Rare Earths

Frontier wraps up Gascoyne rare earths drill plan

Tue 26 Apr 22, 10:26am (AEST)
Gascoyne Frontier Resources
Source: Frontier Resources

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Key Points

  • Company targeting Yangibana Ironstones and Carbonatites hosting Rare Earth Elements based on existing samples
  • Program of Works (PoW) for RC drill run ticked off by Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety
  • Company must still clear heritage survey hurdles before works can commence

Frontier Resources (ASX:FNT) has finalised the schematics for its exploratory RC drill run onsite its Gascoyne acreage ultimately seeking to produce Neodymium and Praseodymium, which are both critical to the manufacturing of industrial application magnets. 

The company notes it is seeking to treat concentrated Monazite to recover the target rare earths. Monazite is a radioactive product often discarded as tailings in mineral sands projects. 

Shipping Monazite presents enhanced regulatory burdens under Australian law, but, Frontier shareholders will not need to worry about the mineral’s reputation. 

Demand for obscure metals set to rise through energy transition 

Frontier notes on its project website that the demand for Neodymium and Praseodymium is set to shoot upward in the coming years as the metals are necessary components in the supply chain producing EV batteries, and, wind turbine engines. 

Energy transition initiatives being executed by public and private sectors on the global scale are ultimately gearing towards a mix of electrification and hydrogen-based technology. 

While much is made of hydrogen, the energy sector’s preferred fuel of the energy transition, the hard reality is that electrification (solar, wind, and batteries) are, at this time, light years ahead of hydrogen in terms of readiness for commercial development.

Maiden drill run at Gascoyne not out of the woods yet 

While the PoW has been finalised by Frontier, the company still must pass one regulatory hurdle: heritage surveys. Typically, both environmental and Indigenous cultural assets will be considered. 

Heritage surveys can occasionally bump into more recent historical assets, too. Oil and gas drilling plans offshore WA often need to include plans to avoid damaging old sunken shipwrecks. 

Once it passes these hurdles, Frontier is set to conduct further sample collections and magnetic surveys to identify what else its lucrative acreage contains. The company notes it is intending to follow up on additional targets, including magnetic anomalies and, another radioactive element: thorium. 

Frontier notes that many sections of its Gascoyne acreage remain unexplored. 

Frontier Resources' charts
Frontier Resources' charts

 

Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Journalist

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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