Perth-based Eclipse Metals (ASX: EPM) has found drilling done more than 50 years ago at its recently-acquired mothballed Ivittuut cryolite mine in Greenland intersected rare earths — but these elements were not pursued at the time.
Six diamond holes with a combined length of 750m were drilled but, the company says, much of the core remains uncut and untested.
The heavy rare earth element, europium, was present in the cores at several times greater concentration than average in rocks of this type.
Europium is used to provide the colour red in television and other screens and is in short supply worldwide.
Drill cores in good condition
This is an early development for Eclipse at Ivittuut which, until its closure in 1987, was the only place where cryolite was extracted on an industrial scale.
Eclipse, which raised $2 million through a placement after acquiring the project in January, has previously stated that, in addition to cryolite, the project contains rare earth elements (REE), high purity silica, fluorite, and base metals in the pit floor.
The drill core now being examined is stored at the Greenland government’s store, 320km north of the capital Nuuk.
The core has been given a preliminary examination by the company’s Greenland office administrator and a consulting geologist.
“The core was found to be in good condition and well catalogued, enabling Eclipse personnel to readily identify the drill holes of initial interest and to collect samples from selected sections for analysis in Perth,” the company said.
“Of particular interest is the core from the six holes drilled into the carbonatite intrusive where historical exploration has identified anomalous rare earth element content.”
Rare earths to generate short-term cash flow
The mine is on the coast and comes complete with a nearby wharf.
Eclipse is looking to generate short-term cash flow by extracting cryolite and REE from waste dumps.
There is additional REE mineralisation at the Gronnedal deposit, located 10km from Ivittuut.
Ivittuut is located near Cape Desolation near the southern tip of Greenland.
The company also has interests in the Northern Territory and Queensland covering uranium, gold, vanadium and manganese.
Eclipse said it is in early stage discussions on potential joint venture partnerships.