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Mount Ridley nabs $1m rebate for rare earths research

Updated: Apr 19

Mount Ridley Mines has topped up its piggy bank with a big tax rebate. Credit: File

Mount Ridley Mines says its coffers have been given a $1 million top-up after it pocketed a research-and-development tax rebate for work done on its rare earths project near Esperance on Western Australia’s south coast.

The reimbursement from the Australian Taxation Office comes after the company reported $1.433 million in cash reserves in its most recent quarterly financial report that it delivered in December last year. It qualified for the rebate through its metallurgical studies into beneficiation and leaching of clay-hosted rare earths from its namesake project.

Its work to date has indicated that significant beneficiation of potential “ore” material, up to 160 per cent, can be achieved by screening and it has also demonstrated that hydrochloric acid is an effective leachant to move the rare earth oxides from the clays into solution.

The $1 million tax rebate is an example of a significant way in which the Federal Government is assisting innovative explorers working in the critical metals space. Last week, Mt Ridley put out some of the best drilling results to date from its namesake Mt Ridley clay-hosted rare earth project, including 10m at 3330ppm TREO and 16m at 2718ppm TREO, and these are feeding into the Company’s inaugural mineral resource estimation, which is in progress and scheduled for completion by the end of the current quarter. Mount Ridley Mines technical consultant David Crook

Crook said that with a geological model now in place, the company will be better able to target high “dollar-value” zones of rare earths mineralisation for more detailed metallurgical studies later this year, providing key information as it develops a chemical flowsheet for its extraction.

More recent developments at the project have seen the company defining rare earths mineralisation in grid-based, resource-focussed drilling of 155 air-core (AC) holes at its most advanced Mia project, where drill intersections have averaged 12m and total rare earth oxides (TREO) grades have been recorded at up to 1200 parts per million at depths between 6m and 41m.

Mount Ridley’s largely contiguous rare earths project comprises nine granted exploration licences centred about 80km north of Esperance. The ground covers about 3400 square kilometres and extends parallel to major north-east/south-west-oriented regional structures including the Coramup Shear and Heywood-Cheyne Fault.

Including Mia, the company has defined seven target areas throughout its tenement suite. Management says it remains committed to its R&D work and expects to be in a position to claim more tax offsets in the future.

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