CRITICAL ELEMENTS RARE EARTH PROJECT
On 29 November 2021, the company announced the acquisition of Critical Elements Pty Ltd which holds the Critical Elements Rare Earth Project. The project is located in the Gascoyne Province of Western Australia and consists of 100% owned exploration licenses EL 09/2354 and EL 09/2377, covering a land area of ~59km2.
The Gascoyne Project, situated in the Yinnietharra region, has historically produced significant quantities of beryl, mica, bismuth, tantalum and niobium from coarse grained pegmatites. Rare earth minerals have additionally been identified.
Small scale alluvial and primary pegmatite mining has been sporadically undertaken. Exploration activities have been primarily focussed on tantalum-niobium-beryl-mica and to a lesser extent uranium. Sampling of a zoned pegmatite containing discrete blebs and pods of euxinite (niobate-titanate), samarskite, and uranopyrochlore.
The latter is particularly important due to its high levels of REEs: 5.04% Ta2O5; 39.78% Nb2O5; 11.48% U3O8; 0.57% Y2O3; 2.30%, ThO2; 0.54% WO3; 0.19% ZrO2; 0.19% Ce2O3; 0.13% La2O3, 0.14%, Nd2O3; 0.15% Sm2O3; 0.06% Tb2O3; 87 ppm EuO3.
Costeaning at the Wabli 9 Prospect returned grades of 12.4% Ta2O5, 32% Nb2O5, 0.94% WO3, 0.25% Sn from selective samples. REE elements were not analysed.
Sampling conducted to date is only from these two localities within the tenure and only of the mineralisation. Sampling was inherently biased through focusing only on the visibly mineralised material in order to gain an understanding of the elemental content of the mineralisation (refer JORC table 1 of company ASX release, 29 November 2021). Systematic sampling is required to understand the distribution and extent of mineralisation.
The Project is located within the Gascoyne Province which is located at the western end of the Capricorn Orogen, a major zone of tectonism formed between the Archean Yilgarn and Pilbara Cratons.
Basement to the province consists of the Glenburgh Terrane, which comprises granitic rocks of the Halfway Gneiss with igneous crystallization ages typically between 2660 and 2430 Ma, psammitic and pelitic rocks of the Moogie Metamorphics deposited between 2240 and 2125 Ma, and a 2005–1970 Ma Andean- type batholith (Dalgaringa Supersuite).
Middle Proterozoic sediments of the Bangamall Basin unconformably overlay the Gascoyne Province to the east and Palaeozoic Carnarvon Basin sediments to the West.
Exploration in the region commenced in the early 1970’s which led to the identification of multiple uranium occurrences within calcrete, weathered bedrocks and clays. Regional airborne radiometric surveys identified numerous radiometric anomalies which coincided with mineralised pegmatites.
Pegmatites at Wabli Creek were evaluated cursorily by Great Mines Ltd, Kookynie Resources NL and Nickel Mines Ltd whilst targeting calcrete hosted uranium deposits between 1974 and 1983. Two mineralised pegmatites have been the focus of exploration to date at Wabli. The No1 vein has been mapped over 10m in a pit and has potential of extending further underneath soil cover. Reconnaissance assays indicate significant levels of critical element like Nb and Ta.
In order to understand the extent and potential of the mineralisation evident across the Project, the company intends to undertake the following activities:
Satellite imagery interpretation to map extents of historical mining activities
Field reconnaissance and sampling of pegmatites and historical mining activities undertaken across site in order to understand zonation and grade distribution
Scout drill testing of the pegmatites to determine their geometry and mineralisation potential