Piedmont Increases Lithium Resource by 47% to 27.9 Million Tonnes

ID: 1550193
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(businesspress24) - PIEDMONT INCREASES LITHIUM RESOURCE BY 47% TO 27.9 MILLION TONNES

- 47% increase in Piedmont Project-wide Mineral Resource estimate to 27.9 Mt (at) 1.11% Li2O
- 55% increase in Mineral Resource estimate on Core property to 25.1 Mt (at) 1.09% Li2O
- 74% of the Core property resource is within 100m of surface and 97% is within 150m of surface
- 100% of the lithium resource is attributed to spodumene mineralization
- Core property Resource is based on 326 diamond core holes totalling over 51,000 meters
- 9,450 meters of drilling remain in Phase 4 drill campaign with numerous highly prospective targets

Piedmont Lithium Limited (Piedmont or Company) is pleased to announce a major update to the Mineral Resource estimate for the Companys wholly-owned Piedmont Lithium Project (Project) located within the world-class Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (TSB) in North Carolina, USA (Table 1).

The Mineral Resource for the Core property has increased to 25.1 million tonnes (Mt) at a grade of 1.09% Li2O, bringing the Projects total Mineral Resources to 27.9 Mt at a grade of 1.11% Li2O, containing 309,000 tonnes of lithium oxide (Li2O) or 764,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) (the benchmark used in the lithium industry).

Table 1: Project Wide Mineral Resource Estimate for the
Piedmont Lithium Project (0.4%
cut-off)

ResourcCore propertyCentral Total
e property
Catego
ry

TonnesGrade TonnesGrade TonnesGrade Li2O LCE
(Mt) ( (Mt) ( (Mt) ( (t) (t)
Li2O%) Li2O%) Li2O%)
Indicat12.5 1.13 1.41 1.38 13.9 1.16 161,00398,00
ed 0 0

Inferre12.6 1.04 1.39 1.29 14.0 1.06 148,00366,00
d 0 0

Total 25.1 1.09 2.80 1.34 27.9 1.11 309,00764,00
0 0


Importantly, 74% of the Core Mineral Resource is within 100m of surface and 97% is within 150m of surface (Table 2). Approximately 50%; or 12.5 million tonnes of the Mineral Resource is classified in the Indicated Resource category. All of the Mineral Resource tonnes at both Core and Central properties are attributable to spodumene mineralization.

The Company expects to complete a pre-feasibility level metallurgical testwork program followed by a Scoping Study update in July 2019.

Keith D. Phillips, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented: We are very pleased with the resource update at our Core property, bringing our total project-wide resources to 27.9Mt at 1.11% Li2O. As we expand our land holdings and drill out other highly prospective targets, we are optimistic that we will ultimately identify North Americas largest spodumene ore body. This scale, combined with high grade, strong mineralogy and metallurgy, and our superior location in North Carolina, all support the unique strategic nature of the Piedmont Lithium Project.

For further information, contact:
Keith D. Phillips | President & CEO--
T: +1 973 809 0505----
E: kphillips(at)piedmontlithium.com --

Anastasios (Taso) Arima | Executive Director
T: +1 347 899 1522
E: tarima(at)piedmontlithium.com

Core Property Mineral Resource Estimate
The Mineral Resource estimate (MRE) for Piedmonts wholly owned Piedmont Lithium Project in North Carolina, USA was prepared by independent consultants, CSA Global Pty Ltd (CSA Global) in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 Edition).

An important feature of the Core MRE, is that 74% or 18.6 Mt is located within 100 meters of surface. Table 2 shows the details of the MRE with regards to depth from surface.

Table 2: Depth from Surface for the Core Mineral Resource E
stimate
(
25.1Mt (at) 1.09% Li2O)
Depth (from Tonnes (Mt) Percentage Cumulative Cumulative
surface) of Tonnes % of
(m) Resource (Mt) Resource
(%)

0 - 50 8.7 35 8.7 35
50 - 100 9.9 39 18.6 74
100 - 150 5.7 23 24.3 97
150 + 0.8 3 25.1 100

https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2019/47149/190625 - Resource Update_Final (2)_PRCOM.001.jpeg

Figure 1: Piedmont Lithium Project Showing Resource, Resource Shells and New Exploration Target Areas
In addition to the updated Core Mineral Resource estimate, a new Exploration Target has been estimated by CSA Global within the Core Property. This is in addition to the Exploration Target released in April 2019 for the Central property. Table 3 summarizes the Exploration Target potential of the Piedmont Lithium Project. Table 4 and Figure 2 below show the grade-tonnage cut-off values for the Core Property Mineral Resource estimate.
Table 3: Project Wide Exploration Target for the Piedmont
Lithium
Project

ExplorationCore Property Central PropertyTotal
Target

Tonnes Grade (LTonnes Grade (LTonnes Grade (L
(Mt) i (Mt) i (Mt) i
2O%) 2O%) 2O%)
Exploration4.0-4.5 1.0-1.2 2.0-2.5 1.1-1.3 6.0-7.0 1.0-1.3
Target
*
*The potential quantity and grade of the Exploration
Targets is conceptual in nature. There has been
insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource
and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in
the estimation of a Mineral
Resource.

