• Venture Minerals has identified a new, large (40km2) REE target named ‘Jupiter’ via reconnaissance drilling and geophysical surveys
  • Jupiter is interpreted to represent a deeply weathered alkaline intrusion beneath the extensive clay hosted REE mineralisation
  • The next stage of work includes a short RC drilling program to collect material for metallurgical testwork with shallow resource drilling to follow


Special Report: Venture Minerals has identified a large rare earth element (REE) target extending over 40km2 named ‘Jupiter’ after completing gravity and magnetic surveys at the Brothers project in WA’s Mid-West region.

Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS) snatched up the 511km2 Brothers project, adjacent to the existing Vulcan project, from Sentinel Exploration in April.

It is close to infrastructure with a nearby bitumen highway and gas pipeline on route to a major port.

The project is only ~250km from Iluka’s (ASX:ILU) Eneabba rare earths refinery and 520km from Lynas (ASX:LYC) Mount Weld concentrator.

Maiden drilling carried out during the September quarter confirmed high-grade clay hosted rare earth elements (REEs) with several intersections of up to 15m at +2,500m total rare earth oxides (TREO).

That program tested about 20% or 220km2 of the project area with results delivering a 90% strike rate, meaning almost every hole contained significant widths of REE mineralisation.


Large REE target highlights resource potential

Now the company says it has identified a new, large (40km2) REE target named ‘Jupiter’ with reconnaissance drilling showing a strong correlation between the magnetic/ gravity highs and broad widths of near-surface, high-grade TREO results.

“The potential to deliver a substantial resource is apparent from these results and follow up drilling will commence shortly,” VMS says.

The first batch of one metre split samples from the previously announced reconnaissance air core drilling program, including one metre splits for drill hole BRAC036 from the Jupiter target have also been received.

The splits for BRAC036 confirm the high tenor and thickness of the clay hosted REE mineralisation at the Jupiter target and include 28m at 2,246ppm TREO from 37m to the end of the hole including 11m at 3,008ppm TREO from 41m.

Assaying of split samples from the remaining reconnaissance drilling at Jupiter are pending.


Regional development

As part of ILU’s decision to build Eneabba, it had reached an agreement of a risk sharing arrangement with the Australian Government.

This includes a non-recourse loan of $1,050 million plus a $200 million cost overrun facility under the Australian Government’s $2 billion Critical Minerals Facility, administered by Export Finance Australia.

Meanwhile, LYC is commissioning its new rare earths processing facility in Kalgoorlie and was awarded a $14.8 million grant from the Australian government to enable the company to commercialise an industry-first REE carbonate refining process.

VMS says the substantial co-investment by two of Australia’s major mining companies (ILU and LYC) with the Australian Government within the same region of WA as its Brothers project puts it in an enviable position.


All the makings of a large scale clay hosted resource 

“The recent exploration work at Jupiter suggests that Venture has the makings of an exceptional rare earths project, capable of delivering a large scale, high grade, clay hosted rare earth resource in a short period of time,” VMS managing director Andrew Radonjic says.

“Being located in Western Australia with excellent access to infrastructure as well as existing and planned rare earth processing facilities are additional benefits.”


Drilling campaign on the cards

This exploration work has seen VMS meet its expenditure requirements of the first stage of the Iron Duke JV into the tenements covering the Jupiter prospect.

VMS has already earned 51% interest in the prospect and is now moving to the second stage of the earn-in by spending a further $500,000 within the next 24 months to earn 70% of the two tenements.

The next stage of work includes a short reverse circulation drilling program to collect material for metallurgical testwork and to test the REE potential of the interpreted Jupiter intrusion beneath the identified REE mineralised clay zone.

This work will then be shortly followed by an extensive shallow drilling campaign aimed at delivering a maiden clay hosted REE resource within the next 2-3 months.



This article was developed in collaboration with Venture 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.