REEs

OD6 Metals completes AEM survey that shows ‘vast’ scale of target areas at Splinter Rock Project, Western Australia

Australian rare earth element (REE) exploration and development company OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) reports an Airborne Electromagnetic (AEM) survey has shown the ‘vast’ scale of target areas at the Splinter Rock Project in Western Australia.

The company says the AEM survey was conducted over the Splinter Rock and Grass Patch projects to the north and northeast of Esperance, Western Australia during October and November this year. The survey aimed to identify and map clay location, expanse, depth and thickness across OD6’s tenement areas utilising discovery and processing techniques evaluated in conjunction with CSIRO.

The program consisted of 11,500-line kilometres being flown between 400m and 800m line-spacing in a northwest to southeast direction at Splinter Rock, and a west to east direction at Grass Patch.

OD6 Metals Managing Director Brett Hazelden says: “Completion of the AEM survey is a milestone step in exploration activities across our vast tenure. Preliminary interpretation has focused on the 4 main high-grade REE prospect areas at Splinter Rock with data processing and comparative analysis demonstrating very strong correlation with our current exploration model.

“Completion of the AEM survey is a milestone step in exploration activities across our vast tenure”

Given the sheer scale of our tenure, mapping clays in this way enables optimisation of exploration activities through informed, targeted future drilling. With drilling showing clay thicknesses of between 10m and 30m at our high-grade prospects to date, the potential to expand and replicate this across the combined 253km-square of target areas identified, suggests this could be the beginnings of defining a truly world-scale project.

We are delighted with our progress to date, with future data processing, analysis and modelling of prospects within Splinter Rock and Grass Patch to occur throughout the first quarter of 2023.”

To date, OD6 reports it has received preliminary early, mid and late time conductivity images from the contractor, and the initial data ‘strongly’ aligns with recent drill results announced on 10 November and 1 December this year. The results also align with historical wide-spaced AEM surveys reprocessed in conjunction with Geoscience Australia.

The company states it has completed a preliminary interpretation focusing on the 4 main prospects which consists of the Scrum, Centre, Flanker and Prop prospects. Analysis using co-interpretation of AEM, digital elevation model (DEM) and drill data shows the mineralised basins are ‘extensive’, with each covering between 26km-square to 136km-square.

There are several other regional areas at Splinter Rock also under evaluation for further targeting.

At the Centre Prospect target area, OD6 reports the REEs are in thick clay areas that vary between 20m to 30m with Total Rare Earth Oxide (TREO) assay intercepts up to 2,029ppm. The prospect contains a shallow amount of transported cover and saprolitic clays of around 5m to 15m thickness above the REE clay hosts. The target area here covers 136km-square and extends around 27km along the axis and between 5km and 10km wide.

The company reports at the Prop Prospect, the REEs are in thick clay areas that vary between 10m to 80m width with TREO assay intercepts up to 2,452ppm. The prospect contains a variable amount of transported cover and upper saprolitic clays of around 3m to 24m thickness above the REE containing clay hosts. 

The target area of this prospect is 58km-square and extends approximately 11km along the axis and is up to 9km wide. Late-time AEM preliminary imagery has also been used as the company says the prospect contains some of the thickest accumulations identified to date.

OD6 reports the REEs at the Scrum Prospect are in thick clay areas that vary between 12m to 24m with TREO assay intercepts up to 2,162ppm. The prospect is partially covered in sand with thickness varying between around 15m to 35m above the clay-hosted REEs. The target area also covers around 26km-square and extends along an axis of about 11km between 1km and 5km wide.

At the Flanker Deposit, the company says the REEs are in thick clay areas that vary between 10m and 30m with TREO assay intercepts up to 2,059ppm. The prospect contains a shallow amount of transported cover between 3m and 15m thick, and saprolitic clays above the clay-hosted REEs. This target covers a 42km-square area that extends about 17km along the axis and is between 3km to 5km wide.

OD6 reports collected data from the AEM survey will be analysed and used to map sub-surface electrical conductivity of rocks and soils. Higher electrical conductivity may indicate rock layers that are clay-rich, hold salt water or contain sulphide mineralisation. Low electrical conductivity may indicate zones of non-conductive rock, sand or freshwater.

Further data processing, analysis and modelling will occur in Q1 2023. The company states the mapping of clays will then enable targeted drilling of ‘high-priority’ exploration areas over the next 6 to 18 months.

OD6 Metals is an Australian REE exploration and development company focused on the Splinter Rock and Grass Patch projects located in the Esperance region of Western Australia.

These projects are located around 30km to 150m north of Esperance and are considered prospective for clay-hosted REEs.

Images: iStock
Written By Harry Mulholland
Hailing from the Central Coast region of NSW, Harry is a passionate journalist with a background in print, radio and ESG news. When not bashing away on his keyboard, he can be found brewing a coffee or playing with his dog.