RareX has extended the phosphate zone at its Cummins Range project, raising the likelihood that the fertiliser and battery mineral could be a valuable by-product to its rare earths operation.

Strong phosphate mineralisation has been logged in the form of coarse apatite in ultramafic rocks in recent reverse circulation drilling, which has extended the Phos Dyke Phosphate Zone by up to 200m to the northeast.

Apatite mineralisation was logged over down-hole widths of up to 130m and an average width of 50m with RareX (ASX:REE) now waiting on assays from the 20 holes completed on a 40m by 40m pattern over an area of up to 200m by 150m.

The prospect of finding enough phosphate for it to contribute meaningfully to a Cummins Range rare earths development as a by-product is certainly intriguing given that rock phosphate currently trades at historically high levels above US$350/t due to supply restrictions out of Europe.

Phosphate is in high demand for its use in fertilisers, which are in short supply, and batteries – typically those featuring the lithium iron phosphate chemistry.

The right stuff

Reverse circulation drilling was carried out as part of the company’s 2022 Growth Drilling Program to test for extensions of the previously reported Northern Phosphate Zone – now known as the Phos Dyke Phosphate Zone.

Historical drilling around Phos Dyke intersected over 100m of high-grade phosphate in several holes and indicated that mineralisation extends from surface to beyond 150m depth with 85% of the historical drill-holes around the Phos Dyke finishing in apatite mineralisation.

RareX also noted that the mineralisation is highly prized igneous phosphate that is suitable for making a premium product technical grade phosphate concentrate for use in both the fertiliser and battery materials industries.

There is also potential for rare earths to be recovered from residues of processing the apatite to phosphoric acid and subsequent products.

Upcoming activity

Rare earths drilling is ongoing at Cummins Range with diamond drilling now moving to infill drilling on the Rare Dyke to allow conversion to a resource.

The Scoping Study is now well advanced on the regolith zone and will be reported shortly while preliminary primary metallurgical results are expected also within the next few weeks.

Large volumes of samples are also currently in the laboratory awaiting assays.




This article was developed in collaboration with RareX, 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.