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Reach Resources zeros in on Gascoyne niobium, rare earths

Reach Resources has identified a magnetic intrusive near old pit workings at its Wabli Creek project in WA’s Gascoyne region. Credit: File

A geophysical data review at Reach Resources (ASX: RR1) Wabli Creek project in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region has identified a magnetic intrusive it believes may be linked to the source of niobium, yttrium and rare earths mineralisation.

Importantly, the newly-defined, oval-shaped target is coincident with previous high-grade results from eluvial samples and soil geochemical anomalies including 32 per cent and 13.3 per cent niobium oxide, 0.72 per cent yttrium oxide and 2.6 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO). The feature was defined following a comprehensive review of airborne magnetic and radiometric data conducted by geophysical consultants Southern Geoscience.

The review found that the magnetic feature is interpreted to be a younger granitic sequence that has intruded into the older, regionally-extensive, Durlacher supersuite along a major east-west-trending corridor.

Management says its existing three highest-priority geochemical targets, highlighted from a tenement-wide soil geochemical survey last year, have been confirmed to be associated with structures at the margin of the newly-identified magnetic intrusive feature.

Back in the 1980s, historical records show that one tonne of eluvial samarskite was scraped from one of the pegmatites within the Wabli Creek pegmatites, which suggest the swarm could be a source of high‐grade niobium, yttrium and other heavy rare earths including dysprosium and terbium. A total of 27 niobium, yttrium and rare earths targets have now been identified at Wabli Creek and will be the major focus for ongoing exploration.

To date, none of the targets have been drill tested.

The identification of a potentially late-stage, younger, granitic intrusive sequence at Wabli Creek is really exciting. We have previously reported some very high grade Nb-Y-REE rock chip and soil results at Wabli Creek, and having now located what may be the source of mineralisation, could potentially be of significant importance in understanding the source of the mineralisation at the project. Reach Resources chief executive officer Jeremy Bower

Following the successful review by Southern Geoscience, management says detailed airborne geophysical surveys including magnetics, radiometrics and gravity are now planned to further refine priority areas, in addition to potentially identifying further targets.

The company has enjoyed significant success in the Gascoyne region on top of its impressive sampling figures and emerging targets at Wabli Creek. In March, it signed an earn-in and joint venture (JV) agreement on its Morrissey Hill and Camel Hill projects with giant neighbour Delta Lithium.

Delta paid Reach a non-refundable $3.2 million and can earn an initial 51 per cent interest by spending $3 million on exploration within the first two years. Management says Delta will be required to pay it $10 million – in cash, shares, or a combination of both – if it delineates a mineral resource estimate equal to or greater than 7.5 million tonnes at 0.8 per cent lithium oxide on the tenements covering the two projects any time within eight years of the agreement’s start date.

Morrissey Hill directly adjoins Delta’s Yinnetharra project, while Camel Hill lies about 25km south-east from Morrissey Hill and has a similar geological setting.

Meanwhile, Reach is expecting assays from rock chip samples taken at Wabli Creek to be returned from the laboratory within weeks, with results set to provide data to further define target areas for follow-up exploration.

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