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Strategic Elements Gains Encouragement On Hunt For Heavy Rare Earths In New Zealand

Strategic Elements (ASX: SOR) would be extremely encouraged by early results from one of the first exploration programs for heavy rare earths undertaken in the West Coast of New Zealand.

Strongly anomalous rare metal mineralization was discovered in panned concentrate samples from the first rare metal focused exploration program ever conducted in the Hohonu Range.

The Hohonu Project is 100 per cent owned by Strategic and is located on the South Island, New Zealand.

The New Zealand government is funding a $4M airborne survey of the West Coast that will provide geophysical data for the first time over intrusions in the Hohonu Project area.

Strategic is targeting a rare type of intrusion that occurs in the Hohonu Range called a 'peralkaline intrusion'.

Globally, 'peralkaline intrusions' have been shown to host large multi-commodity rare metal deposits that are particularly enriched with a mix of the most rare and valuable metals.

New Zealand government and academic work has proved that the Hohonu Range contains multiple types of peralkaline intrusive rocks. The exploration program is seeking to hone in on an area where rare metals have been concentrated.

Panned concentrate samples 5501 and 5502 have a strong association with peralkaline mineralization through their particular mix of enriched rare metals and a high percentage of heavy rare earths (29.6% and 18.4% respectively).

Peralkaline intrusion deposits are often located on the margin of an intrusion and concentrated into an ore body by hydrothermal fluids carrying minerals.

Notably, sample 5501 drains an area on the margin of the French Creek Granite, and a PhD thesis has described fluids having been active around this area.

The exploration team is immediately re-prioritizing its exploration activities at the Hohonu Project to concentrate on the peralkaline intrusive anomalies around the location of sample 5501.

No records exist of prior sampling in this area. A comment from the exploration team was "you can guarantee no one has ever been in there".

A sampling program is underway around this location to identify the source of the strong anomalies.

A secondary area of peralkaline intrusive rocks occurs on the opposite margin of the French Creek granite in the Eastern Hohonu River. This margin has a zone of altered granite, with the alteration inferred to be due to hydrothermal fluid activity. Exploration was halted by a deep gorge filled with water.

The exploration team will be dropped above this gorge in the Eastern Hohonu River via helicopter to explore this area. Four other pan concentrates from the Little Hohonu and six from French Creek were not anomalous.

Other prospects - New Zealand flavour

Strategic has a number of projects in New Zealand in addition to the Hohonu Project. The Blue Mountain Project and Mandamus Project on the East Coast both contain known intrusive bodies, significant sulphide mineralization, and potential for large scale upside. Both are highly underexplored and without geophysical data.

Strategic has also lodged over the Golden Blocks Project in the Tasman region.

It contains historic producing gold mines, gold mineralized granite dykes and potential for a buried granite intrusion. It is just 45 kilometres northwest of the Sam's Creek gold deposit where similar style granite dykes host over 1M ounces of gold, and airborne geophysics have recently detected a buried granite intrusion that is potentially the source of the gold.

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