• Phase 3 drilling confirms large areas of clays likely to host more rare earths mineralisation
  • Splinter Rock is part of the emerging Esperance mining province and is a hotbed of REE exploration activity


Successful Phase 3 drilling at OD6 Metals’ 344Mt Splinter Rock project near Esperance, WA, has identified clays with great promise for further REE mineralisation.

The 145 hole, 7,435m program was designed to test the length and grade continuity and thickness at key Centre and Prop prospects.

OD6 Metals (ASX:OD6) says 16km of clays were delineated at Centre and 11km at Prop, which adds to widths of between 4-5km previously identified in Phase 1 and 2 drilling at the areas.

Assays are due out in the current quarter, the company says.

OD6 is compiling and reviewing drill hole logs to enable detailed mapping of clay depth and thickness as it continues on its path to boost REE resources.

A maiden mineral resource estimate for Splinter Rock last month returned 344Mt @ 1,308ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) @ a 1,000ppm cut-off grade.

This includes 149Mt at 1,423ppm TREO with 23% magnet rare earth oxides (MagREO) at the stand-out Centre prospect, and near-surface mineralisation up to 70m thick.


Splinter Rock: part of an emerging province

The project is part of an emerging Esperance REE province that has been shown to have high percentages of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), dysprosium and terbium.

These REEs – which represent ~90% of contained value at Splinter Rock – are used in the production of permanent magnets for electric vehicles and wind turbines, two massive growth industries.

The Esperance REE province, north of the town itself, is emerging quickly. Explorers such as Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD), West Cobar Metals (ASX:WC1) and Heavy Rare Earths (ASX:HRE) – as well as OD6 – are all reporting highly-prospective magnet REE discoveries.

Infrastructure is already in place, with roads, rail, and the Port of Esperance close by for shipping and access to renewable energy to keep down running costs.


OD6 Metals ASX OD6
The Splinter Rock project’s completed to-date drilling locations. Pic supplied (OD6)


Growing the resource at Splinter Rock

“This third phase of drilling at our flagship Splinter Rock Project program continues the advancement of our key Centre and Prop prospect areas,” OD6 MD Brett Hazelden says.

“Our focus was to further test the significant length of these areas, whilst also determining the continuity of grade and thickness of clay extensions.

“We are delighted to confirm clay thicknesses initially observed, strongly correlate with, and validate, the airborne electromagnetic survey data, providing our team with further confidence in our exploration methodology.”

“We eagerly await assay results and look forward to confirming our aim of significantly expanding on the length of the main prospects and growing our clay-hosted rare earths discovery even further.”


Readying for Phase 4

Phase 3 drilling assays are expected to be returned during Q3 this year, while electro-magnetic data and 3D modelling likely to be completed during Q4 as OD6 marches towards the next phase of exploration.

Metallurgical testing and mineralogy assessments at ANSTO are scheduled to be progressively returned during Q3 and Q4 too.

Additionally, HyLogger analysis of the cross-sections of the Prop and Centre prospects to further enhance understanding of drill core mineralogy is expected to be returned from the CSIRO during Q4.



This article was developed in collaboration with OD6 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.