Rare Earths

Major expansion to ABx Group’s rare earth discovery

By Market Index
Tue 06 Sep 22, 10:40am (AEST)
Deep Leeds
Source: Deep Leads REE project on recently cleared hardwood plantations

Key Points

  • 230% increase in area of high-grade rare earth elements (REE) at Deep Leads
  • 150 new holes have extended REE 6km east and 1km west of Deep Leads
  • ABx has commenced its maiden REE resources estimation for Deep Leads

ABx Group Limited (ASX: ABX) was up 12% at the open after the rare earths company (formerly Australian Bauxite) announced receipt of assays from most of its winter drilling campaign that expanded the lateral extent of rare earth elements (REE) mineralisation by 230% to 4.01 square km.

ABx’s Deep Leads REE mineralisation is enriched in the more valuable permanent magnet type of REE and includes true ionic adsorption clay zones that achieve 50% to 75% leaching extraction rates, which are understood to be high extraction rates by world standards.


Key discoveries

The key “discovery” holes are those holes that have drilled through the full REE mineralisation horizon, which is typically 3m to 10m deep, 4m to 6m thick, 1,000ppm to 4,000ppm of total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 600ppm to 2,000ppm TREO-CeO2.

The REE mineralisation at Deep Leads is clay-hosted, often most concentrated in buried channel structures.

The 150 holes drilled in the winter campaign discovered REE mineralised intercepts over an area 7km x 4.6km Further drilling is planned in coming months.

Southwest trending channel extended

ABx CEO, Dr Mark Cooksey advised investors that the southwest trending channel delineated by holes DL403, DL450 and DL453 has been extended 750m westwards by hole DL520 that intersected 5m thickness of ionic adsorption clay REE mineralisation averaging 2,170 ppm TREO from 3m depth.

Tests on this channel mineralisation in hole DL403 confirmed that it can be easily processed at low cost with extraction rates of 50% to 75% under standard leach conditions 1, the same as used in similar Chinese IAC REE deposits.

REE mineralisation extends to alluvial flats

Holes DL522 and DL531 confirmed that the northwest trending channel is well mineralised and holes across the western slopes between the northwest and southwest trending channels are showing a widespread series of well mineralised smaller channels.

“We are excited by the REE mineralisation in holes in the southern alluvial flats located south of Deep Leads line-of-lode, as exemplified by hole RM175 which contained 6m averaging 1,435ppm TREO between 4m and 10m depth,” Cooksey noted.

“This is a new style of REE mineralisation which could be thick and very extensive.”

Exploring and drilling

Nine holes were drilled in the 6km wide mineralised corridor between Deep Leads and the Rubble Mound REE discovery, and assays are keenly awaited.

ABx’s drillholes in outlying greenfield areas are subject to a Tasmanian State Government, Exploration Drilling Grant Initiative (EDGI) for co-funded exploration drilling projects.

ABx and Tasmania’s eDrill’s improved drilling technology result in many holes now reaching target depths and collecting cores from important strata using push-tube methods.

ABx Group's share price over 12 months.


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