Krakatoa Resources (ASX:KTA) has received positive metallurgical and mineralogical results that demonstrate a pathway to production following a testwork program at its flagship Tower rare earth element (REE) deposit.
The results, generated by testwork undertaken on select 2021 drilled aircore (AC) composite samples, confirm an ionic component to REE clay mineralisation and demonstrate positive extraction recoveries at Tower, which is part of the Mt Clere REE Project in Western Australia.
The company says these results also delivered ‘highly encouraging’ metallurgical recoveries on key critical REE of up to 64% neodymium (Nd) and 61% praseodymium (Pr), which compare favourably to other globally ‘significant’ clay hosted REE projects.
Metallurgical and mineralogy testwork was completed by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), with results from the program expected to be used by the company to optimise the extraction process options, and develop a viable processing and production pathway at Tower.
Commenting on the results Krakatoa Resources Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Major says: “We are very pleased with the initial diagnostic metallurgical results from the Tower deposit. These have generated impressive recoveries of the key magnetic rare earths Nd-Pr-Dy-Tb, all the highly sought after and highly priced rare earth elements.
Importantly, these results provide the company with a high-level of confidence that the metallurgy of Tower is amenable to the use of common simple extraction techniques and provides us with a clearer understanding of the REE hosts and its suitability for beneficiation.
“Importantly, these results provide the company with a high-level of confidence that the metallurgy of Tower is amenable to the use of common simple extraction techniques”
The Tower deposit is characterised by a combination of ionically absorbed, acid soluble and refractory minerals. Comparatively, these results are very similar to other extraction results generated by globally significant and well-known clay hosted REE projects with similar processing methods.
Krakatoa now has one of the biggest clay hosted REE mineral resources in Australia with a positive extraction and production pathway. The company will now focus on progressing the project towards mining operations by further optimising the extraction process, while increasing the resource confidence which will lead to the commencement of economic studies.”
The company also notes mineralogical studies indicate the majority of REEs are hosted in clay or as rare earth minerals sized 20 micron, which delivers potential for simple beneficiation processing to increase the grade and recovery.
Krakatoa Resources announces additional supplementary testwork programs are expected to commence in early 2023 to refine and improve the metallurgical process, with a primary aim of expanding the program over an extended area of study during 2023.
Infill core drilling will also be undertaken to collect in-situ samples for further metallurgical and material classification works, while also aiding in increasing the level of resource classification.
The company’s Tower deposit is located in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region as part of its greater Mt Clere REE project, and is considered prospective for REEs, heavy mineral sands, and nickel-copper-cobalt-platinum group elements (Ni-Cu-Co-PGEs). The project currently comprises 8 tenement applications that cover an area of nearly 1,800km-square about 200km northwest of Meekatharra, with all associated tenements being wholly owned by Krakatoa.
Other projects included in the company’s exploration arsenal include the Belgravia Porphyry, Turon Gold, and, Rand Gold Projects in New South Wales, and the King Tamba Critical Metals Project in Western Australia.
Images: Krakatoa Resources Ltd