Auroch is turning its attention to the rare earths potential of its Arden project in South Australia with field exploration now underway.

Desktop studies had identified the Hawker REE and Kanyaka Copper-REE prospects as priority target areas for its initial exploration.

Interpreted airborne magnetic data over both prospects shows potential for covered mafic diapirs and diapiric brecciation, which are considered to be an important source and potential host rock for REE mineralisation.

Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) adds that assays from rock chips taken in 2018 identified anomalous REE values of up to 1,330.59 parts per million, 556.45ppm and 388.99ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) at Kanyaka.

Meanwhile, Hawker is located just 25km west of Taruga Minerals’ Morgan’s Creek REE-copper prospect that could host shallow ionic adsorption clay REE mineralisation in a similar geological setting.

“The exploration upside of the Arden Project continues to grow. In addition to the potential for significant base-metals mineralisation, in particular zinc and copper, we have now recognised the project’s potential to host significant REE mineralisation,” managing director Aidan Platel said.

“The high-resolution aeromagnetic data has given us a great base to work from, and the relatively high TREO values from our historic rock chips at Kanyaka have further highlighted the REE potential, not to mention the fact that we’re only ~25km from known REE mineralisation at Taruga’s Morgan’s Creek.

“Focussing on these two priority areas, we will now move towards a soil-sampling programme to better define targets for the first pass drilling of what still remains a very underexplored area.”

REE Prospects

The Hawker REE prospect area is defined by a linear magnetic high striking northeast-southwest between the geological formations of the Parachilna and Mernmerna.

Field inspection by the company’s geologist last month confirmed that the diapirs are not outcropping but lie under very shallow cover.

Its similarity to Morgan’s Creek is also intriguing as IAC-hosted REE mineralisation typically has low capital and operating costs, along with high magnet and heavy REE content.

Kanyaka is defined by a number of historical copper oxide workings located north of the town of Quorn.

Exploration Program

Auroch plans to conduct soil sampling over both prospects before the end of the current quarter to identify anomalous geochemical trends which can be used alongside the geophysical data to define targets for a first-pass drill program.

Re-assaying of historical samples that were never originally assayed for REEs is also being investigated.




This article was developed in collaboration with Auroch Minerals, 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.