OD6 Metals has kicked off an initial air-core drilling program at its Splinter Rock project near Esperance in Western Australia’s south as the company searches for clay-hosted rare earths at the site.
The 192-hole campaign will target historic high-grade rare earths intercepts with between 6500m and 7000m of exploration at what the company says is one of the largest clay-hosted rare earths zones in Australia.
Through thorough research OD6 discovered historic drill intercepts across three key targets showing strong results for rare earths oxides, including significant neodymium and praseodymium, both of which are important to the manufacturing of industrial magnets used in electric vehicle engines and other “green energy” industrial applications such as wind turbines.
The company says the historical drilling at the site suggests total rare earths oxide grades are comparable to known Chinese rare earths clay deposits.
The previously drilled air-core holes are between 2km and 4km apart and consistently intercepted an enriched rare earths saprolitic clay between 5m and 37m thick.
OD6 says its program will include holes with spacing varying between 200m, 400m and 800m to a depth of 5m to 50m.
We are excited to announce the commencement of our maiden drill program at Splinter Rock so shortly after listing and despite some minor delays due to wet weather and COVID. The campaign has been carefully developed on the back of historic exploration across the tenement package, which demonstrated significant rare earth elements potential.
Splinter Rock, the company’s flagship project, is about 150km north-east of Esperance and comprises six exploration licenses spanning more than 2700 square kilometres.
The project includes three key exploration targets in the Splinters, Central Road and Buraminya prospects.
OD6 says the site hosts excellent infrastructure including proximity to the Esperance port, significant future renewable energy resources and is easily accessible by road.
OD6’s holdings lie to the east of Meeka Gold’s Cascade rare earths project.
Recent air-core drilling at Cascade encountered grades of up to 5791 parts per million total rare earths oxides over a 1143 square kilometre region at the site.
About 35km north-east of Esperance, Mount Ridley Mines namesake project is also showing potential to host rare earths.
OD6 also has rare earths interests at its Grass Patch project about 100km north-west of Esperance that covers a tenement area of more than 2200 square kilometres.
Whilst the area has been a focus of historical drilling in the past, previous explorers were primarily interested in gold, with no previous testing for rare earths.
The company says it predicts its current drill program at Splinter Rock to be completed in October with results expected before the end of the year.
With a number of companies on the lookout for rare earths in the Esperance region, the market will be keen to see whether OD6’s sausage can match its sizzle at Splinter Rock now that drilling is underway.
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