The US Department of Energy is scrambling to find Europium. Askari knows where it might be

Wed 21 Sep 22, 11:32am (AEST)
A photograph of four nuclear reactor vent towers at a facility in the Czech Republic
Source: Unsplash

Key Points

  • Numerous rare earth element (REE) targets identified at Red Peak project in WA’s north
  • Field sampling conducted earlier this year identified praseodymium and neodymium, two of the highest-value REEs, along with Europium
  • Pegmatite project is located only 15km east of another large REE mine at Mt. Clere

Askari Metals (ASX:AS2) has no shortage of leads at its Red Peak REE project in the Gascoyne region of WA after a new survey of samples collected on-site in January this year returned evidence that multiple high-value rare earths may be present. 

Askari’s geotechs turned their attention to the Red Peak samples following the publication of a significant REE resource at Mt. Clere, owned by Krakatoa Resources (ASX:KTA) some 15km away.

Askari is now siting on evidence that the following minerals are likely present at the location in larger amounts (grades, of course, remain unknown for now): lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium and europium. 

What does that mean? 

Of foremost interest to investors may be evidence that Neodymiun-Praseodymium (NdPr) magnetic material is present in potentially larger amounts underground. 

The magnetic rare earths pull in a higher price than non-magnetic counterpart elements and NdPr in particular is set to remain in demand. NdPr prices have been rising for a decade and continued to remain robust through the first two years of covid. 

The price rise is due to the metals' inclusion in EV batteries and, what may be lesser known on household investing radars, wind turbines. Over 600kg of rare earth elements are needed for each wind turbine brought online. 

What on earth is Europium? 

Europium, meanwhile, has been classified as ‘critical’ by the US Department of Energy. The silvery material is a soft metal which is one of the rarest in earth's crust, even as far as ‘rare earths’ go. 

Europium, the Royal Society of Chemistry notes, is a crucial material needed to build nuclear reactors. This is why the USA’s DoE has its eye on the material. 

Towards this, Askari also notes that it has detected trace elements of cerium at Red Peak. Both cerium and europium tend to occur in monazite, a radioactive material. Most rare earths are encountered coincident with radioactive materials.

Because of this, all rare earths test work in Australia must be conducted through the government-owned nuclear regulator ANSTO, so shareholders may need to be patient down the line once Askari’s results start going back to the labs, whenever exploration may be.

Exploration activities on the way 

“The company is in the process of designing exploration activities targeting the REE potential at Red Peak and we look forward to informing investors of our progress,” Askari Metals exploration chief Johan Lambrechts said. 

“The review reiterated the REE potential of the Red Peak project highlighting significant exploration target areas which have documented anomalous cerium values in the WAMEX database.” 

“We conducted this review given Red Peak’s strategic location in the Gascoyne proximate to Krakaota’s existing REE discovery at the Mt. Clere project.” 

Askari Metals' three month charts
Askari Metals' three month charts
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Askari Metals 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.


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.

Get the latest news and insights direct to your inbox

Subscribe free