Study highlights Goschen Central as ‘exceptional’ minerals sands project for ACDC Metals
Mineralogy studies on aircore drill samples from ACDC Metals’ (ASX: ADC) Goschen Central heavy mineral sands and rare earth elements (REE) project in western Victoria have indicated a very high value mineral assemblage including “exceptional grades” of monazite.
Samples were selected from a central position in the project’s mineralised zone and analysed by Perth-based Diamantina Laboratories.
The assemblage includes 9% monazite, 36% zircon and 6% rutile and provides strong support for ACDC’s business strategy of pairing mineral sand mining with the downstream extraction of REEs from monazite within Australia.
The results are believed to provide a reliable guide on deposit mineralogy and further studies are expected to be conducted to accurately characterise mineralogy across the project area.
Impressed by results
Chief executive officer Tom Davidson said he was impressed by the study results.
“The initial mineralogical results are exceptional and indicate that Goschen Central may sit amongst the top tier of global heavy mineral projects by value of its heavy mineral sand assemblage,” he said.
“Most abundant heavy minerals are the high value monazite, zircon and rutile which should be very positive for the future economics of the project.”
Source granitic rocks
Goschen Central was selected by ACDC Metals for its potential to host a high value heavy mineral sand assemblage due to its proximity to source granitic rocks which are high in zircon and monazite.
Early in the company’s exploration program, it observed that higher grades exhibited in field drill logging occurred proximal to a complex basement area interpreted to be a headland feature.
Geologists interpreted the subtle feature to reflect basement topography which has controlled mineral sand deposition and reworking.
During mineral sand deposition, additional wave action can concentrate heavy minerals directly against a granite headland resulting in high grades similar to those observed in the samples.
High REE concentration
Monazite is known for its relatively high concentration of REEs, containing on average, up to 60% rare earth oxides by weight.
The specific composition of REEs in monazite varies depending on the deposit and geographical location however the most abundant elements include cerium, lanthanum, neodymium, praseodymium and samarium.
Industry research shows the size of the global REE market was valued at $11.97 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $21.28 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.8%.