Mineral explorer Godolphin Resources has had a 25-hole, 1,500m diamond drilling program at its Narraburra rare earths project near Temora in central-west New South Wales ticked off by the state’s resources regulator. The company plans to use the campaign to modernise the operation’s existing resource up to a JORC 2012 standard.
Capital Mining, a previous operator at the project tabled a JORC 2004 inferred resource of 73.2 million tonnes at the site. The figure includes 327 grams per tonne rare earth oxides, 146 g/t yttrium oxide, 126 g/t niobium pentoxide, 54 g/t gallium oxide, 118 g/t lithium oxide and 1250 g/t zirconium dioxide.
Godolphin acquired Narraburra earlier this year after entering into a two-tranche farm-in and joint venture agreement with explorer EX9. The transaction allows the explorer to earn an up to 75 per cent stake in the operation.
The company initially planned to deliver the updated estimate via a 4,000m air core program but shelved the probe in favour of the more comprehensive diamond campaign owing to the area’s lithology and wet weather conditions that hampered the project’s development.
Aircore drilling in periods of torrential downpour could introduce issues with sample quality and render the specimens ineffective in its resource estimation efforts.
Management believes the proposed diamond operation will allow it to evaluate Narraburra’s rare earths potential at depth, permit sample collection for metallurgical test work and ultimately enable it to deliver a revised estimate early next year.
Plans are now in place to mobilise a diamond rig to site – a play which could see the company launch the program in a matter of weeks.
Godolphin says the site’s mineralisation is open at depth and additional drilling could allow it to distinguish if it runs in any other directions.
We have consulted with the relevant landholders, resource geologists and drill contractors and secured a track mounted DD rig and support equipment, which is being deployed to site in the coming days. This will allow the Company to commence the drilling campaign before the end of September and complete drilling by mid to late October.
The looming probe will follow a maiden 4-hole, 285m-plus diamond campaign at Narraburra.
Even though the company has yet to get its hands on a set of assays from the August program, an on-site XRF review of core from the campaign indicates the presence of rare earth elements and metals.
Narraburra’s rare earths mineralisation is tied to Devonian-aged granite rocks which were first discovered over two decades ago. The region was later tipped to be one of Australia’s largest, rare earths and zirconium hot spots and also boasts high-grade lithium mineralisation.
The project is one of a handful of operations earmarked as vital to meeting future mineral demands by the Federal Government’s Critical Minerals Office. The title means Godolphin could lean on the department for funding, information and support – three essential levers it could readily pull as it ramps up work at the site.
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