Rare earths drilling looks to boost the resource trifecta of confidence, scale and grade at Victory Metals’ North Stanmore
Special Report: A significant resource upgrade could be on the cards for Victory Metals after infill drilling at its flagship North Stanmore project in WA’s Cue region returned wide intersections and strong TREO grades of up to 4,484ppm.
North Stanmore is Australia’s largest ionic/regolith clay-hosted heavy rare earth discovery with a current resource of 250Mt grading 520 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth oxides (TREO), or 130,000t of contained TREO.
About 54% of the resource is classified as ‘critical metals’ by the US government while valuable magnet rare earths dysprosium and terbium, which are facing a predicted supply deficit of 70% by 2030, make up 3.6% of the total REE content.
There is plenty of room for growth as the resource covers just 18% of the drilled area with an exploration target of between 700Mt and 1,100Mt grading 300ppm to 500ppm TREO over the remaining area.
Metallurgical testwork carried out by Victory Metals (ASX:VTM) has also successfully produced a mixed rare earth carbonate (MREC) test product with a very high TREO concentration of 12.46% that is expected to draw an indicated price of $114/kg.
Additionally, copper grading 2.2% reports to the MREC product while both nickel and cobalt remains in the barren liquor.
VTM’s recently completed infill (closer spaced) resource definition program consisting of 13,718m of aircore and 764m of diamond drilling looks likely to not only meet its goal of elevating the resource estimate to the higher confidence indicated category and increasing the REE grade, it could increase the scale as well.
Notable intersections from the initial assays received to date are:
Notably, the average TREO grade from the initial 237 samples received to date from 36 holes is 763ppm TREO, a 46% increase to the existing resource grade, while the heavy REE content remains consistent at 34% of the total TREO content.
“The drilling assays are already confirming very large, mineralised zones and outstanding heavy rare earth ratios with heavy rare earths including dysprosium and terbium set to have record growth, be in high demand and predicted to be at 70% deficit by 2030,” chief executive officer Brendan Clark said.
“Victory remains focused on maximising potential from the demand of these heavy rare earth elements and is pleased to see continued confirmation that Victory is a unique and valuable rare earth system which confirms the relationship with the underlying alkaline intrusions which are engine rooms for critical minerals and rare earth elements.
“I am also thrilled for the rapid advancement of the progress of our metallurgical programs that continue to prove excellent results and I am proud that we are the only Australian ASX listed company with an Australian REE clay project to report our full assay results from the high value MREC test product that we successfully produced at lab scale and I look forward to the Phase 3 metallurgical program that will allow us to provide a MREC to potential off take partners.”
VTM will receive further assays results that will contribute to the updated resource estimate to be released in Q1 2024 with scoping studies to follow immediately after.
It has also started Phase 3 metallurgical testing, which is expected to produce a MREC and by-product nickel and cobalt mixed hydroxide precipitate and copper sulphate that could be sent to potential offtake partners.
This article was developed in collaboration with Victory 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.