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OD6 Metals: A globally significant rare earth elements discovery

The date of: 2023-05-17
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source:Critical Raw Materials

In the hopes of developing a rare earth elements mine, new Australian company OD6 Metals has started exploration work in the South West of the continent.

OD6 Metals is an Australian public company pursuing exploration and development opportunities within the critical minerals sector. The company has successfully identified clay-hosted rare earth elements at its 100% owned Splinter Rock and Grass Patch Projects and aims to delineate and define economic resources and reserves of rare earth elements (REE), in particular neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr), which can be developed into a future revenue-generating mine.

As the world experiences a rapid change of momentum towards renewable energy, heralding the ‘Clean-Energy Revolution’ and a transition away from a carbon-based economic structure, the requirement for long-term, secure sources of REE is recognised at every level. Currently, clay-based REE deposits are economically extracted in China, which is the dominant world producer.

In April this year, the company announced that results from the second phase, 83-hole drill programme at Splinter Rock had returned bumper assay results and clay thicknesses, with higher grades and larger thicknesses than those observed in the initial first phase.

Grades of up to 6,605ppm (parts per million) total rare earth oxides (TREO) returned, with extensive clay thickness of between 20-80m at consistently high grades. The continuity of grade and thickness extends over multiple kilometres of drill lines, with the high-value magnet rare earth oxides (MREO) representing an average of 22% of TREO grade.

Prior to the most recent drilling, OD6 Metals undertook an Airborne Electromagnetic Survey (AEM) over the Splinter Rock and Grass Patch Projects during October 2022. The completed survey covered more than 4,600 square kilometres, with 11,500 kilometres flown at 400-800m line spacing. The survey mapped clay locations, expanse, depth, and thickness to enable targeted drilling of high priority exploration areas during the next 18 months.

In another significant initiative, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and OD6 have agreed to collaborate on techniques to improve rare earth elements exploration. This will combine traditional and cutting-edge tools in a multidisciplinary approach using geophysical, remote sensing, geochemical, mineralogical, and spectral analysis.

OD6 Metals is preparing for a number of company building events during the coming months and is well-placed to continue the exciting story that has been gaining momentum with investors during the past eight months.

“Having identified such an extensive area of potentially billions of tonnes of clay rare earth elements mineralisation, our next round of drilling will focus on further defining the extent of the different prospects.

“This, in turn, will enable us to produce more metal per tonne treated. The focus now is determining where the inflection point is on metal recovered, revenue, profit, recovery, and acid requirements, to enable the best cost structure for the project moving forward.

“It will take a bit of time to optimise, but importantly there still might be better areas out there that we have not drilled yet.

“Our strategy prioritises the ‘best of the best’ in terms of grade, magnetic rare earth elements content, thickness, and metallurgical recovery, as we sharpen our focus towards the goal of delivering a high-quality maiden JORC Mineral Resource Estimate,” Hazelden said.

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