Newly discovered zones of thick, high-grade ionic adsorption clay style rare earths at Meeka’s Circle Valley is growing the scale and prospectivity of the mineralisation.

Assays from drilling carried out over the past two field seasons have outlined the mineralisation – with grades exceeding 300 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxide (TREO) – over an area of about 7km by 5km.

Standout intersections include 4m grading 1,296ppm TREO within a broader 12m intersection at 715ppm TREO from a depth of 8m and 16m at 1,098ppm TREO within 36m at 672ppm TREO from 12m.

This adds to previously reported intersections within the same area that topped out at 12m at 1,003ppm TREO within a 36m zone grading 672ppm TREO from 28m.

Whilst this is great news for a project that has already returned intriguing gold results, there are two key standouts from this REE mineralisation that could make it even more valuable for Meeka Gold (ASX:MEK).

Firstly, the results reported to date have found that neodymium and praseodymium makes up an average 20% of the TREO.

NdPr is particularly valuable in the suite of REEs as it is an essential ingredient in permanent magnets vital for renewable energy products such as electric vehicles, wind turbines and generators.

Secondly, drilling to the east of this 7km by 5km zone has also intersected thick zones of the prospective saprolite clay horizon.

This has the potential to extend the area out to 10km by 5km, though laboratory assaying will be required to confirm the presence of REE enrichment within the extension clay.

Icing on the REE cake

That the IAC-style REE mineralisation is considered to be amongst the cheapest and most readily accessible sources of valuable heavy rare earths is just icing on top of the cake.

“Now we have received results for approximately 1,200m of the total 15,100m drilled at Circle Valley over the previous two field seasons, it is apparent there is an opportunity in the exploration for ionic adsorption clay REE style mineralisation here,” chief executive Tim Davidson said.

“The tenure appears to be covered by a thick blanket of saprolitic clay, which as demonstrated by these results are proving to be a highly prospective horizon for the concentration of REE mineralisation.

“As we systematically analyse the remaining 13,900m of drill samples for REE, we will overlay the results on the detailed lithology and regolith profile we now have of the tenure, along with the aeromagnetic and airborne EM data, to develop a targeting strategy.

“This will form the basis of ongoing fieldwork specifically targeting REE style mineralisation at Circle Valley later this year.”

More than just gold

The Circle Valley project is located 85km south of Norseman, Western Australia, within the Albany-Fraser Mobile Belt that hosts the Tropicana gold mine.

While originally considered to be an exciting greenfield exploration opportunity for gold, the recent REE assays are a strong indicator that Meeka could have a hand in supporting the growing adoption of electric vehicles.

The company is currently assaying the remaining 13,000m of drill samples from both the 2021 and 2022 drill programs that were previously assayed for gold.

These laboratory results are expected periodically over the coming months.




This article was developed in collaboration with Meeka Gold, 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.