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Venture Minerals holds breath on Jupiter rare earths drill results

Updated: Mar 24

Venture Minerals drilling underway at the Brothers rare earths project. Credit: File

Venture Minerals has wound up stage one resource drilling at its 40 sq km, large-scale, clay hosted Jupiter rare earths prospect, 80km south-west of Mt. Magnet in WA’s Mid-West region. The project previously threw up some eye-watering results including 32m at 1629ppm TREO from 22m including 16m at 2397ppm TREO and a further 2m at an eyebrow-raising 7367ppm TREO from 36m.

The program’s completion sees Venture reaching the 70 per cent expenditure milestone contained in its joint venture agreement with Sentinel Exploration and the company says it can elect to forge ahead to 90 per cent ownership by contributing 30 per cent or dilute to a 10 per cent free carried interest to completion of a viable bankable feasibility study or definitive feasibility study (whichever comes first) on the project.

Once Venture has earned 90 per cent interest, Sentinel must elect to either contribute or sell its interest to the purchaser, based on an independent expert’s valuation.

Sentinel is the 100 per cent owner of the Iron Duke Project which is immediately south of Venture’s Brothers rare earths project.

Drilling continues to confirm Venture’s belief that the Jupiter target has the potential to become an exceptional rare earths project with excellent access to infrastructure and processing plants in a tier one jurisdiction in Western Australia. With that in mind, the board has committed to go to 90 per cent ownership of the Jupiter target, having met the 70 per cent milestone late last year and we look forward to delivering a maiden resource of high-grade, critical REE minerals in the first quarter of this year. Venture Managing Director Andrew Radonjic.

Venture says it has also pegged a further 257 sq km of tenure next to the Brothers and Iron Duke projects which brings its total project area up to 919 sq km of prospective rare earths tenure.

Venture’s drilling across the unusual alkaline intrusive-hosted Jupiter rare earths anomaly involved 82 holes for a total of 5052m of drilling, comprising 30 air-core holes for 1803m and 52 reverse circulation holes for 3249m.

Management says most holes intercepted broad zones of rare earths mineralised clays, as confirmed by the company’s established practice of conducting preliminary in-field portable “p_XRF” analysis as part of its sample selection protocols.

The company says the latest intercepts confirm results from Venture’s previous drilling at Jupiter, where zones ranging from 20m to 30m thickness offered up grades exceeding 2000 ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) within broad zones that could run up to 64m thick and carry grades up to 1000ppm TREO.

The longest intercept in the program reamed through 64m of mineralised clays at a respectable grade of 1613ppm TREO and included 26m going 2019ppm TREO.

Management says grades only tend to taper off where the basement rocks approach or pierce the surface topography and where the clay blanket is thin or absent.

Venture says although sample results from the program are pending over the next few weeks, it is optimistic that its latest resource definition drilling could punt its Jupiter project into a “world class” category.

The project is well situated in regional Western Australia with the small rural town of Mt Magnet being the nearest settlement. It is close to good infrastructure which includes sealed road access and a gas pipeline enroute to the major port of Geraldton, 300 km away.

The project is also about 250km from Iluka’s Eneabba rare earths refinery, slated to begin production in 2025 and it is about 520km from Lynas’ concentrator facility operating at Mount Weld.

With grades peaking at over 7000 ppm TREO and some lower grade intersections hitting 64m in drilling to-date, Venture’s project would appear to have both grade and depth. With a market that is seemingly insatiable for all things electric vehicle, Venture will be off to the races if it can continue to replicate the early drill results.

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