• Meteoric to purchase “Tier 1” ionic clay rare earth element (REE) project in Brazil for $US20m
  • Rare earths explorers Boadicea, Lanthanein, White Cliff up on no news
  • Peregrine yesterday announced grades of up to 122,497g/t gold and 23,234g/t silver from rock sampling program

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Friday December 16.



Everyone wants a piece of the clay rare earths hype.

Unlike some of its peers who are working with earlier stage projects, MEI has cash in the bank to buy something a bit special.

That’s thanks to the recent sale of the Juruena gold project, where a final payment of USD$17.5m is due in March 2023.

Today, it announced a binding deal to purchase “a Tier 1 Ionic Clay Rare Earth Element (REE) project” called Caldeira in the Minas Gerais State of Brazil for $US20m, plus a 4.75% royalty.

More than 13,000m of drilling into the Caldeira project has returned numerous very high-grade results up to 25,000ppm from surface.

That is much higher than the average.

The TREO identified across Caldeira also represents an enriched heavy REE basket with magnet REOs – Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Nd2O3 and Pr2O3 – averaging greater than 22% of TREO.

“The Caldeira Project is a 15km scale, ultra-high-grade ionic clay deposit which is completely open at depth, and it has the potential to host large, high grade rare-earth element-ionic clays and represents an enormous opportunity for Meteoric,” MEI director Andrew Tunks says.

“Of the 1,311 holes drilled, over 85% finish with grades in excess of 1,000ppm TREO.

“The depth of the deposit is at this stage unknown and Meteoric is preparing to mobilise a diamond drilling team to site in January 2023 to commence further exploration to better understand the Caldeira Project’s scale and depth.”

Resource estimations for the highest priority target areas are envisaged to be completed by the end of Q2 2023 to allow a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of the project to begin.

All-important preliminary metallurgical test work has also been completed, Tunks says, with results pending.

“These studies are under review by experts, with results expected to be announced over the coming weeks,” he says.



(Up on no news)

The busy junior explorer, which has a massive ~13 projects in the portfolio, has pivoted strongly into battery metals over the past year or so.

Earlier this week, maiden drilling kicked off at the recently acquired Kookaburra rare earths project in WA.

The program is designed to test four magnetic anomalies with seven shallow holes for ~1,000m. The targets have been identified as possible diamondiferous kimberlites or REE-bearing carbonatites, BOA says.

It also picked up a third lithium project the same day, Hanns Gully in QLD, to complement Ant Hill and Bald Hill East in WA.

In its back pocket BOA has a fully funded joint venture with mining major IGO (ASX:IGO), which is shelling out the cash to explore for nickel-cobalt on nine BOA tenements in the Fraser Range for five years.



(Up on no news)

Recently announced drilling results from LNR’s Lyons rare earths-niobium project hit shallow mineralisation over 1km with an “exceptionally high NdPr component — more than three times the world average”.

Last year, the explorer secured a couple of WA rare earths and high purity alumina projects including Lyons, which adjoins the Hastings Technology Metals (ASX:HAS) world-class ‘Yangibana’ deposit.

Yangibana is set to be the next REE producer outside of China by 2023.

Assay results from a recently completed maiden drilling program at Lyons have “exceeded expectations”, the company says, with economic REE mineralisation from outcrop extending over 1km strike.

High grade REE mineralisation remains ‘open’ at depth and along strike, which means LNR haven’t found the edges yet.

And the widths of main ironstone REE mineralisation intersected are between 1-5m thick, analogous to Hastings Technology Metals main REE deposits ~2.5km away.

Standout intercepts include:

5m at 0.69% TREO from 20m, including 2m at 1.06% TREO (41% NdPr:TREO) from 21m; and

3m at 0.82% TREO from 30m, including 1m at 1.67% TREO (55% NdPr:TREO) from 31m.

Assay results will continue to be received over December and January with ~70% of results received at present.

LNR also reported significant niobium intersections on the margins of Lyons Magnetic Intrusive Complex, related to carbonatites under cover.

These will be drill tested in Q1, 2023.

Popularised by WA1 Resources’ recent discovery, niobium is mainly used to make steel better, but also has growing uses in lithium-ion batteries, intelligent glass, solar panels, 5G tech, and nuclear energy.

Ferroniobium metal (65% Nb) currently sells for ~US$45,000/t.



(Up on no news)

This small explorer recently wrapped up a $1.7m placement to drive lithium and REE exploration at the company’s Yinnetharra, Hines Hill and Diemals projects.

Data from a high resolution magnetic and radiometric survey over the 574km2 Yinneharra lithium-REE project area is due for delivery in the next few days.

Southern Geoscience Consultants (SGC), who are managing the survey, will further process and interpret the data, with final product expected in January.

SGC has also been engaged to run its eye over open file data from a bunch of other projects, with that interpretation report due imminently.

“We have multiple programs underway over Yinnetharra, Diemals, Hines Hill and Lake Tay, which covers a combined area of 5,424km2, with the aim of advancing the projects towards drilling,” WCN technical director Ed Mead says.

“We have maintained our drive to get as much information as we can from projects so we can rank them for priority work.

“The significant exploration datasets being acquired will start being delivered this month and we will continue to be very active over the coming summer months.”



(Up on no news)

It’s early days, but PGD appears to be into something very interesting at its Newman gold project in WA.

Yesterday, it announced that a rock sampling program has returned grades of up to 122,497g/t gold and 23,234g/t silver at Birdsnest, part of PGD Newman project in WA.

Yep, you read right. That’s equivalent to 120kg of gold for every tonne of dirt moved.

This style of mineralisation requires “precise surgical diamond drilling to resolve continuity in 3D or down plunge”, technical director George Merhi says.

It’s the latest in a string of impressive gold hits at Newman, which include this spectacular chunk in drill core at its Peninsula prospect:

PGD asx small caps
. Image: Supplied

In fact, there’s gold all over the joint, they say, just sitting at surface.

“It is very rare for a greenfield exploration program in WA to encounter mineralisation of this nature sitting undisturbed at surface,” Merhi says.

Diamond drilling at both Birdsnest and Peninsula will start in Q1 2023.