Lithex Resources (ASX: LTX) is now planning a follow-up exploration program at its Moolyella Project in the highly prospective Pilbara region of Western Australia after a successful maiden drilling campaign that returned high grades of molybdenum, tungsten, cobalt and copper.
Eighteen holes of a 25-hole reverse circulation drilling program, totalling 1873 metres, at the Eluvial Gully prospect returned assays of up to 9100 parts per million molybdenum, 128 parts per million tantalum, 1510 parts per million tungsten, 1040ppm cobalt and over 2000ppm copper.
Mineralisation was present within pegmatite bodies intersected in drilling with samples prepared for analysis using a four acid digest method, and assayed by ICP-MS.
Lithex has started planning for follow up exploration programs at Moolyella as well as its Shaw River and Pilgangoora projects in the Pilbara.
Lithex has established a JORC Inferred Resource for Moolyella of 1.9 million tonnes at 160ppm tin, and 20ppm tantalum over eight historical tailings and waste piles that are remnants of earlier mining efforts.
The exclusion of D&H tailings dump reduces the Inferred Resource to 1.2 million tonnes but increases the grade to 190ppm tin, and 22ppm tantalum.
Preliminary metallurgical test work indicates recoveries of up to 84.7% for tin and 66.3% for tantalum.
Previous rock chip sampling over the Eluvial Gully collected 192 samples and confirmed the presence of anomalous tin and tantalum within an open mineralised system.
Anomalous surface values were identified by sampling that strike out to the east and are hosted within a granite body, with geophysical data indicating the presence of a major target of 12 square kilometres.
The area target by the reverse circulation drilling was previously mined by scraper. This contains an 8 square kilometre target that was identified by soil sampling.
The tenements cover the Moolyella Tin Field where continuous mining activities were ongoing from their initial discovery in 1898 to 1986.
From 1986 limited small scale intermittent mining has been carried out on the field following the purchase by Endeavour Resources of all the Moolyella mining tenements and treatment plant in 1978.
These mining operations continued till 1986 and were closed due to the fall in tin prices in late 1985.
Moolyella is located just 23 kilometres east northeast from the township of Marble Bar.
It contains significant exploration upside potential as indicated by historic mining within the tenements, and the identification of large surface targets generated by modern prospecting techniques.
Demand continues to be strong for tin, tantalum, lithium and rare earth metals - driven by consumer demand and increasing research into light weight magnets, electric vehicles, wafer thin batteries, jet turbines, touch screen technology and organic applications.
Lithex is trading at around cash backing with a market cap. of just A$2 million and around $2.2 million in cash reserves at the end of the March quarter.
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