iTech is piling on the rare earths pounds in the Eyre Peninsula
Fresh off confirming the presence of rare earths at its Ethiopia prospect, iTech has now uncovered rare earths at the Salt Creek prospect within the Eyre Peninsula.
A detailed review of historical drilling by Archer Materials in 2011 had identified thick intervals of up to 32m of rare earth elements in rich, clay dominant material over an area of more than 1km.
Notable results include 4m grading 3,093 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) from surface within a broader 12m zone at 1,698ppm TREO, 30m at 511ppm TREO from 3m and 32m at 891ppm TREO from 6m.
iTech Minerals (ASX:ITM) adds that the results show significant enrichment of valuable neodymium and praesidium, which are used in the production of permanent magnets for electric vehicles and renewable energy.
There is also significant enrichment in desirable heavy rare earths that command a premium price within the clay material, which is consistent with ionic adsorption clay mineralisation.
“The Salt Creek Prospect confirms the prospectivity of the Eyre Peninsula for REE. With over 1,400km2 of ground in the region, and a huge amount of historical data from Archer Materials to guide us, we are in a very strong position to capitalise on this potential,” managing director Mike Schwarz said.
Salt Creek prospect
Archer Materials’ 2011 drill program was aimed at finding manganese rich horizons, though a multi-element analysis were also carried out as a matter of good process.
However, IAC-style mineralisation was relatively unknown outside of Southern China while REE demand was not as strong at that time.
Of the 19 holes drilled, high-levels of IAC-style REE mineralisation was noted in 15 holes, which iTech notes is an example of how it can find significant value in the 10+ years of exploration undertaken across the tenements at negligible cost.
Results from this work will guide its upcoming drill program to focus on known areas of mineralisation.
The company added that while the REE grades at Salt Creek are significantly higher than those discovered at Ethiopia so far, it has yet to receive results from some of the best samples.
Additionally, while Salt Creek appears to have some potential for kaolin, no test work has been undertaken, and it is currently considered to have more potential as a pure IAC REE prospect.
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