Hastings Rare Metals' (ASX: HAS) rock chip sampling at its self-named project in Western Australia has returned its highest ever assay results including 5,237ppm total rare earth (TREO), confirming two new zones of near surface, high-grade mineralisation.
Preliminary interpretation highlights the potential for very attractive, near surface, low strip ratio resources at the two targets.
Notably, these are located within 4.5 kilometres from the current JORC Resource of 36.2 million tonnes at 0.21% TREO and 0.18% HREO.
"This is particularly pleasing, as it points to significant resource potential outside of existing known resources or mineralised areas," technical director Steve Mackowski said.
"These two radiometric targets have potential to provide significant tonnages of rare earths mineralisation, with excellent mining configurations (low strip ratio)."
Further cost effective exploration activity including mapping, sampling and drilling is planned.
The rock chip sampling followed up on two radiometric anomalies - Levon and Haig - that are located 1.3 kilometres and 4.5 kilometres respectively from the existing resource within the Niobium Tuff.
A total of 19 rock chip samples were collected from the eastern side of Levon.
These exceeded 1,000ppm TREO, which is the cut-off grade for the main resource, with six exceeding 2,100ppm TREO, which is the average grade of the main resource.
Two high assays of 4,281ppm and 5,237ppm TREO exceed any previous samples from the Hastings Project area.
The arithmetic average of the 19 samples is 2,052ppm, very similar to the average resource grade of the Niobium Tuff. Based on the area covered by this initial traverse, Levon is at least 400 metres long and averages 65 metres wide on surface.
Further mapping and sampling, to include the western portion of the radiometric anomaly, followed by drilling and metallurgical testwork is proposed.
At Haig, 13 rock chip samples were collected, all of which exceeded 1000ppm TREO.
In addition, all but two samples exceeded 2,100ppm TREO while the average grade is 2,485ppm, 18% higher than the average resource grade of the Niobium Tuff.
Haig is at least 500 metres long and averages 50 metres wide on surface.
Further mapping and sampling, followed by drilling and metallurgical testwork is proposed to establish the potential of this area.
These results indicate that both targets have the potential to be attractive mining operations.
A further traverse and an additional 10 rock chip sampling program was undertaken over the Southern Extension (which is contiguous to the existing JORC resource).
Individual samples returning 2,929ppm TREO including 2,569ppm HREO, and 2,940ppm TREO including 2,517ppm HREO were well above the average grade of the main resource.
Based on the mapping to date, the Southern Extension is about 500 metres long and varies from 5 metres to almost 30 metres in width at surface.
The mineralised horizon appears to be tightly folded such that the true width of the zone in this area is difficult to ascertain.
Sampling density is such that a limited program of six RC holes is now proposed to test the extent of this mineralisation at depth.
Hastings is the largest heavy rare earth project in Australia, and ranks fourth largest globally, (HREO projects defined as > 35% HREO:TREO) with resources for more than 25 years of production at over 1 million tonnes per annum to produce over 10,000 tonnes per annum.
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