Initial Exploration Target Of Up To 150,000T Defined
Aldoro Resources (ASX:ARN) has defined an initial Exploration Target of approximately 33,000 to 150,000 tonnes at grades ranging 696-1457ppm Rubidium Oxide (Rb2O) over an area bound by 80m by 65m of detailed drilling at the Niobe project in Western Australia.
The area represents less than half the mapped section of the Niobe pegmatite (Pegmatite No.1).
The results are based on historical (1984-1986) drilling by Pancontinental Mining Limited from 31 close interval (top to tail) holes, ~10m spacing East-West and ~15m spacing north-south over an area of 80m (E-W) by 65m (N-S).
RC hole depths ranged from 13 to 48m (average 29m) with 26 inclined holes at 60-70o at azimuths of 180o (south) and five vertical holes. Down hole sampling was conducted at 1.0m intervals with assays available for the pegmatite intervals and contact zones, resulting in 809 samples. Sub-samples were analysed for the lithium suite (Li, Rb, Cs, Nb, Ta, Sn, K & Na) by combined XRF and total acid digest and AAS finish.
Drilling indicated a shallow dipping pegmatite northly dipping sheet that plunges to the northwest, flares at surface and gently tappers with depth and in drill profile ranges from 25 to 35m in true thickness, but tappers off to the NE (strike).
The pegmatite is zoned with a wall zone, intermediate zone and quartz rich core. The inclined quartz core is also zoned towards the base and most of the mineralisation occurs in the intermediate zone contact zone with the lithium rich zinnwaldite mineral dominate along the lower zone and is associated the enriched rubidium.
Apart from the Niobe pit area, where trial mining of tantalum was conducted, and nine holes reconnaissance holes into Pegmatite 2, the pegmatite field with tenement P59/2173 has not been tested for Rubidium, Lithium and Caesium.
Tantalum was mined in 1996 with 20t of Tantalum heavy mineral concentrate produced onsite from a small shallow pit with the tailings left onsite, the Rubidium appears to be in the micas pertaining to the Zinnwaldite. The drill geochemical assays show that there is no association between Ta and Li/Rb/Cs so it is implied that the majority of the Exploration Target remains onsite.
Aldoro chairman, Joshua Letcher, notes to commercial potential of the historical grades and quotes Dr Minlu Fu: ”based on the News of the Mining Association of Guangdong Province of China, a major Rubidium deposit called the Tiantangshan Rb deposit, was discovered in Guangdong province in 2019. It was reported that the Tiantangshan Rubidium deposit with the resources of Rb2O over 100,000 tonnes at the average grade 0.109% Rb2O, is the biggest Rb deposit in the world.
On 8 May 2019, the Guangdong Provincial Government made an announcement saying that, as the project will be very profitable, the Provincial Government will invest multibillion RMB to exploit this Rb project in the next five years.
It seems that the potential resources of the Niobe Rb project of Aldoro Resources Limited may be in the same order with the Tiantongshan Rb deposit with analyses of Rb2O>1.5% and is associated with other valuable elements, such as Lithium, Caesium and Tantalum
The forward programme involves expanding the Exploration Target area encompassing the mapped pegmatite on the western side of Niobe (Pegmatite No.1), the high interest Rb bearing sections of Niobe East (Pegmatite No,2), the Breakaway pegmatites and Niobe South Pegmatites.
Pending the approval of a Programme of Works (POW) it is anticipated that an RC programme will commence at the end of September.
Rubidium is used in vacuum tubes as a getter, a material that combines with and removes trace gases from vacuum tubes. It is also used in the manufacture of photocells and in special glasses. Since it is easily ionized, it might be used as a propellant in ion engines on spacecraft.
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