Heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) has delivered a maiden mineral resource for its Dazzler deposit at the Browns Range project in Western Australia.
The company today announced an inferred resource estimate of 144,000 tonnes at 2.23% total rare earth oxides (TREO), comprising 3.2 million kg TREO with a 0.15% TREO cut-off grade.
The Dazzler deposit is located less than 15km from the company’s Browns Range heavy rare earth pilot plant.
A reverse circulation drilling program on the prospect last September intersected extremely encouraging mineralisation within the Gardiner sandstone, which had previously been considered non-prospective.
Results included an 18m intercept grading at 9.10% TREO and 11m at 4.83% TREO. These grades were quite significant considering the average grade of the existing mineral resource for the total Browns Range project at the time was 0.63% TREO.
Northern Minerals is planning further exploration drilling later in 2019 at Dazzler and the Iceman deposit, which was also discovered late last year.
The company is also targeting a maiden mineral resource estimate for Iceman this year.
“It is important to note that the maiden Dazzler mineral resource is based on limited drilling and there is excellent potential for resource additions at Dazzler, Iceman and other targets within the Gardiner sandstone,” Northern Minerals managing director George Bauk said.
Browns Range project
Northern Minerals’ 100%-owned Browns Range heavy rare earths project is located in the east Kimberley region of northern WA.
The company has produced 7,200kg of rare earth carbonate since the pilot plant opened in July last year.
“With the Browns Range pilot plant project now underway, the addition of high-grade resources to the mineral inventory is a positive important step for the potential full-scale project,” Mr Bauk said.
The three-year pilot plant is assisting the company to evaluate the economic and technical feasibility of mining at Browns Range as it aims to build the project into the first significant world producer of dysprosium outside of China.
Dysprosium is an essential ingredient in the production of dysprosium-neodymium-iron-boron magnets used in clean energy and high technology solutions.
Northern Minerals shares were up 14.29% to $0.048 on the news by early afternoon trade.