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Venture Minerals probes broad, deep rare earths at Jupiter

Updated: Mar 24

Venture Minerals drilling to define rare earths at its Jupiter target. Credit: File

Venture Minerals has produced what it says are exceptional assays of up to almost 7400 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) in a maiden 25-hole reverse-circulation (RC) drilling program at its new Jupiter target in Western Australia’s Mid West region.

The company says it latest results from the target at its Brothers project reveal a remarkable consistency in multiple intercepts of between 12m and 32m thick and ranging on average between 2000ppm and 2500ppm TREO. The top assay of 7367ppm TREO from a 2m section is part of a 16m run that averages about 2394ppm TREO.

Other intercepts range from 2m to 8m, with runs typically averaging 3000ppm to 4000ppm TREO. Broader intercepts up to 64m thick average about 1000ppm TREO and management says the magnet rare earths oxides (MREO) component averages 23 per cent, while thorium and uranium values are low.

The company describes the Jupiter target as a 40-square-kilometre area above an alkaline intrusive. It is indicated by a distinct oval-shaped gravity “high” and coincident magnetic anomaly, which contains rare earths hosted by overlying clays.

RC drilling at our priority, large-scale Jupiter Rare Earths Target has delivered even better grades and widths of clay-hosted mineralisation than our reconnaissance air-core program. These results strengthen Venture’s belief that the Jupiter target has the potential to become an exceptional Rare Earths Project. Jupiter’s immediate value proposition to shareholders lies in quick delivery of a cost-effective high-grade, critical rare earths minerals resource in a geopolitically secure location like Western Australia. Venture Minerals managing director Andrew Radonjic

A quick eyeballing of the assay logs indicates that grade runs above 1000ppm TREO typically start to kick off, on average, about 15m to 30m downhole. Many end in mineralisation above 1000ppm TREO at depths between 40m to 70m, but occasionally deeper to around 90m.

Venture says holes 17 and 18 show remarkably continuous runs, from 20m to 90m and mostly ranging between 1100ppm and 2500ppm. Hole 23 kicks off at 40m and runs to 96m in similar vein.

The observations appear consistent with the conclusions from the company’s earlier reconnaissance air-core (AC) drilling, which shows lower clay-hosted TREO grades where fresh basement rock comes near the surface and the clay profile is thin.

The RC drilling also shows broad zones of rare earths mineralisation in fresh basement. It confirms a tantalising possibility for primary rare earths mineralisation.

The Brothers project is about 82km west/south-west of the WA town of Mount Magnet. It is one of the region’s original gold mining towns and the longest-surviving gold mining settlement in the State.

The project is well-situated near significant infrastructure, which includes a sealed road and power and port access. It is about 250km from Iluka Resources’ Eneabba rare earths refinery, which is slated to be in production in 2025 and about 520km from Lynas Rare Earths’ operating Mount Weld concentrator.

A block model of the natural surface, weathering profile, selected grade zones, clay thickness and bottom hole geology will be fascinating to look at to get a handle on geology and the origins of mineralisation.

The name Jupiter is usually better related to the Solar System’s biggest planet, which is known as a gas giant. But this is not a gas exploration venture, it is for rare earths and this company may just have a good one.

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