The 100%-owned Kathleen Valley Lithium Tantalum Project has rapidly emerged as a Tier-1 battery metals asset with excellent grade and scale in one of Western Australia’s best mining districts.
With three successive resource upgrades delivered since late 2018, Liontown has positioned itself at the forefront of a new generation of lithium developers.
In May 2020, Liontown announced a further MRE update for the Kathleen Valley Project of 156Mt @ 1.4% Li2O and 130ppm Ta2O5.
The lithium is hosted by mineralised pegmatites that have been intersected over a strike length of 1.7km and to a vertical depth of 600m – with the system remaining open towards the north-west and down-dip.
The updated MRE, which represents the third successive increase since the maiden Mineral Resource was published in September 2018, clearly establishes Kathleen Valley as one of Australia’s premier lithium deposits.
The latest MRE will provide the basis for an updated PFS due for completion by year-end.
Liontown has a track record of consistently meeting or exceeding targets and the Company expects to continue this fast-paced development beyond 2020 – as reflected by the following major milestones achieved in less than two years:
Given the substantial increase in the size of the deposit and, importantly, the delineation of a high-grade (>1.5% Li2O) zone at depth, Liontown will now produce an updated PFS in late 2020.
The updated PFS will incorporate ongoing metallurgical test work results and mining studies designed to optimise and improve the planned development configuration of the Project compared with that outlined in the December 2019 PFS.
The updated PFS will incorporate:
The upgraded PFS (+25% accuracy) will provide a solid and improved basis for a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS) (+15% accuracy), which is now planned to commence in Q1 2021.
Kathleen Valley is located on granted Mining Leases in an established and well serviced mining region, approximately 680km north-east of Perth, WA (Figure 1).
The Project is readily accessible by sealed highways which connect with mineral exporting ports at Geraldton and Esperance. Other infrastructure located close to the Project includes a power line, a natural gas pipeline and mine camps with sealed airstrips capable of taking 100 seat jets.
Figure 1: Kathleen Valley Project Location
The Kathleen Valley Lithium-Tantalum Project is located on the western edge of the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt within the Archaean Yilgarn Craton of Western Australia. The belt consists dominantly of mafic and ultramafic volcanics as well as considerable volumes of clastic sediments, minor felsic volcanics and differentiated gabbros. The greenstones in the Kathleen Valley area have been metamorphosed to upper greenschist-lower amphibolite facies metamorphic grades and include tholeiitic lavas, differentiated gabbroic sills and ultramafic chlorite schists.
Lithium mineralisation is hosted within spodumene-bearing pegmatites, which are part of a series of LCT-type rare metal pegmatites that intrude mafic and sedimentary rocks in the region.
Twenty mineralised pegmatites have been modelled at the Kathleen Valley Project hosted by two, outcropping, NW/SE trending pegmatite swarms – a shallowly-dipping, north-eastern swarm (Kathleen’s Corner), which contains approximately 90% of the pegmatites, and a steeper dipping south-western swarm (Mt Mann). The two swarms are interpreted to merge at depth to form a single, thick, moderately dipping mineralised body which remains open down-dip and along strike.
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