Lepidico Ltd (ASX:LPD) has achieved a critical upgrade of the JORC Code compliant Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the company’s 80% owned Karibib Project in Namibia following the recent completion of an infill drill programme.
Managing Director Joe Walsh said the drill programme achieved its objective of upgrading the predominantly Inferred Mineral Resources into the Measured and Indicated categories.
Mineral Resources at Karibib total 11.24 million tonnes grading 0.43% Li2O (0.15% Li2O cut-off) of which 78% of the tonnes are in Measured and Indicated categories versus 34% previously (0.20% Li2O cut-off).
Mr Walsh said the MRE update is based on 5,164 m of additional diamond drilling at the two largest known lepidolite rich pegmatite deposits within the KP, Helikon 1 where 35 holes were drilled and Rubicon where a further 51 holes were completed. Measured and Indicated Resources at Rubicon and Helikon 1, total 8.87 million tonnes grading 0.43% Li2O.
For the first time the estimate also includes grades for the accessory metals caesium (Cs), rubidium (Rb) and potassium (K), which are being evaluated as important by-products in Lepidico’s Phase 1 Project Feasibility Study.
The updated MRE for Rubicon and Helikon 1 is based on a reinterpretation of the lithium mineralisation into three distinct types: high-grade massive lepidolite zone (Lep Zone), disseminated lepidolite zone (Lep Zone B) and a zone dominated by dark lithium-bearing mica (Mica Zone).
Data generated from the new drilling greatly assisted with the understanding of the distribution of the lithium minerals within the pegmatites, and the subsequent interpretation of mineralised domains, which has led to a greater level of confidence in classifying these Resources.
Mr Walsh said that importantly almost all of the lithium, caesium and rubidium at Helikon 1 and Rubicon is contained within lepidolite and other lithium minerals that are amenable to processing using the company’s proprietary technologies L-Max® and LOH-Max. Only minor lithium concentrations of between 1-3% on average were noted in other mineral species (predominantly petalite), that are not able to be leached by L-Max.