Meteoric ‘conclusively’ finds clay zone and ‘high-grade’ REE mineralisation extends deeper at Caldeira

Meteoric Resources’ (ASX:MEI) new diamond drilling ‘conclusively’ shows the clay zone and ‘high-grade’ REE mineralisation extends significantly deeper at the company’s Caldeira Project.

The $$455.93 million market capitalisation company reports the results from 27 diamond drillholes, where assays have now been received, represent the first new sampling of the project by the company.

Assay results from 27 diamond cores at Caldeira received 85% of historic drilling was completed to an average depth of less than 10m. Meteoric’s new diamond drilling shows the clay zone and the REE mineralisation extends much deeper, including to 36m at Capão do Mel and 56m at Figueira.

Commenting on the results, Executive Chairman, Dr Andrew Tunks says the coming months will see an exciting time for the company with considerable activity following on from these diamond results.

An initial batch of composite samples for metallurgical testwork is now underway at ANSTO laboratories in Australia, looking to confirm ‘very high’ REE recoveries previously reported.

He says the company owned and operated aircore drill rig will be infill drilling at Capão do Mel, Sorberbo, and Figueira to delineate measured and indicated resources for optimisation and economic studies. In addition, the diamond drilling will continue testing both priority soil anomalies outside the defined resource areas as well as further testing within the resource to collect depth to basement and density data.

“Given today’s exciting results, it is expected that this drilling will continue for the remainder of 2023 and form a crucial dataset for the next Mineral Resource Estimate”

“Given today’s exciting results, it is expected that this drilling will continue for the remainder of 2023 and form a crucial dataset for the next Mineral Resource Estimate.”

A total of 41 HQ diamond (DD) drillholes for 1,313m have been drilled into the 6 known deposits to 18 July 2023. The initial proposed 1,250m program was designed to test the depth to the base of the clays below the Inferred Resource and support metallurgical characterisation and density testwork programs.

Due to the success of this program, drilling has been expanded to test 17 priority regional targets (soil anomalies) on licences outside the company’s existing REE resource areas. Updates on these targets will be reported as results are received and interpreted.

Upon completion of the regional drill program further resource diamond holes will be completed in the resource areas documenting the validity of historical auger drilling and providing solid geological logging of the transition from the regolith profile into the underlying unweathered intrusive basement.

In Ionic Clay Adsorbed REE mineralisation the economic zone that can be leached with ammonium sulfate is confined to the clay zone of the regolith profile. Beneath the clay zone, in the partially weathered and fresh syenite (basement), a percentage of REE elements are possibly related to primary mineralisation and consequently may not be a target for the company.

Meteoric reports all diamond drillholes ended in fresh granite, penetrating below the base of Auger drilling and the current inferred resource to test the thickness of the clay zone and the depth to, which REE mineralisation is present.

The depth of the clay zone was observed to increase by an average of 164% across the 6 deposits, with the biggest increases coming at Figueira (448% increase), Capão do Mel (161% increase), and Cupim Vermelho Norte (140% increase).

Tunks adds: “This is groundbreaking work for the company with the first real data to indicate that the high-grade rare earth mineralisation continues significantly deeper than the current Inferred Resource. The new assays clearly show there is significant extensions at depth at all prospects and indeed this is particularly clear at Capão do Mel, where the diamond drilling has extended the mineralisation to a depth of 36m and at Figueira where we see REE mineralised zones down to 67m.

In fact, the diamond drilling at all 6 resource areas has extended the maximum depths of mineralisation significantly. This has enormous positive implications for any future resource estimate should the trend continue in future drilling.

Equally significant has been the validation of the historic auger drilling results, with the company’s first diamond hole assays confirming the Caldeira Project’s status as the World’s highest grade Ionic Clay REE. Assays also confirm that the high TREO grades reflect very high-grade Magnetic Rare Earth Oxide (MREO) results with several thick intersections well over 1,500ppm MREO.

The Caldeira Project is clearly significantly higher grade than any other ionic clay REE yet documented. When coupled with the excellent metallurgical recoveries document by previous explorers this is potentially a disruptive asset in the global rare earth market.”

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Images: Meteoric Resources Ltd
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Written By Adam Orlando Managing Editor 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). Adam has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.