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Corella spots rare earths next door to where Rio and IGO have recently staked claims

The date of: 2024-01-18
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Corella Resources has identified rare earths on its Tampu project in an unexplored area of the Yilgarn
Rio Tinto and IGO have recently pegged ground right next door to where Corella is exploring
Larger exploration program in the planning phase and will likely include some RC drilling
Special Report: Corella Resources has uncovered two distinct styles of rare earth mineralisation at its Tampu project in Western Australia’s Yilgarn region – and right next door to where Rio Tinto and IGO have recently pegged exploration licences.
As part of recent comprehensive desktop review of its Wheatbelt-based tenements, Corella Resources (ASX: CR9) has identified significant potential for extended kaolin areas, as well as potential for other mineralisation.
In particular, rock chip samples have flagged potential for two distinct styles of REE mineralisation, including a carbonatite-related mineralisation signature up to 2,033ppm TREO and a heavy rare earth ratio up 39%.
Pegmatite-hosted mineralisation/anomalism was also identified with rock chips returning up to 934ppm TREO.
Corella has also made three new exploration licence applications which would increase its landholding at Tampu by 110% to 1,922km2 in an unexplored area of the Yilgarn.
While the Centre for Exploration Targeting and Geoscience Australia have been studying the region for the past decade, only recently has it been flagged for its critical mineral potential with the likes of Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) and IGO (ASX:IGO) pegging exploration licences directly adjacent to Corella’s tenements.
Recent exploration by others in the region has also uncovered potential clay-hosted REE mineralisation associated with weathering of granitoid bodies.
Encouraging first-pass exploration results
A combination of magnetic, radiometric, hyperspectral, satellite data (sensor and imagery) and regional structural interpretations were used to highlight target areas across Corella’s tenements.
A portable XRF was then used to analyse, obtain and shortlist rock chip samples for full laboratory analysis.
Total rare earth oxides (TREO) ranged from 132ppm to 2,033ppm. The suite of rare earth elements differed between the chemistries with the pegmatite hosting a higher percentage of light REE (79-88% of TREO) compared to the carbonatite which has a higher percentage of heavy REE (34-39% of TREO).
The carbonatite-bearing rocks also had the highest TREO result of 2,033ppm.
Key magnet metals neodymium and praseodymium also comprised 12-26% of the TREO.
A high rubidium-bearing pegmatite chemical signature was also seen in two samples (1,485ppm and 2,210ppm) from the same area, although no lithium was measured in the samples.
Corella said this was indicative of the highly fractionated pegmatites seen in the region.
‘More than just granite out here’
A follow-up exploration program focused on testing geophysical and hyperspectral targets associated with the REE mineralisation identified across the Tampu project area is in the planning pipeline.
This will likely include RC drilling with a program of works application currently in progress with the relevant authorities.
Corella CEO Jess Maddren said the company was committed to delivering value to its stakeholders through “active exploration, strategic decision-making and a pursuit to unlock the untapped potential within the Yilgarn region”.
“These first-pass exploration results are encouraging, they support other styles of mineralisation and occur in a relatively unexplored region,” Maddren said.
“Corella intends to leverage off its first mover advantage and dominant landholding in the region, which has seen the arrival of the likes of Rio Tinto and IGO pegging ground as our neighbours.
“There is a lot more than just granite out here in this part of the Wheatbelt.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Corella Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

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