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Valor Resources says Canadian rare earths play worth wait

Updated: Apr 9

Valor Resources is looking to get its hands on some Canadian rare earths. Credit: File

Valor Resources has staked three new mineral claims covering 6.41 square kilometres in Canada’s world-class Athabasca Basin, two of which cover the historical Beatty River heavy rare earths project. Management says previous explorers tabled assays of up to 8.75 per cent total rare earths oxide (TREO) with up to 1.15 per cent dysprosium.

Notably, the elements making up heavy rare earths are consistently comprised of more than 90 per cent of TREO.

But the company is convinced a previous drill campaign in 2010 did not thoroughly test the targets, or surrounding areas, for rare earths.

Valor hypothesizes that the mineralisation style and geological setting of the area shares similarities with the hydrothermal unconformity-related rare earths deposits of Northern Minerals’ Browns Range project in Western Australia and the Maw Zone in the eastern Athabasca Basin.

The new acquisitions are an aspirational claim for the company, with Browns Range positioned to become the first significant dysprosium producer outside of China. Valor is now busily designing plans to prove up its theory with a field program later in the year aimed at shoring up historical exploration results.

The company’s third mineral claim is at the company’s Cluff Lake project and butts against its prospect known as Moose Lake.

Several geophysical targets have already been identified from gravity, megatem and magnetic surveys, while sampling of historic trenches has returned assays of 9.15 per cent, 6.9 per cent and 0.51 per cent TREO, which are predominantly light rare earths due to the presence of monazite.

The claims are located close to our existing portfolio in Canada – which makes perfect sense as to why we kept an eye on this project and made sure we were ready when the ground became available. Valor Resources executive chairman George Bauk

While the company has carved out its reputation in uranium – and to a lesser extent, copper and silver – management argues it holds particular expertise in rare earths, pointing out that non-executive director Gary Billingsley was a past owner of the Beatty River project during his tenure at Great Western Minerals Group.

Valor’s in-house team also boasts technical director Robin Wilson, who led the exploration mission that discovered the Browns Range heavy rare earths deposit.

The company’s flagship Canadian interest is the Hook Lake project, which sits 60km east of Cameco’s Key Lake uranium mine in the northern part of the Canadian province, Saskatchewan. The project covers 258sq km and its 16 contiguous mineral claims host several prospective areas of uranium mineralisation.

Valor also has a 100 per cent equity interest in the Cluff Lake uranium project, which contains 19 contiguous mineral claims covering 575sq km.

Finally, the company’s Canadian uranium interests are wrapped up with six additional projects within the Athabasca Basin, with 100 per cent equity interest in 17 mineral claims covering 163sq km at the Hidden Bay, Surprise Creek, Pendleton Lake, MacPherson Lake, Smitty and Lorado projects.

While the issue of China’s dominance of the global rare earths sector has been well ventilated, Canada has taken a direct approach to tackling the issue.

Late last year, the Canadian Government announced a ban on investment in the minerals sector by State-owned entities, particularly those from China, which dominates the processing of key energy-transition metals such as lithium, cobalt and rare earths.

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