American Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:ARR) has seen a substantial upgrade in both the quality and quantity of its JORC resource at the La Paz Rare Earths Project in Arizona, US with drilling delivering an increase of 117% to the indicated resource, which now sits at 35.2 million tonnes.
The project’s JORC-compliant total resource tonnage has also increased by 33.1% to 170.6 million tonnes with an average grade of 391 parts per million (ppm) total rare earth elements (TREE), as well as 4.4 million kg of scandium oxide.
Opportunities exist to extend the maiden resource laterally and vertically where mineralisation is not closed off by drilling.
Upcoming drill plans to grow the project
ARR managing director Keith Middleton said the company is extremely pleased with the results of the resource update.
“Seeing a 117% increase in Indicated resource tonnage and a 5.2% increase in TREE grade demonstrates the value of our assets at La Paz.
“Our upcoming exploration plans will allow us to grow the project and continue defining the resource while returning value to shareholders.”
The new resource estimation demonstrates 66.6 million kilograms TREE, around 80.0 million kilograms TREO with an overall increase of 5.2% to 391ppm from 372ppm.
Assay results have revealed La Paz is an environmentally sustainable resource with low thorium and uranium compared to most other projects in the market.
Preliminary economic assessment (PEA) planning and design works are now underway.
Recommendations and opportunities
The company engaged Alfred Gillman of Odessa Resources Pty Ltd (Odessa) to update the JORC 2012 resources for the La Paz Project area and conduct a report, which noted that around 112 (57%) of the 195 drill holes intersected material with TREE grades >300ppm.
This report concluded drilling deeper at La Paz could provide an opportunity to increase the resources.
ARR is also developing phased exploration plans across the La Paz resource area.
The objectives of the exploration plans are:
- Increase the overall depth of the resource by drilling holes to approximately 150 metres to 200 metres;
- Delineate the planimetric spatial extent of the resource by drill hole holes around the perimeter;
- Increase indicated resources by drilling uniformly spaced drill holes in a systematic method; and
- Exploration plans will also include both geotechnical and metallurgical core holes together with monitoring wells deemed necessary from a gap analysis study currently being performed by Stantec (TSX:STN) Consulting Services, Inc.
ARR is developing exploration targets for the La Paz Southwest area based on favourable results observed in several 2021 drill holes, which has demonstrated the Southwest area is five times larger than the original resource area.