RareX Limited (ASX: REE) has announced that it has intersected a thick zone of primary rare earth-niobium mineralisation at its 100%-owned Cummins Range Project, in a result that could significantly expand the scope and scale of the project.
The results come from a 3,000m deep-hole diamond drilling campaign, commenced at the end of July, with primary mineralisation encountered below the recently-updated resource measuring 18.8Mt @ 1.15% TREO + 0.14% Nb2O31.
Key results include:
- Hole CDX0004: 67m from 44.0m down-hole
- Hole CDX0007: 77m from 62.6m down-hole; including
- 20m primary sulphide zone from 119.8m down-hole
A further diamond hole (CDX0008) is currently testing down-dip extensions of this zone.
The diamond drill campaign followed an earlier 3,000m RC drilling campaign (assays pending), beginning in late June, to test extensions of known mineralisation down dip and along strike.
REE-Nb below oxide zone has “potential game-changing” effect on mineral resource
RareX reports that these results represent the first time that primary mineralisation has been encountered at Cummins Range, with previous geological opinion that mineralisation was upgraded through weathering processes in the more-shallow oxide zone.
This discovery is described as a ‘potential game-changer’ for the project, with the entire current mineral resource interpreted around oxide mineralisation.
Drill core from the program has also provided exceptional visual results, with earlier holes displaying wide mineralised breccia/fault zones, and CDX0007 delivering a ‘significant’ zone of fresh mineralisation at bottom-of-hole.
Niobium – the mighty metal with critical applications
Niobium, the 41st element, is considered a strategic metal by the United States Government, and is used primarily as a strengthening agent in a range of alloys including high-grade steel.
These alloys are deployed for a range of strategic purposes including military applications such as jet engines and missiles, aerospace, construction material, wind turbines, high-pressure oil & gas pipelines and superconducting magnets.
Supply of the metal is considered at potential risk, with a majority of output coming only from a single mine in Brazil.
“The significance of intersecting primary REE-Nb mineralisation at Cummins Range cannot be overstated”
RareX Managing Director Jeremy Robinson said: “The significance of intersecting primary REE-Nb mineralisation at Cummins Range cannot be overstated. Prior to RareX’s involvement, the mineralisation had been interpreted to be a result of weathering processes only. However, it is now evident that this is only part of the story and high grade REE-Nb mineralisation can be expected below the oxide.
“This is a very important and exciting development which amounts to a potential game-changer for the Project. If we can continue to expand the primary zone at depth, it has the potential to result in a substantial uplift in grade as well as tonnes – providing a clear pathway for further rapid growth in the current Mineral Resource.”
Images: RareX Limited