Australian heavy rare earths producer, Northern Minerals (ASX: NTU) has announced a significant upgrade to the Mineral Resource estimate for the Dazzler deposit at the Browns Range Heavy Rare Earth Project in northern Western Australia.
The updated Inferred Mineral Resource for the Dazzler deposit has been estimated at 214,000 tonnes at 2.33% TREO comprising 5,000,000 kg TREO using a cut-off grade of 0.15% TREO.
This represents a more than 50% increase in contained TREO from the maiden Mineral Resource Estimate reported on 6 March 2019.
The Dazzler deposit is located less than 15km from the Browns Range Pilot Plant on the edge of a small scarp slope. The prospect was first drilled in 2013 with only patchy mineralisation intersected within the Browns Range Metamorphics.
In 2018, follow-up drilling intersected extremely encouraging mineralisation within the Gardiner Sandstone (which had previously been considered non-prospective). Subsequent drilling led to a maiden Mineral Resource estimate in early 2019.
Following several Reverse Circulation (RC) and diamond drilling programmes in 2019 an updated Mineral Resource estimate has been completed.
Managing Director and CEO, George Bauk, said Northern Minerals had been able to significantly grow the Dazzler resource in a short period of time.
“This is a significant increase in high-grade tonnes for the project and highlights the potential of this style of mineralisation,” Mr Bauk said.
“We look forward to getting back on the ground in the future to further test extensions of Dazzler, as well as other unconformity-related targets.”
An operating pilot plant at Browns Range has confirmed, in general, that the project’s xenotime hosted mineralisation can be successfully processed using a flowsheet consisting of crushing and grinding, followed by Wet High Gradient Magnetic Separation (WHGMS), flotation and hydrometallurgical processes. More limited, preliminary, testwork specifically at Dazzler has demonstrated that its mineralisation can be successfully processed using the same methods.
Mr Bauk said the deposit geometry and grade estimated at Dazzler suggest it has potential to support an operation utilising conventional open cut mining methods.