Pioneer has engaged Mining Plus to design a method to extract the high value pollucite mineralisation from the Sinclair Zone. The illustration shows the pollucite (oranges (medium grade) and pinks (high grade)), the proposed adit (green) and initial cross-cuts (blue) from which stopes will be developed.

Drill Hole Collar Locations at the Sinclair Caesium Zone. Pollucite has been intersected in marked holes. Drilling commenced in late April, will test for extensions in both a northerly and southerly direction.

Pioneer 100%

The Pioneer Dome Project is located near Norseman in Western Australia, approximately 130 km south of Kalgoorlie and 200 km north of the Port of Esperance. Access is excellent with the Goldfields Highway and Esperance railway, and water and gas pipelines passing through the Project.

The Company has now accumulated approximately 341 km² of tenements along the 20 km strike length of the eastern periphery of the Pioneer Dome. The Project was recognised as having potential for lithium mineralisation following a review of historic exploration reports which recorded numerous pegmatite intersections in nickel or gold‐focussed drilling completed since the 1960s. The prospectivity model was further enhanced by colloquial records of lepidolite, tantalite and tourmaline in prospector scale workings, which are some of the characteristic minerals of a zoned pegmatites complex. The Project is comprised of six exploration licences plus a mining lease which has been pegged over the Sinclair Caesium Zone. Pioneer Dome is highly prospective for a traditional LCT system - at least 13 clusters of pegmatites have been identified along a 20 km strike length.

LCT pegmatites, thought to be late time intrusions related to s-type granite intrusions, exhibit characteristic zonation of a range of economically important rare-element minerals such as lithium (in spodumene), tantalum, niobium and tin. This same type of pegmatite that hosts the Greenbushes mine, is similar to that intersected in drilling at the Company’s optioned Mavis and Raleigh Lithium Projects (Ontario, Canada); and that which Pioneer is targeting at its 100% held Phillips River, Donnelly and Pioneer Dome Lithium Projects.

Project demonstrates strong potential for the discovery of a significant spodumene deposit and will be a focus for future drilling – such a discovery would be a major value driver.

Pioneer has also made a world class Caesium discovery at the Sinclair Zone within the project area and the development of this deposit is a key focus.

Latest Drill Results

Sinclair High-Grade Caesium Exploration Target

  • PDRC015: 6m at 29.37% Cs₂O from 47m (highest grade of 32.46% Cs₂O from 50m)
  • PDRCD068: 3.85m at 27.78% Cs₂O from 44.35m (highest grade of 29.53% Cs₂O from 46m)
  • PDRCD071: 6.35m at 18.60% Cs₂O from 41.4m (highest grade of 30.37% Cs₂O from 42m)
  • PDRC074: 7m at 17.12% Cs₂O from 49m (highest grade of 25.44% Cs₂O from 54m)
  • PDRC083: 12m at 15.77% Cs₂O from 43m (highest grade of 26.84% Cs₂O from 47m)
  • PDRC084: 4m at 14.53% Cs₂O from 50m (highest grade of 16.20% Cs₂O from 52m)

Lithium (Petalite)

  • PDRC067: 11m at 2.63% Li₂O from 44m (highest grade of 4.59% Li₂O from 46m)
  • PDRC113: 9m at 1.18% Li₂O from 44m
  • PDRC114: 19m at 1.77% Li₂O from 39m
  • PDRC115: 17m at 1.48% Li₂O from 35m
  • PDRC116: 20m at 2.48% Li₂O from 36m
  • PDRC122: 11m at 1.34% Li₂O from 45m

Lithium (Lepidolite)

  • PDRC070: 12m at 2.2% Li₂O from 44m
  • PDRC073: 13m at 2.13% Li₂O from 39m
  • PDRC077: 13m at 1.89% Li₂O from 52m
  • PDRC079: 14m at 2.32% Li₂O from 46m
  • PDRC112: 31m at 2.54% Li₂O from 47m
  • PDRC118: 9m at 2.44% Li₂O from 50m

Tantalum

  • PDRC091: 12m at 372ppm Ta₂O₅ from 55m
  • PDRC112: 16m at 284ppm Ta₂O₅ from 58m
  • PDRC118: 15m at 494ppm Ta₂O₅ from 50m
  • PDRCD069: 5.25m at 534ppm Ta₂O₅ from 53m

Sinclair Zone - Caesium Project

Highlights

  • The Sinclair Zone is a world class Pollucite discovery at the Pioneer Dome Project.
  • Pollucite is a rare, high value Caesium mineral that forms in extremely differentiated LCT pegmatite systems and is in high global demand. The primary use of pollucite is in the manufacture of Caesium Formate brine used in high temperature/high pressure oil and gas drilling.
  • The Sinclair Zone is the world’s 3rd largest known pollucite deposit and Pioneer is focused on advancing to Mining 2018.
  • The Company has announced a maiden Mineral Resource for the Resource Statement for Sinclair Zone of: 10,500t of pollucite at 17.1% Cs₂O in the Measured category (announcement, 22 March 2017).
  • Mining Lease M63/665 and Misc Licence L63/77 has been granted.
  • Aboriginal Heritage surveys complete with no objections to proceed to mining, other permitting requirements lodged.
  • Discussions with potential off-take partners are ongoing.
  • Due to the high value of pollucite, the drilling density is being reduced to a nominal 10m x 5m pattern and the results of the drilling will be used to finalise the pit design and mine schedule, to extract pollucite with minimal mining losses. The Company was awarded a grant of $112,025 from the WA State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) to help fund its proposed drilling at the Sinclair Zone and Pioneer Dome.
  • Work on the detailed Mine Plan progressing. This entails designing the final mine shape, site layout (including waste dumps, stockpiles, crushers and haulage logistics), requiring inputs from the diamond core drilling. The Mine Closure Plan is being developed concurrently.
  • Mining is on track for the second half of 2018.
  • Marketability of other Minerals: Assessment of other pegmatite minerals that will be co-mined while pollucite is being extracted from the Sinclair Zone Project is advancing. While the most-economic extraction of pollucite is the Company’s primary focus, material volumes of lepidolite and microcline (potassium feldspar) may also be economically significant. Early stage commercial discussions with third parties and expert market assessments in respect of these products were held during the quarter.

About Pollucite

Lepidolite Development Strategy

Pioneer has a Farm-in Agreement with Lepidico Ltd (ASX: LPD) to advance the PEG009 Lepidolite target at Pioneer Dome. The Farm-in provides Pioneer with a solution to unlock the Project’s significant potential Lepidolite value. Lepidolite mineralisation from Pioneer Dome has been assessed as being suitable for extraction via Lepidico’s L-Max® process, which produces lithium carbonate directly from lepidolite.

Highlights

  • Pioneer Dome Lepidolite mineralisation produced a high specification battery-grade lithium carbonate grading 99.7% using L-Max® technology
  • L-Max® achieved 93.9% lithium extraction and 93.3% caesium extraction from a flotation concentrate
  • estimated lithium recovery to the final lithium carbonate product of 90%
  • PDRC070: 12m at 2.22% Li₂O from 44m
  • PDRCD072: 8.65m at 3.01% Li₂O from 40m
  • PDRC073: 13m at 2.13% Li₂O from 39m
  • PDRC079: 14m at 2.32% Li₂O from 46m
  • PDRC090: 8m at 2.62% Li₂O from 51m
  • PDRC091: 13m at 2.03% Li₂O from 55m
  • PDRC095: 6m at 2.95% Li₂O from 49m

February 2018