Five potentially rare earth element-bearing (REE) carbonatite intrusions have been identified from a recent aeromagnetic survey conducted by Dreadnought Resources (ASX: DRE) at the Mangaroon project in the Western Australia’s Gascoyne region.
The survey identified multiple ovoid magnetic anomalies similar in appearance to textbook examples of igneous carbonatite intrusions, located south of the crustal scale Lyon’s River Fault.
Dreadnought said the intrusions are central to all known REE and niobium-bearing ironstone dykes and fit the classical carbonatite intrusion model.
They range in size from 1,000 metres by 1,000m to 800m by 500m with internal ringing and a magnetic (possibly fenite alteration) halo around the perimeter of the intrusions.
Over 99% of the interpreted carbonate intrusions are not obvious at surface and are obscured by a calcrete and alluvial plain with rare outcrop and no historical REE exploration.
Recent ground truthing also confirmed the presence of intrusive carbonatite within these features which have the potential for large-scale REE mineralisation.
Multiple rock chip samples have been collected from two of the carbonatites for assay with results expected in the new year.
The company has planned a further field trip before year end for a second mapping and surface sampling exercise.
Drill testing of the carbonatites will commence in March next year as part of a wider drilling program at Mangaroon.
Carbonatite dyke source
Managing director Dean Tuck said explorers had been searching for the ultimate source of the region’s numerous carbonatite dykes and sills associated with the Gifford Creek Carbonatite Complex for almost three decades.
“With the acquisition of modern, high resolution magnetic data, [we believe] those carbonatite intrusions may have been located,” he said.
“This [discovery] could be significant for the region and we look forward to receiving rock chip assay results and then drilling the carbonatites next year.”
Mangaroon covers approximately 4,500 square kilometres of the Mangaroon Zone in WA’s Gascoyne region, which is host to high-grade gold mineralisation at the Bangemall/Cobra and Star of Mangaroon gold mining centres and the high-grade Yangibana REE deposit operated by Hastings Technology Metals (ASX: HAS) on behalf of UK-based Cadence Minerals.
Since acquiring the project in late 2020, Dreadnought has located outcropping high-grade gold bearing quartz veins along the Edmund and Minga Bar Faults; outcropping high tenor nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) blebby sulphides at the recently-defined Money intrusion; and outcropping high-grade REE ironstones, similar to those under development at Yangibana.