THE DRILL SERGEANT: Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) declared high-grade rare earth oxide (REO) geochemical results from the company’s Browns Range project in Western Australia.
Northern Minerals collected a total of eight rock chip samples in December 2017 from seven prospect areas across the project with some collected from known prospects, while others were from new target areas.
The company claimed some results returned from the high-grade rock chip samples hit up to 7.19 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO), which it said was, “significant, given the average grade of the Browns Range deposits is 0.66 per cent TREO”.
At this stage, Northern Minerals believes the high proportion of Heavy Rare Earths for nearly all of the samples indicate that the rare earth mineral is likely to be xenotime, the same as at the company’s first two open pit mines Gambit West and Wolverine.
The very high-grade sample (7.19% TREO) was achieved at Iceman, a prospect Northern Minerals has identified as having a strong geochemical surface anomaly over 200 metres in length, which is yet to be drill tested.
A program of RAB and/or RC drilling will commence in the June quarter, aimed at providing a first pass assessment of several of the new prospects and targets.
If successful, a program of RC drilling will be undertaken in the September quarter aimed at proving up and increasing the Mineral Resources at Browns Range.
A private Placement to sophisticated investors announced on the 28th of December 2017, raising $2.15 million via the issue of approximately 27.56 million shares at 7.8 cents per share, is set to deliver the final $1 million in the coming few days.
A further Share Purchase Plan is closing on the 31st of January 2018.
“These exploration results, although early stage, highlight the significant blue-sky upside potential that exists at Browns Range,” Northern Minerals managing director and CEO George Bauk said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“With a plan in place to extend the life of the potential full-scale project to more than 20 years, the new funds received from the Placement and the SPP allow us to accelerate the program and get drill rigs back on the ground in the June quarter.”