Up to 75% high-value magnet REEs recovered from Godolphin’s Narraburra project in NSW
Special Report: Results from the second phase leach testing program on an additional 18 samples from Godolphin’s Narraburra project in NSW have demonstrated recoveries of up to 75% high-value magnetic rare earths.
Narraburra is located in central NSW and has a JORC 2012 resource of 94.9Mt @ 739ppm TREO, including a higher-grade of 20Mt @ 1,079ppm TREO. Historical mining found that the Devonian-aged rock hosts a whole range of REEs, including valuable magnetic rare earths such as neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr).
NdPr itself is highly sought after and used in permanent magnets that go into electric vehicles and wind turbines, among other tech applications.
Last month, HyLogger testwork by Godolphin Resources (ASX:GRL) revealed that higher levels of REEs are found in highly weathered material at the project, providing the potential for low-cost and near-term extraction opportunities.
The initial Phase 2 results have highlighted recoveries of up to 71% of Total REEs (TREE+Y) which includes recoveries up to 75% for key magnet REEs, including Nd (82%), Pr (75%), terbium (74%), and dysprosium (73%).
The testwork has shown that the REEs are leachable under relatively mild conditions, especially in samples where the weathering processes appear to have concentrated them above the average grade for the mineral resource.
The company says results suggest treatment processes for both saprolite and saprock rock types, which represent the bulk of the REE mineral resource, will deliver consistent REE recoveries across the project.
Drillholes selected for Phase 2 metallurgical testing at Narraburra. Pic supplied: (GRL)
GRL MD Jeneta Owens says the team is highly encouraged by the leach test results from the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).
“While testing for different leaching criteria is ongoing, these initial results highlight excellent leachability of the important magnet minerals that are an essential component to electric motors and highly sought after by third parties,” Owens says.
“Pleasingly, these results show that the Narraburra REEs are amenable to relatively low-cost and simple processing options, which may provide the potential for very capital-efficient mining and near-term extraction opportunities, highlighting the significant development potential at Narraburra.”
Coupled with the project’s location in a favourable mining jurisdiction, this is seen as a very positive development for Godolphin.
The next set of results from the Phase 2 program at ANSTO will cover leach testing at elevated temperatures (50°C), which was shown in Phase 1 to improve leaching recovery rates.
All metallurgical test results will be used to inform future mining studies and options for project development.
They will also assist in defining the 2024 work program, which GRL says may include additional drilling to increase the characterisation of the resource, as well as further metallurgical testing to provide information on leach solution chemistry and potential downstream processing options.
“We look forward to providing additional updates on the next round of leach testing, as well as the size fraction analysis results once these are received from ANSTO,” Owens says.
“All of these important test results will be key inputs into a mining study, which will further detail Narraburra’s potential processing flow sheet and economics.”
This article was developed in collaboration with Godolphin Resources, 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.