Asra phase one results to underpin Yttria MRE

Asra Minerals (ASX:ASR) has received initial data from phase one metallurgical testing it says will underpin the maiden Mineral Resource Estimate currently nearing completion for the Yttria Deposit. 

Ongoing metallurgical testwork will further refine these parameters to optimise economic returns. The company says technology is evolving quickly across many REE projects in Australia and Yttria stands to benefit from being an early exploration and development stage project, able to apply best practices and being located in a tier-one mining jurisdiction in Western Australia. 

Further testwork will involve optimising recoveries on more drill samples by fine tuning the key parameters including residence time, reagent composition and consumption, and defining distinct GeoMet domains. 

Asra’s team and consultants will also continue its development of novel processing methodologies for REE systems encouraged by receipt of a significant R&D rebate for its early work on Yttria. This was granted through the Australian Taxation Office’s R&D tax incentive program, recognising the need to support and incentivise investment in innovation and technology. 

Asra’s Yttria regolith hosted REE Project qualifies under the scheme and is a Critical Minerals project with a unique high concentration of Heavy Rare Earth Element and Scandium Oxide mineralisation.

has received phase one metallurgical testwork results from the Yttria deposit in Western Australia, which confirms ‘strong’ rare earth oxide extraction potential of ‘high-value’ heavy and magnet rare earths. 

The phase one testwork has provided at least 2 potential pathways to extract Yttria’s ‘unique’ heavy and magnet rare earth oxide (HREO) (MREO), as well as indicating scandium oxide has the potential to be a ‘value-adding’ by-product of the near-surface mineralised system. 

Asra reports results so far indicate MREO extractions averaging between 61% and 78%, while terbium, by far the ‘highest’ value REO, has shown extractions averaging between 52% and 62%. 

Managing Director Rob Longley says the results provide confidence to further modelling and optimising a ‘unique’ rare earth-scandium deposit, in the heart of the Western Australian goldfields region. 

“Results to date surpass expectation and reinforce the remarkable potential this project has to deliver critical minerals in high demand around the world. 

There are several potential processing methods being evaluated for Yttria that enable extraction of a high proportion of valued, and in-demand magnet rare earths, including dysprosium-terbium and neodymium-praseodymium. 

Specific research is underway for scandium extraction as this is in high concentration both within the Yttria REE zone and also above and below it. 

As a company working in the early discovery and evaluation stage, new technologies, government investment and global support for the REE sector encourages us to map out the REE footprint across our entire portfolio in the Goldfields.”

Asra, whose share price had spiked 20% to $0.006 as of 12.30pm AEDT today (2 April 2024), says the results extend support for additional co-funded testwork to continue. 

The company says continuing this work will refine techniques and efficiencies in the extraction of a high-value ratio of HREO, MREO, and high levels of scandium hosted in the deposit. 

Further testwork will involve optimising recoveries on more drill samples by fine tuning the key parameters including residence time, reagent composition and consumption, and defining distinct GeoMet domains. 

Asra notes initial data from the phase one testing will underpin the maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) that is currently nearing completion for Yttria. 

Asra Minerals is a mineral explorer focused on its multi-commodity projects in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region. 

As of 31 December 2023, the company had $2.85 million cash at hand, according to its latest quarterly report. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Asra Minerals
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.