Piedmont Lithium Ltd (ASX:PLL) (NASDAQ:PLL) (OTCMKTS:PDDTF) has increased the global mineral resources estimate for its flagship Piedmont Lithium Project in North Carolina, USA, to 39.2 million tonnes at 1.09% lithium oxide.
There is strong potential for further increases as exploration and infill drilling continues with five rigs operation on the Core property.
The JORC-compliant resource, of which 55% is in the indicated category, includes updated estimates from the Core and Central properties and an initial estimate from Huffstetler property.
Potential to increase annual production
PLL president and CEO Keith D Philips said: Increasing the scale of our North Carolina mineral resource to 39.2 million tonnes at 1.09% lithium oxide establishes our asset as one of the largest spodumene resources in North America – and one the only one in the United States.
“The expanded resource offers the potential for increased annual lithium production, something we will evaluate as we prepare our updated scoping study for release next month.
“All this is coming together at an ideal time, as the public and private sectors dramatically increase their investment in the electrification of America.
“Given the scope and strategic location of our Piedmont Lithium Project, we believe we are ideally positioned to play a critical role in helping the United States build a clean energy economy and a US-based EV supply chain.”
The updated estimate has increased the Core property resource by 26% to 31.69 million tonnes at 1.07% lithium oxide.
It incorporates the results of 57 diamond core holes and 18 rotary sonic drill holes totalling 8,339 metres.
In addition to the increase in size, the resource classification has been upgraded for the east pit area, which is now about 85% indicated.
The updated Central resource estimate of 5.16 million tonnes at 1.2% lithium oxide reflects an 84% increase to the initial 2019 resource and incorporated results from 18 new holes.
Central is about 1 mile south of the Core property.
PLL’s initial inferred estimate for the Huffstetler property, less than a mile northeast of Core, is 2.31 million tonnes at 0.91% lithium oxide and this is based on results from 14 diamond holes totalling 2,151 metres.
Currently, Piedmont has five drill rigs conducting infill and exploration drilling at the Core property.
Infill drilling has the primary objective of converting areas within the resource estimate from the inferred to the indicated classification.
The company is planning to conduct additional drilling on Huffstetler and Central properties in 2021.
Results and the resource estimate will underpin a scoping study update which is targeted for May 2021.
A subsequent resource update is scheduled upon completion of the infill drilling and these results will inform a definitive feasibility study scheduled for September 2021.