Second drill rig lifts off at Ark’s Sandy Mitchell rare earths project
Special Report: Ark Mines has commissioned a second drill, currently on site and operational at the Sandy Mitchell rare earths project, to complete 200m of drilling for the purpose of defining and expanding potential resource tonnes.
Ark Mines’ (ASX:AHK) Sandy Mitchell project, hosted in fine sands known as terrestrial placer deposits, is unique compared to other rare earth deposits.
The company believes these terrestrial placer deposits are amenable to simple panning into a concentrate and could result in a potentially fast start up beneficiation gravity processing model.
This could also mean lower processing costs than both hard rock and ionic clay hosted REE deposits.
A mounted aircore reverse circulation (RC) rig is now operational on site, complementing the existing auger rig which will be used for multi-phase exploration drill works.
ARK says the rig has the capacity to drill up to a maximum depth of 24m, a significant increase from average depths of ~10.5m in the Phase One program where every assayed sample from surface to end of hole carried rare earths elements.
The extension drill program has been planned to test the full REE anomaly at Sandy Mitchell, which comprises a 147km2 placer sand deposit where initial drill results covered an area of only 1.3 km2 – just 1.2% of the peak radiometric reading on the lease.
“With all drilling equipment now on site and fully operational, we are excited by the opportunity to build off our promising Phase One drill results,” AHK executive director Ben Emery says.
“Ark expects to provide a consistent stream of project updates into the end of CY2023 and the start of CY2024, as drilling activity accelerates and assay results are returned from the laboratory.”
RC drilling is under way with the first drill holes completed in November 23, adjacent to the area of the Phase One drill program.
AHK is also awaiting a pending receipt of metallurgical test results taken during the December quarter from leading mineral processing firm Mineral Technologies.
The explorer says this will provide an assessment of initial samples including an evaluation of the suitability of beneficiation by gravity.
This article was developed in collaboration with Ark Mines, 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.