Kenticha Project History & Historical Mining Overview
Discovered during the 1980’s in the course of gold-bearing exploration in the Adola Belt. A detailed geological exploration program uncovered several rare-element pegmatites with the Kenticha pegmatite a globally significant tantalite asset.
Tantalite ore is produced from a deeply weathered pegmatite regolith and from adjacent eluvial deposits.
Initial focus at Kenticha was tantalum, with historical production for 27 consecutive years from 1990-2017 producing between 100tpa-200tpa of tantalum concentrate containing 50% to 70% tantalum pentoxide (total run-of-mine to date is 5.3Mt).
During the period 1999-2014, 91 boreholes were drilled in order to better understand the scale and geology of the orebody
Initial drilling results and associated geological studies developed an estimated C2 tantalum resource.
From 2017, the focus at Kenticha switched to lithium, with an additional 61 boreholes drilled in 2017 to establish a C2 lithium resource of 257kt.
Mining has been halted since December 2017, with significant lithium exploration upside untapped outside of early 2017 drill program.
Other major LCT pegmatites of the spodumene complex, such as Greenbushes and Altia No.3 have pivoted to Li2O mining with significant success in the time since Kenticha’s closure.
Kenticha is considered one of the great LCT projects of the world.
Block and 3-dimensional modelling of the orebody has been completed with recent drilling data applied.
The modelling demonstrates the orebody appears to be flat lying, with a strike length of more than 2km, where width’s and Li2O grade extends to the north and south.
Exploration work undertaken on the primary orebody is already considered sufficient for attaining JORC compliance subject to quality control data assurance.
Diamond core drilling at the Kenticha Project has defined a large 2 km long, 40 m to 100 m thick pegmatite.
Significant, continuous lithium and tantalum mineralisation, exists within the pegmatite.
The weathered portion of the orebody is estimated to have a resource of 2,223 t of tantalum oxide and 2,065 t of niobium pentoxide, thus justifying further mining of the weathered orebody.
The Kenticha Project contains a JORC compliant inferred mineral resource estimate of 87.7 Mt at 0.78% lithium oxide.
Lithium resource expected to increase with in-fill and step-out drilling, due to commence in coming months.
Orebody is open to the north and south with higher grade lithium zones located in the unmined hard rock pegmatite.
Current orebody resource statement only derived from one pegmatite.
Several unexplored large pegmatites exist in the defined area which will be subject to Abyssinian’s initial drilling program.