Junior explorer Aurumin (ASX: AUN) has reported a busy three months to end September focused on expanding the footprint of its flagship Sandstone gold project and diamond drilling for lithium at Mt Palmer.
Both projects are located in Western Australia, with Sandstone in the proven Youanmi Terrane Greenstone Belt and Mt Palmer in the central area of the Southern Cross Greenstone Belt.
In July, Aurumin acquired private company Kurnod Pty Ltd, which holds two exploration tenement applications close to existing tenure at Sandstone.
The areas have been subject to minimal exploration to date, with first pass work comprised of surface sampling and wide-spaced reconnaissance drilling.
Aurumin is in the process of compiling and validating data on the tenements sourced from open file reports and a historical database inherited from delisted junior explorer Troy Resources as part of the Sandstone acquisition.
Sandstone comprises an 881,300 ounce mineral resource and significant project infrastructure where the company aims to support a future gold mining operation.
Aurumin applied for two additional permits during the reporting period to further expand the Sandstone footprint.
The first permit is home to the historic Swede, Agnes, Enigma and Riloc mines which operated in the early part of the 20th century and returned grades of up to 13.6 grams per tonne gold.
The mines have seen little modern exploration work and the known deposits are largely untested at depth and along strike.
Together with existing mapping and soil sampling work, they provide strong targets for Aurumin to follow up with ground-based field work.
The second permit is along strike of the first and contains two areas of prospective greenstone along the northeast and northwest of its borders.
The area has seen limited soil sampling and drilling to date and will be incorporated into future ground-based exploration programs.
Mt Palmer drilling
In July, Aurumin completed four diamond holes targeting lithium-bearing pegmatites for a total 994 metres at the Vickers Find South target within the historic Mt Palmer project.
The target is prospective for lithium mineralisation based on confirmed pegmatites within a mafic-ultramafic sequence in a geological setting analogous to the Mt Holland lithium deposit, 65 kilometres to the south.
Exploration to date has identified lithium and pathfinder element anomalism from rock chip, soil and drill spoil sampling programs.
Previous orientation drilling confirmed sheet-like pegmatites of more than 20m in thickness, while geochemical analysis identified potentially fertile source material with extensive pathfinder elements and low-level lithium but had limited testing due to ground conditions and water ingress.
Aurumin said the latest round of drilling aimed to test the most prospective targets from the “Goldilocks Zone” which had been previously off-limits due to permitting requirements.
During the quarter, Aurumin sold the non-core Karramindie project in WA’s goldfields region to Mineral Resources’ (ASX: MIN) subsidiary Lithium Resources Investments.
The company received a cash consideration of $500,000 and said the sale would allow it to focus on its core assets.
Subsequent to quarter end, Aurumin also divested the Mt Dimer mining leases and a host of miscellaneous licences (including the high-grade Lightning and Golden Slipper deposits) to Beacon Minerals (ASX: BCN) for $3 million.
As part of the transaction, Beacon committed to a $500,000 placement through the issue of 20 million Aurumin shares at $0.025 each.
Aurumin is expected to receive a 2% net smelter return royalty on Mt Dimer gold production above 12,000 ounces and a similar royalty on all other minerals recovered from the tenements.