Drilling kicks off at Mount Ridley’s namesake rare earth project
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Mount Ridley Mines has commenced drilling at its home-ground Mt Ridley rare earth deposit in WA.
The drilling is targeting ionic adsorption clay-styled rare earth element (REE) mineralisation at the Winston’s Prospect.
This will be followed by a Stage 2 regional 1,000-hole aircore program over the next five months – with results expected to outline the potential scale of the project and to rank areas of REE mineralisation for more detailed evaluation.
The main aim is to steadily advance high-priority areas to enable the estimation of a JORC 2012 compliant maiden mineral resource estimate later in the year.
The company confirmed last year that Mt Ridley REE is the goods.
It’s readily soluble – with about 80% of the light REO, 76% of the heavy REO and 80% of the critical REO recovered in testing.
Importantly, this bolstered Mount Ridley’s sense of a project which has the potential to host ionic adsorption clay-hosted REE mineralisation in Eocene-aged sediments of the Salmon Gums Plains.
This IAC-style mineralisation is rarely found outside of China and considered to be some of the cheapest and most readily accessible sources of heavy rare earths.
“The Mt Ridley team has done some excellent work in completing a detailed Heritage Management Plan and Programs of Work submissions in preparation for this drilling campaign,” Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD) chairman Peter Christie said.
“The company is well funded and has committed to rapidly exploring the project for rare earth elements through substantial but judicious drilling programs executed in a staged approach.
“The aim of the drilling stages proposed is to outline a rare earth element project of significant scale.”
The company’s environmental consultant is concurrently advancing the required submissions to enable higher density Stage 3 Primary Target Expansion drilling.
Stage 4 will comprise of a resource drill-out.
The company says comparable projects – simply layered ionic clay-hosted REE deposits – have been drilled out on a 200 x 200m pattern which brings Mount Ridley a step closer to a clear JORC 2012 compliant Indicated mineral resource.
This article was developed in collaboration with Mount Ridley Mines Limited, 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.