DRILLING at Northern Minerals’ Browns Range heavy rare earths project has confirmed its “best ever” assay results.
Northern Minerals reported that diamond drilling at the Wolverine prospect had found high grade mineralisation that extended westwards at depth, including 2.91 per cent at 29.1kg per tonne total rare earth oxides at 37m.
The results confirmed estimates from a 4000m drilling program in August. Northern Minerals managing director George Bauk said the results would not be included in the next resource upgrade but they reinforced the project’s significant growth potential.
“Wolverine just continues to deliver, and the fact that these results are some of the best we have ever received is very encouraging,” he said.
“These intersections are outstanding in terms of heavy rare earths, and they continue to feature the dominance of dysprosium and yttrium which makes Browns Range so unique and important in terms of future global heavy rare earth supply.
“We are currently continuing to drill along strike to explore the westerly trend that we have identified, as well as test at depth where the mineralisation also remains open.
“We are very encouraged with the latest visual assessments from this program which confirm we have intersected further zones of mineralisation in this direction, and we look forward to receiving assay results from these in the coming weeks.”
Northern Minerals will release an updated JORC resource estimate in November, which would include data from the 24,000m drilling program completed earlier this year at the Wolverine, Gambit West, Gambit Central and Area 5 prospects.
“Beyond that, we are also now aiming to deliver an additional resource upgrade early in 2014, as part of our strategy to continue to build a significant mineral inventory in the Browns Range region,” Mr Bauk said.
Northern Minerals also announced its signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Japanese company Sumitomo for the supply of 1500t per annum of rare earth concentrate.
The deal did not include all of the anticipated production at Browns Range, but would help leverage agreements with other parties.
The company expects to begin production in 2016.