Red Mountain Mining (ASX: RMX) has put boots on the ground at the Mt Mansbridge rare earths project in WA as it starts a major exploration push for the critical elements.

Soil sampling is already underway, focusing on the key Killi-Killi, Vader and Kylo targets identified in geochemistry earlier this year.

The company is not wasting any time in the field as well, bringing an XRF reader calibrated for rare earth elements to provide a daily data stream so they can react to new anomalies and do infill sampling at a moment’s notice.

Red Mountain wants to identify several areas for drilling later in the year, backed by a $150,000 co-funded drilling grant from the WA Government Exploration Incentive Scheme, which funds explorers to undertake innovative exploration campaigns.

Results are due in July, with detailed mapping and rock chipping bridging the gap to the later drilling campaign.

Plenty of substance behind key targets

It may be worthwhile refreshing just why Killi-Killi, Kylo and Vader are shaping as major priorities at Mt Mansbridge, located around 130km south-east of Halls Creek.

BHP discovered xenotime and dysprosium there in the 1980s but they were of little interest to the mining giant at the time.

A REE soil anomaly was identified at Killi-Killi by previous explorers and associated with the prospective unconformity between the overlying Gardiner Sandstone and Killi-Killi basement. Xenotime occurrences and radiometric anomalism are also present in the area.

Vader is home to a coincident yttrium-lanthanum-cerium anomaly identified by Quantum Resources. The anomaly is associated with the prospective unconformity between the overlying Pargee Sandstone and the Killi-Killi formation underlying it.

At Kylo, a xenotime occurrence was validated by Northern Minerals via a single rock chip, but no follow-up exploration was ever carried out. Highly anomalous yttrium and dysprosium were also identified.

Inspiration from nearby success stories

Mt Mansbridge has drawn comparisons to the Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) Browns Range heavy rare earths operations just 40km to the east.

That connection is sure to turn some heads.

Browns Range is the only dysprosium and terbium producer outside China, critical elements in permanent magnet motors used in e-mobility powertrains, a technology that is expected to dominate the market as electric vehicle market share explodes over the coming years.

Red Mountain’s Déjà vu prospect, a nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE target, is due to get some love with a moving loop electromagnetic survey due later this year.

The case for further investigations at Déjà vu is strong, with drilling by Rio Tinto predecessor CRA in 1993 hitting nickel with some astonishingly high grade cobalt values of up to 0.34% via a 100m diamond drill hole into fresh rock.

CRA was initially looking for diamond-bearing kimberlites in a “magnetic bullseye”, so they never went on to test the basal contact for sulphides.

The layered mafic-ultramafic intrusive complex interpreted at Déjà vu has drawn some similarities to Panoramic Resources’ Sally Malay/Savannah nickel deposit in the Kimberley, with disseminate pentlandite and chalcopyrite observed in the CRA core.




This article was developed in collaboration with Red Mountain Mining, 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.