Latin Resources (ASX: LRS) this week announced a 207mt maiden JORC resource estimate at its 100% owned Noombenberry Halloysite-Kaolin Project.

LRS has named its first deposit the Cloud Nine Deposit – the first Kaolin-Halloysite deposit defined within the company’s larger Noombenberry Project.

The Could Nine deposit is located on the company’s 100% owned exploration licence E70/2622, which is situated approximately 350 kilometres to the east of Perth and to the south-east of the town of Merredin.

The resource looks to be better than $475M capped Andromeda’s 210mt resource.

A global Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for the Cloud Nine Deposit of 207 million tonnes of kaolinised granite has been reported by RSC, using an ISO Brightness (“ISO-B”) R457 cut-off of 75.

The Resource comprises two separate domains:

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  • 123 million tonnes of bright white kaolin-bearing material; and
  • 84 million tonnes of kaolin/halloysite-bearing material.

Compared with Andromeda, LRS has drilled only the first of five of its projects within the Noombenberry project and its land holding is seven times the size of Andromeda.

While there is little variation between the sizes of companies’ resources, the Noombenberry Project offers a combination of benefits that could lead to cheaper production.

Andromeda has between 7 metres and 62 metres of overlying hard silcrete caprock, compared with Noombenberry’s unconsolidated soil cover of less than 4 metres.

Thus it would appear that LRS offers lower mining costs with a lower strip ratio to AND, as ADN has significant overburden to remove before the ore can be accessed, ordinarily translating to higher mining costs.

LRS is currently capped at $97M and with the release of the MRE is now sitting on what could become the single-largest undeveloped Kaolin-Halloysite deposit in Australia.

LRS’s halloysite project is one of Australia’s few known occurrences of ultra-high-grade halloysite – a naturally occurring nanotube.

Resource details

The Kaolin Domain granite Resource contains a total of 73 million tonnes of bright white (+75 ISO-B) Kaolin product with an ISO-B of 79 in the -45 ?m size fraction, or 29 million tonnes of ultra-bright white (+80 ISO-B) kaolin product with an ISO-B of 82.

Both of these are considered high quality product specifications, potentially suitable for a wide range of industrial applications.

The global resource also contains a relatively contiguous halloysite domain within the kaolinised granite estimated at 50 million tonnes at an average grade 6% halloysite using a 1% halloysite cut-off, or 35 million tonnes at an average grade of 6% halloysite using a +75 ISO-B cut-off it equates to 27 million tonnes at an average grade of 8% halloysite using a +5% halloysite cut-off.

The company now intends to expedite the next round of drilling to elevate some of the Resources to the Indicated or Measured classification for the purposes of a PFS, which can all be funded with existing cash of more than $4 million at end of March 2021.

PFS coming

With the JORC out, LRS will now immediately start technical studies to feed into a PFS.

It will also start its next round of drilling to commence in July 2021.

This is aimed at extending the Resource to the north and increasing the confidence of the MRE to a JORC Indicated and Measured classification.

The PFS will consider supply to a range of traditional end-users of kaolin-halloysite, as well as investigating the potential for downstream marketing of the high-grade halloysite to emerging new applications, including the carbon-capture and hydrogen storage markets.

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