ABx Group (ASX: ABX) has commenced a follow-up drill campaign at its rare earth elements (REE) discoveries in Northern Tasmania to test step-out locations from the company’s previous campaign which intersected the highest assays to date.
The initial drilling will be conducted at the Wind Break deposit. This is supported by funding from Mineral Resources Tasmania for Round 8 of the Exploration Drilling Grant Initiative (EDGI). The funding is for up to a maximum of $70,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
The drilling programme will then move to the northern extensions of the Deep Leads – Rubble Mound resource. Assays received in September 2023 identified a series of high-grade exploration results from the northern extensions, including hole RM336 which encountered 17,333 ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO), which is four times higher than ABx Group’s previous highest-grade discovery.
The latest series of discoveries were also notable for relatively high concentrations of dysprosium and terbium, two of the most critical rare earth elements. Grades reported from RM336 included up to 819 ppm Dy2O3 and up to 138 ppm Tb4O7.
Discoveries from this campaign, as well as the high-grade results from the previous drilling, are anticipated to increase the Company’s existing Deep Leads – Rubble Mound JORC (2012) Mineral Resource Estimate, which currently sits at 27Mt @ 803ppm TREO (Inferred 24Mt, Indicated 4Mt).
“ABx continues to build a reputation as a highly active exploration company in Tasmania, with continuous discoveries made throughout the year and now the launch of our next campaign which is anticipated to run until at least the end of 2023,” Managing Director and CEO Mark Cooksey said.
“Given the spectacular results from our last campaign, the team is very keen to get back on the ground to further test this heavily enriched critical minerals channel. ABx has followed this REE channel for 16 km eastwards from Deep Leads to its Wind Break REE discovery and, to date, the best grades appear to occur in hilly scrub country or plantation forests.
“These increasing grades are coupled with the knowledge that the rare earth deposit has been confirmed to contain ionic adsorption clay rare earths. These are amenable to low-cost benign production methods with the potential to significantly reduce extraction costs.
“Finally, I would like to thank the Tasmanian government for their support via the EDGI grant, which continues to play a significant role in supporting and accelerating our Northern Tasmanian rare earths exploration.”