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Trek Metals secures ‘transformational’ gold-rare earths project formerly owned by Newmont

The date of: 2023-10-16
viewed: 1

Junior explorer Trek Metals (ASX: TKM) will secure a “transformational” greenfields gold and rare earths opportunity in Western Australia’s Kimberley region on the acquisition of tenements which were previously part of Newmont Exploration’s global portfolio.
The company is set to acquire private firm Archer X Pty Ltd which owns the Christmas Creek project comprising four granted exploration licences and one application across 1183 square kilometres near Halls Creek.
The entire acreage is covered by heritage access agreements.
Newmont ownership
The project was once partly-owned by Newmont under a farm-in joint venture arrangement with Archer X.
It was recently relinquished in its entirety to Archer following a rebalancing of Newmont’s portfolio.
As part of the acquisition, Trek will inherit around $6 million worth of historic exploration work performed by Newmont as well as collated data and results.
‘Extremely fortunate’
Trek chief executive officer Derek Marshall said the company had been “extremely fortunate” to land the project.
“It is very rare for a junior like us to be able to get our hands on a district-scale exploration asset, particularly one that used to sit within the global exploration portfolio of a major company such as Newmont,” he said.
“The geological credentials of Christmas Creek are outstanding and it ticks all the boxes in terms of its potential to host discoveries which could really move the dial for a global major.”
Transformational move
The project could become a transformational move for Trek.
“Christmas Creek offers standout gold potential, with numerous shallow and potentially ore-grade intercepts which remain unconstrained and its location near the Cummins Range carbonatite [being developed by RareX, ASX: REE] highlights the potential for a significant hard rock rare earths discovery,” Mr Marshall said.
“We are very excited by this transformational acquisition… we see this project becoming a pivotal asset for Trek and an emerging centre of multi-element exploration and discovery in Western Australia.”
He said the company was keen to get “boots on the ground” and launch a maiden exploration campaign.
Concealed opportunity
Christmas Creek represents a previously unexplored and largely concealed exploration opportunity associated with a major continental-scale tectonic lineament intersection.
The project contains four defined prospects at Coogan, Martin, Zahn and Willis.
The presence of bedrock gold mineralisation has been confirmed by drilling at Coogan and Martin, the latter of which returned intersections from a 2020 campaign of 7 metres at 4.90 grams per tonne gold and 2m at 9.65g/t gold open in all directions.
Both prospects remain sparsely drill tested, while a strong gold surface anomalism at Zahn remains unexplained by limited drilling and the concealed Willis gold anomaly is yet to be drilled.
Exploration upside
Trek believes the project area has considerable exploration upside with the presence of several additional surface geochemical anomalies which have not been fully defined or tested.
Mr Marshall said there was also potential for rare earth element mineralisation given the project’s proximity to the Cummins Range, which has an inferred and indicated resource of 519 million tonnes at 0.32% total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 4.6% phosphorus pentoxide for a contained 1.6Mt TREO and 24Mt phosphorus pentoxide.
Tanami extension
Archer X originally targeted the Christmas Creek area as it believed it may be an extension of the prolific Granites-Tanami Orogen in the Northern Territory which has been exposed as a basement high, with metasediments in the area showing a correlation to the Tanami host sequences.
Newmont’s large Tanami gold mine, which it has owned and operated since 2002, has proven and probable reserves of 5.7 million ounces, and an additional 4.2Moz in resources.
The mine produces an average of 500,000 ounces of gold per year.

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