Ardea Resources (ASX:ARL) has returned ‘significant’ rare earth element (REE) intercepts up to 3,506 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide (TREO) following sterilisation drilling at its Kalgoorlie Nickel Project in Western Australia.
The results update on the Prefeasibility Study (PFS) following sterilisation drilling results adjoining proposed production pit locations.
Ardea reports the results, generated by 3 drillholes, indicate that mineralisation is controlled by regolith contacts specifically hosted by Saprolite Lower clay at its regolith contact with underlying clay-weathered Saprock, and lead to the belief that the system is an Ionic Adsorption Clay (IAC) Rare Earth occurrence.
Key results include hole AGSA0224 with 7m @ 3,506ppm TREO from 64m; hole AGSA0225 with 12m @ 2,487ppm TREO from 40m; and hole AGSA0226 with 4m @ 1,181ppm TREO from 56m.
Drilling was undertaken to test REE targets previously generated by the company’s Critical Mineral Research and Development (R&D) in rocks adjoining the nickel laterite mineralisation, as well as finalise the site layout General Arrangement Plan for the Kalgoorlie Nickel project – Goongarrie Hub.
Addressing the discovery, Ardea Resources Managing Director Andrew Penkethman says: “The Feasibility Study for the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project – Goongarrie Hub has completed pit optimisations and confirmed the production pit locations and thus likely infrastructure site requirements. The two main infrastructure alternatives were east of the Pamela Jean pit, or southwest of Elsie Tynan at Goongarrie West. Requisite drilling was completed in September 2022.
With the high grade TREO results returned for the three holes at Goongarrie West, it has been an easy decision to instruct the Consulting Engineer to site the key production infrastructure at Pamela Jean East.
“it has been an easy decision to instruct the Consulting Engineer to site the key production infrastructure at Pamela Jean East”
The Goongarrie West REE prospect will have confirmatory reverse circulation (RC) drill traverses completed as soon as possible, followed by bench-scale metallurgy designed to quantify the IAC REE potential.
This additional drilling is an unexpected variation for the PFS work programs, being an unavoidable if not valuable outcome from the PFS. We trust that KNP stakeholders are as excited as the Ardea Team with these REE drill results.”
The company also notes following the delivery of drill results at Goongarrie West, and as required by the WA Mines Act 1978, the Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has been notified that a discovery of economic interest has been made.
Ardea Resources is an ASX-listed nickel and critical minerals resources company that currently has a large portfolio of wholly owned Western Australia-based projects.
The company’s Kalgoorlie Nickel project is located within a well-established mining jurisdiction near the townships of Kalgoorlie and Menzies, and represents the largest Nickel Cobalt resource in the developed world, being awarded Major Project Status by the Australian Federal Government.
The project currently boasts the largest nickel-cobalt resource in the developed world at 830 million tonnes (Mt) @ 0.71% nickel (Ni) and 0.046% cobalt (Co) for 5.9Mt of contained nickel and 380,000 tonnes of contained cobalt.
Other assets included within Ardea’s arsenal include the Perrinvale nickel sulphide prospect, Mt Zephyr-Darlot East Red 5 Joint Venture (JV) Project with Red 5 (ASX:RED), and the Bedonia tenements in Western Australia.
Images: Ardea Resources Ltd