Mineral Resource Estimates

Lithium Resources

In June 2018 Piedmont announced a Mineral Resource estimate on its Core property of 16.19 million tonnes at 1.12% Li2O, containing 182,000 tonnes of lithium oxide (Li2O) or 450,000 tonnes of Lithium Carbonate Equivalent (“LCE”) (the benchmark equivalent raw material used in the lithium industry). Approximately 52% or 8.50 million tonnes of the Mineral Resource is classified in the Indicated Resource category.

The Mineral Resource estimate has been prepared by independent consultants, CSA Global Pty Ltd (“CSA Global”) and is reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 Edition).

Mineral Resource Estimate for the Piedmont Lithium Project Core Property (0.4% cut-off)

Category

Resource (Mt)

Grade (Li2O%)

Li2O (t)

LCE (t)

Indicated

8.50

1.15

98,000

242,000

Inferred

7.70

1.09

84,000

208,000

Total

16.19

1.12

182,000

450,000


Piedmont’s maiden Mineral Resource is the first resource estimate completed in over 30 years in the historic Carolina Tin-Spodumene Belt, which was the home of most of the world’s lithium production and processing from the 1950s until the 1980s. The region continues to be the home to the US lithium processing facilities of Albemarle Corporation and Livent Corporation (formerly FMC). The current resource is within our Core Property, which is 5 kilometres north of the historic Hallman-Beam mine (ex-FMC).

In addition to the maiden Mineral Resource estimate a new Exploration Target of 4.5 to 5.5 million tonnes at a grade of between 1.10% and 1.20% Li2O has been estimated by CSA Global within the Core Property.  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.


Byproduct Resources

In September 2018 Piedmont developed Mineral Resource estimates for byproduct quartz, feldspar, and mica mineral products from the spodumene bearing pegmatite on its Core property.  These Mineral Resource estimates are based on the same geologic model that resulted in a maiden Mineral Resource estimate for lithium of 16.2 Mt @ 1.12% Li2O which was previously announced on June 14, 2018.

By-Product Mineral Resource estimates were based on normative mineralogy compositions for 2,289 samples in 231 drill holes previously analyzed for lithium.  The Mineral Resource estimates have been prepared by independent consultants, CSA Global Pty Ltd (“CSA Global”) and are reported in accordance with the JORC Code (2012 Edition).

Table 1:  Mineral Resource Estimates for By-Products – Piedmont Lithium Project

Category

Tonnes (Mt)

Quartz

Feldspar

Mica

Grade (%)

Tonnes (Mt)

Grade (%)

Tonnes (Mt)

Grade (%)

Tonnes (Mt)

Indicated

8.50

30.3

2.57

43.5

3.69

4.4

0.38

Inferred

7.69

30.0

2.31

44.4

3.41

4.5

0.34

Total

16.19

30.1

4.88

43.9

7.11

4.5

0.72


The industrial minerals represented by Piedmont’s by-product Mineral Resource Estimates are fundamental inputs for regional industries that Piedmont can economically service given its location in the heart of the Mid-Atlantic industrial corridor.

Phase 4 Drill Campaign

The Company has initiated a 25,000-meter Phase 4 drill program which will aim to significantly expand on the 13-year project life reported in the project Scoping Study released on September 13, 2018.

Three drill rigs have been mobilized with two currently committed to the Core property and one to the Central property. The Core program will consist of approximately 110 holes totaling 19,000 meters and is designed to drill the Exploration Target areas reported June 14, 2018, perform initial drilling on newly acquired properties contiguous to the Core property, and upgrade portions of the current Mineral Resource Estimate from Inferred to Indicated classification.

The remaining 6,000 meters is allocated to follow-up drilling on the Central and Sunnyside properties, and initial drill testing of new or other properties not yet drilled with the potential to define a Mineral Resource Estimate on one or more of these additional properties. 

 

Central Property Drilling

Piedmont’s Central Property is located less than one mile south of the Company’s Core Property.  Piedmont has completed 18 drill holes on the Central Property and have announced 11 drill holes to date including an intercept of 34m @ 1.02% Li2O in hole 18-CT-002.

The 18 core holes on the Central Property have defined a northeast trending spodumene bearing pegmatite dike. This dike has been traced for 350 meters along strike and tested to 160 vertical meters below surface.  Drill intercepts range from approximately 5 meters (Hole 18-CT-008) to 34 meters (Hole 18-CT-002 in ASX Announcement dated October 17, 2018). The Company has completed additional core holes on this pegmatite which are expected to be reported to the market in the coming months.   The mineralization remains open in all directions.

X-Ray Diffraction analysis of two samples from Hole 18-CT-002 confirm spodumene is the only primary lithium bearing mineral within the pegmatite. The primary mineralogy is consistent with Piedmont’s Core property being quartz, albite, spodumene, muscovite and microcline.

The Company has also encountered a second dike on the property, approximately 185 meters to the east, the results of which will also be reported in the coming months.

