Industrial minerals specialist Andromeda Metals Limited (ASX: AND) has commenced drilling at the 100% owned Mount Hope Halloysite-Kaolin Prospect near Port Lincoln in South Australia.
The 1400m aircore drilling programme is targeting new material to undertake test work in order to determine suitability for various applications and to verify the central portion of the historic kaolin resource in order to estimate a revised Mineral Resource compliant with the JORC 2012 Code.
The Mount Hope tenement EL-6286 is located 160 km southeast of the Carey’s Well Halloysite- Kaolin deposit. It covers 227 sq. km and has had several stages of kaolin exploration conducted over an almost 30-year period by companies looking for paper-grade kaolin.
The previous work defined a resource consisting of approximately 74% filler quality and 26% coating quality material. Subsequent mineralogical analysis by the SA Department of Mines and Energy in 1989 showed the presence of a significant amount of halloysite-kaolin, which is a rare and higher value form of the mineral.
It was the presence of halloysite that ultimately made the Mount Hope kaolin unsuitable for use in paper applications.
Halloysite has many industrial uses beyond simple kaolinite and commands a significant premium above the average kaolinite price.
The Poochera kaolin contains a variable natural halloysite-kaolinite blend that is in demand by the ceramic market while pure halloysite can be used in petrochemical refining markets and for developments in new high-tech and nanotechnology applications.