Sagon Resources debuts +147 million kg TREO maiden resource for Cummins Range; now among Top-5 projects

by Leena Thomas
Cummins Range Cross Section Image: Sagon Resources Limited

Australian rare earths developer, Sagon Resources Limited (ASX: SG1) has announced an outstanding Maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource for its Cummins Range Rare Earths Project in Western Australia.

The company reported a significant Maiden JORC 2012 Inferred Resource of 13Mt at 1.13% TREO for Cummins Range. This is equivalent to more than 147 million kilograms TREO.

With this announcement, Sagon has now been ranked in the Top-5 Australian rare earths projects on the ASX. It may be noted that Neodymium Praseodymium oxide is currently trading at circa US$45 per kilogram.

The company reported that deposit outcrops and has dimensions amenable to low strip ratio open pit mining. SG1 said that drilling program and passive seismic survey is planned for Q4 CY2019.

Cummins Range project

Sagon’s 100%-owned Cummins Range Rare Earths Project is located in the East Kimberly region of Western Australia.

Cummins Range is one of two known rare earth bearing carbonatites in Australia with the other being Mt Weld owned by Lynas Corporation Ltd.

The known Resource occupies a small portion of the Cummins Range Intrusive Complex that is approximately 2km by 2km and this offers significant potential to expand the known Resource.

Rare Earth Oxide mineralisation at Cummins Range occurs in a sub-horizontal geometry within a deeply weathered regolith which is developed over carbonatite and pyroxenite rocks.

Outstanding Maiden 2012 Inferred Mineral Resource

Sagon has now announced an outstanding Maiden 2012 Inferred Mineral Resource for Cummins Range. The Maiden Resource has been estimated at 13.0Mt at 1.13% Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) comprising 147,000,000 kg TREO using a cut-off grade of 0.5% TREO.

The Resource has been compiled by leading Perth based mining and resource consultants Auralia Mining Consultants based on historical drilling completed by previous operators in 2007 and 2011.

The Resource is currently classified as Inferred due to density measurements taken by previous operators being restricted to the NW quadrant of the Resource and on general a 50m by 40m drill spacing.

Ranked fourth among Australian Rare Earth projects

Sagon’s Cummins Range project is now ranked fourth amongst the Australian Rare Earth Projects Listed on the ASX. This ranking is based upon Total Mineral Resource size.

The top three projects are Lynas Corporation’s Mt Weld project with a resource of 55.4Mt at 5.40% TREO; Arafura Resources’s Nolans Bore project with a resource of 56.0Mt at 2.60% TREO; and Hastings’ Yangibana project with a resource of 21.6Mt at 1.17% TREO.

Sagon’s Cummins Range now ranks above Northern Minerals’ Browns Range project that has a resource of 9.2Mt at 0.66% TREO.

Significant potential for Cummins Range

The company announced that it considers the mineralisation at Cummins range to have significant potential for expansion. This is because the Resource remain open along strike and at depth with no active exploration recorded since 2012.

Amenable to low strip ratio open pit mining

The company announced that the Resource is likely amenable to simple low strip ratio open pit mining, as it outcrops at surface, has dimensions of approximately 700m by 400m and on average is about 25m thick with mineralisation from surface in places to depth of only 75m.

Drilling, seismic survey planned

The company announced that it is planning for drill program at Cummins Range. Sagon said that a passive seismic survey is also being planned.

Sagon said that stage 1 of the drill program will include large diameter PQ drill core to provide samples for metallurgical test work and to better assess the grade of the Cummins Range Rare Earths Project.

The company announced that it continues to collate and review all previous data and in conjunction with the upcoming seismic survey, is expecting to enable better targets for extensional drilling around the known Resource.

The company also reported that further density measurements on the diamond drill core will be taken as part of the upcoming drill program. This is expected to assist in upgrading part of the resource to the Indicated category following infill drilling planned for next year.

Management comments

Sagon Executive Director, Jeremy Robinson said: “We are pleased to commence with a significant Maiden JORC 2012 Resource which benchmarked against peers offers Sagon an exciting platform to move forward with.

The Cummins Range ore-body is open along strike and at depth and we believe we can materially expand the Resource and look forward to the upcoming drilling program”.