Testing to determine avenue to easy rare earths recovery at Asra’s high quality Yttria deposit
Link copied to
Asra continues to progress initial metallurgical test work on the Yttria clay-hosted rare earths deposit, part of the heavy-rich Mt Stirling project near Leonora, WA.
It has now proven up two shallow deposits, Wishbone and Yttria, which boast grades up to 2714ppm rich in heavy (57% HREO/TREO) and magnet (22%) REEs – crucial for the energy transition.
A lot of clay-hosted RRE deposits around WA run at 20-30% Heavies, so 57% is significant.
“It’s getting up there with the best quality rare earths deposits in clays,” managing director Rob Longley told Stockhead.
Intensive drilling of a 2km to 3km area at Yttria and ongoing metallurgical testing will give the company an authentic geological assessment of the deposit, it says.
The Stage 1 test work is trialling the use of weak acid (ammonium sulphate) leaching at ambient temperature and pressure to determine easily extractable REE zones.
The company will then gradually increase temperature and pH acid regimes with ongoing Stage 2 REE metallurgical testwork.
Assay work on various particle size separations as part of Stage 1 will also focus future work on the optimal size clay fractions and determine where high value domains can be prioritised and potentially beneficiated to further optimise recovery.
Stage 1 test work is nearly complete with results expected this month.
This work is aimed at helping the company determine the most effective process that will optimise the recovery of valuable heavy and magnet REE metals.
It will also provide meaningful input parameters data that will allow categorisation of the deposit potentially into the higher confidence Indicated and Measured categories.
“We are pleased the metallurgical test work for Yttria is well underway which coincides with our push on the ground at Yttria, Wishbone and at Kookynie West, to map out extensions of the REE and critical minerals footprint in the Leonora district,” Longley said.
With only the initial part of the REE-corridor at Mt Stirling being drill tested, Asra also has significant upside potential for extending the mineralisation footprint at the project.
The company has also improved its cash balance by selling part of its equity interests and repaying about $419,500 of loans – a process it expects to complete in November.
It currently has about $2.4m in the bank plus an additional $1.23m of potential value still held in equity interests.
“We have also capitalised on the opportunity to unlock value from our shareholding in Loyal Lithium Limited (ASX: LLI) and firm up our cash position,” Longley noted.
“Asra maintains its holding of 3 million LLI options which currently have a market value of ~ $1.23 million based on the closing share price of LLI on 1 September.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Asra Minerals, 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.