Table 4: Core Property Mineral Resource Estimate Grade /
Tonnage
Table

Cut-Off Resource Grade (LiCut-Off Resource Grade (Li
Grade Tonnes 2 Grade Tonnes 2
( (Mt) O%) ( (Mt) O%)
Li2O%) Li2O%)
1.30 6.00 1.50 0.60 23.50 1.12
1.00 15.10 1.29 0.50 24.40 1.10
0.90 18.00 1.23 0.40 25.10 1.09
0.80 20.30 1.19 0.20 25.60 1.07
0.70 22.30 1.15 0.10 25.60 1.07

https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2019/47149/190625 - Resource Update_Final (2)_PRCOM.002.png

Figure 2: Grade Cut-off v. Tonnage Curve for Core Property
To date, drilling on the projects 1,004-acre Core property consists of 326 holes totalling 51,047 meters. The MRE utilizes all 326 holes. In general, drill spacing ranges between 40 - 80m. Dike areas tested by drilling at 40m lateral and downdip spacings were eligible to receive an Indicated resource classification, whereas areas with wider spacings received an Inferred resource classification. Figure 3 is a plan view showing the Indicated and Inferred classification areas.

https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2019/47149/190625 - Resource Update_Final (2)_PRCOM.003.jpeg

Figure 3: Core MRE - Map Showing Areas of Indicated and Inferred Resource Classifications

Figure 4 shows a view (looking northeast) of the MRE block model at various grade cut-offs.

https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2019/47149/190625 - Resource Update_Final (2)_PRCOM.004.jpeg

Figure 4: Core Block Model - Isometric Views Toward the Northeast at Various Grade Cut-Offs (Li2O)

Summary of Resource Estimate and Reporting Criteria
This ASX announcement has been prepared in compliance with JORC Code (2012 Edition) and the ASX Listing Rules. The Company has included in Appendix 2 the Table Checklist of Assessment and Reporting Criteria for the Piedmont Lithium Project as prescribed by the JORC Code (2012 Edition) and the ASX Listing Rules. The following is a summary of the pertinent information used in the MRE with the full details provided in Appendix 2: JORC Table 1.

Geology, Mineralogy and Geological Interpretation
Regionally, the Carolina Tin-Spodumene belt extends for 40km along the litho-tectonic boundary between the inner Piedmont and Kings Mountain belts. The mineralized pegmatites are thought to be concurrent and cross-cutting dike swarms extending from the Cherryville granite, as the dikes progressed further from their sources, they became increasingly enriched in incompatible elements such as Li, tin (Sn). The dikes are considered to be unzoned.

Within the Project, spodumene pegmatites range from 1- 20+ meters thick and are hosted in a fine to medium grained, weakly to moderately foliated, biotite, hornblende, quartz feldspar gneiss, commonly referred to as amphibolite. The spodumene pegmatites range from fine grained (aplite) to very coarse-grained pegmatite with primary mineralogy consisting of spodumene, quartz, plagioclase, potassium-feldspar and muscovite. X-Ray Diffraction analysis has confirmed spodumene as the only lithium bearing ore mineral in the mineralized pegmatites, whereas varying amounts of, holmquistite, lepidolite and petalite have been identified in the amphibolite host rock alteration zones immediately adjacent to the mineralized pegmatites and outside of the MRE.

To date over 100 spodumene pegmatite bodies have been identified and/or modeled on the property. The mineralized dikes predominantly strike northeast and dip southeast. Some dikes have impressive lateral extent in which they can be traced for 500+ meters, whereas vertically, the steep dipping dikes extend 150 -200m down-dip. In addition, a series of flat to shallowly dipping dikes have been defined. Both sets of dikes have similar grade, however, grades and thicknesses increase when two sets of dikes intersect.

