Encouraging results from initial rare earth metallurgical test work at the Circle Valley project show a pathway to commercialisation, Meeka says. The company now plans to advance its large scale, high-grade projects “at pace”.

In February Meeka Metals (ASX:MEK) acquired the giant 2,068sqkm Cascade project within WA’s Albany Fraser Mobile Belt, which is believed to be highly prospective for clay-hosted rare earths.

Cascade is complemented by the existing Circle Valley gold-REE project, also in the Fraser Range.

Early stage met testwork carried out in May and June on five samples from Circle Valley at various head grades (from 805ppm TREO to 1,386ppm TREO) returned total rare earth extraction which achieved up to 82%, averaging 76%.

Importantly, the high value magnet rare earths leached extremely well, up to 86% extraction and an average of 82%.

“When evaluating clay rare earth projects, key consideration is given to scale, grade and metallurgy,” MEK managing director Tim Davidson says.

“Drilling has demonstrated shallow high-grade rare earths are pervasive within our 100% owned province scale land package.

“With metallurgical results now showing there is a pathway to production of a commercial product, we plan to advance these large scale, high-grade projects at pace.”

Further test work is now underway to improve on and refine the metallurgical processes.

MEK is also evaluating mineral processing techniques to upgrade mineralisation and remove non-target elements prior to extraction.

“Given the tier-1 location, geopolitically critical nature of the metals and high level of permanent magnet elements present, our projects are shaping up to be significant,” Davidson says.

Strap in: Meeka has lots of news flow in the way

Drilling is planned at both Cascade and Circle Valley to progress toward delivery of a maiden Mineral Resource this financial year, MEK says

At Cascade, drilling will be completed across the northern (525km2) and central (400km2 ) blocks.

At Circle Valley, drilling completed in the first half of 2022 identified large kilometre scale zones with thick, high-grade rare earth mineralisation.

“The mineralisation is located within the saprolite clay horizon, which blankets the project in varying thickness from 2m to over 50m,” MEK says.

“Assays demonstrate the pervasive nature of the high-grade rare earths, up to 36m thick and grading up to 1,748ppm TREO.

“The mineralisation also persistently demonstrates a high proportion of the grade, up to 47%, as valuable magnet rare earths.”

While 14,957m of samples from the 2022 drill program are pending assay (anticipated to be reported in July/August 2022) there is sufficient information now available to plan for Mineral Resource definition drilling, MEK says.

The planned drilling will infill zones of mineralisation and form the basis for a Mineral Resource to be completed in the first half of 2023.




This article was developed in collaboration with Meeka 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.