ASX-listed Oakdale Resources has made the most of its time at the company’s Gibraltar halloysite-kaolin project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula closing out a maiden aircore drilling program in under two weeks. The quick work made at the site was possible due to the near-surface nature of the mineralisation with resulting assays expected back within a month.
ASX-listed Oakdale Resources has made the most of its time at the company’s Gibraltar halloysite-kaolin project on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula closing out a maiden air-core drilling program in under two weeks. The quick work made at the site was possible due to the near-surface nature of the mineralisation with resulting assays expected back within a month.
Oakdale, through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Lymex Technologies, drilled 59 AC holes for a total of 2,045m over targets north of Andromeda Metals’ neighbouring Mount Hope kaolin-halloysite project.
Hinting at some early success, the Perth-based company said in-field spectral analysis of drill samples recovered from the air-core holes had detected the presence of kaolinite and halloysite mineral species across the drill grid roughly 15km north of Mount Hope.
According to Oakdale, a substantial portion of the Mount Hope deposit displays exceptionally low iron contaminant within the bright white kaolin content which is rarely found elsewhere in the world.
Since first putting the AC drill rig to work only last week, Oakdale covered a nominal 100m by 100m grid spacing over the historical occurrence, with the grid expanded to 200m by 200m as the drill rig drifted southward.
A substantial collection of composite samples from the first half of the drill program are now bagged and on their way to the laboratory in Adelaide for extensive clay analysis and definitive test work.
Analysis will include brightness testing at the University of South Australia, definitive clay mineral species quantification via a combination of X-Ray Diffraction by the CSRIO and spectral scanning, and other elemental analysis via X-Ray Florence at the laboratory.
Oakdale expects the test work to take between three and four weeks to complete and the company plans to return to site to bag samples for the remainder of the drill holes once COVID travel restrictions are lifted in SA.
Oakdale Resources Chairman, Chris Gale said: “The samples sent to the lab thus far are from drilling that covers the historic halloysite occurrence. We have seen more consistent development of the basement clay layers which host the kaolinite and halloysite minerals in this area, and our in-field analyser has identified our target minerals in these clays.”
“While this instrument is not definitive, we are very encouraged by these indications, and are looking forward to receiving the laboratory results in the coming weeks. There is a stable and strong global demand across a range of applications for both high-grade kaolin and the more unique form of halloysite.”
Halloysite has a variety of industrial uses beyond kaolin and according to Andromeda, is in short supply commanding a significant premium above the average kaolin price.
Oakdale said the main applications are in the manufacture of high-quality porcelain. However, interestingly, the natural high purity of halloysite-kaolin makes it an attractive, premium-quality feed material for the production of high purity alumina, or “HPA” according to the company.
Oakdale will no doubt be hoping for some solid assay results when its testing is done. Success at the project should see Gibraltar emerge as a genuine contender as a source to feed the burgeoning tech market, including the lithium-ion battery manufacturing industry.
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