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Aruma sets new rare earths benchmark for Saltwater

Aruma Resources’ Saltwater project. Credit: File.

Aruma Resources has produced its best rare earths grades to date from its Saltwater project near Newman in Western Australia, with rock-chip assays as high as 1777.5 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) and soils as high as 1092.5ppm.

Results revealed by the company today also include 1026ppm TREO from a rock chip and 572 and 592ppm TREO from soils. Management says the area continues to reveal a major volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) system hosting multi-commodity enrichment that will be tested by drilling next year.

Following its news last month of anomalous assays for gold, arsenic, manganese, copper, cobalt and barium from soil and rock-chip samples at Saltwater, Aruma followed up on anomalous cerium and lanthanum geochemistry seen within 14 samples. Five of those samples – two rock-chip and three soil – contained significant rare earths enrichment.

The company says the magnetic rare earths neodymium and praseodymium make up 42 per cent of the 1777ppm TREO in one of the rock-chip samples. The sample previously assayed at 982ppm cobalt and 4.3 per cent manganese, with 341ppm lithium adding some colour.

The other rock-chip sample assayed at 1026ppm TREO on the most recent assessment and previously gave 58 per cent iron and 22ppm uranium.

Our ongoing field work at the Saltwater Project continues to deliver highly positive early-stage results, which validate the potential of this large greenfield Project area. Aruma’s targeting and sampling work has successfully highlighted the multi-commodity potential of Saltwater, and these latest high REE results continue to reinforce the Project’s REE potential in-line with the Company’s exploration model. Aruma Resources managing director Glenn Grayson.

Grayson said that given the positive results achieved to date, first-pass drilling of priority targets would be a focus for the company next year in a bid to test multiple targets and elements.

The Saltwater project is comprised of an elongated series of tenements stretching north-west to south-east across about 450 square kilometres. It was initially pegged by Aruma in 2020 during a gold search in the area.

Neighbouring tenement holder Dreadnought Resources, which has land adjacent to the northern boundary of Aruma’s Saltwater project, has also recently divulged some rare earths hits. Rock-chip results announced by Dreadnaught to the market in February this year raised some eyebrows going a huge 13,300ppm TREO and 12,100ppm TREO. One sample assayed at 11.8 grams per tonne gold and 650g/t silver and another at 11.9g/t gold and 710g/t silver, suggesting the area is truly a multi-commodity opportunity.

Aruma also has several other promising exploration opportunities, with its 100 per cent-owned Salmon Gums gold project producing historical results of 28m at 8.41g/t gold, 5m at 50.2g/t from 42m and 7.6m at 7.3g/t from 38.4m, about 300km south of Kalgoorlie.

The company’s Mt Deans hard-rock lithium project, about halfway between Kalgoorlie and Esperance, has historic drill results of 8m at 1.1 per cent lithium oxide from 26m and 5m at 1.2 per cent lithium oxide from 4m.

Now, with confirmation Saltwater is prospective for rare earths alongside other elements, the market will be looking forward to seeing what the drill bit throws up next year.

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