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Taruga hits “heavy” rare earths in SA

The date of: 2022-02-08
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source:The West Australian


Taruga has tabled a series of exciting shallow rare earths drill hits with some samples grading above 50 per cent heavy rare earths and above 30 per cent magnetic rare earths from surface at its Morgan Creek and Hydrothermal Hill prospects within the company’s Mt Craig project in South Australia. The mineralisation is soil and clay hosted within the regolith profile that the company says indicates a shallow ionic clay style rare earths deposit.

A skarn alteration system has been identified at the company’s Hydrothermal Hill prospect that extends for over 300 metres in strike length.

Skarn is the high pressure or high temperature metamorphic zone around igneous rock intrusions where carbonate rich sedimentary rocks have invaded, contributing a suite of minerals that can be an indicator of nearby base metals mineralisation.

Taruga says the skarn alteration assemblage logged to date at Hydrothermal Hill and Morgans Creek indicate significant base and precious metals potential in the area.

Results received to date represent only a portion of drilling conducted at Morgans Creek and Hydrothermal Hill.

Notable drill results received in the most recent round of assays include 2.55m grading 0.1g/t platinum-palladium and 140 parts per million cobalt from 47.2m downhole, 1.75m at 0.19 per cent total rare earth oxides or “TREO” from 32m downhole and 2m at 0.25 per cent TREO from 39m downhole.

Geochemical multi element analysis was performed on the partial results that have been returned to date that the company says show encouraging anomalism with elevated levels of platinum, palladium, copper, cobalt, gold, silver and rare earths within the skarn.

Geological logging of the drilling has identified coarse disseminated chalcopyrite in the exoskarn or altered wall rock that will allow the company to target the area with induced polarisation geophysics. The chalcopyrite contains geo-electrochemical signatures that can be picked up by induced polarisation measurement apparatus.

Assays remain outstanding for 23 RC holes including two partially returned holes and three diamond holes at Morgan’s Creek.

A further 12 assays remain from a diamond drilling program completed in 2021 at the company’s nearby Wyacca copper and silver prospect also within the Mt Craig project

Taruga picked up its first sniff of rare earths at Morgan’s Creek in mid-2021 where it intercepted the lucrative minerals in drilling within diapiric breccia’s. The latest round of results however show the first signs of regolith hosted rare earths mineralisation outside of the diapiric breccias, opening up a new exploration frontier at Morgan’s Creek.

Importantly, the regolith hosted rare earths outside of the diapiric breccias show a high proportion of heavy rare earth elements grading up to 51 per cent that are the real value drivers in the rare earths market.

Taruga says the grade and thicknesses intercepted to date are comparable to ASX-listed Australian Rare Earths’ ionic clay hosted Koppamurra rare earths project in the Murray Basin of South Australia that boasts a 39.9 million tonne deposit grading 725ppm TREO.

With both rare earth elements and base metals scattered across its tenure Taruga appears spoilt for choice as it continues systematically drilling out the well-endowed area.



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