West Cobar Metals adds significant ground to Salazar REE project

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By Robin Bromby - 
West Cobar Metals ASX WC1 Salazar Dundas Minerals DUN Western Australia

As of today, West Cobar Metals (ASX: WC1) holds ground totalling 1,171 sq km at its highly prospective Salazar rare earth elements project 120km northwest of Esperance, Western Australia.

Some of the ground acquired may contain extensions to West Cobar’s Newmont REE deposit which has a current mineral resource estimate of 83 million tonnes at 1,117 parts per million total rare earths oxide (TREO).

Newmont’s REE basket includes high values of battery elements neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium.

The vendor, Dundas Minerals (ASX: DUN) will retain nickel, copper and gold rights over three of the four tenements covered by the deal with West Cobar.

Geophysical data gives West Cobar a head start

All four of the acquired tenements are contiguous with West Cobar’s Salazar project which has a current JORC resource of 190Mt at 1,172ppm TREO.

Dundas has spent more than $4 million on extensive exploration on the four tenements, with drilling on two of them.

West Cobar managing director Matt Szwedzicki said Dundas Minerals had acquired an extensive geophysical database over the tenements which has given his company a significant head-start in targeting the most attractive areas.

“This package of tenements provides excellent potential to supplement, both in terms of tonnes and optimised material selection, what is already a substantial clay-hosted resource at the Salazar project,” he added.

West Cobar plans to undertake air-core drilling to test extensions of Newmont along with other targets in the acquired ground.

Dundas did hit REE in 2022

While the ground being acquired has been explored, it has never included extensive REE exploration.

However, Dundas drilled six reverse circulation and diamond holes last year with the best result being 5m at 980ppm TREO at its then Matilda South prospect.

West Cobar will pay Dundas $20,000 in cash along with 5 million new West Cobar shares.

Dundas will retain the nickel, copper and gold rights over the three northern tenements for a period of two years.

These rights will pass to West Cobar should Dundas not have conducted, or had success with, exploration for those three minerals within the next two years.