Summit Minerals’ maiden exploration at Equador niobium and rare earths project returns high-grade assays

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By Imelda Cotton - 
Summit Minerals ASX SUM Niobium Equador project Brazil

Summit Minerals (ASX: SUM) has reported a series of high-grade assays from maiden exploration at its Equador niobium and rare earths project in Brazil.

The company discovered multiple new pegmatite and historic mine workings across the tenement holding.

It has also visually identified minerals such as columbite, tantalite, tourmaline and mica that host niobium, tantalum and rare earths.

Full analysis

The assays — which included partial rare earth oxides (PREO) — were generated from a surface pegmatite rock chip sample programme along a 1.2-kilometre strike length.

They returned a high grade for niobium and tantalum plus other elevated rare earth elements.

The assays have been sent to another lab for full analysis, which will allow Summit to ascertain the total rare earth oxide percentage and any other elements contained within the samples.

Field exploration is ongoing with widespread mapping of new pegmatite occurrences, continuous collection of rock chip samples and the locating and cleaning out for further exploration of previously-unmapped artisanal mines.

Project prospectivity

Summit managing director Gower He said the first results give the company confidence to accelerate exploration across the Equador project.

“These highly encouraging assays have further solidified the prospectivity of this project,” he said.

“The old workings from small-scale artisanal mining are positive signs of fertile pegmatites in the area and they have allowed our ground crew to access the pegmatites at depth.”

“We look forward to advancing the project and providing employment opportunities to local communities in the region.”

Equador acquisition

Summit acquired the Equador project in April when it signed agreements with RTB Geologia & Mineracao, Sandro Arruda Silva and Mineracao Paranal for the titles to exploration permits and applications over 292.67 square kilometres in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Paraiba.

The deal was expected to enhance Summit’s status as a critical minerals explorer and developer.