A highly variable, low temperature clay/mica alteration has been Identified on the property, locally and more commonly at depth, it has overprinted the spodumene mineralization resulting in spodumene pseudomorphs that range from partial to complete replacement. This alteration is easily identified in core by the difference in hardness between the spodumene and the much softer pseudomorphs. This alteration is not to be confused with highly weathered pegmatite commonly encountered at surface.

Drilling and Sampling Techniques
To date total of 326 diamond core holes have been drilled totalling 51,047m. The table below includes a breakdown of Piedmont Lithiums four phases of drilling.
Table 5: Core Property - Drilling Program Details
Phase No. Holes Total Length
Drilled
(m)

Historical 19 2,544
Phase 1 12 1,667
Phase 2 93 12,263
Phase 3 124 21,363
Phase 4 78 13,210
Total 326 51,047
Of the 78 core holes drilled as part of the Phase 4 drilling program, drill results for 60 holes have been previously released (refer announcements dated March 14, 2019 and May 29, 2019) and drill results for the remaining 18 holes are reported herein (refer Appendix 1).
https://www.irw-press.at/prcom/images/messages/2019/47149/190625 - Resource Update_Final (2)_PRCOM.005.jpeg

Figure 5: Core Phase 4 Drillhole Location Map
All diamond drill holes were collared with HQ and were transitioned to NQ once non-weathered and unoxidized bedrock was encountered. Drill core was recovered from surface.

Oriented core was collected on select drill holes using the REFLEX ACT III tool by a qualified geologist at the drill rig. This data was highly beneficial in the interpretation of the pegmatite dikes.

Spacing of drill holes varied for each drilling phase. The historic and Phase 1 drilling were exploratory in nature where Phase 2 drilling started to identify the mineralized trend at 80m by 40m spacing. The infill drilling of Phases 3 and 4 targeted a 40m by 40m grid spacing.

Drill collars were located with the differential global positioning system (DGPS) with the Trimble Geo 7 unit which resulted in accuracies <1m. All coordinates were collected in State Plane and re-projected to Nad83 zone17 in which they are reported.

Down hole surveying was performed on each hole using a REFLEX EZ-Trac multi-shot instrument. Readings were taken approx. every 15m (50 ft.) and recorded depth, azimuth, and inclination. All holes were geologically and geotechnically logged. All holes were photographed prior to sampling. Sampled zones were subsequently photographed a second time after the samples had been marked.

The Core was cut in half with a diamond saw with one half submitted as the sample and the other half retained for reference. Standard sample intervals were a minimum of 0.35m and a maximum of 1.5m for HQ or NQ drill core, taking into account lithological boundaries (i.e. sample to, and not across, major contacts). A CRM or coarse blank was included at the rate of one for every 20 drill core samples (i.e. 5%). Sampling precision is monitored by selecting a sample interval likely to be mineralized and splitting the sample into two ¼ core duplicate samples over the same sample interval. These samples are consecutively numbered after the primary sample and recorded in the sample database as field duplicates and the primary sample number recorded. Field duplicates were collected at the rate of 1 in 20 samples when sampling mineralized drill core intervals.

Samples were numbered sequentially with no duplicates and no missing numbers. Triple tag books using 9-digit numbers were used, with one tag inserted into the sample bag and one tag stapled or otherwise affixed into the core tray at the interval the sample was collected. Samples were placed inside pre-numbered sample bags with numbers coinciding to the sample tag. Quality control (QC) samples, consisting of certified reference materials (CRMs), were given sample numbers within the sample stream so that they are masked from the laboratory after sample preparation and to avoid any duplication of sample numbers.

Sample Analysis Method
All samples from Phases 2, 3 and 4 drilling were shipped to the SGS laboratory in Lakefield, Ontario. The preparation code was CRU21 (crush to 75% of sample <2mm) and PUL45 (pulverize 250g to 85% <75 microns). The analyses code was GE ICM40B (multi-acid digestion with either an ICP-ES or ICP-MS finish), which has a range for Li of 1 to 10,000 (1%) ppm Li. The over-range method code for Li >5,000 ppm is GE ICP90A, which uses a peroxide fusion with an ICP finish, and has lower and upper detection limits of 0.001 and 5% respectively. Starting in August 2017, samples were switched to being analysed using GE ICP90A Li only and then to GE ICP91A Li only. Table 6 is a summary of lab and analysis used for the historical and the different Phases of drilling.

