ASX-listed battery metals explorer reports Namibian drilling on track

Thu 13 Apr 23, 11:18am (AEST)
pegmatite Uis

Key Points

  • EPL 7345 and EPL 8535 are conducting phase 1 and phase 2 exploration drilling
  • 25 holes and 1,200m of 4,000m in total drilled at EPL 7345
  • 41 holes and 2,750m of 4,000m in total drilled at EPL 8535

At the exclusive prospecting licence areas (EPL) 7345 and 8535, in the Erongo region of central-west Namibia, the phase 2 campaign for the first of these includes at least 4,000 metres of drilling. 

Ongoing mapping work is being used to target prospective pegmatites, which are coarse-grained igneous rocks that often contain rare earth minerals. Additional pegmatite drill targets identified by this mapping will be drill tested in Phase 3 at EPL 7345.

Mapping and sampling crews will then move on to EPL 8535, where they will conduct further detailed mapping and sampling across the entire project area.

Phase 1 drilling at EPL 8535 is ongoing, targeting at least four separate target zones across an area that has recently expanded to 4,000 metres from 3,000 metres. The latest Askari announcement indicates this has been “highly successful” and that the company expects Phase 2 RC drilling to follow up on some of these finds, while also testing new targets identified by the field mapping and sampling crews.

Johan Lambrechts, Askari’s vice president of exploration & geology, has emphasised the company’s confidence in the Uis Lithium Project, as demonstrated by its “aggressive exploration strategy”.

Commenting on EPL 7345, he said it is currently assessing outcropping pegmatites, as identified by geological mapping crews.

“We are encouraged by the number of pegmatites identified to date and that lithium mineralisation occurring as spodumene is being identified in the outcrops,” Lambrechts said.

At EPL 8535, a second rig is testing beneath high-grade samples and large pegmatites identified during field reconnaissance.

“The mapping crew will move to this tenement once they have completed work in EPL 7345 and will no doubt discover more pegmatites to be tested in future drill campaigns,” Lamchrechts said.

“As we gather more information, we understand that some pegmatites across the Uis Lithium Project area pinch near the surface while others continue to a greater depth. Our exploration work is aimed at identifying pegmatites across the tenements that are economically mineralised and continue to greater depths.

“This work will help inform future exploration campaigns, with the overall goal of Askari delivering a maiden mineral resource at the Uis Lithium Project. The Company looks forward to updating our shareholders as our exploration activities continue.”


The Uis Lithium Project is well-known for its historic artisanal tin and semi-precious stone mines. Altered spodumene and lepidolite – which commonly contain lithium aluminosilicate minerals ­– are visible in many of these mines.

According to Askari: “The project holds exceptional lithium mineralisation potential, supported by high-grade surface sample results and the high number of outcropping pegmatites, ranging from a few metres to more than 50 metres wide.”

EPL 7345 update

A team of five geologists from Earthlab Technical have been mapping the EPL 7345 project area, providing notes on each pegmatite outcropping along with information about their mineralogy and geochemical signatures. This was previously reported on Market Index.

So far, around 60% of the target area has been mapped, identifying various-sized pegmatites, including several locations where spodumene mineralisation is visible on the ground surface.

According to Askari, “We have interpreted an area of ‘primary mineralisation’, which is elaborated on in the section below titled ‘Zones of potential mineralisation’.

Phase 2 drilling

Targeting new and untested pegmatites, Askari initially intended to also test beneath the mineralised pegmatites identified by phase one drilling. But delays in assay results saw management decide to instead focus on drilling new areas. It plans to revisit these areas identified in phase one in later phases of drilling and exploration at EPL 7345.

So far, Askari has completed 25 holes as part of phase 2 RC drilling, approximately 1,200 metres of the planned 4,000 metre total.

Screenshot 2023-04-13 at 10.13.38 am

EPL 8535 update

Having kicked off in February, this RC drilling targets unexplored pegmatites and areas of high lithium mineralisation, based on surface sample results

Starting in the northern portion of the tenement, it yielded assay results greater than 3% lithium oxide beneath historical small-scale mine workings.  The drill rig then moved to the south-central area, with results from these large pegmatites of more than 40 metre widths due to be announced when all data is gathered and finalised.

The rig is now in the northeastern portion of the tenement, testing pegmatites identified during pre-drilling reconnaissance.

“Additional large pegmatites were identified south of the current location of the drill rig,  which will be drill tested as the rig progresses southward,  in line with the planned drilling program locations,” notes Askari.

So far, a total of 41 holes have been completed at EPL 8535 as part of the phase 1 drilling, for approximately 2,750 metres. Management has also decided to extend the program to around 4,000 metres, due to the thickness of pegmatites found so far and the number of untested drill targets that remain.

What’s next?

Once the first phase of RC exploration drilling on EPL 8535, and phase 2 at EPL 7345, are complete and results analysed, Askari plans to introduce the first diamond drill rig. This should validate some RC finds and according to management, should produce tangible evidence of the minerals identified in the RC drill chips.

“It will also test areas where the RC drill rig could not penetrate due to water being intersected in the hole, which leads to a loss of pressure. Other tests, such as metallurgical testing, will also be considered,” said Askari in its latest update.

At least one RC drill rig will remain, and a second diamond rig will also be considered, pending results.

DisclaimerMarket Index helps small-cap ASX-listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Askari Metals was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.

Written By

Glenn Freeman

Content Editor

Glenn is a Content Editor at Livewire Markets and Market Index. Glenn has almost 20 years’ experience in financial services writing and editing. Glenn’s journalistic experience also spans energy and automotive, in both Australia and abroad – including the Middle East – where he edited an oil and gas publication in the United Arab Emirates.

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