• Exploration licenses for the Merino project have been granted
  • The tenements are highly prospective for clay hosted rare earth deposits, similar to those mined in southern China and Myanmar
  • Work at flagship Cowalinya expected to increase the current 28Mt @ 625 ppm TREO resource


Heavy Rare Earths has added the Merino rare earth project to its exploration portfolio as it doubles down on the search for heavy rare earth (HREE) enriched ion-adsorption clay-hosted deposits.

Exploration licences E59/2795 and E59/2796, about 225km northeast of Geraldton, WA, have been granted by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety and cover an area of ~269km2.

Heavy Rare Earths (ASX:HRE) is hunting ion adsorption clay-hosted deposits at Merino, similar to those found in southern China and Myanmar which supply most of the world’s HREEs.

Investors should primarily be focused on the magnet rare earths – neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium.

While there are potentially many sources of neodymium and praseodymium, (NdPr) there is very little potential for substantial supply of heavies dysprosium and terbium.


Prospective Merino

Heavy Rare Earths says the Merino area ranks very highly in an internal study targeting ion-adsorption clay-hosted mineralisation in WA’s paleochannels

It’s dominated by quaternary aeolian and alluvial sediments and salt lakes (playas) underlain by Archaean granite and adamellite.

Chemical analysis by the Geological Survey of WA shows these granitic intrusions contain up to 516ppm TREE (total rare earths), and previous drilling of a single AC hole at license E59/2796 demonstrated the presence of a paleochannel to a depth of at least 70m.

Two further holes were drilled to the east of E59/2725 and intersected 40-93m of paleochannel fill.

HRE says with a budget of just over $100,000, it plans to complete a first-pass sweep of the Merino project, comprising of soil, rock and water bore sampling during the first year of exploration, with drilling subject to results.


Heavy Rare Earths ASX HRE
The Merino project licenses east of Geraldton, WA. Pic supplied (HRE).


‘Several fold larger’: Boosting the resource at Cowalinya

HRE’s key exploration project is Cowalinya, near Esperance in WA. It is a clay-hosted rare earths project with an inferred resource of 28Mt @ 625ppm TREO and a desirable rare earths composition, where 25% comprise the valuable magnet rare earths and 23% the strategic heavy rare earths.

Heavy Rare Earths executive director Richard Brescianini says drilling in 2022 confirms the rare earth mineralisation is shallow, thick and more or less consistent across at least 16% of HRE’s land position.

“We’ve also discovered new rare earth prospects in drilling up to 14km from the main resource area, and we’re aiming to deliver two important milestones by the end of the current quarter,” Brescianini says.

“We’ll provide an updated resource, that I expected will be several-fold larger, and a higher average grade than, our existing resource, and an exploration target for the remaining 84% of our landholding at Cowalinya.”

The company has also started exploring its Duke project in the NT to test for unconformity-type HREE-enriched mineralisation – the same type found at Northern Minerals’ (ASX:NTU) Browns Range project.



This article was developed in collaboration with Heavy Rare Earths, 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.