Promising results from an assessment of radiometric data at Red Mountain Mining’s Mt Mansbridge heavy rare earths (HREE) project has put the company in a strong position to reach several milestones in the coming months.
Red Mountain acquired the Mt Mansbridge HREE project in December 2020.
Mt Mansbridge is a Kimberleys based heavy rare earths and nickel-cobalt project, and at the time of acquisition management noted that heavy rare earths were a critical and strategic component of the modern economy and that this was being reflected in recent healthy price rises in November, particularly in relation to dysprosium and terbium.
Rare earths have become the key ingredient of many of the devices and technologies used on a daily basis including magnets and super magnets, motors, metal alloys, electronic and computing equipment, batteries, catalytic converters, petroleum refining, medical imaging, colouring agents in glass and ceramics, phosphors, lasers and special glass.
They can make electronic parts smaller and faster, magnets more powerful, metal alloys stronger, flat screen TV pictures brighter, chemical reactions faster, fuel cells more efficient (for some types of hybrid cars) and pollution control better.
China controls over 70 per cent of the supply of rare earths and account for up to 98 per cent of global heavy rare earth production, however recently announced that it would severely restrict its exports of rare earth elements due to rising environmental problems with its mines, polluted waterways and radiation exposure affecting not only workers but entire communities.
From this, global interest for new, sustainable sources of heavy rare earth supply outside of China has grown substantially.
Mt Mansbridge could, thus, be a strategic asset, prospective for critical and high value heavy rare earths, providing investors exposure to heavy rare earths.
This week’s results stem from recent airborne radiometric survey data, which identified 32 priority heavy rare earth element/dysprosium targets along 33 kilometres of prospective unconformity. The targets are analogous to Northern Minerals’ unconformity related HREE deposits Dazzler and Iceman.
It is worth noting that shares in Northern Minerals have responded positively to the buoyant commodity environment since November, doubling to a 12 month high of 6.7 cents in late January.
Catalysts could revisit 12 month high
This latest news may be the catalyst required to revisit the 12 month share price high that was made only a month ago.
In discussing the survey results released today, RMX highlighted Mt Mansbridge South is a prospect with known xenotime mineralisation.
This is considered particularly encouraging as it validates the exploration technique as an effective method of identifying areas prospective for HREE mineralisation.
The company has already begun planning access with relevant native title claimant groups, with an anticipated initial reconnaissance trip to review prioritised targets in the June quarter of 2021 once the project is accessible with drilling anticipated to commence in June 2021.
Improved surveying technologies pay dividends for Red Mountain
In HREE/Xenotime deposits, radiometric data has proven to be valuable in vectoring in on HREE targets.
At Mt Mansbridge, the collection of more informative data when compared with historical surveys has paid off for Red Mountain.
Processing and ratioing of the newly acquired 800 kilometre line airborne radiometric data set has identified and delineated 32 additional basement and unconformity related HREE/Xenotime targets for further exploration.
These newly identified targets are in addition to the previously reported areas of known Xenotime mineralisation at Mt Mansbridge’ and Mt Mansbridge South, the Killi Killi HREE geochemical anomaly and previously reported radiometric anomalies.
All of these targets are summarised below and will be the focus of exploration in the June quarter.
The Mt Mansbridge South prospect is one of the two prospects within the project area with observed xenotime mineralisation.
Processing of the radiometric data highlighted the area as prospective for HREE/Xenotime.
The company views this as a validation of the radiometric data set as a targeting method for HREE/Xenotime mineralisation.
Due to the positive radiometric response over the Mt Mansbridge South prospect, similar radiometric anomalies in the vicinity have been identified and prioritised as exploration targets.
RMX is fast tracking exploration and development at Mt Mansbridge to try to capitalise on the current demand for heavy HREE and the strengthening demand for nickel-cobalt.