Archer completes 850 metre drilling campaign
Archer Materials Limited (ASX:AXE) has completed the aircore drill program at the company’s Franklyn Halloysite-Kaolin Project, about 220 kilometres north of Adelaide.
A total of 21 holes were drilled for a total of 676 drill metres and an average depth of 32 metres per hole.
By way of background, kaolin and halloysite are alumina-based clays that can naturally occur intermixed, and are part of a larger $3 billion construction materials industry in Australia.
These materials have recently emerged as a potential feedstock in processing high-value and hard-to-substitute high-purity alumina (HPA) that could be used in deep-tech applications such as light-emitting diodes and lithium-ion batteries, with halloysite having a nanostructure that may allow its use as an efficient catalyst in the petrochemicals industry.
The kaolin mineralisation at Franklyn covers an extensive area and the positioning of the existing tracks allowed Archer to drill test the weathered granite that forms the kaolin mineralisation.
Mineralisation closer to surface than expected
The exploration program was originally designed to drill 18 holes to an average depth of 47 metres for a total of 850 drill metres.
The kaolin was found to be closer to the surface than originally anticipated meaning that shallower drill holes were required.
All holes were drilled either adjacent to, or on, existing tracks to avoid the need to excavate new tracks, hence minimising costs.
The drill holes samples have been submitted to the laboratory for testing and assay.
Samples will be screened, assayed to determine kaolin grade and then analysed (X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)) to determine the halloysite content.
The following photos show rock chip samples from one metre intervals in a number of drill holes.
Results due in December
Results from all test work are expected in the next 2 to 4 weeks.
Commenting on the drill results and their significance in terms of pointing to a potentially cheaper mining operation, Archer executive chairman Greg English said, “We are very pleased with the results from our maiden drill program at Franklyn.
‘’The kaolin mineralisation appears shallower than originally anticipated making any future mining operation cheaper and easier.
“The geological observations from the 21 holes drilled at Franklyn, confirm the presence and extent of the kaolin mineralisation previously reported by other explorers.”
Mid-range target of 68 million tonnes
Archer has calculated an Exploration Target at Franklyn in a range between 45 million tonnes and 91 million tonnes with grades between 30% and 36% Al2O3 (-45 μm size fraction).
The Franklyn Exploration Target is in addition to the Eyre Peninsula Kaolin Project Exploration Target of between 55 million tonnes and 130 million tonnes at grades of between 33% and 36% Al2O3 (-53 μm size fraction).
While these exploration targets are a useful guide, investors should be aware that the potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Targets reported are conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource at Franklyn or the Eyre Peninsula.
The Franklyn Exploration Target is based on historical drilling, across 40 rotary drill holes and auger drilling was undertaken by the South Australian government between 1971 and 1992.
This historical drilling intersected substantial widths of kaolin mineralisation over an extensive area during the search for copper and gold mineralisation.