
6 October 2016; “Poona Lithium Project – New High-Grade Lithium Prospect”.
23 November 2016; “Poona Lithium Project: Reconnaissance Drilling Intersects Lithium Mineralisation From Surface”.
11 October 2017; “Giant Pegmatite identified within Poona East Project Discovery Defines New Exploration Province for Lithium–Tantalum in the Murchison Area of WA”.
30 October 2017; “Addendum to ASX announcement 11 October 2017; Giant pegmatite identified within Poona East project”.
31 January 2018; Quarterly Report.
13 February 2018; “Exploration Update”.
26 April 2018; “Exploration Update Poona & Nardoo Hill Lithium- Tantalum Projects”.
30 April 2018; Quarterly Report.