Australian Bauxite Limited (ABx) announced earlier this week a 30 percent raise in its rare earth element (REE) mineral resource estimate at Deep Leads and Rubble Mound.
Per the firm, the ionic adsorption clay (IAC) REE mineral resource estimate at the Northern Tasmanian bauxite plays now stands at 27 million metric tons. Data from three dozen drill holes led to the new estimate upon finding new deposits.
As a result of the new drills, ABx says the potential for mineralization has been extended out another ten miles towards the Wind Break discovery.
ABx Group Managing Director and CEO Mark Cooksey elaborated on the test results in a press release.
“The 30% increase in Inferred Mineral Resources 1 arises from the latest 36 holes that were our furthest step-out drillholes. 69% of the holes returned resource grade assays, which is above average for such wide spaced scout drilling in new areas.”
“Our northernmost discovery hole, RM302, located 5km NE of Deep Leads could become our best prospect because it is 11 metres thick and enriched in permanent magnet rare earths, especially dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb),” he continued. “These are highly valuable rare earths and almost exclusively produced from IAC deposits. Hole RM302 also indicates that this IAC rare earth mineralisation could extend 16km to the Wind Break discovery in our new exploration licence application.”
“In addition, it is important to note that the cost of extracting rare earths from IAC deposits is highly dependent on the desorption process conditions. ‘Standard’ desorption conditions include 30 minutes at pH 4 (same acidity as apple juice). The ABx deposits have the highest reported extractions under these conditions for any IAC rare earth resource in Australia. For other deposits requiring more acidic conditions, the production cost is likely to be substantially higher.”
Based in Sydney, ABx conducts operations in Tasmania, Queensland, and New South Wales. The firm boasts combined JORC resources of 124 million metric tons in twenty-two tenements covering almost two thousand square kilometers in Eastern Australia. Its Binjour tenement in Queensland is considered by the company to be its flagship project.