Havilah Resources Ltd (ASX:HAV) will increase rare earth study work at several Curnamona Craton tenements in South Australia after the discovery potential was confirmed by independent expert Ken Collerson.
Collerson noted geochemical similarities with carbonatites from the largest rare earth elements (REE) deposit in the world at Bayon Obo in China to Havilah’s Kalkaroo Copper Gold Project and Croziers copper prospect, which has encouraged the company to carry out REE mineralogical and metallurgical recovery studies on drill samples over the next few months.
REE are of relevance and strategic importance given the Australian Government’s recent efforts in promoting international investment in the development of critical minerals resources within Australia.
Collerson also observed that because the REE may be recovered as a by-product of the copper-gold concentration process at Kalkaroo, this could potentially provide an economic advantage for the Kalkaroo project compared to those projects that are solely REE based.
Kalkaroo Copper project “at an economic advantage”
Havilah technical director Dr Chris Giles said: “The value upside for Havilah is that if REE can be economically recovered in a mineral concentrate as a byproduct of the standard copper and gold recovery processes it could provide a further revenue stream for the Kalkaroo copper-gold project.
“As Professor Collerson has observed, this potentially puts Kalkaroo at an economic advantage compared with stand-alone REE producers.
“The critical questions for Havilah are what mineral(s) host the REE and can the REE be recovered and concentrated to produce a saleable, direct shipping by-product along with copper concentrates?
“Without detracting from our other work, these are the questions that we propose to address with experimental work over the next few months in collaboration with local well credentialed academic experts.”
Havilah proposes to investigate the REE recovery options, with the following key tasks planned:
- Complete shallow drill holes at the Kalkaroo project and Croziers prospect areas to obtain samples that are suitable for metallurgical recovery studies;
- Mineralogical studies to determine the identities and physical properties (such as size, shape and density) of the REE-bearing mineral phases; and
- Metallurgical tests designed to establish recoveries of REE minerals from the drill samples.
Accelerated Development Initiative application
The company has recently been advised by the South Australian Department for Energy and Mining (DEM) that its Expression of Interest for an Accelerated Development Initiative application entitled “Investigation of REE Mineralisation in the Benagerie Dome” has advanced to the next stage.
Havilah has been invited by DEM to submit a detailed proposal, which it is now in the process of preparing.
The proposal will include the three key tasks listed above, with the metallurgical study being carried out in collaboration with well renowned academic experts in this field at the University of South Australia.