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Jupiter spits out more high-grade rare earths for Venture Minerals

Venture Minerals on-ground team inspects the latest assays from drilling at its Jupiter project in WA’s Mid West region.

Venture Minerals’ (ASX: VMS) Jupiter project in Western Australia’s Mid West region has delivered more consistent, close-to-surface and high-grade hits, with air-core (AC) drilling unearthing peak assays up to 5716 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO).

The headline result was contained within an 8m slice from 44m as part of a 246-hole campaign covering 14,370m across Jupiter’s 40-square-kilometre area – providing significant data for the company’s pending maiden mineral resource estimate at the site.

The hit was also part of a wider 32m intercept grading 2177ppm TREO from 40m, with additional highlights returning 44m going 2195ppm from just 24m including 16m at 3526ppm from 28m.

Importantly, the percentage of magnetic rare earth oxides (MREO) from the latest round of assays peaked at a significant 30 per cent of the TREO, while only low levels of thorium and uranium were recorded across the entire area.

Wider intersections include 62m going 1391ppm TREO from just 12m including 8m at 2267ppm from 60m, in addition to 55m grading 1676ppm from 16m containing 16m at 2022ppm from 32m. Of the latest set of assays, 17 individual holes returned TREO values exceeding 2000ppm.

You know you’re on to a great project when you have to decide between headlining two stand-out, high-grade hits of either 16m @ 3526ppm TREO, or 8m @ 5716ppm TREO for the title. While these individual results are incredible, the bigger picture is actually far more important. We are seeing remarkable consistency between drillholes over what is a very large mineralised system, which is a major win and a significant milestone for Jupiter. 
Venture Minerals Managing Director Philippa Leggat

Just a couple of months ago, the company unveiled what it said was Australia’s best-ever rare earths drill hit of 48m at 3025ppm TREO at Jupiter and followed up with its best MREO result of 2m at 5056ppm.

Management says the 5056ppm oxide intersection is comprised of 3824ppm neodymium oxide and 1232ppm praseodymium oxide. Both are highly-valuable and in-demand light rare earths that are critical in the manufacture of the permanent magnets used in electric motors and defence applications, in addition to decarbonisation efforts.

The company followed up that result in late May with its widest hit to date from the operation – an 80m section grading 1839ppm from just 8m.

High-grade hits from Jupiter are becoming commonplace for Venture. Previous RC drilling returned hits as high as 2m at an eyebrow-raising 20,538ppm TREO, 2m at 10,266ppm, 12m grading 4673ppm, 20m at 2519ppm and 24m going 2060ppm.

The deposit is within the project formerly known as Iron Duke, where Venture last year signed an earn-in joint venture (JV) agreement with Sentinel Exploration and currently holds a 70 per cent share after meeting its spending commitments of $500,000 within two years. It is now working on securing 90 per cent of the operation.

Jupiter forms part of what is now known as the broader Brothers project, with the small rural town of Mt Magnet being the nearest settlement just 80km to the north-east. It is also close to good infrastructure including sealed road access and a gas pipeline enroute to the major port of Geraldton, 300km away.

With assays from a further 104 holes sunk at Jupiter still pending, Venture could be looking at a sizeable resource at its 40sq-km project if the consistency and high grade of its latest drilling continues to deliver.

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