Reconnaissance stream sediment and rock chip sampling has unearthed fresh Rare Earth Elements, or “REE” exploration targets on ASX-listed Venus Metals’ ground east of Carnarvon in WA.
The company said multiple assays exceeding 1,000 parts per million Total Rare Earth Oxides, or “TREO” were recorded at two new sites on the company’s wholly owned ground, with a peak value of 1,470ppm TREO.
It also noted anomalous levels of the rare earth element neodymium, with one stream sediment sample recording 267ppm of neodymium oxide.
Venus Metals has one granted tenement and one application area covering its wholly owned Nardoo Hill West Rare Earth-Tantalum-Niobium project area, located about 350 kilometres east of Carnarvon in WA’s Gascoyne region.
The company’s tenement area is located less than 2km west of eMetals’ Cairn Hill REE anomaly which recorded a peak of 2,700ppm TREO back in July last year.
Unsurprisingly, but significantly the Venus Metals Nardoo Hill West project is located adjacent to eMetal’s Nardoo Hill REE project area. Venus Metals has a 9.14 per cent interest in eMetals after selling Nardoo Hill to eMetals back in March last year for a mixture of cash, scrip and a future royalty.
Located 840km north of Perth, the Nardoo Hill project area overlies the historical Nardoo Hill and Morrissey Hill workings that chased pegmatite-hosted tantalum-lithium-niobium mineralisation. According to historical records, the old workings yielded a tonne of tantalum last century.
Whilst the region’s cluster of rare element pegmatites are the primary targets for Venus, the company’s geologists are also chasing carbonatite related REE mineralisation. This geological setting is similar to the host rock for the Yangibana REE deposit located around 65km northeast of Nardoo Hill West.
According to eMetals, carbonatites generally have higher grades and smaller footprints than broader, lower grade pegmatite geological settings.
Venus Metals is no doubt targeting the economic potential of REE’s in the modern world’s IoT to support the supply chain for magnets, metal alloys, glass, ceramics, electronics, medical imaging and even military applications.
REE are a set of 17 metallic elements on the periodic table. Their widespread use in a range of modern technologies including mobile phones, computer hard drives as well as electric and hybrid cars and military equipment has caused many governments – including the US – to classify them as strategically significant.
Australia’s mining hopefuls are jostling for position to become suppliers of choice for the precious metals, a banner which has, up to now, largely been waved by China.
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