ASX-listed explorer Latin Resources continues to deliver the goods at the Noombenberry project in WA. More shallow and high-grade halloysite intercepts over significant widths have been returned, including an eye-catching 26 metres going 24 per cent halloysite. A maiden resource estimate is anticipated for May as the company eyes out a scoping study in its endeavours to fast-track development of the project.
Located some 300 kilometres east of Perth, Latin acquired Noombenberry in 2019 and already its thoughts are starting to turn toward production. A maiden drilling campaign at the project commenced late last year and positive results continue to flow for the company.
The latest batch of results adds to previously reported hits showing consistent high grade halloysite and ultra-bright white ISO-B values over significant widths and close to surface.
Select intercepts from a suite of positive results include 41m going 12 per cent halloysite, 72 per cent kaolinite, and 81 ISO-B from 6m depth, 18m at 4 per cent halloysite, 81 per cent kaolinite and 83 ISO-B from 5m in a separate hole, together with 23m at 5 per cent halloysite, 73 per cent kaolinite and 75 ISO-B from 7m in yet another hole.
The latest results are proving to show some of the highest grade halloysite and kaolin assays in Australia, according to management.
Intriguingly, as the company investigates the brightness of the kaolinite going greater than 80 ISO-B, a pattern is beginning to develop with ultra-bright white kaolinite reported across the entire drill area.
While Latin awaits the final batches of results to be returned from the laboratories, the company’s attention is firmly focused on delivering a maiden resource estimate for the project next month.
Following the resource update, Latin is investigating a road to fast-track production with a scoping study being the next step to potentially pave the way to a more detailed Pre-Feasibility Study for the project.
A digital terrain model of the project area has already been constructed and incorporated into the geological model, which is currently being built.
Discussions with specialist consultants have also commenced in the company’s endeavours to deliver the scoping study. Although the collaboration is in its initial stages, factors being considered include low strip ratio for an easily minable project, suitability for high-end paper and ceramic markets, potential for production of direct shipping ore to generate early cashflow, applications in hydrogen and carbon capture industry sectors, together with potential nanotechnology applications.
Industrial applications of halloysite are numerous including feedstock for high purity alumina used in smartphone screens, controlled release drug delivery, carbon capture, petroleum and medical-grade ceramics.
According to Latin, prices for pure halloysite can fetch as high as US$3,000 per tonne, with pure kaolin going for A$300 per tonne. A halloysite and kaolin hybrid sells for between A$500 and A$1,000 per tonne.
With the emergence of widespread patterns of ultra-bright kaolinite with high-grade halloysite across the entire drilled area at Noombenberry, the upcoming maiden resource estimate may just turn out to be a transformational milestone for Latin.
Watch this space.
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