Critical Resources confident of major expansion at Mavis Lake lithium project

Critical Resources (ASX: CRR) is cashed-up and awaiting some key drilling and metallurgical results as it continues to focus on developing its flagship Mavis Lake lithium project in Canada.

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The company wrapped up a successful period of active exploration drilling that targeted resource growth at Mavis Lake in late 2023, with early results highlighting the potential to significantly grow the size of the project.

Assay results obtained during the December quarter confirmed the presence of continuous, thick, high-grade mineralisation at the Main Zone of Mavis Lake starting from surface and extending over 1 kilometre in strike.

Of particular interest for follow-up in 2024 was a hole intersecting a lower zone comprised of thick, high-grade mineralisation that returned 20.7m at 1.44% lithium oxide.

Notably, the entirety of this lower zone sits outside the current mineral resource estimate (MRE) and Critical Resources believes its discovery has the potential to add both tonnage and grade to the Mavis Lake deposit.

The company is now eagerly awaiting further assay results from drilling completed at the Main Zone in late 2023.

The pending results, along with target generation work at the northern prospects of Mavis Lake, will be used to inform and prioritise exploration plans for 2024.

Resource growth drilling within the Main Zone continued during the quarter, both confirming and extending the recently-discovered Swell Zone.

When integrated with previous drilling results, the results show a thick, high-grade mineralised structure starting from surface and extending over 1km in strike length, sitting oblique to the current MRE.

The company has incorporated new results with historical drilling data, providing it with tight (approximately 50m) drill spacing across the deposit.

With much of the Swell Zone mineralisation sitting outside the current MRE for Mavis Lake, Critical Resources believes the area presents an immediate opportunity for resource growth.

Elsewhere, Critical Resources has contracted Saskatchewan Research Council and STARK Resources to conduct a collaborative test work program to assess the amenability of Mavis Lake ore to beneficiation by coarse, dry ore sorting.

A drill core sample suite, encompassing the full range of ore and rock types exhibited at Mavis Lake, has been prepared and dispatched for test work.

The next stage will involve mineralogical assessment of the rock and ore types, followed by X-ray transmission-based studies to assess the viability of pre-concentrating mined ore by rejecting coarse waste rock.

Samples of ore will also be subjected to an ultra-violet laser-based amenability study with STARK’s technology partner Optimum Sorting.

This innovative technology detects spodumene directly and offers unique opportunities by separating spodumene from the un-mineralised host pegmatite.

Critical Resources is confident the removal of mined waste rock and gangue minerals in the coarse, dry beneficiation stage offers a number of tangible operational benefits.

These include increased mineable tonnes, reduced haulage, lower energy and water consumption as well as associated emissions, reduced grinding and milling capacity requirements, improved feed grade consistency, plant productivity and reduced tailings.

Initial results from the test work program are expected in Q1 2024.

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