Wildcat Resources (ASX: WC8) believes it may be on to a significant lithium discovery at its Tabba Tabba lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia with a number of promising assay results returned from the initial stage of a large-scale drilling program.
The maiden assays from just 21 of the first holes undertaken at the Pilbara region project have confirmed pegmatite bodies with significant widths and grades of lithium mineralisation.
Managing director Samuel Ekins said the high-grade lithium mineralisation intersected from surface in the northern and central pegmatite clusters at Tabba Tabba in particular has demonstrated the potential for a large-scale lithium camp.
Confident of major discovery
“I’m confident we are in the early stages of a major discovery at Tabba Tabba and it’s been a welcome surprise to see the size of the system. Over 95% of all holes to date have intersected pegmatites and we eagerly await further rounds of assays. Our central pegmatite is now over 1.2km long (open to the north), subvertical and outcropping at widths of over 50m which is very significant,” Mr Ekins said.
“Given our proximity to major global lithium projects including Pilgangoora and Wodgina, we see plenty of potential to uncover a large-scale lithium deposit across the extensive 3.2km trending pegmatite system.”
“We anticipate receiving Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) approval for our acquisition of Tabba Tabba and ministerial approval by the end of September and bringing our first diamond rig onto site in early October, with more results from our initial drilling expected also.”
Wildcat entered into an exclusive, binding, conditional agreement to acquire 100% of the Tabba Tabba project in May from Global Advanced Metals Wodgina.
The acquisition complemented the company’s already commanding landholding in the region.
Growing Pilbara lithium province
The reputation of Western Australia’s Pilbara region as a word-class lithium province continues to grow.
Tabba Tabba is located in close proximity to some of the world’s largest hard-rock lithium mines including being just 47km from Pilbara Minerals’ (ASX: PLS) 414 million tonnes Pilgangoora project – the world’s second largest lithium mine – and 87km from Mineral Resources’ (ASX: MIN) 259 million tonnes Wodgina project.
Recent discoveries such as Azure Minerals’ (ASX: AZS) huge Andover lithium find are continuing to attract global interest to the world-class mining province.
Wildcat adding to the excitement
Wildcat looks to have joined the Pilbara excitement with its initial batch of promising Tabba Tabba assays coming from 17 holes from a northern pegmatite cluster and four holes from the central pegmatite cluster.
The company commenced its initial scout drilling in the north of the mining leases, successfully confirming shallow, north easterly dipping, stacked pegmatites. The exploration program then proceeded south to the central area where multiple, wide, sub-vertical dipping pegmatites were intercepted, and a second rig was added.
The company first-tracked the first intercepts from the central area through to the laboratory so they could be included in the initial batch of results to aid exploration planning.
Highlight results include 85m at 1.1% lithium oxide from surface, including a high-grade zone of 59m at 1.5% oxide from surface.
Two RC rigs are currently drilling at Tabba Tabba and to date 87 holes for 15,142m have been completed.
Wildcat is planning to bring in a third rig in early October to commence diamond drilling to accelerate the evaluation of the lithium discoveries.
Pegmatite outcrops targeting
Initially the company has focussed on drilling “simple pegmatite” outcrops defined and mapped but not tested by Pancontinental in the 1980’s.
Historically, the Tabba Tabba LCT pegmatite field has never been explored for lithium with previous groups only focussed on the high-grade tantalum resource.
Notably, the results to date represent drilling from only a small area of the 3.2km trend of over 50 outcropping pegmatite drill targets identified to date.
Notably, the broadest intersections hit so far have been returned from the previously undrilled central area of the mining leases to the south of the Tabba Tabba tantalum deposit.