Hastings announces excellent drill results, confirms high-grade extensions to Fraser’s area

by Leena Thomas
Image: Hastings Technology Metals Limited

Hastings Technology Metals Limited (ASX: HAS) has reported a highly encouraging first set of results including 4m @ 1.31% TREO, from the 2020 exploration and resource definition drilling concentrated in Fraser’s area within its Yangibana project in Western Australia.

The company reported that the first 9 holes from the 2020 Exploration Drilling Program all hit economic mineralisation.

HAS said that high-grade and shallow intersections from Fraser’s extensional drilling included 4m @ 1.31% TREO % TREO from 4m; 4m @ 1.24% TREO from 11m, and 5m @ 1.28% TREO from 52m.

Hastings reported that there was a significant increase in (Nd2O3+Pr6O11 as % of TREO) from the 9 holes averaging 48% compared to 41% for the Frasers mineral resource.

The company noted that the new intersections sit outside but proximal to the current mineral resource at Fraser’s of 1.32 million tonnes grading 1.35% TREO including 0.56% Nd2O3+Pr6O11 highlighting the outstanding potential to increase both the size and tonnages at Fraser’s. HAS said that mineralisation continues to remain open to the north and south and down dip.

Hastings announced that further assays remain pending from multiple holes in this area.

The company reported that the new results have provided important information for additional discoveries with high-grade strike extensions to these results now interpreted. HAS said that the drilling to the north is linking the Fraser’s and Simon’s Find mineralised trends.

Hastings said that the drilling density is sufficient to allow future mineral resource estimation into measured and indicated JORC categories allowing for possible mine life extensions to be calculated.

Yangibana project

The Yangibana Project is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, some 250 kilometres north east of Carnarvon.

The Project is a significant Australian Rare Earths Project, containing substantial Neodymium and Praseodymium resources, and currently covers approximately 650 square kilometres.

Significant deposits include Bald Hill, Fraser’s, Simon’s Find, Auer, Mosander, Demarcay, Auer North, Yangibana, Yangibana West, and Yangibana North.

Exploration Drilling Program

The company had recently commenced 2020 Exploration Drilling Program at Yangibana project, concentrated in the Fraser’s area. The Frasers Area lies within Mining Licence M09/158.

The 2020 drilling program commenced with a Reverse-Circulation drilling rig mobilised to site in mid-June and is expected to continue until 4Q2020.

Three goals of the program

The company said that the 2020 drilling program was designed to achieve three goals – to validate the existing Bald Hill Mineral Resource Estimates with close spaced grade control drilling; increase the Yangibana Project’s Measured and Indicated Mineral Resource; and obtain core samples for additional metallurgical test work and ore characterization studies.

Analysis of samples

HAS said that samples were sent to Genalysis Intertek in Perth for analysis using techniques considered appropriate for the style of mineralisation. Samples were analysed for the range of rare earths, rare metals (Nb, Ta, Zr), thorium and uranium and a range of common rock-forming elements (Al, Ca, Fe, Mg, Mn, P, S, Si, Sr). Once assay data were returned, the elemental values were converted to oxides using standard factors.

High-grade results

The company announced that high-grade and shallow intersections were received from extensional drilling at Yangibana’s highest grade deposit (Fraser).

Significant hits included 4m @ 1.31% TREO % TREO from 4m; 4m @ 1.24% TREO from 11m; and 5m @ 1.28% TREO from 52m.

High-grade extensions to Fraser’s open pit

HAS said that the drilling results have confirmed the Company’s conceptual modelling for a large coherent zone extending from Fraser’s in the south to Bald Hill in the north, a distance of 7-8 kilometres, with efforts to rapidly expand and define mineralisation in the newly interpreted and discovered mineralised zones.

The Company announced that its geological interpretation suggests that there is substantial opportunity to add additional Mineral Resource tonnages in the area Bald Hill – Simon’s Find – Fraser’s trend. This trend presents the highest opportunity to add Mineral Resources within close proximity to the Processing Plant.

Hastings said that very shallow depths of the mineralised intercepts and proximity to the existing Fraser’s Open Pit demonstrate the high probability for mine life extension at Fraser’s with excellent grades and thickness encountered in every hole of assays received.

Significant increase in (Nd2O3+Pr6O11 as % of TREO)

The high NdPr grades and corresponding Nd2O3+Pr6O11: TREO ratios are a unique feature not found in any other rare earth project, except for Yangibana.

The company said that Fraser’s currently has the highest NdPr (Nd2O3+Pr6O11) grades at 0.56% of any of the Yangibana defined deposits.

The Fraser’s Mineral Resource had a calculated Nd2O3+Pr6O11: TREO ratio of 41% as of November 2019. The company said that the latest assays received had Nd2O3+Pr6O11: TREO ratios ranging from 44 – 50%, representing a substantial increase over existing results from Frasers.

Results support additional drilling

HAS said that the existing results support and warrant additional drilling, where near-surface extensions to known mineralisation can be traced and identified.

The company said that the observations from field mapping continue to provide new insights into the local geology and its structural settings, which conceptually offer the greatest opportunity to host additional resources.

Next steps

The company said that further work will include infill, step out, and twin-hole drilling. HAS reported that this work will be designed to improve confidence in, and test potential extensions to the current resource estimates and to provide necessary sample material for additional and ongoing metallurgical studies.

Management comments

Hastings COO, Andrew Reid said: “These results have exceeded our expectations, which are an excellent first step in defining what appears to be a significant new zone of mineralisation.

With this initial shallow program, we have confirmed the presence of broad mineralised widths and extended known extents of Mineral Resources. All the deepest holes confirm mineralisation continues at depth.”