Grass looking greener for OD6 Metals as Q1 2023 results ‘exceed’ expectations

Emerging rare earths exploration company OD6 (ASX:OD6) reports in its quarterly activities report the company’s ‘highly focused’ exploration spend of $883,000 has continued to deliver impressive results.

Speaking to Mining.com.au, Managing Director Brett Hazelden says the results OD6 has received over the past quarter has ‘exceeded expectations’, particularly with work undertaken at the Grass Patch and at Splinter Rock projects.

Hazelden says the work completed in Q1 2023 has given OD6 the confidence to accelerate towards releasing its first large JORC resource, potentially by the end of the year.

He adds that the company expects exploration spend to remain in the same vicinity for the next quarter, however this will be subject to receiving further results from both projects.

OD6, which had $4.723 million cash at hand as of 31 March 2023, has had a busy Q1 2023 which includes a maiden aircore (AC) drilling program completed at Grass Patch. The completed 93-hole dill program targeted regional anomalies and prospective clay basin areas identified through the Airborne Electromagnetic Survey (AEM).

A total of 3,399m was drilled at an average depth of 36.5m.

OD6 reports for the quarter, highlights from the drill assay results for the maiden drilling program at Grass Patch include significant areas of ‘high-grade’ clay hosted rare earth confirmed from the completed 93-hole program wide-spaced regional program; grades up to 3,340 ppm Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO); exceptionally high Magnet Rare Earth Oxides encountered up to 38.5% of TREO grade; and thick clays encountered typically between 3 and 20m, and up to 59m.

Other highlights include the first pass reconnaissance drill program highlights the strong potential upside for further targeted drilling at the Belgian (25 x 22km area), Circle Valley (16 x 7km area) and Scaddan (8 x 1km area) Prospects; and all assays using 4-acid soluble digestion (which does not assay for resistate non-acid soluble REE minerals).

An 83-hole, 200m spaced drill program designed to test the localised consistency of clay type, thickness and grades was completed at Splinter Rock during Q1 2023. A total of 4,305m was drilled at an average depth of 50.6m. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, OD6 reported drill assay results for the phase two drilling at Splinter Rock.

Highlights include bumper assay results and clay thicknesses returned from the second phase, 83-hole drill program, with higher grades and larger thicknesses than those observed in the initial impressive program

Highlights include bumper assay results and clay thicknesses returned from the second phase, 83-hole drill program, with higher grades and larger thicknesses than those observed in the initial ‘impressive’ program; grades of up to 6,605 ppm TREO returned, with extensive clay thickness of between 20 and 80m at consistently high grades; and very high success rate, with 74 of the 83 holes returning significant grades and thickness.

Other highlights include high value MREO represent an average of 22% of TREO grade.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, OD6 reported metallurgical leach test results for Splinter Rock. ANSTO was selected to complete Splinter Rock metallurgical testing given its extensive experience in rare earth process development. The objective of the work program was to determine the leachability of rare earths, under acidic conditions, assess the potential to upgrade the REEs by separating out a fine fraction, and identify areas of high recoveries and grades to prioritise advanced-stage infill drilling.

OD6 reports based on the positive initial diagnostic leach outcomes and the potential to upgrade the REE by removal of coarse material, further stages of work are proposed to be undertaken at ANSTO, which will involve more diagnostic tests to define optimum leach conditions. This will include existing and new samples from the recently completed infill drilling campaign at Splinter Rock to target the identified areas of high grades and recoveries.

Several new programs of work (PoWs) have been submitted and approved for the Splinter Rock Project covering new drillholes, new drill lines and tracks. The proposed new drill locations are intended to test the extent of the clay basin areas.

Subsequent to the end of the quarter, OD6 has been notified that it is a successful applicant for Round 27 of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) Co-Funded Drilling Program, which is a WA government initiative that aims to encourage exploration in Western Australia for the long-term sustainability of the resources sector. OD6 has been offered the maximum of $180,000 under the program.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

Images: OD6 Metals Ltd
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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.