RareX locks in on high-grade, primary phosphate at Cummins Range
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RareX’s Cummins Range project is known for its rare earths content as highlighted by recent extensional drilling intersecting multiple wide, high-grade zones of mineralisation.
But it turns out rare earths are not the only prospective attraction at the project in Western Australia’s Kimberley region with a diamond hole targeting a northern extension of the main Rare Earth Zone returning a broad, high-grade primary phosphate intersection.
This has the potential to be quite lucrative given how much phosphate is in high demand as a fertiliser.
While previous drilling by RareX (ASX:REE) had intersected wide zones of supergene phosphate mineralisation that demonstrated the potential scale of the system, the 71m intersection grading 15% phosphate in CDX0015 marks the first time primary phosphate mineralisation has been intersected.
And there’s more. Not only does this grade compare well with operating mines of this type, the new Northern Phosphate Zone also hosts intriguingly high neodymium-praseodymium and heavy rare earth oxides content within a newly identified phoscorite unit despite being distinctly separate to the high-grade rare earths zone.
“Along with the spectacular high-grade rare earths results we have been reporting from diamond drilling into the primary zone at Cummins Range, we now have a very exciting development to the north with diamond drilling intersecting a primary zone of high-grade phosphate mineralisation,” managing director Jeremy Robinson said.
“Because of its strategic location immediately adjacent to the main rare earths zone – which is not uncommon with large carbonatite systems – this is a discovery of considerable importance to the company which we intend to follow up and pursue this year as part of our expanded drilling campaign at Cummins Range.
“Because of its role in fertiliser production, phosphate is a strategic and future-facing mineral which complements our rare earths focus. We are very much looking forward to seeing how this discovery shapes up with further drilling this year.”
While the phosphate discovery is certainly encouraging, drilling targeting the northwestern extension of the primary rare earths zone has intersected a cumulative 51m grading 2.5% total rare earth oxides (TREO) in four intervals (CDX0016) – the best-ever hole on a value basis.
RareX notes that the deepest intercept of 13.8m at 2.7% TREO from 273m down-hole and the visual monazite estimates from CDX0018 about 200m along strike are particularly impressive as they show that rare earths mineralisation continues to persist at depth and produce high grades over large widths.
This has extended primary mineralisation to 240m below surface and provides the company with the confidence to estimate an Exploration Target for the primary zone.
The Cummins Range currently has a resource of 18.8Mt grading 1.15% TREO + 0.14% niobium oxide.
“This is without doubt a breakthrough result for RareX and the Cummins Range Project. In addition to being our best-ever hole on a value basis, this hole is strategically important as it confirms that the high-grade primary zone continues to a significant depth,” Robinson noted.
He added that Exploration Target will provide investors with some real insights into the significant upside at the project.
“If we are able to convert a significant proportion of this Exploration Target into JORC resources, it will rapidly elevate Cummins Range as one of the largest carbonatite-hosted rare earth deposits in Australia,” he explained.
RareX is now preparing to re-commence exploration either next month or in early April.
This article was developed in collaboration with RareX, 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.