Kodal Minerals (LSE:KOD) enjoyed a 5.9pc boost to 0.2p on Friday morning after releasing a strong set of drilling results at its flagship asset in Mali. Work carried out in November and December confirmed the continuity of lithium mineralisation at the 450km2 Bougoni project.

With a total mineral resource estimate of 207.9kt contained lithium oxide, Bougoni is among the 15 largest hard rock lithium projects in the world. Kodal believes its ongoing drilling shows significant exploration potential that could see this number grow further. To demonstrate this, it is currently completing an updated mineral resource estimate that is on track for delivery at the end of next month.

The most recent round of work saw Kodal carry out infill and extension drilling at defined mineralisation on Bougoni’s Sogola-Baoule prospect. This continued to high grade mineralisation, with one 108m drill hole encountering a 21m intersection at 1.58pc lithium oxide.

Kodal carried out the work after its maiden resource estimate and preliminary open pit optimisation showed the Sogola-Baoule resource could be economically tested at depth as well as along strike. The firm said its most recent work has confirmed this and has the potential to impact future mine design following its mineral resource update.

It is now waiting for assay results for 18 further reverse circulation holes and one diamond drilling hole. Alongside all its existing drilling data, this will be used to complete a geological interpretation and validation. Alongside a ground magnetic survey, this will inform further drilling at Sogola-Baoule. 

Sogola-Baoule is estimated to contain 122.2kt of lithium oxide, making it Bougoni’s largest prospect.

November and December also saw Kodal carry out reverse circulation and diamond drilling at Bougoni’s Boumou prospect. One hole intersected multiple pegmatite veins, consistent with the company’s geological interpretation. 

Boumou is estimated to contain 22.9kt of lithium oxide. It is characterised by multiple lithium mineralised pegmatite veins with an overall strike trending east-northwest/south-southwest and dipping to the north.

A maiden mineral resource estimate highlighted two distinct north and south zones at the prospect. Kodal said its latest results show that the southern zone is more robust. As such, it will be the target for further definition and extensions drilling. As with Sogola-Bauole, the results will now be used alongside a ground magnetic survey to highlight priority targets for next phase drilling.

Kodal chief executive Bernard Aylward said the latest work gives the firm ‘great confidence’ as it fast tracks its development plans for Bougoni.

‘As such, we are in the process of completing a Mineral Resource estimate update that will include all drilling results to date as we look to confirm a long term mine life.  This is on track for delivery at the end of February 2019,’ he said. ‘The opportunity highlighted by these continuing good results is that we are now able to assess our proposed operation parameters and factor in a larger mining operation with an initial 1.2Mtpa processing plant, expanding to 1.5Mtpa as the operation moves into steady production phase.

‘With this in mind, we are continuing to map out a development programme and will be looking to provide an update to the market on our recent activity and engagement of specialised Engineering contractors to work with Kodal and support this development schedule in due course.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

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