SILVER City Minerals has started an exploration program specifically targeting lithium hosted in pegmatites at Broken Hill in the far west of New South Wales. The purpose of the program is to locate pegmatites which contain lithium minerals with a particular emphasis on spodumene, the dominant commercial lithium mineral.
Initial field programs have begun with systematic rock chip sampling and geological mapping of pegmatites associated with areas of tin mineralisation and evaluation of existing airborne hyperspectral data.
Exploration is focused on pegmatites within granted exploration tenure on the northern and southern extensions of the Waukeroo tin field to the north of Broken Hill. Silver City holds title to ten granted exploration licences and three licence applications.
The company considers that, through systematic sampling and mineralogical studies, potential for discovery of lithium minerals at Waukeroo and elsewhere in the district is high. Work has commenced with field teams sampling and mapping, including re-sampling of drill chips from the previous tungsten resource drilling. Sampling has also been initiated in areas of the Western zone where extensive pegmatite outcrops have similarly never been assessed for lithium.
A study using an existing airborne hyperspectral (HyMap) survey is under way to assess the potential for remotely differentiating spodumene in the spectral data.
Waukeroo is considered to be the geological equivalent of the Euriowie tin field 30km to the northeast. Lithium is commonly associated with tin and a suite of other indicator elements. The Euriowie field is known to host lithium minerals and elevated indicator elements.
Silver City has also recently started reverse circulation drilling to test open pit zinc potential at the Stephens Trig and Yalcowinna prospects. These prospects are 12km north and 35km northeast of Broken Hill respectively.
At Stephens Trig the company has commenced a program to test the extent and tenor of zinc-lead mineralisation outlined in one hole with a step-out hole located about 60 metres to the southwest. At Yalcowinna West the company will drill beneath a rotary airblast (RAB) geochemical anomaly 400 metres-long beneath alluvial cover. RAB drilling returned spot values to 0.26% zinc.
Managing director Chris Torrey said, “These projects have a real chance of discovery for previously unknown zinc-lead-silver mineralisation. Low cost, open-pit potential is a distinct possibility.”