Special Report: Mapping and rock chip sampling at CuFe’s North Dam lithium and Rare Earth Elements (REE) project in WA has defined drill targets for testing in Q2 2024.

The project lies within the heart of the ‘lithium corridor’ between Mineral Resources(ASX:MIN) Mt Marion lithium mine and Essential Metals(ASX:ESS)/Develop’s (ASX:DVP) Pioneer Dome lithium project.

Rock chip sampling has now confirmed the majority of pegmatites trend northwest and outcropping pegmatites range from 10-450m in strike length and from 1-30m in width.

“We have continued to make good progress on our greenfield exploration projects,” CuFe (ASX:CUF) executive director Mark Hancock said.

“More fieldwork and recent rock chip results from North Dam have defined several exciting drill targets for lithium, rare earths and niobium.

“Nearby explorers are having success with current drill programs, and we are working hard to get all approvals in place in time to have drills turning in the March quarter 2024.”


Three target areas to test

Targets to be tested with an RC/aircore program include:

  • Stacked Pegmatites hosting anomalous Li2O (>300ppm) and elevated LCT pathfinders that are coincident with historical soil survey Li2O results and precious gem workings (tourmaline and beryl);
  • Fresh and weathered pegmatites that contain anomalous REE (>300ppm) TREO; and
  • A series of concentrated pegmatites immediately adjacent to columbite and tantalite samples containing high niobium and tantalum.

“The tenement has had very little drilling historically, so we are excited to test some of these outcropping pegmatites below the surface, including those within the recently acquired MLN 15/1841, and where rock chip sampling has identified presence of spodumene, elevated path finder elements and anomalous REE,” Hancock said.


Increasing West Arunta footprint 

In addition, the company has significantly increased its landholding around the West Arunta project in WA – with tenure applications in progress for new ground adjacent and adjoining existing applications.

Notably, the tenure is adjacent to Lycaon Resources’ (ASX: LYN) Stansmore project where magnetic trends have been identified that have the potential for REE-carbonatite mineralisation.

This area has similarities to the WA1 Resources (ASX:WA1) and Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) projects and discoveries approximately 70km to the south.

Plus, the new ground has not been historically explored for REEs and features magnetic anomalies that extend through this area that could be reflective of prospective carbonatites.

“In the emerging West Arunta exploration province we have grown our tenement package to increase our opportunity to follow on from the niobium and rare earth element discoveries occurring there recently,” Hancock said.

CuFe’s West Arunta tenure. Source: CUF


Drilling in the March quarter

Drilling of the North Dam target areas is planned for in the March quarter 2024, with a program of works submitted to the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, and awaiting approval.

A Heritage Protection Agreement is in draft format with the Marlinyu Ghoorlie Native Title Group and initial group meetings are also planned for the new year, with relevant heritage surveys to be scheduled prior to commencement of drilling.

CUF has also reached an agreement to purchase MLN15/1841 at North Dam from a private owner for $50,000 and a 1% sales royalty on material sourced from the lease.

MLN15/1841 has been mined through shallow surface workings for precious gems, including tourmaline and beryl.

The company considers it a prospective target for drill testing.



This article was developed in collaboration with CuFe, 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.