Rare earth elements have been uncovered at the Kingfisher Mining (ASX: KFM) Mick Well prospect, which is part of the wider Gascoyne project in Western Australia.
Drilling at Mick Well has intercepted high-grade total rare earth oxides (TREO) and confirms the site as a potential rare earths project.
The drilling program is based on targets identified in July 2021 by a versatile time domain electromagnetic (VTEM) airborne survey and further anomalous rock chip samples that were collected during drilling.
More mineralisation zones identified
Kingfisher has now received assays from three reverse circulation holes at Mick Well and one at the Kingfisher prospect, with each hole producing anomalous results.
A highlight intercept was 12m at 1.12% TREO, with 0.21% neodymium and praesidium from 40m, including 4m at 1.73% TREO with 0.31% neodymium and praesidium from 40m.
Other anomalous intervals were 4m at 0.27% TREO with 506 parts per million neodymium and praesidium from 16m; 4m at 0.18% TREO with 388ppm neodymium and praesidium from 88m; and 4m at 0.17% TREO with 247ppm neodymium and praesidium from 12m.
The company considers these results may indicate the presence of larger scale mineralisation zones in the area.
The targets were selected because of the discrete magnetic lows spatially associated with the VTEM conductors.
These have been identified by 3D modelling as pipe-like features with significant vertical extents and are construed as an element of the intrusion of carbonatite and other ultramafic rocks in the vicinity.
More positive results expected
Mapping has also been conducted, resulting in the identification of over 20 fields of outcropping carbonatites. A re-reading of the magnetics data, integrated with the new mapping has identified a potential 16 pipe-like features.
Kingfisher chief executive officer James Farrell called the discovery of rare earths mineralisation at the Gascoyne targets “an outstanding result for the company and its shareholders.”
“The discovery of the mineralisation and numerous outcropping carbonatites has highlighted the significant exploration potential of the area,” he said.
Mr Farrell added the anomalous results from two of the four targets tested at Mick Well and Kingfisher was highly encouraging, and he was also expecting positive results from the three pending copper-gold targets at Boolaloo later this month.
The company has recently acquired further land holding in the region and is developing an exploration strategy for these tenements.
Rare earth supply critical
Rare earths and critical minerals are essential to the production of renewable energy technology and ongoing emission reduction, with new discoveries of TREO highly sought after.
The Australian Government established the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO) in January 2020 as part of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
Its aim is to drive a national approach to build the rare earths sector; assist projects in finding funding and help Australia secure supply of these critical minerals.
The metals are also crucial to the manufacture of advanced weapon applications, making supply a political football.