Mary Kathleen JV hits strong REE

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Chinalco Yunnan Copper Resources and Goldsearch have completed a regional scout diamond drill program at the Elaine 2 and 3 prospects, forming part of the Mary Kathleen Joint Venture Project at Mt Isa, Queensland.

Chinalco holds 70 per cent of the Mary Kathleen JV, while Goldsearch holds 30 per cent interest.


Tenement and prospect location plan of the Mary Kathleen and Mount Frosty Joint Venture projects. Source: Company announcement


The Elaine 2 and Elaine 3 prospects are situated approximately one kilometre southeast of the Elaine 1 prospect, which consists of Elaine (uranium-REE) and Elaine North (copper-cobalt-gold) and is currently subject to resource estimation.

Elaine 2 and 3 are also situated along strike of the regional Mary K shear.

According to the JV these areas were historically explored for uranium.

A five diamond hole scout drill program was carried out focussing on the evaluation of copper, rare earth and thorium potential targeting areas of historic drilling, ground scintillometer/radiometric and soil geochemistry anomalies.

The JV has received assay results for the first 3 drill holes with highlights including:

Elaine 2 prospect

–    19 metres at 2,050 parts per million Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO), 0.17 kilograms per tonne thorium oxide and 0.04 kilograms per tonne uranium from 55 metres; and

–    34m at 2,135ppm TREO, 0.18kg/t thorium oxide and 0.03kg/t uranium from 8m.

Elaine 3 prospect

–    22m at 1,633ppm TREO, 0.22kg/t thorium oxide and 0.03kg/t uranium from 71m.

“These initial results are exciting in that these areas have not previously been tested for rare earth mineralisation,” Chinalco Yunnan Copper Resources managing director Jason Beckton said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The total rare earth mineralisation at the Elaine U-REE deposit, one kilometre to the northeast is characterised by greater than 95 per cent light rare earth elements of cerium, lanthanum and neodymium.

“What we are seeing at Elaine 2 is the heavy rare earth component, dominated by dysprosium, gadolinium, erbium and terbium is now ranging 20 per cent to 35 per cent of the total rare earth mineralisation.

“Added to this the significant and broad intersections of thorium mineralisation and the area is developing into a well-endowed region”.

The JV is currently conducting follow up field work of detailed geological mapping, geochemical and geophysical surveys to assist in defining the next phase of drilling.