top of page

Gallium find adds intriguing edge to Terrain Minerals project

Updated: Apr 30

Terrain Minerals has hit gallium oxide at its Smokebush project. Credit: File

Terrain Minerals has identified multiple zones of gallium mineralisation at its Smokebush project in Western Australia’s Mid West region, less than a month after the metal sent another explorer’s share price rocketing.

Drill results at the company’s Rabbit Warren and Paradise City prospects were of comparable grade to the assays that saw North Sydney-based Gold 50’s stock jump 146 per cent after that company found big chunks of the precious metal in Arizona.

Gold 50 reported a whopping headline gallium hit of 109m going 40.5 grams per tonne from 129m. Terrain’s new results include 10m grading 37.6g/t gallium oxide, within a bigger 86m intercept at 17.4g/t from surface at Rabbit Warren.

Paradise City also returned impressive results, with a 4m section at 28.2g/t gallium oxide within a 30m hit at 20.1g/t from 80m, with another 9m segment going 30.9g/t gallium inside a 16m section grading 24.1g/t gallium oxide from 11m. A third hole at the prospect also returned some solid figures with 7m at 30.9g/t gallium oxide, within an 11m segment grading 28.2g/t gallium oxide from surface.

Terrain says the chemical and physical properties of gallium makes it well suited for use in high-performance applications such as advanced military equipment. Gallium may be combined with other materials to produce a special class of chips known as wide bandgap semiconductors. The chips can handle higher temperatures, voltages and frequencies than conventional silicon chips, making them smaller, faster and more efficient.

Management says China has been the dominant global supplier of gallium – farming out up to 98 per cent of the world’s total – and the likely sole supplier to many American and European semiconductor manufacturers. But it believes major change was signalled at the start of this month when China imposed a strict ban on all exports of gallium and germanium.

The move is expected to create significant supply chain issues for every non-Chinese semiconductor manufacturer around the world, given there is presently no obvious alternate gallium supplier of scale. The Center for Strategic and International Studies described China’s decision as a “shot across the bow designed to showcase China’s capacity and willingness to weaponize critical minerals for geopolitical gain”.

It makes Terrain’s find an intriguing one, particularly at a time when it is has vowed to undertake a series of investigations in a bid to unveil the preferred host lithologies and geological settings for both gallium and geranium within its existing portfolio of tenements. It includes a particular emphasis on areas that are prospective for complementary mineralisation, such as rare earths and base metals.

At Smokebush, it would include a potential copper target at the company’s Larins Lane prospect, in addition to its Lort River project near Esperance. The company believes Larins Lane may be part of the same geology as the Archaean greenstones at the southern end of the Yalgoo-Singleton greenstone belt that hosts 29Metals’ world-class Golden Grove copper-gold-silver-zinc-lead mine.

Earlier this week , Terrain received the green light for a maiden drill campaign this month to target clay-hosted rare earths at Lort River. Last year, a review of soil samples from historical gold exploration at the site returned positive results, including 580ppm total rare earth oxides, with 25 per cent of the total grade magnet rare earths.

But this latest find, the company’s promise to further investigate its potential and China’s sudden ban, all combine to present it with the potential to sit under the same bright lights Gold 50 enjoyed last month.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact:



bottom of page