ASX-listed Australian Bauxite has again revealed strong rare earth element enrichment in drilling at its DL130 bauxite-REE project in north-east Tasmania as it looks to gain a better understanding of the REE discovery. The company’s latest batch of drill assays from the project included the highest-grade neodymium oxide recorded to date. Hole DL313’s peak one-metre drill sample returned an impressive 301 parts per million neodymium oxide from 9m depth, almost double the previous highest value of 1m going 156ppm neodymium oxide also from 9m.
Other notable drill results were 1m at 183ppm neodymium oxide from 8m in hole DL315 and 1m at 162ppm neodymium oxide from 6m in hole DL156.
Australian Bauxite’s continuing REE sniffs at DL130 seemed to invigorate the market, which sent its stock soaring more than 30 per cent by the end of trading today.
According to the Sydney-based junior, the recent encouraging near-surface results point to a high-grade zone in the north-east corner of the DL130 project area.
Due to the neodymium oxide drill hits shedding off possible bauxite source rocks, Australian Bauxite has expanded its REE drilling footprint from 500m to 700m wide and says a further 2km of target structures are now evident.
Mineralisation remains open in all directions.
Neodymium is the most enriched rare earth element in northern Tasmania, the company says, and is the main REE metal used in super magnets for such applications as in electric vehicles, wind turbines, smart phones and military electronics.
Australian Bauxite hopes to prove up an ionic adsorption clay-style or water soluble REE deposit that can be quickly developed as a low-cost, in-situ leaching proposition.
Australian Bauxite is delighted with the rapid growth in the size and grade of this REE deposit since its discovery. We are improving our exploration technology at a rapid rate and we feel confident we are ready to undertake exploration over a wider target area.
Because the REE is associated with clays and are soluble REE, the mineralisation appears likely to be ionic adsorption clay deposits which have been a major source of low-cost REE production in southern China.
With prices for super-magnet elements having climbed in the past year including the price of neodymium, which has risen to about US$100,000 per tonne, the company’s REE discovery at DL130 will no doubt be closely followed.
Exploration at DL130 is continuing.
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