Australian Rare Earths Limited (ASX: AR3) reports that it has achieved ‘significant’ assay results from a 79-hole drill campaign at its flagship Koppamurra Rare Earths Project in South Australia.
The company reports that all drill holes that reached target depth encountered REE intersections at a 500ppm TREO cut-off. Key results include:
- Hole KMC0181: 1.5m @ 2,717ppm TREO, including
- 0.7m @ 4,593ppm TREO
- Hole KMC0176: 1.8m @ 1,995ppm TREO
- Hole KMC0179: 0.5m @ 2,616ppm TREO
The drill program, carried out during June 2021, tested extensions to the existing Red Tail and Yellow Tail resources, and encountered a trend of ‘high grade’ intersections 3.5km along strike from Yellow Tail.
Through previous exploration, Koppamurra has demonstrated prospectivity for shallow-clay-hosted rare earth mineralisation across wide areas of the project.
Heavy and light rare earths at Koppamurra
Koppamurra, located across 3 tenements in South Australia and western Victoria, is a frontier ionic clay rare earth project targeting four key light and heavy elements.
Praseodymium and Neodymium, which are light rare earth elements, are used in the production of high-strength permanent magnets that have applications in the manufacture of electric vehicles and wind turbines, along with military electronics and weapons systems.
Terbium and Dysprosium are AR3’s target heavy rare earth elements, and are used in permanent magnets that retain their magnetic force at heightened temperature.
Securing strategic supply of rare earths
A secure rare earths supply chain is of strategic interest to Australia and allies including the United States, with China currently accounting for more than 60% of global production.
Supply-side risks have recently been touched upon by the US Government, with President Biden’s Executive Order on America’s supply chains from February 24 2021 stating: “The Secretary of Defense (as the National Defense Stockpile Manager), in consultation with the heads of appropriate agencies, shall submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for critical minerals and other identified strategic materials, including rare earth elements (as determined by the Secretary of Defense), and policy recommendations to address these risks.”
“We are just scratching the surface at Koppamurra and we are most encouraged with the results from the drill program”
Australian Rare Earths Non-Executive Chairman Dudley Kingsnorth said: “The primary objective of the June 2021 drilling program was to extend the high grade ionic clay mineralisation discovered at both the Red Tail and Yellow Tail prospects which host the maiden mineral resource at Koppamurra.
We are just scratching the surface at Koppamurra and we are most encouraged with the results from the drill program, which provide the Company with the confidence that Koppamurra is a unique asset with major growth upside. Based on the most recent results we are planning our next drill program, which is due to commence in the coming weeks.”