A reconnaissance surface sampling program by Venus Metals (ASX: VMC) at its Nardoo Hill West project has produced highly anomalous rare earth elements (REE).
Nardoo Hill West is located about 350km east of Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.
Venus is also exploring there for associated tantalum and niobium.
It neighbours the Nardoo Hill project which Venus last year sold to eMetals Limited (ASX: EMT).
As part of the sale, Venus has 9.1% interest in eMetals.
eMetals also has been working to find REE on its ground which is directly east of Venus’ project. eMetals’ ground contains the Cairn Hill REE anomaly
Moreover, Venus says Nardoo Hill West is prospective for carbonatite-related REE mineralisation because of similarities in geological settings with the Yangibana REE deposit located 65km northeast, owned by emerging REE producer Hastings Technology Metals (ASX: HAS).
Three REE areas identified
As part of its sampling program, Venus took 48 stream sediment samples and 26 rock chip samples.
The company now says it has successfully identified two areas (named A and B) with highly anomalous REE values in the stream sediments, in places exceeding 0.1% total rare earth oxide plus yttrium (TREO+Y) and with a peak of 0.147% TREO+Y.
These two new areas are less than 2km west of the Cairn Hill anomaly.
A third REE anomalous area (named Area C) has previously revealed a maximum 0.149% TREO+Y.
Highly anomalous neodymium
This area is located 4km further to the west where a previous explorer reported REE values.
Highly anomalous neodymium — one of battery REE — was also identified with a peak value of 0.027%.
Venus Metals says it is likely that, similar to Cairn Hill, the stream sediment REE anomalies are associated with LCT-NYF-REE type pegmatite swarms.
LCT stands for lithium-cesium-tantalum, while NYF connotes niobium-yttrium-fluorine.
Venus says the “highly encouraging” results warrant follow-up exploration.
A program of infill stream sediment sampling, geological mapping and targeted rock chip sampling is planned for the second quarter of 2021.
This, the company says, will better define the extent of REE anomalies and potential source rocks.