RareX’s phosphate DSO plan has just received a major vote of confidence
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Bioavailability testing has confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt that phosphate direct shipping ore sourced from RareX’s Cummins Range project is suitable for use as a direct application fertiliser.
Testing of bulk samples returned exceptionally high phosphorous bioavailability consistently, offering the potential for the use of lower head grades which still offer the same fertiliser benefits.
Significantly for RareX (ASX:REE), this raises the potential for larger production volumes from the project.
Deleterious elements such as fluorine, chlorine, cadmium and lead are also at levels well below industry limits, which is favourable for both Stage 1 DSO and Stage 2 beneficiation.
“We’re building a very good case for a fast-tracked start-up operation based on phosphate DSO, with these latest testwork results providing further strong support for our development strategy,” chief executive officer James Durrant said.
“By delivering higher bioavailability product, we can increase the value-in-use for any given production grade, with the opportunity to also lower head grades to extend the DSO operation before making the transition to Stage 2.”
The company had carried out the bioavailability testing on an additional 88 samples collected from the main Rare Dyke and Phos Dyke geological units.
These were selected to ensure broad coverage of different phosphate grades, locations within the orebody, and different weathering profiles.
Notably, most of the samples were shown to have very high phosphorus bioavailabilities which were 2-4 times the industry high standard.
Good bioavailabilities were also observed across all grades and weathering zones revealing potential for increased production volumes.
Cummins Range currently has an Indicated and Inferred Resource of 519 million tonnes grading 0.32% total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 4.6% phosphate for contained resources of 1.6Mt TREO and 24Mt of phosphate.
Development will be carried out in three stages, with the initial DSO phosphate fertiliser phase involving the bulk mining of apatite mineral rock phosphate contained within the overburden, with trucking to Wyndham Port for transhipment to ocean going vessels. Conveniently a significant portion of the product could be distributed into the local Kununurra agricultural district where RareX has an MOU with OrdCo, the main fertiliser distributors of the region.
Stage 2 is the proposed installation of simple flotation beneficiation infrastructure in order to concentrate the lower grade phosphate minerals from the regolith materials in the deposit.
Metallurgical testwork has successfully upgraded circa 13% feed grade mineral phosphate to over 39% phosphate using typical flotation methods.
Rare earths will enter the fray in the third phase with the expansion of the beneficiation plant to manage the high-grade rare-earth regolith and subsequently fresh rock material.
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.