Meeka logs stellar upstream REE testwork results; grades increased by 91%

Thu 01 Dec 22, 10:25am (AEST)
A pindan dirt road stretches to the horizon in an unknown region of northern WA
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Meeka Metals has proved it can improve rare earth element (REE) grades at its Circle Valley project by up to 91%
  • The company now moves ahead to next-stage metallurgical testwork
  • Infill drilling at Circle Valley commences in early 2023 with a maiden resource estimate to be published in the June quarter of next year

Meeka Metals (ASX:MEK) has today unveiled the results of its latest rare earth element (REE) testwork, finding that company technicians were able to see rare earth grades increased by up to 91%. 

The majority of the samples tested yielded fraction sizes below 20 micrometres; a desirable trait for turning rare earth concentrates into metallic products for use in various applications.

The news comes as Meeka continues to drill for high-grade REEs at its Circle Valley play in Western Australia, targeting Neodymium-Praseodymium (NdPr) mineralisation; among the highest-value magnetic rare earths in demand on the market. 

Also targeted by the company and believed to be present on-site is scandium; Meeka highlighted in June that a tonne of scandium was worth $1.5m in Australian dollars.

No need for expensive processing: Management 

“This positive test work shows most of the rare earth elements are hosted in the fine fraction of the clays. This presents an opportunity to remove waste and significantly upgrade the rare earth grades,” Meeka chief Tim Davidson said. 

“[This can also be done] using simple, cheap and well understood upstream mineral processing techniques.

The company’s metallurgical team now move ahead to next-stage testwork, which will look at the second part of the processing process; acid leaching. 

That leaching process will be where rare earth metals themselves are extracted from the fines material made up of particulates under 20 micrometres. 

Maiden resource inbound 

Meeka’s geotechnical team continues to prepare for early 2023 infill drilling at its flagship REE play, Circle Valley. 

That drilling will foreshadow the publication of a maiden resource estimate for rare earths at Circle, slated for Q3 of next year.

In the meantime, the company continues to refine its metallurgical understanding of REE product from the Circle Valley project; with testwork now focusing on acid leaching (read: downstream as opposed to upstream,) Meeka is shoring up whole-of-supply-chain knowledge over the Circle Valley project into the new year.

A look at Meeka's six month charts
A look at Meeka's six month charts
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Meeka was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

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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