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  • Essential Metals (ESS) commences its planned 9000-metre extension drill program at its Pioneer Dome lithium project in the Eastern Goldfields of WA
  • The diamond rig is expected on site in June, with the first drill core from the down-plunge interpreted pegmatite zone of the Cade deposit expected to be available by end-June
  • Assays from the exploration and metallurgical diamond drill programs completed in the March quarter are now pushed back to mid-June
  • The two programmes will underpin an update and likely expansion of the lithium mineral resource estimate for Pioneer Dome and the commencement of a scoping study
  • ESS shares are up 1.89 per cent to trade at 54 cents at 12:19 pm AEST

Essential Metals (ESS) has commenced its planned 9,000-metre extension drill program at its Pioneer Dome lithium project in the Eastern Goldfields of WA.

The program commenced mid-May with four RC pre-collars completed to date and the diamond rig expected on site in June, with the first drill core from the down-plunge interpreted pegmatite zone of the Cade deposit expected to be available by end-June.

Assays from the exploration and metallurgical diamond drill programs completed in the March quarter are now pushed back to mid-June, with metallurgical test work to commence upon the receipt of assays.

The programs focused on the Cade and Davy deposits which have 11 holes planned each.

These two key work programmes will underpin an update and likely expansion of the lithium mineral resource estimate (MRE) for Pioneer Dome and the commencement of a scoping study in the December quarter.

The current MRE is 11.2 million tonnes at 1.21 per cent lithium oxide.

Managing Director Tim Spencer said the program is now gaining momentum after a slow start.

“We are working hard to maintain our timelines, notwithstanding the bottlenecks and delays being experienced with drill rigs and assays due to the exceptionally high levels of activity in the WA resource sector,” he said.

“The MRE extension drill programme, together with assays from the drilling completed earlier this year and the upcoming metallurgical test work programmes, have the potential to rapidly transform Essential from lithium explorer to developer.”

Drilling is expected to be completed by mid-August, subject to rig scheduling and drilling productivity rates.

Heritage, environmental and technical studies required to support a mining lease application are also underway to fast track the potential development of the project.

ESS shares were up 1.89 per cent to trade at 54 cents at 12:19 pm AEST.

ESS by the numbers
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