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OD6 to beef up already massive rare earths resource

The date of: 2023-09-22
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OD6 Metals looks set to turbocharge the hulking resource at its Splinter Rock project in Esperance after revealing new rare earths assays with grades of up to 4159 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) in clays as deep as 56m, in an area about 11km long and 5km wide.
The company says its latest drilling program at its prop prospect threw up a suite of outstanding preliminary rare earths analytical results from all 78 air-core (AC) drillholes. The holes are part of its completed phase-three campaign of 145 holes.
The latest results are headlined by three significant high-grade, clay-hosted rare earths intersections, with 56m at 1111ppm TREO including 23.4 per cent magnet rare earth oxides (MREO) from surface, including 30m at 1646ppm TREO (24 per cent MREO) from 24m, 40m at 1308ppm TREO (21.9 per cent MREO) from 21m including 28m at 1646ppm TREO (21.8 per cent MREO) from 33 metres, and 37m at 1143ppm TREO (23.3 per cent MREO) from 45m.
Three other substantial intercepts show 14m at 1628ppm TREO (23.8 per cent MREO) from 27m, 25m at 1257ppm TREO (25.7 per cent MREO) from 15m and 36m at 1206ppm TREO (22.7 per cent MREO) from 30m.
Remarkably, the company has already posted a maiden inferred mineral resource estimate (MRE) for the Splinter Rock project of whopping 344 million tonnes at 1308ppm TREO at a 1000ppm cut-off grade. The Prop prospect represent 33 million tonnes at 1180ppm TREO at a 1000ppm cut-off grade, making the overall project potentially one of the biggest in the world.
The company notes that 96 per cent of the drillholes at Prop encountered clays with rare earths concentrations exceeding 300ppm TREO and that in 61 per cent of holes from which assays have been returned so far, values exceed 1000ppm TREO with about 21 per cent MREO on average.
Additionally, OD6 observes that higher-value analytical responses correlate with interpreted data from airborne electromagnetic survey (AEM) mapping, which it believes validates its geological modelling and exploration program design.
The phase-three drilling program was partly funded through the WA Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) and was comprised of 145 AC drillholes for 7435m on a 400m grid and to an average depth of about 51m. The maximum hole depth was 104m.
The program was designed to test the consistency of clay types and lateral extents, thickness and grades at the Centre and Prop prospect areas.
Management says it has identified four prospects from drilling and geophysics, including its Prop deposit, that contribute to its current MRE. It has modelled the prospect area from its digital elevation model, recent mid-time AEM imagery and CSIRO-modelled historic AEM, combined with drilling results.
Modelling reveals that Prop lies at the lowest elevation among the prospects and is surrounded by Booanya granites to the north and south. It interprets the thick Prop accumulation to be a glacial paleo-valley filled with clays.
It is likely that various natural gravity and chemical concentration mechanisms may have been at play during and following accumulation that potentially could have enhanced the rare earths grades.
OD6 says drill sample analyses for the program were undertaken using a four-acid solution digestion method.
The area tested by the company to date amounts to just 2.6 square kilometres of the 58-sq-km total target area within the prospect, but it believes drilling has shown it can now reasonably expect “real and substantial” potential for resource expansion.
While many Esperance rare earths occurrences discovered to date reveal the Esperance area to be a new mineral province for the clay-hosted style, OD6’s latest discovery might ensure they put their own unique stamp on the region for some time to come.

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