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ABx unveils new rare earth discovery in Tasmania

The date of: 2022-02-11
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source:The West Australian

ASX-listed ABx Group is targeting more metallics in Tasmania after unveiling a new high-grade rare earths prospect 52 kilometres east of its Deep Leads REE prospect in Tasmania. According to the company, the results from the newly discovered Portrush prospect include 581 parts per million neodymium and a solid 4,800 ppm total rare earth oxides over a one metre mineralised section from 11 metres.

The Portrush discovery compliments the ongoing campaign at Deep Leads that has thrown up thicker and richer rare earth elements or “REE” results in recent drilling. ABx says, the wet clays and broken ground of the mineralised horizon at the prospect prevented some of the drill holes from penetrating the surface. However, those that did laid bare an extensive distribution of REE stretching over several kilometres.

According to management, the best intercept at the Deep Leads prospect to date is a 5m section running close to 4,000 ppm total rare earth oxides and a trio of discovery holes confirm the deposit extends to the southeast and western flanks.

ABx is now set to roll out a more powerful multi-purpose rig to complete a major step-out drill program at Deep Leads and dive deeper into the potentially high-grade REE zone lying beneath the mineralised horizon at the prospect.

Meanwhile, at the Wind Break prospect around 16km northeast of Deep Leads, the company says a 37 hole-probe has returned strong REE mineralisation. A quartet of holes had total rare earth oxides grades ranging from 1,000 to 1,500ppm, and two of the holes met a 4 m thick mineralisation zone. Notably, each of the holes sunk at the Wind Break prospect ended in REE mineralisation.

The company argues the nature of rare earth mineralisation at its Tasmanian ground has a distinct advantage over traditional hard rock rare earth deposits as it is dominated by the four highest value, super magnetic minerals being neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium. Due to the magnetic nature of the elements, all four are sought after commodities in the green energy, smart phone, electric vehicle and military segments.

With the price of rare earths surging in recent times, ABx may have timed its expansion of its rare earths play superbly. If it can shore up the numbers at the latest Tasmanian venture, things could get interesting quickly.

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