WA1 Resources reports extension of high-grade niobium at Luni

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By Imelda Cotton - 
WA1 Resources ASX WA1 extension high-grade niobium Luni carbonatite

Assays from drilling at WA1 Resources’ (ASX: WA1) West Arunta project have indicated a significant extension of high-grade niobium mineralisation across the western portion of the Luni carbonatite complex.

The results relate to 12 new holes completed as part of a total 165 reverse circulation holes and 21 diamond holes (excluding four diamond tails) drilled at the prospect to date.

Significant intersections were generated from broad 200 metres step-out holes in the western portion of the Luni complex, with assays indicating the presence of a shallow, broad south-western extension of the high-grade niobium mineralisation previously encountered in the south of the carbonatite.

Best niobium pentoxide results were 31m at 4.6%; 41m at 2.8%; 37m at 2.5%; 18m at 1.4%; 20m at 2.5%; and 44m at 1.9%.

High-grade blanket

Managing director Paul Savich said the drilled holes support the interpretation of a high-grade blanket of niobium mineralisation across a large area of Luni.

“This latest round of assays further expands the mineralised footprint and continues to establish the potential global significance of Luni,” he said.

“Our understanding of the geological model continues to evolve and these results suggest thickening of the high-grade and flat-lying blanket of enriched mineralisation along the interpreted southern margin of the carbonatite complex.”

Ongoing drilling

Reverse circulation and diamond drilling will be ongoing to better define and constrain the mineralisation.

“Our upcoming drilling will focus on assessing the internal continuity of mineralisation in this zone and additional drilling in the southeast will test the potential for high-grade mineralisation,” Mr Savich said.

“The work will add to the mineral resource estimation process and geological domaining at Luni.”

Critical metal

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

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

Niobium pentoxide represents a key growth market, with recent developments in lithium-ion battery technology utilising the metal to substantially reduce charge times while enhancing battery life.

Brazil currently produces 90% of global niobium supplies.