Ark advances exploration at Sandy Mitchell

Ark Mines (ASX:AHK)  will be moving forward with a stage two auger drill program at its wholly owned Sandy Mitchell Rare Earth and Heavy Mineral Project in North Queensland, Australia. 

The $9.92 million market capitalisation company says the drill program follows completion of an ‘extensive’ stage one, 144-hole forward drill program. 

This will target resource extension across a broader areas of the lease in hopes of bolstering potential JORC-compliant resource tonnes. 

Plans for stage three and four drill programs have also been finalised which, upon completion, will ultimately cover the full anomaly. 

Studies designed to evaluate rare earth element (REE) mineral beneficiation processes, including flotation, and conventional techniques are also underway, states Ark. 

Assays for stage one drilling are currently pending, but are due for release from the lab on 17 September this year. 

The company notes since acquiring the auger rig, its on-site team has installed an upgraded safety system, as well as new sampling features which have been specifically designed for the hosting sands that represent a defining feature of the Sandy Mitchell placer deposit. 

Ark reports it has also acquired a new scintillometer, which will allow it to take on-site measurements for more rapid analysis of near-term drill results. 

Commenting on the developments at Sandy Mitchell, Ark Mines Executive Director Ben Emery says: “We are pleased with the latest developments at Sandy Mitchell, which are the result of focused execution by the board and management team to fast-track key works programs and advance exploration in order to unlock the inherent value we believe the project holds. 

With preparations for the auger drill program now complete, the initiation of the stage two drill program will add valuable insights about the broader scope of the project. Given that the stage one program covered just 1.2% of the peak radiometric reading on the lease, we think there is significant exploration upside still remaining and have planned the forward-works program (stage two to four) to ultimately cover the full anomaly.

With first assays scheduled for receipt before the end of the month and a busy period of operations in Q4, we look forward to providing more updates as exploration at Sandy Mitchell progresses.”

Concurrently, specialist consultant Mineral Technologies is also advancing metallurgical tests to characterise REEs and heavy minerals encountered in the sands of the project. 

Further updates on the metallurgy are expected to be reported before the end of 2023, including ore characterisation and heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) production evaluation. 

Ark Mines is focused on developing its wholly owned projects located in the prolific Mt Garnet and Greenvale mineral fields of Northern Queensland. 

The company’s Sandy Mitchell project represents a REE project that covers a landholding of about 147km-square. The project also has an additional 138km-square of sub-blocks under application. 

Ark Mines had $1.142 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 June 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.

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Images: Ark Mines
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.