THE DRILL SERGEANT: Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) recently completed infill and step-out reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the Dazzler prospect, part of the company’s Browns Range project in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Northern Minerals has received high-grade assay results for the first 12 (BRDR0037-0048) of the 51 drill holes it completed at Dazzler in September that included intercepts from surface of up to 7.71 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO), including 7,502ppm dysprosium.
The company explained the drilling program was designed to step-out to the north of the previous drilling in order to update the existing Mineral Resource at Dazzler that has been estimated at 144,000 tonnes at 2.23 per cent TREO comprising 3.2 million kilograms TREO using a cut-off grade of 0.15 per cent TREO.
Northern Minerals said it considers the latest results to be of note as many of the intercepts occur at or near the surface, increasing the potential for a low operating cost operation.
It will now use the results achieved from the latest round of drilling to update the Mineral Resource Estimate which it anticipates will be completed in January 2020.
The Dazzler deposit is located less than 15 kilometres from the Browns Range pilot plant on the edge of a small scarp slope.
Further RC drilling at Browns Range is set to commence anon, with exploration and resource definition drilling planned at several different deposits and targets.
“We continue to be impressed and enthusiastic about the potential of Dazzler,” Northern Minerals managing director and CEO, George Bauk said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“As with all mineral deposits ‘grade is king’ and these results continue to deliver on the upside.
“We will now commence updating the Mineral Resource Estimate and investigate mining studies for Dazzler.”
Other recent activities have included mineralogy on four composites at Nagrom from PQ diamond core that was drilled at the Dazzler deposit in May that were made up from four distinct ore bands observed in the core.
These bands varied from three to 13 per cent TREO.
Ore sorting work on coarse fractions of the composites has indicated that these can be effectively sorted.
The test work program at Nagrom has focused on the beneficiation steps of the process, with crushing, scrubbing, grind size optimization and magnetic separation test work completed on the four composites.
The friable portion of the Dazzler material breaks down by scrubbing, with 50 per cent of the ore reporting to the less than 10mm size fraction and this is generally upgraded in rare earths.
Sighter magnetic separation work has been promising.
Flotation and bake tests are planned, and samples will be prepared for environmental test work and radionuclide deportment studies.