Desert Metals will load up a 20,000m drilling program in 2023 to capitalise on the major success of its rare earths exploration at the Innouendy project in WA and post a maiden JORC Resource.

An interim resource based on its 2022 drilling is likely after final assays returned from the labs, demonstrating the widespread nature of rare earth oxide intersections in saprolitic clays at Innouendy.

They confirm the high-grade, thick and continuous rare earths mineralization at Innouendy continues along a strike of at least 21km and across widths of 2.5km.

Significant total rare earth oxide intercepts reported by Desert Metals (ASX:DM1) from the final batch of assays include:

  • 31m at 1425 ppm from 48m (incl 4m at 3775 ppm), hole INAC 277
  • 16m at 1767 ppm from 12m (incl 4m at 4536ppm), hole INAC296
  • 21m at 1211 ppm from 28m (incl 8m at 2010 ppm), hole INAC255
  • 8m at 1512 ppm from 48m (incl 4m at 2549 ppm), hole INAC 290
  • 12m at 1204 ppm from 32m, hole INAC253
  • 19m at 942 ppm from 8m, hole INAC295; and,
  • 31m at 857 ppm from 40m, hole INAC262.

313 aircore holes have been completed at Innouendy, with drilling next year to both infill and further test the limits of the discovery, located in WA’s rich Murchison mining district.

The latest results include assays from the Cattle Yard prospect 3.5km south-west of Innouendy, as well as two new rare earth element zones 1.5km and 3.5km south west of Cattle Yard.

Of the drilling, completed across the 21km strike length of the Innouendy discovery, 78% of holes have contained TREO grades upwards of 300ppm and high value magnetic rare earth oxides make up around 23% of those significant intercepts.

Those are the most prized rare earth elements, expected to see a radical uptick in demand this decade and beyond from their use in the permanent magnets inside EVs and wind turbines.

Met test work showing positive signs

Early metallurgical test work on samples from Innouendy has been positive, with recoveries from samples tested in weak acid digest that demonstrate REEs in the Innouendy mineralisation are leachable in acid.

More recent samples reported last week, demonstrating “exceptional leach recoveries” of magnetic rare earth oxide above 84% and critical rare earth oxide above 83% have given Desert Metals confidence as it moves into a new phase of met test work.

Work in 2023 will continue to determine the most cost-effective processing methodology for the extensive Innouendy mineralisation, with a scoping study expected in the second half of 2023.

DM1 says it has engaged an experienced metallurgist and study manager to manage the next phase of metallurgical test work and process flow sheet preparation.




This article was developed in collaboration with Desert Metals, 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.