American Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:ARR) is encouraged by fieldwork conducted at La Paz project in Arizona, USA, which shows potential to extend resources beyond the NI 43-101-compliant 95.4 million pounds rare earth elements (REE) resource area.
Mapping and rock chip sampling of new tenements immediately adjacent to the resource area have provided the potential to extend the resource area by around three times the original size.
A trenching program has subsequently been conducted to test bedrock under alluvium cover between the original resource and the extension areas.
A detailed sampling report is to be completed, which is designed to identify the genesis of the rare earth elements and contains petrographic analysis
This comes as the company continues work to convert the NI 43-101 resource to JORC 2012-compliant status.
The NI 43-101 inferred resource stands at 112 million tonnes at a grade of 371.5ppm REE for 83.3 million ounces while the indicated resource is 16.2 million tonnes at 373.4ppm for 12.1 million pounds.
Large-scale and shallow
ARR’s La Paz deposit, although of relatively low grade, stands apart due to its very large scale, shallow nature, uncomplicated mineralogy and lack of uranium and thorium.
It is one of a very few rare earth occurrences in the USA and also has significant scandium identified throughout the resource and extension areas.
Mineralisation identified to date is from surface to 30 metres with drilling to 100 metres ending in REE element grades in excess of 300ppm up to 700ppm.
Flow chart work needed
Wood Plc, an international consultancy group, has provided a critique of the preliminary metallurgical test-work conducted by Saskatchewan Research Council with recommendations to further upgrade the metallurgical flow chart.
ARR is assessing developing a large open pit to access mineralisation at La Paz within a state that is mining-friendly and which hosts a number of successful very low-grade projects.
As La Paz is also strategically located next to excellent infrastructure, ARR considers it a major opportunity for investors to gain exposure the growing domestic markets in the US.
The project may also qualify for special federal administrative incentives in support of development as the USA moves away from reliance on China for strategic minerals.