Aldoro Resources has broken ground at its Wyemandoo rubidium-lithium project about 60km southeast of Mt Magnet in WA after launching a maiden RC drill campaign at the venture. A number of key targets have been identified through earlier rock chip sampling and Aldoro is targeting a brace of pegmatites that previously delivered impressive grades of up to 2.06 per cent lithium oxide.
Perth-based Aldoro has tapped Three Rivers Drilling to conduct the probe and the contractor has now kicking off the operation with a 200m vertical hole into the northern loop pegmatite structure.
According to the company, the RC drill program is initially aimed at developing an understanding of the geological setting for several dykes and sills that lie within the ground with five vertical and 21 inclined holes.
Aldoro says it expects to sink around 3,500m into the northern pegmatite structure and 4,200m into its southern equivalent.
Management has indicated the program will be geologically modelled on the fly to allow for a program that accurately accounts for the zone’s pegmatite morphology as it becomes better understood.
The move to kick off drilling at Wyemandoo follows a mapping and rock chip sampling program completed last year that unveiled an extensive system of rubidium-lithium pegmatites that were partly concealed by cover soils.
The newly launched probe aims to confirm the orientation, thickness, depth and grades of the pegmatites that are classified as lithium-caesium-tantalum or “LCT” type structures. LCT pegmatites have been made famous following the discovery of Mineral Resources’ Wodgina operation and ASX-listed Pilbara Minerals’ Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project, both of which are in the Pilbara of Western Australia.
The latter boasts a monster ore reserves of over 157 million tonnes at 1.19 per cent lithium oxide, 120 parts per million tantalum pentoxide and 1.03 per cent iron oxide.
Other key minerals found in Aldoro’s pegmatites include rubidium and niobium.
Rubidium is frequently seen as a lithium pathfinder, however, given the elevated rubidium grades at Wyemandoo, Aldoro says it is weighing up the possibility of earmarking the venture as a rubidium-focused operation.
To assist on this front, the company recently enlisted Dr Zhiguo, a rubidium specialist from the Central South University of China, to run the ruler over Wyemandoo and undertake a commercial evaluation of the project’s rubidium-lithium mineralisation.
Processing and beneficiation studies will play an integral part of Zhiguo’s eight-month study as he looks to establish the most economically viable method of processing Wyemandoo’s rubidium.
The research will also look to classify which beneficiation technique yields the best rubidium-lithium concentrate grades whilst maximising the rubidium-lithium recovery rates.
Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: [email protected]