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Mitre Mining scores lithium and rare earths finds in maiden soil program at Hillside

The date of: 2023-12-25
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Mitre Mining (ASX: MMC) has hit the daily double of critical mineral wins with a maiden soil sampling program at its 100%-owned Hillside project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region identifying lithium and rare earth element potential.

The company’s Pilbara project in exploration licence E45/6126 sits within the highly prospective Shaw River tantalum-lithium-tin field bound by the major lithium production centres of Wodgina, Pilgangoora and Marble Bar.

Mitre commenced a maiden field campaign at the end of Q3 2023 to define previously-identified target zones.

Multi-element potential

That sampling campaign has now confirmed some of the multi-element potential believed to be located within the tenement, with early results demonstrating the highly fertile nature of the southern Tambina granite stock that dominates the area.

The company believes the highly-evolved nature of the underlying granite is supported by the key lithium indicator ratios of magnesium-lithium and potassium-rubidium coinciding with elevated niobium, beryl and caesium.

The already identified sizeable exploration potential of the Mitre tenement is located within an anomalous lithium zone, including lithium oxide values up to 477 parts per million over a 2.5km x 2km area.

Secondary lithium trend

Interim executive director Ray Shorrocks said a secondary lithium trend resembling the recent discovery of the Yunger pegmatites in the Murchinson sits proximal and internal to the dolerite.

This is believed to be significant as the dolerite has around 7km of strike across the Mitre tenure.

There are also indications of rare element pegmatites associated with the lithium anomaly, with a distinct niobium-yttrium-gallium zonation identified as a potential source of observed rare earth enrichment.

The company has identified a series of potential dyke structures near the highest-grade results. This was identified in a desktop review of the elevated lithium results overlaid with high resolution imagery.

Future follow-up field work will look to determine the source of the anomalism.

Rare earth zones

The soil campaign has also highlighted two distinct zones of rare earth (RE) enrichment in the Tambina granite.

The enrichment is believed to represent a mixed eluvial/placer style RE elements deposit, a styles known to have the potential to be large and low-cost to exploit due to the low strip, ease of extraction and basic processing routes.

The company says the elemental ratio seen at Hillside favours a light RE element-dominant system.

Future exploration plans

Mitre is planning to undertake detailed geology field mapping, rock chipping and extension soil sampling with a program to commence in early Q1 2024.

The rock chip sampling of the southern Tambina dyke structures will be used to determine the origin of the lithium anomaly.

The company will also undertake infill soil sampling over the Tambina granite total RE oxide anomalies to determine the full extent of the accumulations within the alluvial fans.

This will be followed by the acquisition of QEMScan analysis on the collected samples to determine the mineral composition.

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