Drill hole assays have backed up Indiana’s belief that it is on to something special at its Central Gawler project with ionic clay rare earths topping up at 15,486 ppm (1.55%).

Anomalous rare earth elements mineralisation was returned from all six drill holes with the top result reported over a 4m intersection from a depth of 28m within a broader 48m interval grading 1,948 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxides (TREO).

Importantly, high-value magnet rare earths – the holy grail for rare earths explorers – made up 7,436ppm, or 48% of the TREO returned from the best drill intersection.

The results also provide more evidence that Indiana Resources’ (ASX:IDA) Central Gawler project in South Australia hosts ionic adsorption clay-hosted REEs, which are sought after for their low capital and operating costs along with high magnet and heavy REE content.

Unsurprisingly, it provides the company with the impetus to test the various REE targets indicated by gold-focused historical drilling over the broader project area.

“These results are extraordinary, and we now are working to immediately re assay existing samples for the remaining 72 holes. In addition, we have commenced planning for additional air core drilling to expand our knowledge of what appears to be a significant high-grade discovery,” executive chair Bronwyn Barnes said.

Shares in the company climbed 30% to 6.5c this morning on the news.

Clay hosted rare earths potential

Indiana first cottoned on to the potential of its Central Gawler project to host IAC REEs after Petratherm (ASX:PTR) discovered a prospective clay horizon at its Comet project, which abuts Indiana’s northern tenements.

The company immediately carried out a technical review which yielded anomalous results highlighting the project’s potential to host the same type of mineralisation that is mostly restricted to southern China and Myanmar.

Drilling has now confirmed that Central Gawler does indeed have clay hosted REEs, particularly with the large proportion of neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium.

Next steps

Indiana plans to collect additional data to define the distribution of the different rare earths in the weathering profile and to identify any underlying potential bedrock lithological or structural controls on the distribution of the mineralisation.

It highlighted the broader historical rare earth results along the Lake Labyrinth Shear Zone, which indicates that a 10km corridor is prospective for mineralisation.

Additional targets are also present at the Hicks Well prospect and about 4km west of the Company Well prospect, which may be potentially part of a structure parallel to the northwest trending LLSZ.

The company will now re-assay the remaining sample pulps from its 2021 aircore drilling for the full suite of rare earth elements. This analysis will better characterise the extent and tenor of REE mineralisation and assist with refining target areas for follow-up drill testing.



This article was developed in collaboration with Indiana 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.