Mount Ridley shifts gear from discovery to resource drilling after two more high grade rare earths hits
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Mt Ridley Mines has pledged to undertake more than 50,000m of drilling at its emerging Mount Ridley REE project, with the aim of delivering a maiden resource this year.
It comes after stellar rare earth hits in its most recent aircore drilling campaign at the 3400km2 land holding 50km north of the Port of Esperance in WA, which uncovered high grade rare earths and magnet rare earths at the new Jodi and Marvelous Marvin prospects.
Results above 1000ppm total rare earth oxide from Mt Ridley’s (ASX:MRD) drill drive included:
Ripping results, the kind that has Mt Ridley chairman Peter Christie’s tail up as the focus of its drilling efforts shift from discovery to mineral resource drilling starting this week.
“With the company having identified 11 quality targets, each with multiple high grade drilling intersections, the emphasis for drilling will shift to mineral resource-focus drilling, starting at the Mia Prospect this week,” he said.
“Each prospect has been ranked based on a number of criteria, including the type of host clay, TREO grade, depth of cover and proportion of MagREO, to determine the priority for drilling.
“The Mt Ridley Project is clearly very large with multiple mineralised REE systems and we are extremely encouraged that new, quality prospects such as Jody and Marvelous Marvin are still emerging.
“Based on the results to date, the company has committed to more than 50,000m of drilling, intended to take this outstanding REE project towards a maiden REE resource in 2023.”
The latest results have extended the footprint of rare earths mineralisation at Mount Ridley to at least 1500km2, and come with a high level of magnet rare earths, some intervals containing up to 33%.
That is significant, since they are the most sought after and high value products by price and market scale in the 17 strong list of rare earths minerals.
Metals like neodymium and praseodymium are used in permanent magnets found in EVs and wind turbines among other modern technologies, well and truly plugging Mount Ridley into the energy transition narrative.
At Jodi, new mineralisation is within a 5km long and 5km wide area around 3km north of previous drilling, with mineralisation starting at just 6m depth, with an average depth of 24m, average thickness of 13m and average magnet rare earths oxide content of 25%.
Mineralisation remains open in all directions.
Marvelous Marvin meanwhile was intersected along an 8km long traverse 15km southwest of the existing Mia prospect, with an average thickness of 11m from 21m deep.
MRD believes it could be interpreted as the southern extension to the mineralisation at Mia, creating a mammoth 20km REE corridor. The target is the first planned for drilling in February.
That has been picked as the launching pad for resource drilling due to its shallow overburden, thick intersections and consistently high rare earth grades in excess of 1000ppm TREO.
Since March 2022, MRD has drilled 510 aircore holes for 23,159m along clear tracks, with 20 holes drilled with a diamond rig in December for 961.15m of core.
The core will be used for stage 1 metallurgical test work, while 880 drill pulps have also been analysed using a short-wave infra-red instrument to help map clay mineral distribution.
This article was developed in collaboration with Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD), 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.