Special Report: With ongoing concerns about rare earths supply, the timing seems right for RareX to restart exploration at its Cummins Range project in Western Australia.

Drilling is expected to recommence in March this year and work is underway to deliver a resource upgrade this quarter that is based on last year’s successful drilling.

Final assays are returned results such as  2m grading 20.6 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 0.1 per cent niobium within a broader 47m zone at 3.1 per cent TREO and 0.1 per cent niobium along with 6m at 5.6 per cent TREO and 0.5 per cent niobium within 66m at 1.8 per cent TREO and 0.3 per cent niobium.

RareX (ASX:REE) added that results from initial metallurgical test work will also be released shortly after the resource upgrade.

Cummins Range currently has a resource of 13Mt grading 1.13 per cent TREO with valuable neodymium and praseodymium (NdPR) making up 22 per cent of the rare earth content.

This comes as China moves to exercise greater control over its rare earths industry, rekindling fears that it would move to restrict exports.

Additionally, the growing popularity of electric vehicles has also driven demand for heavy rare earths such as neodymium, which is used in the permanent magnets required for the motors in EVs.

The company notes that rare earths prices continue to rise with neodymium commanding a price of $US86.5 per kg.

More copper-gold

Separately, RareX and its Canadian partner Kincora Copper have made more copper-gold intersections at the Trundle Park prospect within the Trundle project in NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt that provide vectors towards the intrusive source of the skarn, which may be strong porphyry mineralisation.

This is similar to what drives skarn mineralisation at such famous porphyry systems as Cadia, Grasberg and Ok Tedi.

Assays from the upper section of TRDD011 returned ore grade results of 14m at 1.69 per cent copper and 1.39 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 58m and 42m at 0.64 per cent copper and 0.58g/t gold from 32m while multiple, broad zones of skarn alteration were intersected at TRDD012.

“The focus of the current two-rig program is to expand the scale of the near surface ore grade skarn mineralisation by stepping out along strike,” Kincora technical chair John Holiday and senior vice president of exploration Peter Leaman said.

“As well the drilling will be testing for the causative porphyry intrusive source of the mineralisation in the skarn.

“The results announced today provide key learnings and encouragement for this drilling strategy.”

Kincora has a 65 per cent interest in Trundle, which it secured in return for an upfront payment and a free carry on exploration for RareX’s remaining 35 per cent stake.

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.