Ardea Resources (ASX: ARL) has discovered extensive scandium mineralisation from historical drill samples at its Goongarrie South prospect, part of the KNP cobalt and nickel project in Western Australia.
Previous analysis on the historic drill cores was conducted between 1999 and 2001 using only a limited assay suite which failed to pick up the scandium.
After Ardea uncovered scandium during its own drilling program, it decided to resample the previous explorer’s pulps that had been stored for more than a decade but were in pristine condition.
A total of 2,871 samples were sent for reanalysis and the company has received results from 1,598 using a much broader 68-element assay program.
Initial data from analysing the historic pulps returned scandium grades between 56.4 grams per tonne (g/t) and 118g/t with widths ranging between 9m and 22m from shallow depths.
The drill samples also identified two main bodies of continuous mineralisation higher than 50g/t scandium including two separate strike zones of 2.4km and 1.2km
Further assay results are anticipated and once received, maps will be created of the scandium mineralisation across the project area.
The current resource for Goongarrie South sits at 25 million tonnes grading 0.14% cobalt and 0.83% nickel.
Located near Kalgoorlie, several different mineralisation types have been identified at the KNP project including cobalt, nickel, scandium, platinum, palladium and semi-precious gem stones such as Australian jade.
According to Ardea, KNP hosts Australia’s largest cobalt resource of 386,400 tonnes of contained cobalt.
Less than two weeks ago, the company reported it had developed a inferred resources for scandium and the platinum group metals within the cobalt and nickel zones at its Black Range deposit within the project.
The inferred scandium resource was 8.70 million tonnes grading 65.6g/t scandium while the platinum group metals resource was 6.55 million tonnes grading 0.54g/t platinum group metals.
Meanwhile, the cobalt and nickel resource estimate at Black Range sits at 19.2 million tonnes grading 0.09% cobalt and 0.68% nickel.
Ardea Resources is currently using flowsheets to investigate the potential for commercially extracting all the metals via mining and processing.
Ardea Resources closed yesterday at A$1.99 – more than 20% higher than the previous close of A$1.61.