Meeka Metals (ASX:MEK), until recently Meeka Gold, has today boosted investor confidence in its Circle Valley project with testwork proving 82% of high value magnet rare earths can be extracted downstream.
The results were returned to Meeka today from ANSTO, Australia’s nuclear regulator.
ANSTO performs all rare earths testwork in Australia given that REEs tend to coincide with radioactive elements uranium and thorium—investors should note that’s just business as usual.
The company is now reviewing its downstream processing plans in a bid to boost the total amount of valuable minerals extractable, as well as the removal of impurities.
Meeka is specifically interested in reducing the amount of acids used, which could feasibly boost ESG credentials at the project.
It’s worth noting Circle Valley is only one of Meeka’s projects near Esperance: the other is called Cascade, but both are separate.
With that out of the way, back in June, Meeka confirmed the project acreage had returned evidence of high value magnet earths, and scandium.
Today’s results have beaten estimates given by Meeka at the time, with the company expecting ANSTO to return data by mid-August.
If a government laboratory can turn over results quicker than commercial assay laboratories, that may explain why so many companies are grumbling.
Back to Circle Valley.
Later in June, Meeka also reminded investors that Circle Valley is a polymetals project.
Case in point, drillers on-site found shallow mid-grade gold at Circle Valley.
Further gold drilling is set for Circle Valley between now and December, when the drills descend on the Anomaly A prospect, first discovered in early aircore drill runs.
All in all, a mineral resource estimate will be prepared for Circle Valley halfway through 2023.
“When evaluating clay rare earth projects, key consideration is given to scale, grade and metallurgy…with results now showing a pathway to a commercial product, we plan to advance [this] project” Meeka Metals managing director Tim Davidson said.
“Drilling is planned at Circle Valley to progress toward delivery of a maiden mineral resource this financial year [and] further testwork is now underway to improve on and refine the metallurgical processes.”
“Given the tier-1 location, geopolitically critical nature of the metals and high level of magnet elements, our projects are shaping up to be significant.”
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