Auric drilling reveals widespread clay-hosted REEs at Chalice West
Further drill tests confirmed that shallow, clay-bearing rare earths are widespread at Auric’s Chalice West project near Higginsville-Widgiemooltha, Western Australia.
The tests of 15 new holes, taking the total number of holes for which tests were received to 25, confirmed REE enrichment along a 7 km northwest magnetic feature.
In particular, the results also indicated that valuable magnet rare earth oxides (MREO) – which are used to produce permanent magnets for electric car motors and wind turbines – make up up to 31% of the total rare earth oxide (TREO) grades.
Significant results from the latest batch of tests from Auric Mining’s (ASX:AWJ) drilling are:
6m grading 1,583 parts per million (ppm) TREO (30.6% MREO) from a hole depth of 56m including 1m at 3,323ppm TREO in hole AAC0354; 14m at 712ppm TREO (25.1% MREO) from 32m in hole AAC0416; and 12m at 587ppm TREO (25% MREO) from 52m including 1m at 2,459ppm TREO in hole AAC0417.
This adds to previous tests such as 4m at 3,951ppm TREO (21.9% MREO) from 41m in AAC0239 which the company launched in December last year.
Managing director Mark English said the results were outstanding and led to the identification of three zones, the largest of which corresponded to a 7km long magnetic feature in the project’s south-east.
“These results present a fantastic opportunity for Auric. There is much more work to be done, particularly to close the spacing in the 7 km system, drill the prominent magnetic feature in the center of the project, extend the drilling in the NW and southern parts of the project, ” he added.
“This drilling program represents a very small part of the 408 km2 project area.”
Aircore borehole locations. Photo: Provide Multi-element drilling program
In late November, Auric completed a 227-hole air core drilling program aimed at searching for gold, nickel, lithium and rare earths within the project, which is just a few kilometers from the nearly 700,000-hole Chalice gold mine ounces of gold less than a decade ago.
This drilling significantly expanded the area of raised clay-hosted REE to include a series of widely spaced exploration holes to the north-west of E15/1801 as well as a second exploration road in the center of the dwelling, extending south into E63 /2199 .
Most tests also yielded an MREO ratio greater than 20% of the TREO grade, indicating that Chalice West is enriched in highly sought-after REE metals such as neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium used for permanent magnets.
Although more work is needed to determine the exact type of mineralization presented by clays present at Chalice West, they are highly sought after due to the ease of mining and processing.
The company now plans to carry out petrography work to characterize the deportment of REEs in the clay horizon.
It will also reprocess or fly aeromagnetic and radiometric surveys over the magnetic features to obtain detailed outlines of the anomalies identified in the Geological Survey of Western Australia dataset.
Auric will then move to drill deferred holes across the prominent magnetic high in the center of the currently defined REE anomalies along with planning for further drilling to test the REE clays and expand the prospects.
This article was developed in collaboration with Auric Mining, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publication.
This article is not financial product advice. You should consider seeking independent advice before making any financial decisions.
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