• ‘Consent to mine’ received from Minister of Mines and Petroleum received over Lycoan’s Stansmore project in the West Arunta
  • Paves way for exploration programs to commence including, heritage surveys, gravity survey and drilling
  • Application to conduct helicopter-assisted drilling submitted
  • West Arunta is highly-prospective for niobium-REE mineralisation


Special Report: A program of works (PoW) has been lodged for helicopter-assisted drilling of Lycaon Resources’ Stansmore niobium-REE project in West Arunta after receiving crucial ‘consent to mine’ from WA’s Minister for Mines and Petroleum.

The West Arunta region is shaping up as one of WA’s hottest critical regions after explorer/ developer WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) shocked the world with impressive grades of niobium and rare earths in 2022.

Just 90km from Lycaon Resources’ (ASX:LYN) Stansmore, WA1 continues to deliver standout niobium results – a highly sought after element used in jet engines, rockets, steel reinforcement and oil and gas pipelines – including an intersection of 30m @ 4.7%.

This is super high grade stuff. For reference, there are three major niobium mines in the world; two are very high grade (between 1% and 2.5% ore grade), while the third sits at around 0.5%.

LYN itself has identified a carbonatite target that contains a 700m long magnetic feature analogous to WA1’s discoveries and is now gearing up for some intensive exploration work.


Lycaon Resources ASX LYN
The Stansmore target and surrounding niobium-REE projects. Pic supplied: (LYN)


Keys to exploration received

Land access in the West Arunta is different to the rest of WA, as the area is an ‘exclusive’ Aboriginal Land Reserve and requires extra steps compared to approval on crown land and normal native title processes.

The now granted ‘consent to mine’ is the last land access hurdle for LYN before exploration work can commence and comes on the back of a crucial approval received from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs for an entry permit to carry out exploration at Stansmore, which lies within the Ngaanyatjarra Central Australia Reserve.

“Further to the recent approval from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, it is pleasing to have received the ‘Consent to Mine’ from the Minister for Mines and Petroleum which now allows us to carry out exploration work programs and organise the necessary heritage clearances ahead of drilling targeted for mid-year,” LYN technical director Thomas Langley says.

“The West Arunta is one of the last frontiers for major critical mineral and copper-gold (IOCG) discoveries in Australia.

“The identification of Niobium and Rare Earth mineralisation associated with carbonatite intrusions by WA1 Resources and Encounter Resources nearby in their first ever drill programs signifies the extremely prospective and underexplored nature of the West Arunta.

“We are extremely excited to get our maiden drilling program underway as soon as possible.”


Next steps

A drilling program of work (PoW) has been lodged with DEMIRS to allow for drilling to occur pending positive heritage clearances.

The heritage surveys are currently being planned with the Central Desert Native Title Services for late May.

Exploration programs getting ready to commence including gravity surveys and helicopter-assisted maiden drilling.




This article was developed in collaboration with Lycaon Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.