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Meeka posts maiden Esperance rare earths resource

Updated: Apr 18

Meeka Metals has delivered an independent maiden resource at its Circle Valley project near Esperance after a comprehensive drill campaign. Credit: File

Meeka Metals has tabled an independent maiden resource of 98 million tonnes grading 890 parts per million total rare earths oxide (TREO) for 21,560 tonnes of neodymium-praseodymium (NdPr) metal at its Circle Valley project in the Western Australian town of Esperance.

The new resource, based on 12,401m of large-diameter air-core (AC) drilling, is contained within an optimised pit shell and above a 430ppm TREO minus cerium oxide cutoff. Management’s estimate also holds an impressive NdPr to TREO ratio of 25 per cent.

The pit shell has an average depth of just 26m and covers an area of about 18.8 square kilometres that extends some 5.5km north-south and 7.5km east-west. The company has also identified a high-grade 1sq km subset of the resource that includes 13 million tonnes at 1440ppm TREO.

Management says results from this year’s drilling program confirm the shallow high-grade mineralisation that trends north-west and remains open, providing strong potential for further growth through drilling. The mineral resource was independently estimated by Cube Consulting and was based on drill results on a 400m-by-400m grid.

This initial high-grade Mineral Resource at Circle Valley is a commendation of the diligent work by our team in identifying and then executing on the rare earth opportunity, moving from concept to Mineral Resource in under 24 months. Meeka Metals managing director Tim Davidson

Circle Valley is one of two rare earths projects the company has near WA’s southern coast, centred around the port of Esperance – its second being Cascade to the south-west. Cascade was pegged on the back of Circle Valley’s potential and is an impressive tenure of more than 2000sq km.

Just last month, Meeka recorded its highest rare earths mineralisation to date at Circle Valley. The headline hit returned 4m coming in at an impressive 7475ppm TREO, within a 12m intercept averaging 4276ppm TREO from just 19m. Other notable runs include 16m grading 1814ppm TREO from 17m, with an internal 4m coming in at 3266ppm TREO, along with 4m chiming in at 1773ppm TREO from just 6m.

Consistently high NdPr levels were returned between 24 per cent and 30 per cent. NdPr is two so-called “magnet rare earths” with strong and diversified demand. They are integral to the manufacture of permanent magnets used in electric vehicles and wind turbines, in addition to communications and military technology.

Rare earths mineralisation at Circle Valley has been highlighted in thick saprolitic clay seams beneath a thin veneer of transported cover. The company’s exploration efforts reveal that the cover material thins to the north-west where the latest highest-grade mineralisation is recorded.

Considering the company first identified the potential opportunities at Circle Valley less than two years ago, it has been on the front foot in highlighting the wealth of rare earths mineralisation in the Esperance area, alongside fellow ASX-listed OD6 Metals.

Now that Meeka has identified a maiden mineral resource at its operation, the market will be keeping a close eye on potential resource upgrades for Circle Valley, in addition to further developments at its Cascade project nearby.

Watch this space…

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