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  • Essential Metals (ESS) is set to deliver an updated mineral resource estimate and a scoping study for its Pioneer Dome lithium project in WA before the end of the year
  • Diamond hole drilling is underway at the Cade Deposit, with three holes completed so far, and Essential Metals says it expects to complete the drilling next month
  • Meanwhile, ESS has commenced the preparation of a mining lease application, with consultancy firm SRK Consulting preparing the technical reports for the application
  • The company says this work will underpin a scoping study to be released by the end of December, paving way for a feasibility study to commence in early 2023
  • ESS shares are up 1.45 per cent to 35 cents per share at 10:35 am AEST

Essential Metals (ESS) is on track to deliver an updated mineral resource estimate and a scoping study for its Pioneer Dome lithium project in WA before the end of the year

The company is currently undertaking resource extension drilling, metallurgical test work and mining lease applications at the project.

Drilling

Diamond hole drilling is underway at the Cade Deposit, with three holes completed so far. The drilling is testing below the deposit at a vertical depth to better understand the lithium mineralisation at depth.

Essential said thick pegmatite intersections of up to 25 metres in true width were observed in two holes with a one-metre interval of visual spodumene observed in one hole.

The drilling program is expected to be completed by next month.

Test work

Three composite samples are currently being processed at Nagrom Laboratories. These samples were collected from the company’s March quarter drilling program.

The drilling confirmed high-grade lithium with results showing 19.2 metres at 1.44 per cent lithium oxide from 15 metres and 31.95 metres at 1.24 per cent lithium.

With ESS having now received the drill core assays, the metallurgical test work is progressing and is expected to be completed by early September.

Mining lease applications

Essential Metals has commenced the preparation of a mining lease application, with consultancy firm SRK Consulting preparing the technical reports for the application.

The regulatory process in WA for reviewing an application through to the granting of a mining lease is estimated to take between six and nine months.

Essential said this was an important step in the Dome North lithium mineral resource development.

In the December quarter, the company expects to be able to commence an updated mineral resource estimate, which together with the metallurgical test work results, will underpin a scoping study targeted for completion by the end of December. This in turn is expected to pave the way for a feasibility study to commence in early 2023.

“We are working hard to determine the optimal project operating scale that the Dome North lithium resource can support, to allow us to move ahead with more detailed economic studies,” Managing Director Tim Spencer said.

“Having thick zones of near-surface, high-grade lithium-bearing spodumene greatly enhances the project and provides a strong foundation for feasibility studies, commencing with a scoping study in the December quarter.”

ESS shares were up 1.45 per cent to 35 cents per share at 10:35 am AEST.

ESS by the numbers
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