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Lithium and nickel explorer Azure Minerals has confirmed the presence of a “major lithium mineralised system” at its Andover lithium project in the west Pilbara region of Western Australia.

So far, Azure has completed 89,216.1m of drilling at Andover. This includes 192 diamond core holes for 57,878m, 97 reverse circulation holes for 19,267m, and 27 holes comprising RC pre-collars and diamond tails for 12,070.7m.

The drilling has focused on Target Areas 1, 2 and 3, with substantial spodumene-hosted lithium mineralisation identified and delineated at TA1 and TA3.

Recent assay results and visual observations of spodumene mineralisation from TA3 demonstrated a lithium system spanning a strike length of 1700m at the AP0002/AP0003/AP0004 pegmatite, with more than 700m of down-dip extent and a consistent true width averaging about 35m.

Consistent lithium mineralisation was also confirmed by assays spanning over a cumulative strike length of 1300m and over 450m of down-dip extent, and in the AP0005 pegmatite that covered a strike length of more than 800m.

“The presence of a major lithium mineralised system has now been confirmed at TA3,” Azure said.

“It appears to be of similar proportions to the nearby TA1 mineralised system, highlighting that the company’s Andover lithium project (Azure 60 per cent/Creasy Group 40 per cent) is likely to be of global significance.”

Azure currently has two diamond rigs drilling at TA3 to continue delineating mineralised extensions of the AP0002/AP0003/AP0004 pegmatite, with resource definition drilling expected to be completed by late-April.

Six diamond rigs are also operating at TA1 to complete resource definition drilling of AP0011 pegmatite by late-February. The diamond rigs will then relocate to TA3.

The major lithium discovery comes after Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting teamed up with Chilean major SQM to acquire Azure right before Christmas.

Under the deed, SQM and Hancock will acquire 100 per cent of shares of Azure shares as joint bidders, by way of a scheme of arrangement for a cash amount of $3.70 per share.

A meeting for Azure shareholders to approve the transaction is expected to take place in mid-March.