WA1 Resources confirms continuity of niobium blanket at West Arunta

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By Imelda Cotton - 
WA1 Resources ASX WA1 continuity niobium blanket West Arunta Luni

WA1 Resources (ASX: WA1) has confirmed the continuity of a shallow high-grade blanket of niobium mineralisation at its wholly-owned West Arunta project in Western Australia.

Infill drilling of 21 reverse circulation holes at the Luni target have provided evidence of a shallow, broad northeast-to-southwest orientated zone of niobium in the eastern section of the carbonatite.

Best new intersections of niobium pentoxide were 10m at 2.1%, 15m at 3.3%, 8m at 4.2%, 16m at 3.0%, 20m at 2.0%, 30m at 4.7% and 25m at 2.0%.

Ongoing drilling

Reverse circulation and diamond drilling is ongoing at Luni with nearly 26,000 metres completed this year.

The results have remained consistent, with mineralisation generally occurring coincident or near the upper and lower saprolite interface.

It is believed to be a common characteristic of oxide mineralisation observed more broadly across the carbonatite’s enriched horizon.

A consistent flow of assays is expected to be received over the coming months.

WA1 is planning to pause drilling in early December once the groundwork for a maiden mineral resource estimate is completed.

Results to date

Managing director Paul Savich said he was pleased with the results to date.

“The decision to complete this infill drilling in the early stages of this year’s program was driven by the need to enhance our geological understanding of the carbonatite complex,” he said.

“It also enables a more accurate evaluation of closer-spaced variability of the niobium mineralisation and provides support for resource definition.”

Critical metal

Niobium is a critical metal with unique properties that make it essential as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.

The primary niobium product is ferroniobium which accounts for approximately 90% of a 100,000 tonnes per annum market.

It is utilised as a micro-alloy to improve the mechanical properties of steel.

Recent developments in lithium-ion battery technology are using niobium pentoxide to substantially reduce charge times.

Charge times have been shaved to six minutes while battery life has been enhanced by up to 20,000 cycles, representing an increase of up to 10 times compared to existing technologies.