HyLogger results show potential for low cost, near-term mining at Godolphin’s Narraburra REE project
Special Report: Spectral scanning shows rare earths are strong correlated with the highly weathered kaolinite clay zone at Godolphin Resources’ Narraburra project, providing potential for low cost, near-term mining.
The Narraburra project in central west NSW already hosts a 94.9Mt resource at 739ppm TREO, which includes a higher-grade component of 20Mt at 1,079ppm TREO.
It has been explored since 1999, when programs by its previous owner revealed the Devonian aged rocks host a whole range of rare earth elements (REE) including valuable neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr).
NdPr are amongst the magnet REEs used in the manufacture of permanent magnets that make up a key component of electric vehicle motors and wind turbines.
Testing also found that extraction percentages increase with time and temperature, with a significant increase in REE recovery at 50 degrees Celsius reported for clay-rich samples.
The selection of Narraburra by the Geological Survey of NSW for the HyLogger spectral analysis has now highlighted the project’s considerable potential and a more detailed understanding into the distribution of its REE mineralisation.
HyLogger measures the spectral reflectance and absorption characteristics of drill core using spectrometers with various ranges.
These are primarily sensitive to iron oxides; hydroxide (clay), carbonate and sulphate minerals; and anhydrous minerals such as quartz and feldspars, pyroxenes, as well as carbonates, sulphates and some hydrous minerals.
GRL notes that the data found higher levels of REEs in highly weathered material that provide potential for low mining cost near-term extraction opportunities.
Adding further interest, QEMSCAN (an automated mineralogical analysis technique) carried out by the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) earlier this year on samples from the initial REE leachability testing indicates that most abundant REE-bearing minerals include lanthanite-Nd; cerite-Ce; and microcrystalline REEs.
Liberation statistics indicate that most abundant REE-bearing minerals are moderately liberated, confirming the ready leachability of the kaolinite clay zone.
Importantly, this unlocks additional development and processing opportunities for the company.
“To have the Geological Survey of NSW select our project for spectral scanning using their HyLogger machine points to the value of this project, to not only GRL but also the state of NSW,” managing director Jeneta Owens said.
“The results of this QEMSCAN work combined with the initial leach testing, which indicated extremely high recovery rates of the most important four magnet REE minerals, really assist to understand the key characteristics of the deposit and start to define processing options to recover the REE’s.
“The company is now awaiting the receipt of the second round of metallurgical testing from ANSTO, where we have processed composite samples that are reflective of mining intervals.
“Getting results of the size fraction analysis work and different leaching conditions will provide information that can be directly fed into early-stage project flowsheet development.
“Having a clay-hosted REE project in a geopolitically stable jurisdiction such as NSW, that is stacking up in terms of recovery of permanent magnet minerals is a major coup for Godolphin.”
GRL expects to shortly receive from ANSTO results from the second phase of metallurgical test work for Narraburra shortly.
This includes desorption testing, a size fraction analysis and leach testing of composite samples under different conditions.
The size fraction analysis is designed to determine if REE’s are present in a particular size particle that may lead to easy screening and upgrading before leaching.
Meanwhile, the leaching program has been designed to test for leachability down the weathered profile in composites that more represent mining intervals and across the defined resource area to better understand the metallurgy of the project and provide input into future mining studies.
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.