Hammer’s initial drilling at the Hardway project in Queensland has discovered a potentially significant copper-rare earths system with valuable heavy rare earths.

Hole HMHWRC001 returned a 30m oxide intersection grading 1.1% copper from a down-hole depth of 48m and 26m at 0.14% total rare earth oxides (TREO) with yttrium from 34m.

Importantly for Hammer Metals (ASX:HMX), heavy rare earths dominate the REE mix, making up 65% of the mineralisation.

Significant amounts of magnet rare earths such as dysprosium (190 parts per million) and neodymium (263ppm) were also noted along with 117ppm of samarium, which has a number of specialised uses.

Proving ground

The intercepts are intriguing as they prove the presence of rich rare earths within a soil anomaly that stretches out over a 1.9km strike length.

“This is a fantastic way to start the year, with the results from our first hole at Hardway exceeding the team’s expectations,” managing director Daniel Thomas said.

“Seeing a wide zone of strong copper and rare earths mineralisation in the initial drilling and at shallow depths is a fabulous result which when combined with broad soil anomalism indicates that we have a significant mineralised system on our hands.

“Encouragingly, copper and heavy rare earth mineralisation has also been identified by mapping and sampling at various points along a ~2km long trend.”

hammer Metals ASX HMX
Cross section looking north at HMHWRC001. Pic: Supplied

He added that Hardway also represents the latest addition to a growing list of prospective mineralised zones identified by the company’s 2022 programs that it will drill in the first quarter of this year.

“Results from our recent Kalman drilling are eagerly awaited and the current uplifts in both molybdenum and copper prices give added momentum to the future development of Hammer’s resources in one of the world’s greatest base metal provinces.”

The exposure to molybdenum is interesting as the metal, which is used in stainless steel production, has seen prices increase more than 90% since the beginning of this year due to strong demand.

Hardway project

Hardway is located about 1km off the Barkly Highway between Mount Isa and Cloncurry.

It is situated along a north-west trending structure identifiable by outcrops of quartz breccia within the Corella formation, which also hosts the company’s Kalman gold-copper-molybdenum-rhenium deposit as well as the Jubilee and Elaine copper-gold deposits.

Previous drilling at Hardway has been limited with the company only recently submitting samples from historical diamond drill holes QH1, QH2 and QH3 – drilled in 1966 and located up to 700m to the southeast of HMHWRC001 – for assay after locating the drill core in the Queensland Department of Resources core library.

Hole HMHWRC001 itself was drilled to test below a historical open pit.

Upcoming activity

Hammer has a busy quarter to come with results from drilling at Kalman, Kalman West, Lord Nelson and Ajax expected this month.

It also plans to carry out follow-up drilling at Hardway, South Hope, Mascotte, Mascotte Junction and Stubby.

During the rest of this quarter and the second quarter of 2023, the company also expects to carry out the Yandal lithium aircore drilling program and upgrade resources at its Kalman project.




This article was developed in collaboration with Hammer Metals, 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.