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OD6 Metals doubles down on Esperance rare earths play

Updated: Apr 18

OD6 Metals has begun its third drill campaign at its Splinter Rock rare earths project near Esperance. Credit: File

ASX-listed OD6 Metals is set to nearly double its drill campaign at its Splinter Rock project near the Western Australian town of Esperance, with a third program now probing a raft of targets identified in a successful airborne electromagnetic survey.

The planned 188-hole air-core (AC) program will cover 10,000m, with the aim of testing the length of the site’s main prospects and identifying the grade and thickness of the extensions.

OD6 has seen significant success at Splinter Rock throughout its first two drill campaigns at the operation, with results returning impressive figures of 3m at 6605 parts per million total rare earths oxide (TREO) from 57m.

Earlier this year, the company completed its second phase of drilling, with 74 of the 83 holes returning significant grades and thickness, including a 69m intercept going 1483ppm TREO from 24m from its Centre prospect.

It has to date completed 262 holes for 10,167m at Splinter Rock during the first two phases of drilling. The second phase delivered an outstanding success rate of 90 per cent in terms of intersecting high-grade clay-hosted rare earths using the survey data.

Last year’s maiden 65-hole drill campaign at Splinter Rock unveiled a broad parcel of clay-hosted mineralisation with grades of up to 6726ppm TREO. Assay highlights from the program include 6m at 4139ppm TREO from 27m, 6m grading 3262ppm from 30m, 18m running 2249ppm from 21m and 7m going 2279ppm from a shallow depth of just 45m.

This third phase program aims to significantly expand on the length of the main prospects as we target our strategy of pursuing the best of the best zones within these high-quality REE clay basins. The new drill program, set to nearly double the amount of drilling conducted up until now, is targeted using our highly effective AEM data, and we anticipate expanding our clay hosted rare earths discovery even further. OD6 Metals managing director Brett Hazelden

OD6 will also have the bonus of using a maximum grant of $180,000, secured from the WA Government as a successful Exploration Incentive Scheme co-funded drilling program applicant, to explore Splinter Rock.

The company has earmarked the funding for diamond-core drilling to provide samples for metallurgical analysis, in addition to AC drilling to test the mineralisation length, depth, thickness and grade of the operation’s clay basins.

Splinter Rock is about 150km north-east of Esperance and comprises six exploration licences covering more than 2500 square kilometres. OD6 also holds the Grass Patch project about 100km north-west of Esperance, with a tenement area of more than 2200 sq km.

OD6’s latest campaign is expected to take up to eight weeks to complete with assay results predicted to be available late next quarter. If the company can replicate its success from its first two programs at the operation, it could be looking at a significant rare earths resource at a time when demand for the commodity is at a premium.

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