Meeka finds ‘spectacular’ grades at Cascade rare earths project
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Meeka has flagged assay results from 85 holes drilled within the western block of the Cascade REE Project in WA which show shallow, high-grade, and ‘spectacular’ mineralisation.
A total of 52 of the 85 holes returned shallow, broad, high-grade intersections up to 4,029ppm Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) in saprolitic clays.
Importantly, the company says the high value magnet rare earths and critical rare earths account for an average of 26% and 25% of TREO grades respectively.
Assays for a further 105 holes from the eastern block of Cascade are expected in late May 2022.
Meeka (ASX:MEK) CEO Tim Davidson said the results show remarkable scale potential, with Cascade – at 2,068km2 – representing a potentially large-scale, high-grade rare earths project.
“We are seeing shallow, broad, high-grade intersections over a large area,” he said.
“Results from the eastern block are due in late May 2022 and may expand the scale even further.
“Importantly, the results contain high levels of permanent magnet metals being neodymium-praseodymium oxides.
“These metals are geopolitically critical, and we intend to accelerate our understanding of Cascade with drilling commencing on the back of results from the eastern block and metallurgical testwork expedited.”
Once the remaining assay results are received the company plans to detail a forward activity plan targeting the highest value (high heavy and magnet REO content) zones of mineralisation.
Meeka plans to expedite initial metallurgical work to understand the process for producing a commercial product from Cascade, which is a clay-hosted REE project.
Notably, clay hosted projects often enjoy significant project and cost advantages compared to hard rock projects, with cheap bulk mining and a simple process flow sheet.
Clay deposits do not require the expensive comminution and beneficiation processes that hard rock deposits require, resulting in a lower capital intensity and lower operating cost to produce a refined product.
The high proportion of magnet rare earth elements (neodymium-praseodymium) in clay deposits also results in a high value product.
And they don’t produce the costly radioactive tailings waste that is often a by-product of processing hard rock deposits.
This article was developed in collaboration with Meeka, 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.