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Terrain Minerals hails potential for rising WA rare earths province


Terrain Minerals is looking to impact future technology requirements with its gallium and rare earths from WA.

Terrain Minerals (ASX: TMX) says the latest gallium and rare earths hits at its Larin’s Lane project have provided more compelling evidence of an emerging mineralisation province in Western Australia’s Mid West region.


The company’s air-core (AC) sample assays show total rare earth oxides (TREO) to a high of 3254 parts per million and surprisingly-elevated gallium signatures to a maximum of 53.74ppm gallium oxide. The results are complemented by magnet rare earth oxides (MREO) content in some of the samples of up to 25 per cent.


Management says that on the back of Venture Minerals recently revealing record-breaking rare earths hits at that company’s Jupiter deposit, about 80km to the north, the area is now firming as Australia’s “premier destination” for rare earths mineralisation.


The top five rare earths intercepts from Terrain’s most recent Larin’s Lane assays – based on intercept length multiplied by TREO grade – are 20m at 1468.16ppm TREO, 16m at 1658.17ppm, 16m at 1632.75ppm, 16m at 1632.05ppm and 12m at 1831.44ppm. The intercepts begin at downhole depths ranging between 56m and 84m.


The headline gallium oxide intercepts from downhole depths starting from between 4m and 68m reached 30m at 40.32ppm, 24m at 46.34ppm, 20m at 48.33ppm, 16m at 53.74ppm and 8m at 52.62ppm. Terrain says about 70 per cent of the assays returned to date reveal elevated gallium values, with a maximum intercept thickness of 64m.


Gallium is not regarded as a rare earth, but a lighter element in the metals group of the Periodic Table of the elements. It melts near room temperature and has one of the biggest liquid ranges of any metal, so it has found use in high-temperature thermometers, easily forms alloys with most metals and has been used to create low-melting alloys.


The soft, silvery metal is also used as a doping material for semiconductors and has been used to produce solid-state items such as transistors and light-emitting diodes. Gallium arsenide can produce laser light directly from electricity.


Additionally, large amounts of gallium trichloride were collected to build Italy’s Gallium Neutrino Observatory – built to study atomic particles called neutrinos, which are produced inside the sun during the process of nuclear fusion.


The Larin’s Lane prospect lies within Terrain’s 100 per cent-owned Smokebush project, about 350km north of Perth. The company’s maiden AC drilling program at the prospect entailed 101 holes for a total of 6611m across a 6km-by-1km area.


Management says extensive areas of the prospect remain untested, but could still be prospective in an area measuring an estimated 9km by 2km. The clay-dominant regolith depths vary considerably, ranging from 20m to 40m in the western side of the ground to as much as 95m in the east.


WA’s Mid West has recently risen from obscurity in regards to its rare earths potential, with multiple companies now reporting the unusual minerals suite from the lower section of the Periodic Table.


Venture’s Jupiter prospect has been delivering what seems to be an almost unending stream of spectacular clay-hosted rare earths hits in recent months. Last month, the company reported eye-catching intersections up to 60m at more than 2000ppm TREO.


The results include one hole intercepting 39m at 2960ppm TREO including 18m going 5206ppm, which also features 2m at 26,958ppm.


The burgeoning rare earths hunt is driven largely by the recent global “decarbonisation imperative” that sees an increasing numbers of explorers heading off in a search for rare earths minerals, lithium and other battery elements. In short, it is true that if you don’t look you will never find and Terrain is enmeshed in its hunt at Larin’s Lane.


The company is also assessing the gallium potential at its Lort River project area, so it seems to have the bit between its teeth on the metal, in addition to the rare earths potential within both projects.


Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: office@bullsnbears.com.au

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