A roadside geochemical sampling campaign at White Cliff Minerals’ Hines Hill rare earths project about 200km from Perth in WA has lit up a host of priority target areas over its roughly 570 square kilometre ground position. The campaign was headlined by a specimen running a maximum value of 930 parts per million total rare earth oxides, or “TREO” and was joined by 126 samples grading over 350ppm. The company is now eyeing 10 key areas with grades north of 550ppm for immediate follow-up.
Perth-based White Cliff says a number of its new target zones are linked to magnetic features which are tentatively interpreted to host carbonatite-hosted rare earths mineralisation. Carbonatite-style rare earths have commanded a flock of news flow of late after WA1 Resources scored a significant discovery at its West Arunta project in WA last year that sent its stock price on a tear.
WA1’s feature strike was a lengthy 142m interval running 0.31 per cent niobium pentoxide and 0.17 per cent TREO from a depth of 74m. The 140m plus intercept housed a 54m strike going 0.62 per cent niobium pentoxide and 0.18 per cent TREO from 162m. The workstream sent WA1 stocks to a high of over $3 a piece, some way above the 13.5c recorded earlier.
Despite WA1’s share price now sitting at about half of last year’s highs at $1.55 the market appears appreciative of carbonatite-style rare earths mineralisation, meaning operations like White Cliff’s Hines Hill project could have a well laid out path of success.
The company has since kicked off the process to attain land access agreements over its new target areas, which will then flow into a program of works for drilling to be initiated.
These geochemical REE results, straight off the back of the maiden drill program discovery of REE’s at the northeast mag feature of Hines Hill, are a tremendous result, which gives us the ability to potentially create a scalable project. Having 10 new priority target areas, with multiple samples going over 550ppm TREO and up to 930ppm TREO (and associated with higher intensity magnetic features), is highly encouraging for follow-up drill programs.
The Hines Hill project occupies a single entry in the company’s burgeoning new energy balance sheet. West of the operation lies its wholly owned North Kellerberrin rare earths project that is deemed prospective for ionic clay style mineralisation – a money-spinning deposit style that commonly enjoys low-cost drilling campaigns and highly elevated concentrations of rare earths.
Rare earths are quickly cementing themselves as crucial elements of the low-carbon energy economy following the commodity’s ongoing use in the manufacturing of permanent magnets – fundamental constituents in the creation of electric vehicles and wind turbines. A recent report by Wood Mackenzie indicates the world needs ten new rare earths mines by 2030 to meet looming demand deficits. White Cliff will be hoping it can be one of those positioned to fill the void as work progresses at Hines Hill.
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