RareX niobium discovery adds value to Cummins Range project
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Special Report: Significant concentrations of the high-grade rare earth element niobium have been discovered at RareX Limited’s Cummins Range project in WA.
The presence of the critical mineral niobium was confirmed by RareX Limited (ASX:REE) in drilling intercepts at its 100 per cent-owned Cummins Range rare earths project in WA’s Kimberley region.
Assay results from an initial round of drilling includes hits at well above the resource grade for the project, with ‘spectacular widths and grades’ in two drill holes, RareX said.
Drill holes intersected significant shallow zones of mineralisation including, 41m at 4 per cent TREO and 0.21 per cent niobium from 29m. TREO stands for total rare earth oxide.
Another drill hole showed a hit at 29m at 5.2 per cent TREO and 0.25 per cent niobium from 29m.
The known resource grade for the Cummins Range project is 13 million tonnes at 1.13 per cent TREO on an inferred basis.
Other minerals were found in the drilling program, for example phosphate and scandium.
Laboratory analysis received by the company show niobium is present in ‘significant concentrations’ within previously reported intersections.
As a result, the company will investigate producing niobium as a possible by-product from any future mining operation at the Cummins Range project, said the company.
“With niobium trading fairly consistently at about $US40 per kilogram for much of the past decade, compared to an expected rare earth oxide price of $US15/kg, this could represent a significant by-product for the project,” managing director, Jeremy Robinson, said.
Niobium features on a list of minerals considered critical to Australia and the US, and is used in steel to produce an alloy that has applications in jet engines and oil and gas pipelines.
“Niobium is one of 35 critical minerals identified by both the US and Australian governments as a mineral of strategic weakness due to their concentrated supply source – Brazil in the case of niobium,” Robinson said.
A niobium-bearing mineral, pyrochlore, was identified in historic thin sections in the analysis and is forming in the rare earth element mineralised horizons.
RareX is expecting to receive another batch of assay results from its drilling in coming weeks.
The company has another WA rare earths project in Weld North, also drilled recently.
RareX Limited’s Cummins Range rare earths project is located in the Kimberley region of WA. Pic: supplied
This article was developed in collaboration with RareX Limited, 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.