Critical Resources up 20% on high-grade lithium at Mavis Lake ahead of maiden JORC

Tue 13 Sep 22, 11:23am (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Critical Resources has confirmed high-grade lithium in spodumene it encountered at Mavis Lake back in mid-August
  • The company is heading towards publication of a maiden JORC resource
  • Shares are up 20% in the first hour of trade

After finding thick hits of spodumene at its Mavis Lake project last month, Critical Resources’ (ASX:CRR) latest assay results for the project have turned over what shareholders were hoping for: high grade lithium. 

Lithium concentrations of 4.32% were detected in a 1 metre section of a larger 8m core. 

While that 1m core on its own cannot underpin a commercial operation, it is early-stage evidence that high grade lithium is potentially present on-site in a number of locations this current drill run may miss. 

Geoscience Australia notes on its website that lithium projects typically hover around mineralisation concentrations of 1-3%, firmly placing Critical Resources’ piecemeal find as high-grade. 

Now, the company will move ahead with further metallurgical test work on the samples it has retrieved. 

What is spodumene, again? 

Spodumene mineralisation is commonly associated with lithium mineralisation, but assay results offering evidence of lithium grades remain pending.

Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS), which regularly conducts spodumene auctions, saw record prices logged for the rock at its August auction last month

In mid-August, Critical Resources extended the strike length at its project as spodumene mineralisation was found to be significant on-site. 

Only days earlier, it had made that discovery after it drilled through thick spodumene intersections.

Spodumene is the gold standard for hard rock lithium mining projects, as far as ease of downstream refining goes. 

What else did Critical Resources find? 

Remembering that lithium concentrations of 4% are high grade according to Geoscience Australia, consider the following additional assay results from Mavis Lake: 

  • 8.15m @ 1.70% lithium from 89m depth, including 

    • 01.0m @ 4.32% lithium from 91m depth

  • 23.9m @ 1.55% lithium from 112m depth, including 

    • 11.15m @ 02.28% lithium 

    • 03.80m @ 03.09% lithium 

Shareholders should note depths over 80m are significant for any hard rock mining operation and, were that to be an open-pit operation, costs would be significant. 

Given that the company has not posted its JORC yet, it’s likely a prospective mine plan is off the table for now, so shareholders and investors alike will simply need to be patient to see what, exactly, geotechs intend to do to get this deep. 

Highest grades ever for Critical 

“To receive such exceptional results containing the company’s highest grading results at Mavis Lake is outstanding,” Critical Resources chairman Robert Martin said. 

“These results further build our confidence in the project and reinforce our decision to commence metallurgical test work and resource modelling…Mavis Lake [may potentially] position Critical Resources as an emerging lithium developer.” 

Critical has a market cap of $89.2m and is ranked 247 of 915 companies in the materials sector. 

At the end of the June quarter, Critical Resources held $9.065m in cash. 

Critical Resources' three month charts
Critical Resources' three month charts


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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