Core Property Drill Campaigns

Through the end of Phase 3 drilling Piedmont drilled a total of 248 diamond core holes totalling 37,837 meters.  The table below shows the breakdown of drilling with regards to the historic drilling completed by North Arrow Minerals and the subsequent drilling programs completed by Piedmont Lithium.

Table 4:  Drilling campaigns undertaken by Piedmont and historical data included in MRE

Phase

No. Holes

Exploratory Drilling (m)

Infill Drilling (m)

Total Length Drilled (m)

Historical

19

2,544

-

2,544

Phase 1

12

1,667

-

1,667

Phase 2

93

12,263

-

12,263

Phase 3

124

5,491

15,872

21,363

Total

248

21,964

15,872

37,837


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.  The drill holes were oriented to best intersect the pegmatites perpendicularly.

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 80 by 40 meters spacing.  The infill drilling of Phase 3 targeted a 40 by 40 meter grid spacing.

Drill collars were located with the differential global positioning system (DGPS) with the Trimble Geo 7 unit which resulted in accuracies of less than 1 meter.  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 approximately every 15 meters (50 feet) and recorded depth, azimuth, and inclination.  The following figure shows the cumulative drill holes prior to the commencement of the Phase 4 drill campaign.

Core Property Geology

Within the Core Property, spodumene pegmatites are hosted in a fine to medium grained, weakly to moderately foliated, biotite, hornblende, quartz feldspar gneiss or 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.

Core Property B-G Corridor

Three main zones of mineralization have been extensively drilled leading to Indicated and Inferred resource classifications.  The largest is in the western portion of the property, known as the B-G Corridor, where close spaced drilling has identified mineralization for 1,400 meters along strike and to a depth of 150 to 200 meters below surface.  This corridor accounts for 54% of the total resource reported.  Due to multiple pegmatites within the corridor, schematic block long sections showing the accumulative grade and thickness are provided below.


Schematic block long section of B-G corridor looking Northwest showing the accumulated weighted average grade (Li2O%) of the blocks


Schematic block long section of B-G corridor looking Northwest showing accumulated horizontal pegmatite thickness in meters (not true thickness)

Core Property F Corridor

The F Corridor is the second largest area of mineralization and accounts for 30% of the total resource reported.  It is located along the eastern portion of the property and also consists of multiple pegmatite dikes, these have been drilled for 750 meters along strike and 150 to 200 meters below surface.  Accumulated grade and thickness long block sections for the F corridor are shown below.


Schematic block long section of the F corridor looking Northwest showing the accumulated weighted average grade (Li2O%) of the blocks


Schematic block long section of the F corridor looking Northwest showing accumulated horizontal pegmatite thickness in meters (not true thickness)

Core Property S Corridor

The third area, known as the S corridor, is divided into two zones of mineralization and accounts for the remaining 16% of the total resource reported.  The set of accumulated long block sections are provided for grade and thickness.


Schematic block long section of the S corridor looking Northwest showing the accumulated weighted average grade (Li2O%) of the blocks


Schematic block long section of the S corridor looking Northwest showing accumulated horizontal pegmatite thickness in meters (not true thickness)

Sunnyside Property Drilling

The initial Sunnyside drilling campaign, comprising 7 holes totalling 911 meters, consisted of exploration drilling targeting surface outcrop, sub crop and float block trends. The drill results confirm spodumene bearing pegmatite in 5 of 7 holes drilled.

Surface mapping suggested a shallow to moderate west-southwest dip of banding and mineral layering with in the outcrop blocks, therefore the initial three holes were focused on the western most outcrop exposure where the holes were oriented north-northwest with a -55 degree dip. 

Hole 18-SS-001 intersected two spodumene bearing bodies, the upper intercept was 20.9m @ 1.42% Li2O and a lower intercept of 3.0m @ 1.94% Li2O.  Holes 18-SS-002 and 18-SS-003 were designed to intercept the upper and lower extensions of these bodies, however hole 18-SS-002 encountered no significant mineralized pegmatite and hole 18-SS-003 intercepted one thin spodumene bearing pegmatite that poorly correlates to the bodies intercepted in 18-SS-001.  Holes 18-SS-006 and 18-SS-007 were drilled to the northwest at near right angles to holes 18-SS-001 through 18-SS-003.  These were to test the hypothesis that the surface exposures actually dipped southeast similar to the extensively drilled mineralized pegmatites at the Core property.  Both holes encountered spodumene bearing pegmatite with the 9.1m @ 1.11% Li2O intercept in hole 18-SS-007 best correlating with the high-grade intercept in hole 18-SS-001.  Piedmont’s geologists are now considering that the spodumene bearing pegmatites intercepted in holes 18-SS-001 and 18-SS-007 is potentially a separate body to the spodumene pegmatites at surface.  In addition, it is possible that pegmatites at Sunnyside are not planar in shape.


Sunnyside Project Drill Location Map


Sunnyside Cross Section