Encounter has added to the Rare Earth Element (REE) projects in its arsenal by moving into the Laverton region of WA after identifying four prospective targets at the new 800km2 Irwin project.

The opportunity is more than a decade in the making after the company completed aircore drilling targeting gold in the Lake Irwin area back in 2009. The project was relinquished after not delivering on the gold potential but did return REE anomalism including 6m at 0.55% TREO from 74m to end of hole in ELI0118.

Armed with  this historical knowledge, an evaluation of regional geophysics was recently initiated which highlighted a series of anomalies that are interpreted to be intrusions.

Plus, the targets at Irwin are centred on a structural corridor that extends north-west from Lynas Rare Earths’ (ASX:LYC) Mt Weld carbonatite (100km SE).

First mover in new mineral belts

“The Encounter generative team has a well-established track record of moving early into new mineral belts,” Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) MD Will Robinson said.

“We were early to identify copper opportunities in the Greater McArthur Superbasin in the NT and a BHP (ASX:BHP) and South32 (ASX:S32) have joined us as project partners.

“Encounter also moved early into the emerging West Arunta region where mineralised carbonatites have been discovered recently.”

Building on the emerging rare earth potential the company has in the West Arunta, the Irwin project also has its own regional story.

“The confirmation of undercover REE mineralisation in historical drilling has important regional implications. Particularly given that the region contains the world-class Mt Weld REE mine,” Robinson said.

Encounter Resources
RTP magnetic image of the Laverton region with Encounter Irwin project locations. Pic: Supplied (ENR)

Ground exploration planned this year

A series of geophysical anomalies have been identified and ground truthing of these anomalies has commenced, Robinson said.

Reconnaissance samples taken from the thorium anomaly at Irwin North and from around the collar location of ELI0118 completed in March 2023 have been submitted for analysis.

Petrography is also planned for some of the samples collected to determine mineralogy and infer protolith rock types.

The company expects to commence on ground exploration later in 2023 upon tenement granting.




This article was developed in collaboration with Encounter Resources 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.