Mount Ridley now has reasonable certainty that clay-hosted rare earths mineralisation is widespread across its namesake project in Western Australia.

This follows the receipt of the first batch of assays from inaugural drilling targeting REE mineralisation at Mt Ridley, which returned excellent results from the Winston’s, Vincent and Jules prospects.

Notable results at Winston’s include 17m grading 1,043 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxides (TREO) from 40m (MRAC0893) and 9m at 1,386ppm TREO from 24m (MRAC1201) while Vincent had a top hit of 13m at 1,620ppm TREO from 22m (MRAC0942).

Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD) added that drilling at Jules returned assays such as 8m at 1,493ppm TREO from 18m (MRAC0995) and 22m at 822ppm TREO from 36m including 12m at 1,180ppm TREO from 36m (MRAC1003).

Importantly, most of the REE mineralisation is made up of magnet rare earths (34%) and heavy rare earths (40%), which are the most valuable types of rare earths.

These results are a strong indication that the drill program has achieved its goal of establishing the presence of ionic adsorption clay (IAC) REE mineralisation at the project.

“With 30% of the assays received, we have confirmed that the REE mineralisation is very widespread within the company’s tenements, and new targets with thick intervals of REE mineralisation grading above 800 ppm TREO, and in some cases with TREO at more than 10,000ppm-metres, have been intersected at Vincent’s and Jules’ Prospects,” chairman Peter Christie said.

“Winter rain has halted drilling, however the next phase of regional drilling, in the order of 20,000m of aircore, is permitted and will proceed when ground conditions improve over the coming months.

“In the meantime, we are looking forward to receiving the assays for the remaining 70% of our drill holes over the next few months that are likely to generate more targets for follow up as the broader regional picture unfolds.”

Drill results

While just 30% of the assays, or 3,059 samples taken from the 118 holes, have been received to date, the company has already significantly extended mineralisation along the north-western flank of Winston’s, adding at least 2km in a northeasterly direction to the prospect, which now stretches out over a strike of at least 11km and width of over 2km.

It has also identified the new targets, including the Vincent’s and Jules’ prospects located southwest and northeast of previously known mineralisation, for further drilling, and extended the overall central REE corridor to an area about 30km long and up to 11km wide.

This has confirmed the extensive distribution of REE mineralisation across the project though results are still pending for a further 291 holes which could extend its reach.

Mount Ridley had drilled 69 infill aircore holes along the northwestern flank of known mineralisation at the Winston’s prospect and a further 345 holes under its regional drilling program to locate previously unrecognised zones of REE mineralisation.

Upcoming work

The company is now waiting on the ground to dry before it embarks on the continuation of regional drilling and the Stage 3 primary target expansion program.

Further regional drilling will continue along existing cleared, dry tracks to follow up on high-grade TREO, areas with high proportion of critical rare earth oxides, and areas of shallow cover.

Stage 3 will see another 20,000m of aircore drilling to further expand the Keith’s, Marcellus’, Winston’s, Jules’ and Vincent’s prospects.



This article was developed in collaboration with Mount Ridley Mines, 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.