Auroch ramps up Arden rare earths pursuit as early samples shine
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Recent rock chip sample assays have shone a light on the exciting rare earths potential of Auroch Minerals’ Arden project in South Australia.
Auroch’s (ASX:AOU) field exploration at Arden, designed to assess the project’s rare earth element (REE) prospectivity, is well underway and early signs are promising.
Rock chip samples taken from the Hawker and Kanyaka prospects have confirmed the presence of REEs, while a third prospective area known as Mt Arden stood out, delivering assays as high as 588 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) and up to 8% copper.
A total of nine samples were collected during an August field work campaign – a precursor to Auroch’s current exploration fieldwork, which includes mapping, rock-chip and soil sampling at the priority areas of Kanyaka and Hawker.
A further 414 soil samples have been collected in the current campaign and delivered to the ALS lab in Adelaide for an extended whole rock assay suite. These results are expected in the first week of November.
Auroch MD Aidan Platel said the company was buoyed by the REE results so far.
“We are extremely pleased with how our REE exploration at Arden is advancing,” he said.
“In the space of only a few months we have been able to identify several areas that we believe have great potential to host significant REE mineralisation.
“The soil sampling is part of the systematic approach to better define drill targets, and we look forward to receiving the results in early November.”
While exploration at Arden had historically targeted base metal mineralisation the company has more recently conducted rock chip sampling for REEs, with an August desktop review uncovering numerous TREO anomalies within the company’s geochemical database.
The field work comes ahead of a planned aircore (AC) drilling program, which Auroch expects to have underway before the end of 2022.
Auroch is just 25km west of Taruga Minerals’ (ASX:TAR) Morgan’s Creek REE prospect, where recent rotary air blast drilling delivered exceptional grades including 1m at 6068ppm from 3m, within a larger intersection of 24m at 886ppm TREO from surface.
“We continue to be buoyed by the exploration and metallurgical success of Taruga Minerals at their Morgan’s Creek REE prospect, which is only 25km east of our Hawker prospect in a similar geological setting,” Platel said.
“The planning for our maiden AC REE drill program is advanced, and we are on track to commence drilling before the end of the year.”
Auroch is also working towards maiden drilling at its Nevada lithium project in the US, and last month defined a shallow nickel resource at its Nepean project in WA with a view to potential open pit mining.
This article was developed in collaboration with Auroch Minerals, 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.