White Cliff Minerals rare earths

OD6 Metals identifies ‘high-grade’ clay REEs in maiden drilling at Grass Patch Project

Australian exploration and development company OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) has identified ‘high-grade’ clay rare earth element (REE) mineralisation through a maiden drilling program at the Grass Patch Project in Western Australia.

This maiden drilling program, which consisted of 93 holes for 3,399m with an average depth of 36.5m, was designed to target clay basin areas identified and optimised through a combination of the recent airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey and analysis of regional anomalies. 

The company reports assays have returned ‘significant’ total rare earth oxide (TREO) grades of up to 3,340 parts per million (ppm), and ‘exceptionally high-grade’ magnet rare earth oxides (MREO) encountered in up to 38.5% of TREO grade. Heavy rare earth oxides (HREO) and critical rare earth oxides (CREO) were also observed at elevated levels.

‘Significant’ intercepts recorded with a 750ppm cut-off grade include GPAC0083 with 6m @ 3,300ppm TREO and 36.8% MREO from 24m; GPAC0091 with 2m @ 2,024ppm TREO and 26.2% MREO from 36m; and GPAC0081 with 3m @ 1,968ppm TREO and 23.2% MREO from 24m.

“These are excellent and highly encouraging results for a first pass reconnaissance drilling program of 93 holes, across our wide ranging tenure at Grass Patch”

Commenting on the results, OD6 Metals Managing Director Brett Hazelden says: “These are excellent and highly encouraging results for a first pass reconnaissance drilling program of 93 holes, across our wide ranging tenure at Grass Patch. 

There have been some significant TREO grades, but of particular note is the remarkably high magnet rare earth oxides grades encountered in a number of areas, which in some cases exceed 35% of the intercepted TREO grade.

The 3 main identified prospect areas of Belgian Circle Valley, and Scaddan will now undergo metallurgical testing to determine potential rare earth discoveries, with a new drill program being planned to focus on the high-grade clay hosted rare earth intercepts already encountered.

The Grass Patch project is OD6’s second project to have identified clay hosted rare earths, after the flagship Splinter Rock project confirmed the existence of extensive clay hosted rare earth basins late last year.”

OD6 reports drilling at the Belgian prospect area encountered clay-hosted rare earths across a 25km by 22km area, with exploration activities limited to road reserve areas only. The ‘highest’ grades of more than 1,000ppm TREO were located to the northwest, and MREO grades were generally above 20% with a maximum grade of 34.5% TREO.

Subject to positive metallurgical tests the Belgian prospect area will be a key focus area for future drilling.

The Scaddan prospect had only 6 drillholes undertaken as part of this drill program, with all holes encountering strong TREO grades and clay thickness between 9-18m over an 8km by 1km area. The company says the AEM survey suggests the clay hosted REEs will potentially be in a 12km by 12km target area.

At this prospect, MREO grades are generally around 25% of TREO. Given the potential scale suggested by AEM, further exploration of the area will be undertaken dependent on metallurgical results.

At Circle Valley, OD6 reports clay thicknesses between 9-12m and TREO grades of more than 300ppm were encountered over an area of about 16km by 7km. The AEM survey suggests the clay hosted REEs will potentially be in a 16km by 15km area. MREO grades are also generally more than 20% TREO.

Pending results of metallurgical testing, the company notes further exploration is anticipated. Despite several drill intersections returning grades of more than 300ppm TREO, no further drilling is expected in the Browns and Logan prospects at this stage, given the limited footprint identified by the AEM survey.

OD6 Metals is an Australian exploration and development company that wholly owns the Splinter Rock and Grass Patch projects near Esperance in Western Australia. These projects are considered prospective for ‘high-grade’ clay hosted REE mineralisation.

Images: OD6 Metals Ltd
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.