Table 6: Laboratories and Analysis Used
Phase Laboratory Prep Codes Analytical
Codes

Historical ACME Labs - 7TX, 7PF-Li
Phase 1 Bureau Veritas (PRP 70-250 MA270, PF370
Reno,
NV)

Phase 2 SGS (Lakefield, CRU21, GE ICM40B, GE
ONT) PUL45 ICP90A

Phase 3 SGS (Lakefield, CRU26, GE ICP91A
ONT) PUL45

Phase 4 SGS (Lakefield, CRU26, GE ICP91A
ONT) PUL45
Bulk Densities for phase 2 -4 were analyzed by SGS and in house by Piedmont Lithiums geologist.

Resource Estimation Methodology
Lithological and structural features were defined based upon geological knowledge of the deposit derived from drill core logs and geological observations on surface. Wireframe models of 95 pegmatite dikes, a diabase dike and one fault were created in Micromine 2014® by joining polygon interpretations made on cross sections and level plans spaced at 40m. Weathering profiles representing the base of saprolite and overburden were modelled based upon drill hole geological logging. A topographic digital terrain model was derived from a 2003 North Carolina State Lidar survey with a lateral resolution of 5m and an accuracy of +/-2 m.

A rotated block model orientated to 35 degrees was constructed in Datamine StudioRM® that encompasses all modelled dikes using a parent cell size of 6 m (E) by 12 m (N) by 6 m (Z). The drill hole files were flagged by the pegmatite and weathering domains they intersected. Statistical analysis of the domained data was undertaken in SuperVisor®. Samples were regularised to 1m composite lengths and a review of high-grade outliers was undertaken. Regularised sample grades that fell within the pegmatite model were analysed for directional dependence in order to develop parameters for Li2O grade interpolation by Ordinary Kriging and Inverse Distance Weighting methods. For each modelled pegmatite, regularised sample grades were interpolated into the corresponding pegmatite block model.

Block grade interpolation was validated by means of swath plots, comparison of mean sample and block model Li2O grades and overlapping Li2O grade distribution charts for sample and block model data. Cross sections of the block model with drill hole data superimposed were also reviewed.

Dry bulk density determinations were statistically analysed to determine an appropriate value to assign to each modelled rock type. Pegmatites within saprolitized rock received a density value of 2.04 t/m3 and those within fresh rock received a density of 2.72 t/m3. Saprolitized waste rock received a density value of 1.27 t/m3 and fresh waste rock received a density of 2.81 t/m3.

Classification Criteria
Resource classification parameters are based on the validity and robustness of input data and the estimators judgment with respect to the proximity of resource blocks to sample locations and confidence with respect to the geological continuity of the pegmatite interpretations and grade estimates.
All blocks captured in pegmatite dike interpretation wireframes below the topography surface are classified as Inferred.

Indicated classification boundaries that define a region of blocks that, overall, meet the following criteria: Within major pegmatite dikes with along strike and down dip continuity greater than 200m and 50m respectively and with a true thickness greater than 2m; and are informed by at least two drill holes and eight samples within a range of approximately 20m to the nearest drill hole in the along strike or strike and downdip directions.

No Measured category resources are estimated.

Cut-Off Grades
The Mineral Resource Estimate is reported at a 0.4% Li2O cut-off grade, in line with cut off grades utilized at comparable deposits.

Mining and Metallurgical methods and parameters
The depth, geometry and grade of pegmatites at the property make them amenable to exploitation by open cut mining methods. Inspection of drill cores and the close proximity of open pit mines in similar rock formations indicate that ground conditions are suitable for this mining method.

The resource is constrained by a conceptual pit shell derived from a Whittle optimisation using a revenue factor (USD$750/t for a nominal 6% Li2O concentrate). Material falling outside of this shell is considered to not meet reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction.

Reasonable prospects for metallurgical recovery are supported by the results of the bulk sampling and metallurgical test work program undertaken by Piedmont Lithium in 2018 at North Carolina State Universitys Minerals Research Laboratory.

Future Exploration and Exploration Target
Exploration to date has identified the potential for additional dikes outside of the current Mineral Resource area that warrant further exploration.

Corridor Extensions: A 700m southward extension of the F-Corridor is modelled that encompasses mineralised intercepts encountered in holes 19-BD-300, 19-BD-258 and 262. At the north end of the F-Corridor, where mineralization is open, a north-eastward continuation of the trend is modelled over a 250m strike length. An eastward extension of the S-Corridor is modelled over a strike length of 350m. At the north end of the G-Corridor, where mineralization is not closed off by drilling, trend extensions to the northeast and east are each modelled over strike extents of 100m.

Infill Areas: Between the B and S corridors continuation of mineralized pegmatite is modelled over a total strike length of 300 m. Between the B and G corridors a continuation of mineralized pegmatite is modelled over a total strike length of 150 m.

