• Everest starts resource definition drilling at its Mt Edon critical minerals project
  • Previous drilling has outlined an exploration target of 3.2-4.5Mt at 0.23-0.35% rubidium
  • Rubidium is used in biomedical research, electronics, specialty glass, pyrotechnics and military applications
  • Current rubidium price: ~ US$1,200/kg


Special Report: Everest Metals has started drilling to define a maiden resource at its Mt Edon critical minerals project in WA’s Mid-West region.

Mt Edon (ML59/714) covers the southern portion of the Paynes Find greenstone belt in the southern Murchison, which hosts an extensive field of pegmatites.

Pegmatite is a type of rock which can host substantial lithium, tin, tantalum, and niobium deposits.

Where Mt Edon differs from other pegmatite plays is that it is prospective for rubidium, which was designated as a critical mineral by the US Government Geological Survey in 2023.

Rubidium is often associated with caesium and lithium mineralisation and is used in biomedical research, electronics, specialty glass, pyrotechnics and as well as military industrial applications.

It is used interchangeably or together with caesium in many uses and recently found applications in specialty glasses used in fibre optic telecommunication systems.

Additionally, its ability to be easily ionised could also result in its use as propellant for high-tech, ultra-efficient ion engines on spacecrafts.

Rubidium carbonate currently commands a price of ~US$1200/kg.


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The Mt Edon mining lease. Pic: Everest Metals Corporation


Two phases of reverse circulation drilling were carried out by Everest Metals Corporation (ASX:EMC) in late May and late August last year with the first phase returning a highlight 40m intersection grading 0.26% rubidium oxide (RB2O) from 49m.

Phase two was designed to unlock the potential of a 600m pegmatite sitting along a northeast-southwest strike and returned assays such as 80m at 0.32% Rb2O and 0.11% Li2O from 25m, 31m at 0.21% Rb2O and 0.12% Li2O from 35m, and 15m at 0.22% Rb2O and 0.27% Li2O from 14m.

This was enough for the company to define an initial exploration target of between 3.2Mt to 4.5Mt at 0.23% to 0.35% rubidium.


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Mineralised intersections from previous RC drilling. Pic: Everest Metals Corporation


Resource drilling

EMC has now started resource definition drilling that seeks to convert the current exploration target into an inferred resource.

The program of 16 holes totalling ~1400m will follow-up on the pegmatite formation which returned previous assays of up to 80m at 0.32% Rb2O.

Most of the holes will be drilled at a 40m spacing along strike and 20m across strike while the remaining four holes will test individual pegmatites parallel to the main orebody.

“The more we dig into the growing global rubidium market, the more excited we are to have this potential world class deposit at the Mt Edon project, on a granted mining lease, just a few kilometres south of Paynes Find, Western Australia,” Everest Metals CEO Mark Caruso said.

“The Mt Edon project has a current exploration target of 3.2 to 4.5m tonnes with a grade of 0.23 to 0.35% rubidium, highlighting the potential scale and grade of the project.”


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Phase 1 resource drilling at Mt Edon. Pic: Everest Metals Corporation


Upcoming activities

Phase 1 drilling is expected to be followed by Phase 2 drilling in Q3 2024.

This will total about 1,600m and will infill drill to 20m along strike to allow for the calculation of a higher confidence indicated resource, which will allow for mine planning.

EMC also has a research agreement in place with Edith Cowan University to study the extraction of rubidium and mica from Mt Edon using the cutting-edge direct rubidium extraction process.

This research will be carried out over the coming months at the university’s Mineral Recovery Research Centre in a bid to develop a state-of-the-art extraction technique that maximise the recovery of rubidium and mica in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.

As part of this study, critical assessment of the feasibility and potential enhancements of the direct rubidium extraction method will be done.

This will allow EMC and ECU to jointly apply for the Cooperative Research Centres Projects grants to scale up the process technology.



This article was developed in collaboration with Everest Metals Corporation, 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.