Bald Hill East – Lithium

The Bald Hill East granted tenement (E15/1608) is located approximately 65km southeast of Kambalda in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.  More importantly, the project is located approximately 2km from the Bald Hill lithium mining and processing operation which includes a complete processing plant.  Bald Hill East is a granted licence with a total area of 17.6km2.

The Bald Hill region is a known source of commercial scale lithium – tantalum mineralisation hosted within lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites.  Other notable Western Australian LCT deposits include Greenbushes, Mount Marion, Pilgangoora and Wodgina.

Figure 1 Bald Hill East Location

Geology and Prospectivity

Historical exploration has been primarily focussed on tantalum with broad spaced shallow drilling within the Bald Hill East tenement boundary.  To date 28 auger and 50 rotary air blast (RAB) drill holes have been identified through open file Wamex online reports.  The auger drilling has an average depth of ~3.0m and the RAB drilling of ~14m.

The drilling has identified a series of coincident lithium (shown in Figure 2 as magenta), caesium (blue) and rubidium (green) anomalies that provide initial targeting for further exploration (Figure 2).  Only limited chemical analysis was completed on the samples collected from the historical drilling.

The drilling referenced was completed by Haddington Resources Ltd in 2005[1].  No drilling is evident within the tenement area since this date.

Figure 2 Bald Hill East Regional Geology and Li, Cs, Rb Anomalies

The Bald Hill project area is hosted within two belts of rare element lithium-caesium-tantalum type (LCT) pegmatites, which comprises quartz-albite- muscovite-spodumene and is classified into five categories, namely tantalum, zoned lithium-tantalum, lithium-tantalum, lithium, and barren.  Boadicea undertook analysis of the historical geochemistry assays and identified potential extensions of these belts within the Bald Hill East tenement (see Figure 2).

Adjacent Bald Hill – Lithium Project

The Bald Hill lithium mine is located 65km southeast of Kambalda in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia. It is located approximately 75km southeast of the Mount Marion lithium project and approximately 350km by road from the Port of Esperance.   The most recent mine operator was Alita Minerals Limited.  The mine is currently in care and maintenance due to ongoing litigation and the expectation is that the mining operation will restart when ownership issues are resolved.

The Bald Hill area has been mined for alluvial tantalite from the early 1970s to 1980s.  It was during tantalite mining that pegmatite ore containing commercial quantities of spodumene was discovered below thin cover.

The Bald Hill hard rock lithium operation produced a top quality +1mm spodumene concentrate (low mica, low iron) and a significant tantalum by-product.

The Bald Hill lithium operation was commissioned in March 2018 with initial spodumene concentrate production capacity of 155ktpa and first lithium concentrate shipment was completed in early May 2018. The project is based on lithium resources of 26.5Mt at 1.0% Li2O (using 0.3% Li2O cut off) and 149ppm Ta2O5 and additional tantalum resources of 4.4Mt at 336ppm Ta2O5[2].  Reserves support an eight-year mine life at current processing rate of approximately 1.5Mtpa with reported upside in mine life and / or processing rate.

A March 2019 presentation from the owners included the statement “the resource possibly extends to the south-east and west”[3].  E15/1608 is located in the southeast direction of the main resource.

Figure 3 Bald Hill Lithium Mine

[1] Annual Report for Haddington Project (E15/798) for the period 8th December to 7th December 2005.  Wamex report number A72549.
[2] Alliance Mineral Assets Limited website (https://www.allianceminerals.com.au/projects/)
[3] Alliance Mineral Assets Limited presentation, 121 Mining Investment Hong Kong, March 2019

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