Aldoro defines potential for $1m/tonne rubidium at Niobe
Excitement is building at Aldoro’s Niobe project in Western Australia’s Mt Magnet region after an initial evaluation defined world class potential for ultra-high value rubidium.
While originally acquired in July this year to extend the company’s lithium footprint, the definition of an initial exploration target of about 33,000 tonnes to 150,000 tonnes grading between 696 parts per million to 1,457ppm rubidium oxide, or between 350t to 1,500t of contained rubidium, from historical drilling is hair-raising.
After all, rubidium carbonate commands a price of over $1 million per tonne, meaning that proving up this target could make for a quick and simple development decision.
To top it off, the exploration target defined by Aldoro Resources (ASX:ARN) covers less than half of the mapped section of the Niobe Pegmatite 1, meaning there is potential for more to be found subject to the company’s exploration defining a resource.
“Based on the news of the Mining Association of Guangdong Province of China, a major Rubidium deposit called the Tiantangshan rubidium deposit, was discovered in Guangdong province in 2019,” chairman Joshua Letcher said.
“It was reported that the Tiantangshan rubidium deposit with the resources of Rb2O over 100,000 tonnes at the average grade 0.109% Rb2O, is the biggest rubidium deposit in the world.
“On 8 May 2019, the Guangdong Provincial Government made an announcement saying that, as the project will be very profitable, the Provincial Government will invest multibillion RMB to exploit this Rb project in the next five years.
“It seems that the potential resources of the Niobe rubidium project of Aldoro Resources Limited may be in the same order with the Tiantongshan Rb deposit with analyses of Rb2O>1.5% and is associated with other valuable elements, such as lithium, caesium and tantalum.“
The rubidium exploration target is based on historical drilling by Pancontinental Mining that indicated that a shallow dipping pegmatite northly dipping sheet that plunges to the northwest, flares at surface and gently tapers with depth.
The pegmatite is zoned with a wall zone, intermediate zone and quartz rich core.
The inclined quartz core is also zoned towards the base and most of the mineralisation occurs in the intermediate zone contact zone with the lithium-rich zinnwaldite mineral dominating along the lower zone and is associated with the enriched rubidium.
Down-hole sampling was conducted at 1m intervals with assays available for the pegmatite intervals and contact zones while sub-assays were analysed for a suite of minerals including rubidium.
Aldoro adds that outside of the Niobe pit area, where trial mining of tantalum was conducted and nine holes drilled at Pegmatite 2, the rest of the pegmatite field has not been tested for rubidium, lithium and caesium.
The company is looking to expand the exploration target to the rest of Pegamatite 1, the high-interest rubidium-bearing sections of Niobe east, the Breakaway pegmatites and Niobe South pegmatites.
Pending the approval of a Programme of Works, it expects to start a reverse circulation drill program at the end of September.
This article was developed in collaboration with Aldoro 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.