Mount Ridley Mines (ASX:MRD) reports that it has resumed aircore (AC) drilling at its 100% owned namesake Mount Ridley Rare Earth Element (REE) Project in Western Australia.
Drilling has recommenced with a goal of targeting widespread and well-developed clay-hosted REE mineralisation within a mineralised footprint of 1,200km-square and twinning rare earth intersections at key prospects, including Tyrrell’s, Mia, Butch Fabienne and Vincent.
The demand-driven metals explorer reports holes to be twinned include, 23m at 3,688ppm total rare earth oxide (TREO) from 6m (MRAC1053), 9m at 2,447ppm TREO from 54m (MRAC1026) and 12m at 2,178ppm TREO from 45m (MRAC1325).
The 50,000m drilling campaign will also aim to examine rare earth mineralogy to assist with ore genesis models and guide metallurgical testwork, as well as drill out a JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for later on this year.
Drilling is expected to be completed by Q2 2023.
Addressing the drilling, Mount Ridley’s Chairman, Peter Christie said: “The first of the three drilling rigs has arrived at site and will twin approximately 20 aircore holes that returned strong REE mineralisation at key prospects including Tyrell’s, Keith’s, Jule’s, Vincent, Winston’s, Butch and Mia, to provide material for mineralogy and metallurgical test work.
“The first of the three drilling rigs has arrived at site and will twin approximately 20 aircore holes that returned strong REE mineralisation at key prospects”
Aircore drilling is then scheduled to resume during November, with approvals in place to drill up to 50,000m over the next two quarters.”
Mount Ridley also notes that metallurgical testwork on selected prospects is currently ongoing and have submitted 409 mostly fresh button-of-hole samples to Portable Spectral Services to be scanned using a Bruker M4 Tornado microXRF.
An additional 17 composite samples made up from upper and lower zones of mineralisation from a variety of depths within eight drillholes have also been submitted to ANSTO for REE extraction work, with results expected during Q4 this year.
In addition, the company reports it is well positioned to fund exploration with $6 million due from the underwritten options (MRDOB) which expires on 30th November this year.
Mount Ridley’s share price had climbed by just over 9% as of 12.45pm AWST.
Mount Ridley’s namesake project is located about 50km north of the Port of Esperance within a Fraser Range sub-basin in Western Australia and covers a total land area of about 3,400km-square.. The project was initially acquired due to its nickel and copper sulphides potential, however is now recognised as being prospective for clay hosted REE deposits.
With drilling now resumed, Mount Ridley announces that areas of proposed new clearing will be inspected by on-site heritage and flora/fauna monitors when drill traverses are cleared.
Images: Mount Ridley Mines Ltd