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Northern Minerals set for new WA rare earth drilling blitz

The date of: 2021-05-19
viewed: 0

source:Business News

Northern Minerals is set to leap back into rare earth exploration at Browns Range in WA's Kimberleyregion, tabling a plan to drill up to 10,000m.The upcoming reverse circulation drilling will follow up onthe last field season that generated numerous stellar rare earth oxide hits including 12m going 0.43per cent TREO from just 34m.

orthern Minerals is set to leap back into rare earth exploration at Browns Range in WAs Kimberleyregion, tabling a plan to drill up to 10,000m. The upcoming reverse circulation drilling will followup on the last field season that generated numerous stellar rare earth oxide hits including 12m going0.43 per cent TREO from just 34m.

Greenfield targets are also set to be tested.

Northern Minerals started production of heavy rare earths at the project in 2018 kicking off a three-year pilot trial to gauge the economic and technical merits of a larger-scale development. It wants toturn Browns Range, 160km north-east of Halls Creek,into the first significant producer of dysprosiumoutside of China.

The company last year tabled a $5m budget for some 16,500m of drilling to be completed by the end ofJune this year. About half those metres were drilled in the first phase of drilling completed in 2020with other significant intercepts reported by the company including 13m going 0.43 per centTREO, or'total rare earth oxides' from 23m and 4m at 0.63 per cent TREO from 41m at the Banshee West


Access road and drill pad preparation has already commenced for the second phase of the campaignthat is set to start in the first week of June.

Some 8,500-10,000m of reverse circulation drilling is planned over a six-week period.

Follow-up testing at Banshee West is on the agenda, with the rods also set to turn at the nearby, newlydiscovered Toad prospect where a 6m interval going 0.78 per cent TRE0 from 49m was previouslyreturned.

Some 9km to the north in the vicinity of the Brown Range pilot plant, Northern Minerals also plans todrill test areas around the Gambit and Gambit West deposits where anomalous results from pastdrilling and surface geochemical programs were recorded.

Greenfield drilling of several untested prospects within the project tenure is also on the horizon toprobe surface geochemical anomalies.

Northern Minerals CEO,Mark Tory said: 'With the wet season in the Kimberley now passed, we have hada team on the ground remediating access roads and working on drill pads in advance of the second phaseof drilling. The results from the first phase campaign in 2020 provided a greaterlevel of confidence in ourgeological modelling, which informs this significant campaign due to start next month.'

Along with Browns Range pilot plant testwork results in 2021, the exploration outcomes will feed intoNorthern Minerals' current feasibility study on the development of a commercial scale beneficiationplant at the site.

The company is aiming to build resources to support at least a 20-year project life at Browns Range,which has current indicated and inferred resources totalling 9.24 million tonnes at 0.67 per cent TRE0.

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