A strategic land grab by ASX-listed Reach Resources has resulted in the company nailing its colours to multiple tenements scattered across the Gascoyne region of WA that are variously prospective for lithium, rare earths and manganese.
The latest parcel of tenements acquired by Reach significantly builds on an impressive pre-existing portfolio of battery mineral assets including its Skyline and Critical Elements project, also in the Gascoyne region where high-grade rare earths and manganese mineralisation has already been identified.
The company has also been quietly developing its Primrose gold project in the Mid West region of WA – host to the Blue Heaven prospect where a mining lease was recently granted to the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary Cervantes Gold.
However, despite the prospectivity of Reach’s Primrose Gold project which lies nearby the historic goldrush settlement of Paynes Find, today’s announcement confirming the addition of a bevy of new critical mineral tenements further underscores the fact that the company’s focus has clearly pivoted toward the lucrative battery metals space.
Reach today announced it had acquired the Morrissey Hill lithium project and the Camel Hill rare earths project in addition to the White Castles manganese project which are scattered around the Gascoyne and all of which appear to be exquisitely located in and around existing exploration hotspots.
The three projects cover a total of four tenements and build on the company’s two established operations with the Skyline and Critical Elements projects in the region.
Three of the four new tenements share a border with existing Reach projects that the company says increases its ability to explore entire mineral strike lengths and provides greater contiguous area for potential future development.
Arguably, the jewel in the crown for Reach is its Morrissey Hill lithium project which appears to be prime real estate adjoining Red Dirt Metals’ Yinnetharra Lithium Project which Red Dirt purchased for a combined cash and scrip deal worth about $25 million in September last year.
Since then, Red Dirt has churned out a number of eye-catching lithium hits including most recently a 55m intersection running 1.12 per cent lithium which also included grades inside topping out at 1.52 per cent.
Notably, Reach managed to pick up both the Morrissey Hill lithium project and Camel combined for just $1 million in cash and shares plus a 1 per cent net smelter royalty.
Reach says Morrissey Hill is host to historical high-grade lithium, tantalum, rubidium, cesium and niobium and has returned rock chip samples that included 1.32 per cent lithium oxide, 3.62 per cent tantalum oxide, 1936 parts-per-million rubidium, 2276 ppm cesium and 1.55 per cent niobium oxide. The site also hosts widespread pegmatite outcrops with a similar geology to Yinnetharra. The company is particularly interested in a 5km long lithium anomaly at the site that is yet to be tested and has plans in place for an exploration blitz across the site as early as next month.
In addition to the Morrissey Hill project, another of the acquired projects announced, The Camel Hill rare earth project sits to the south-west of Morrissey Hill and boasts historical rock chip samples with total rare earth oxide, or “TREO” results of up to 1357 ppm. Of particular interest is a 3.5km rare earth soil anomaly that remains untested by drilling. The company believes the anomaly corresponds with thorium radiometric highs.
The White Castles manganese project consists of two tenements and sits adjacent to Reach’s Skyline project. Whilst the site sits tantalisingly close to Hastings Technologies’ world-class Yangibana rare earths deposit, Reach is more excited about the potential manganese mineralisation. The project straddles a 200km long strike extensive belt of manganese deposits within the Ullawarra formation of the Edmund Basin. The company says the acquisition of the project is a strategic play to provide additional critical minerals diversification.
Whilst there is no substitute for manganese in the steel-making process, which provides a large demand for the metal itself, Reach believes the importance of manganese is also growing exponentially within the battery sector for use in electric vehicles. Manganese is an important component in the cathodes of the two most commonly produced types of electric vehicle batteries available today.
Earlier this month Reach received high-grade manganese results in addition to impressive heavy rare earth oxide assays from its wholly-owned Critical Elements project.
The company recently completed a rock chip sampling program across its Gascoyne projects including its Skyline project with results including a significant 11 per cent manganese from one sample at the Critical Elements project.
Reach also recorded impressive grades of 6.78 per cent niobium oxide and 3.71 per cent tantalum oxide from samples at the explorer’s Wabli Creek tenement that forms part of the Critical Elements project.