Sagon’s Cummins Range is already in the top 5 biggest rare earths projects in Australia – and it’s just the beginning
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Special Report: Sagon Resources’ newly acquired Cummins Range project is already in the top 5 rare earths projects in Australia by resource size.
In late September, Sagon Resources (ASX:SG1) moved to full ownership of the Cummins Range rare earths project in the Kimberley region of WA.
The explorer has already inked a maiden resource of 13 million tonnes grading 1.13 per cent total rare earths oxides (REO), based on historical resource and geological data.
That’s the equivalent of about 147 million kg of total rare earth oxides, making it the fourth biggest project in Australia — just ahead of Northern Minerals’ (ASX:NTU) more advanced Brown’s Range project.
Cummins Range is believed to contain a high proportion of neodymium and praseodymium, which are critical elements used in permanent magnets that are integral to the manufacture of electric vehicles, wind turbines and military hardware.
Neodymium and praseodymium oxide is currently trading at a price of about $US45 per kilogram.
The Cummins Range resource is likely to be amendable to simple, cost effective open pit mining as the mineralisation – currently 700m long and 400m wide – outcrops at surface.
This resource covers a small portion of the Cummins Range Intrusive Complex and remains open along strike and at depth, so there is significant scope for further resource upgrades.
Caption: Size of the Cummins Range resource compared to the overall intrusive complex.
Sagon noted that deep weathering is an important control on mineralisation at Cummins Range, and that several “channels” or deeply weathered zones have been identified.
Several of these channels remain open and the company indicated that passive seismic survey might allow the mapping of these structures.
This seismic data will be combined with all previous data that the company is currently collating and reviewing to generate better targets for extensional drilling around the known resource.
The significant scope for this project to get a lot bigger. A first stage drilling program is expected to begin in the coming months that will also provide samples for metallurgical test work and to better assess the grade of the Cummins Range project.
“We are pleased to have such a significant Maiden JORC 2012 Resource in line with our peers,” executive director Jeremy Robinson said.
“We believe we can materially expand the Resource and look forward to the upcoming drilling program.”
Sagon recently executed a Native Title Heritage Protection and Mineral Exploration agreement with the Kimberley Land Council that permits it to conduct exploration activity on the project.