Godolphin has defined a maiden JORC 2012 resource of 94.9Mt at 739ppm TREO for Narraburra which highlights its potential to be a significant rare earths project.

Not only does this include a high grade core of 20 million tonnes grading 1,079 parts per million (ppm) total rare earths oxides (TREO) within the higher confidence Indicated Resource, it also marks significant improvements over an older resource estimate which was made to the older (and superseded) JORC 2004 standard.

The new resource has a 126% increase in TREO grade, a 50% increase in the Indicated Resources, and a 30% increase to tonnage from the older estimate.

While the increase in both size and grade highlights the potential for Godolphin Resources (ASX:GRL) to unlock value through ongoing exploration and project development, the high-grade core could be the focus of a Scoping Study to evaluate potential for mining and processing material greater than 1,000ppm TREO.

The shinier new resource also follows on the heels of the company receiving independent verification from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) that Narraburra mineralisation has an ionic component and is capable of achieving a high 92% recovery of valuable magnet REEs.

“Godolphin has delivered its updated JORC 2012-compliant MRE at Narraburra with the exceptional result of the MRE confirming the project has significant upside and quality,” managing director Jeneta Owens said.

“Importantly, the resource remains open in multiple directions, providing future exploration and development opportunities and the potential to unlock more value for shareholders into the future.”

She added that upcoming mineralogical work will be combined with the resource estimate and metallurgical leach test work completed by ANSTO to increase the company’s understanding of the project’s potential size, grade and mineralogy of the target near surface layers.

Location of the Indicated and Inferred Resource at Narraburra. Pic: Supplie

Focus on low cost REE mining

“Our focus remains to assess Narraburra’s potential as a mining project, with the REEs initially extracted by leaching, being the lowest cost method to extract rare earth elements,” Owens noted.

“We will also complete additional drilling to infill and define schedules for mining the 20Mt of higher grade mineralisation in the early years of the proposed operation, in order to maximise cash flow, and expand the resource footprint overall.”

This zone of higher grade mineralisation is located within the Indicated Resource area (47.6Mt at 780ppm TREO), which exists in the central area of closer, tighter drilling.

Inferred Resources are located on the peripheries and in the northwest of the overall resource area.

Additionally, the fresh bedrock is reported to host some 52.4Mt at 725ppm TREO though this has not been included in the resource estimate as their economic feasibility has not been demonstrated.

Godolphin will carry out an expanded metallurgical testing study later in 2023 which will be a more indepth study of the leachability conditions from an expanded sample size to determine the optimum recipe for REE extraction.

Success will provide further upside for the overall mineral resource.

Further activity

With the resource remaining open in several directions, the company plans to carry out follow-up drilling with a focus on the northern area, which has been identified as an area containing the highest grade metals used in permanent magnet.

It will also extend resource and infill drilling across the entire project to increase the confidence in the resource in order to define an Ore Reserve.

Follow-up test work will be aimed to determine flowsheets for Rare Earth Elements from the clay and saprock zone.

This article was developed in collaboration with Godolphin Resources, 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.