iTech's REE project SA

iTech Minerals again delivers ‘high-grade’ clay hosted REE at Caralue Bluff prospect, South Australia

iTech Minerals (ASX:ITM) reports that the Caralue Bluff prospect has continued to deliver thick, ‘high-grade’ clay hosted rare earth elements (REE) mineralisation from its latest drill program.

The newly listed exploration company reports it has completed a 478-hole drill program in April across four prospects on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.

The aim of the program was to test the potential for regolith hosted ion adsorption clay (IAC) REEs and ‘high-purity’ kaolin mineralisation.

The fourth batch of drill results, from Caralue Bluff, show that significant intersections of REEs occur within the kaolin (clay) rich weathered horizon over larger areas.

Intersections at Caralue Bluff include:

  • CBAC22-071 – 12m @ 2,343 ppm TREO from 9m
  • CBAC22-074 – 17m @ 1,774 ppm TREO from 4m
  • CBAC22-068 – 12m @ 1,326 ppm TREO from 6m
  • CBAC22-034 – 12m @ 913 ppm TREO from 13m
  • CBAC22-013 – 16m @ 776 ppm TREO from 2m

iTech reports that metallurgical work on 60 mineralised samples from Caralue Bluff are currently undergoing leaching test work with results due within the next 4 weeks.

Further samples are being prepared for leaching test work as drill results become available.

Commenting on the results, iTech Managing Director Mike Schwarz noted: “The Caralue Bluff Prospect continues to deliver thick, high-grade clay hosted REE mineralisation, close to surface, over a large area of more than 10km by 9km.

“With over 100 drillholes still to be reported we hope to see the prospect continue to deliver”

With over 100 drillholes still to be reported we hope to see the prospect continue to deliver.”

Further drill results from the Caralue Bluff regolith hosted REE-Kaolin Prospect return thick, high-grade intervals of REE mineralisation in the clay rich weathering profile, consolidating  and expanding the area of REE mineralisation

The company reports these results infill and expand the thick, ‘high-grade’ nature of clay hosted REE mineralisation in the south-east of the prospect.

Of the 260 holes drilled at Caralue Bluff, 157 have now been reported, with results from a further 103 expected before the end of July.

The Caralue Prospect was initially established as a high purity kaolin prospect with the identification of thick intervals of bright white kaolin, close to surface, in several historical drillholes.

Having identified ‘significant’ REEs in the kaolin rich intervals at Ethiopia, Burtons and Bartels Prospects, iTech geologists suspected that Caralue Bluff might also be prospective for regolith hosted REE mineralisation.

Some 60 samples from Caralue Bluff are currently undergoing metallurgical test work. Samples are being tested for their easily leachable REE component with a straight acid leach at pH 1-2 and then for the ionic component with a leaching solution at pH 4 and 0.5M ammonium sulphate.

iTech is exploring for kaolinite-halloysite, regolith hosted ion adsorption clay REE mineralisation and developing the Campoona Graphite Deposit in South Australia.

The company also has extensive exploration tenure prospective for Cu-Au porphyry mineralisation, IOCG mineralisation and gold mineralisation in South Australia and tin, tungsten, and polymetallic Cobar-style mineralisation in New South Wales.

Images: iTech Minerals Limited
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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.