The company is planning six core drill holes, the first in almost a decade, to double the previous drilling depth.
A service agreement has been executed with the driller, Timberline, and work is expected to start in late November as rigs become available.
Going forward, the company's US management is focused on commercialising the La Paz asset and sees favourable conditions to do so with the increased need for a domestic supply of the minerals targeted by Western Rare Earths.
In line with the advanced plans exploration plans, the potential of the project and the USA's commitment to developing a self-sufficient supply of critical minerals, ARR's securities have been on the move.
Today, shares have been as much as 65% higher to $A0.165 after reaching a new record high of on A$0.235 on October 8
Rare earths executive order
Western Rare Earths CEO Marty Weems told Steve Darling from Proactive that the recent executive order by the US President declaring a national emergency relative to supply chain risk for several critical minerals, including rare earth elements (REEs), supported the project potential.
Notably, Presidential contender and former VP, Joe Biden, has a US$2 trillion green energy infrastructure plan that would require significant rare earths to execute.
This is the second REE targeted EO from the Trump administration.
While successors can undo EOs, it is a rare occurrence.
The new EO made quite a splash as it states that the country’s “undue reliance on critical minerals, in processed or unprocessed form, from foreign adversaries constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.
Trump not alone
Trump is not alone in his concern for domestic REE production as the Pentagon, Senate Democrats, a Republican-sponsored Senate bill, a House of Representatives bill, and a Bipartisan House of Representatives caucus all call out the need for a domestic supply of the minerals targeted by Western Rare Earths.
Thus, Weems tells Proactive that he sees favourable tailwinds regardless of the outcome of the November elections.
This is due to Trump’s focus on defence industry supply chain and Biden’s plan for a carbon reduced future in which electric vehicles, off-shore wind and solid oxide fuel cells drive demand for REEs and scandium.
Weems explained that Western Rare Earths is managing the La Paz Rare Earth project and will soon take on progressing ARR’s acquisition of a sister REE project in Wyoming after its anticipated deal closing in late 2020.
Darling asked about the history of this project which goes back 10 years with ARR director Denis Geldard and a NI 43-101 compliant technical report from 2011 that was updated earlier in 2020.
This recent update is being reviewed to reflect recent activities that can be published in a JORC 2012-compliant format.