Most notably, the results demonstrate thick intervals of rare earths mineralisation beneath the planned mining extents.
The nine-hole drilling program included four deep exploration holes targeting down-dip extensions to existing JORC resources in the deposit’s North and Southeast Zones.
Three of the four holes (NBRD1102, 1106 and 1109) intersected thick zones of rare earths mineralisation up to about 200 metres vertically below the planned final mining pit.
Best results from these three holes were:
- 46.76 metres at 1.5% TREO and 7% P2O5 from 316.72 metres in hole NBRD1102 (Southeast Zone);
- 75.68 metres at 2.8% TREO and 11% P2O5 from 364.37 metres in hole NBRD1106 (North Zone); and
- 65.15 metres at 1.5% TREO and 6% P2O5 from 422.88 metres in hole NBRD1109 (North Zone).
The other five holes in the program were shallow infill resource definition holes confirming detailed geological and material type information for resource modelling and mine planning.
Extensions at depth to extend project’s life and value
Arafura’s managing director Gavin Lockyer said: “The deep drilling results confirm that Nolans Bore is an exceptional orebody in terms of its size, grade consistency and endowment in the magnet-feed rare earths Neodymium and Praseodymium.
“It is the foundation of a long-term, reliable and sustainable supply of these critical materials from the Northern Territory.
“In my mind, we have now answered the question on its potential to deliver additional Mineral Resources at depth to support the development of the Nolans Project far into the future.”
Pilot plant program recently completed
Arafura also recently completed the seventh and final stage of its rare earth separation pilot plant program.
The program’s results confirmed Arafura’s ability to produce separate rare earth products from its Nolans Project.
The program had two primary objective – to produce saleable products to the specification of customers, and to acquire data for the design of the eventual separation plant at the project.
Two products to be made available to potential customers
The program produced a refined liquor in which NdPr constitutes >99.9% of the total contained rare earth elements (TREE).
It also produced a refined liquor where SEG-HRE (middle and heavy rare earths) comprised >99.5% of the TREE.
The NdPr oxide and SEG-HRE carbonate product samples will be made available for assessment as previously agreed with potential customers.