Modelled extensions and infill areas for the F, B, G and S Corridors have a total strike length of 1,950m. After consideration of modelled pegmatite continuity, the potential downdip extents and accumulated true thicknesses were estimated. These average 125m down dip extent and 8.5m in true thickness and generate a total volume of approximately 2 million cubic meters (m3).

To determine potential tonnage and grade ranges at the deposit, Li2O assay values and density values from drilling have been applied to the volume estimates. For the 80% of assays within pegmatite models that are above a 0.4% Li2O cut off, an average grade of 1.10% Li2O is estimated. For the 70% of assays that are above a 0.6% Li2O cut off, an average grade of 1.20% Li2O is estimated. Applying these assay frequency proportions to the modelled volumes outside the Mineral Resource results in estimated volume ranges from 1.4 million m3 to 1.6 million m3 for spodumene bearing pegmatite with economically interesting grades. A density value of 2.7 g/cm3 is applied to derive tonnage values.

Using the above methodology an Exploration Target of between 4 to 4.5 million tonnes at a grade of between 1.0% and 1.2% Li2O is approximated for the Core deposit. The potential quantity and grade of this Exploration Target is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.

This Exploration Target is based on the actual results of Piedmonts previous drill programs. To further develop this deposit and develop the Mineral Resource, the Company will complete additional step out and infill drilling to establish geological and grade continuity within the Corridor Extensions aiming for a drill spacing of 40m × 40m.

In addition, an Exploration Target was reported on April 23, 2019 for Piedmonts Central Property. The Exploration Target is approximated between 2.0 to 2.5 million tonnes at a grade of between 1.1% and 1.3% Li2O. The potential quantity and grade of this Exploration Target is conceptual in nature, there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral Resource and it is uncertain if further exploration will result in the estimation of a Mineral Resource.

Please find the whole press release under the following Link: https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20190625/pdf/4462ynk01pld82.pdf

About Piedmont Lithium
Piedmont Lithium Limited (ASX: PLL; Nasdaq: PLL) holds a 100% interest in the Piedmont Lithium Project (Project) located within the world-class Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt (TSB) and along trend to the Hallman Beam and Kings Mountain mines, historically providing most of the western worlds lithium between the 1950s and the 1980s. The TSB has been described as one of the largest lithium provinces in the world and is located approximately 25 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a premier location for development of an integrated lithium business based on its favorable geology, proven metallurgy and easy access to infrastructure, power, R&D centers for lithium and battery storage, major high-tech population centers and downstream lithium processing facilities.

Forward Looking Statements
This announcement may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Piedmonts expectations and beliefs concerning future events. Forward looking statements are necessarily subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Piedmont, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such statements. Piedmont makes no undertaking to subsequently update or revise the forward-looking statements made in this announcement, to reflect the circumstances or events after the date of that announcement.

Cautionary Note to United States Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resources
The information contained in this announcement has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the securities laws in effect in Australia, which differ from the requirements of U.S. securities laws. The terms "mineral resource", "measured mineral resource", "indicated mineral resource" and "inferred mineral resource" are Australian terms defined in accordance with the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code). However, these terms are not defined in Industry Guide 7 ("SEC Industry Guide 7") under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "U.S. Securities Act"), and are normally not permitted to be used in reports and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Accordingly, information contained herein that describes Piedmonts mineral deposits may not be comparable to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to reporting and disclosure requirements under the U.S. federal securities laws and the rules and regulations thereunder. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in Piedmonts Form 20-F, a copy of which may be obtained from Piedmont or from the EDGAR system on the SECs website at http://www.sec.gov/.

Competent Persons Statement
The information in this announcement that relates to Exploration Results is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled or reviewed by Mr. Lamont Leatherman, a Competent Person who is a Registered Member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, a Recognized Professional Organization (RPO). Mr. Leatherman is a holder of stock options in, and is a key consultant of, the Company. Mr. Leatherman has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Mr. Leatherman consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

The information in this report that relates to Exploration Targets and Mineral Resources is based on, and fairly represents, information compiled or reviewed by Mr. Leon McGarry, a Competent Person who is a Professional Geoscientist (P.Geo.) and registered member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (APGO no. 2348), a Recognized Professional Organization (RPO). Mr. McGarry is a Senior Resource Geologist and full-time employee at CSA Global Geoscience Canada Ltd. Mr. McGarry has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Mr. McGarry consents to the inclusion in this report of the results of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.




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Date: 06/25/2019 - 06:59
Language: English
News-ID 1550193
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