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Early analysis returns promising rare earth elements result in Greenland

The date of: 2023-02-17
viewed: 2

Having acquired the project in early 2021, Eclipse has spent two years building up its knowledge and understanding of the licence, through sampling as well as evaluating historic drill samples and data from the project’s history of mining production. Historic production at MEL2007-45 includes 3.8 million tonnes of high-grade cryolite, produced over 120 years for the aluminium industry, from the world’s largest known minable resource of naturally occurring cryolite.
The project includes two primary assets. In addition to the Ivigtût cryolite resource, Eclipse is also exploring the Grønnedal carbonatite complex. Grønnedal has multi-faceted commercial potential for rare earth elements (REE) and high-purity quartz (HPQ), lithium, siderite, and polymetallic base metals.
Commencement of Eclipse’s maiden drilling programme was an important milestone after a substantial period of planning and preparation. During the final quarter of 2022, Eclipse completed the percussion drilling and trench sampling programme across the Ivigtût and Grønnedal targets, with early results providing encouraging signs to back up the company’s exploration strategy.
There are two phases to sample analysis. Early X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis conducted on composite samples returned encouraging results, including strong values for ratios of rare earth elements praseodymium (Pr) and neodymium (Nd). XRF results were achieved before a five-tonne sample was shipped to a laboratory in Australia for comprehensive analysis, which is the second phase of sample analysis. These laboratory results will provide stronger confirmation of results and are due in early 2023.
Grønnedal carbonate returns strong ratios in XRF analysis
Pairing the preliminary results with historical assay samples will provide a more accurate and informed estimate than was previously possible. At the sample preparation facility in Greenland, the preliminary XRF readings returned an intersection average of 7.5m at 0.8% La2O3+Ce2O3+Pr2O3+Nd2O3 (4REO), with praseodymium (Pr)/lanthanum (La) and neodymium (Nd)/cerium (Ce) ratios of about 1.2:1, as well as 0.49% Zn+Pb+Ni.
The role of the comprehensive laboratory result is to produce definitive values, so this analysis is yet to be confirmed for rare earth elements and base metals as well as other major and trace elements. Still, Eclipse’s interpretation of the preliminary results finds that the commercially more valuable REEs (Pr and Nd) are significantly enriched in drill hole L3-9 relative to lower value La and Ce. These observations are consistent with academic studies and previous laboratory results.
In comparison to other renowned REE-mineralised carbonatite complexes, Grønnedal indicates an unusual Pr/La and Nd/Ce ratio pattern as derived from the rock chip samples. The Grønnedal complex is likely to consist of lower La and Ce contents, with potentially a higher proportion of magnetic rare earth elements, Pr and Nd, which are more commercially valuable.
Pr and Nd are used for high-performance magnets, heavily relied on in the automotive and renewable energy sectors. Given the vitality and necessity of the industries, demand for these elements is not only high now but remains promising for the future.
Eclipse’s Grønnedal portable X-ray Fluorescence (pXRF) readings and early laboratory assay results showed large proportions of Pr and Nd, measuring up to 55% of the REE components. For reference to other REE-mineralised carbonatite complexes, Mountain Pass in California measures about 17% and Western Australia’s Mount Weld records 25%, which estimates strong commercial potential for Grønnedal.
To confirm the basket price of the project, laboratory results and true compositions will need to be confirmed through laboratory results. It is likely that the difference in composition of the Grønnedal project will have a positive influence on the basket price.

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