• Rare Earth Element (REE) Ionic Clay metallurgical test work is underway at two prospects on the Eyre Peninsula Project with results due prior to drilling

  • An additional kaolin – REE prospect has been identified at Bartels Prospect with intervals up to several thousand ppm TREO

  • An extensive drilling campaign is planned to commence next month to drill test kaolin prospects at Caralue Bluff, kaolin-IAC REE prospects at Ethiopia, and IAC REE prospects at Burtons (Salt Creek) and Bartels

  • In excess of 370 drill holes planned, averaging 15-30m deep across the four prospects


iTech Minerals Ltd (ASX: ITM) is pleased to give an update on exploration progress heading into the new year.

Drilling Progress

The company has been busy contacting landowners on its Eyre Peninsula tenements, post-harvest, to obtain permission to access the land for drilling. Access to all prospects has now been granted and a drill rig booked to commence drilling next month.

Over 370 drill holes are planned to be drilled across four prospects on the central Eyre Peninsula, targeting both kaolin (kaolin-halloysite and HPA) and kaolin-IAC REE styles of mineralisation.

Ionic Clay Metallurgy

iTech has submitted 20 samples across two of its REE prospects at Ethiopia and Burtons (formerly Salt Creek) for metallurgical test work to determine the extent of ionic adsorption of REEs present in the clays at each prospect. Samples have been sent to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) to undertake scoping test work. The main objective is to assess the leachability of rare earths, under typical desorption conditions applied to ionic clay deposits (IAC) with results expected prior to the commencement of drilling. The samples have been selected to represent different levels within the weathering profile spatial distributed across the prospects. This will help iTech understand to what degree ionic adsorption plays a role in the REE mineralisation at each prospect and how it may

Bartels IAC REE Prospect

iTech has identified a new zone of REE mineralisation in a weathered, clay rich horizon at the Bartels Prospect, in the southernmost part of the Eyre Peninsula tenement package (Fig. 1). In 2012, Archer Materials drilled 3 reverse circulation drill holes targeting gold mineralisation in epithermal systems. One drill hole, EPIRC12_003, intersected significant amounts of rare earth elements in what is described as kaolinized felsic porphyry.

  •  EPIRC12_003 intersected 21m @ 2298 ppm TREO from 55-76m

    o   including 9 m @ 3054 ppm TREO from 55-56m

    o   and 7 m @ 2626 ppm TREO from 69-76m 

EPIRC12_001 and EPIRC_003 intersected moderately anomalous REEs but didn’t intersect the kaolinitic felsic porphyry unit.

Due to the depth of the mineralisation there is some question as to whether it could be ionic in nature. The mineralised interval appears to be a preferentially weathered zone of felsic porphyry intrusive within layered metasediments of the Hutchison Group Metasediments. A review of the chip trays from the drilling does suggest that the influence of lateritic weathering extends well below the mineralised horizon. More importantly weathered equivalents of the felsic porphyry outcrop extensively in the vicinity of the drill hole and provide a significant IAC REE target in the upcoming drilling program.

Click to enlarge images.

Ethiopia Prospect Drill Location

Burtons Prospect Drill Location

Bartels Prospect Drill Location

Caralue Bluff Prospect Drill Location


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