Hastings Rare Metals (ASX: HAS) is encouraged by recent reconnaissance mapping and sampling at its Hastings Project that has recovered high heavy rare earth (HREO) to total rare earth (TREO) ratios from the southern extension.
HREO to TREO ratios for the four recent samples ranged from 87% to 92%, higher than the figure of 84% returned from the composite sample from the resource zone.
Significantly, this also provides the potential to increase rare earth and rare metals mineralisation beyond current resources.
The Hastings Project currently hosts an Indicated and Inferred JORC Resource of 36.2 million tonnes at 0.21% total rare earths (TREO), including 0.18% heavy rare earths (HREO), plus 0.89% ZrO2 and 0.35% Nb2O5.
The mapping program was assisted by the use of a handheld scintillometer which had been used successfully by Hastings to define mineralised intervals during its 2011 drilling program.
Recently acquired detailed topographic data has also been incorporated into the interpretation.
Four surface samples were collected from areas with high scintillometer readings. A further six samples were taken from adjacent areas to provide background values.
The four selected samples returned encouraging grades in line with near surface mineralisation in the resource zone.
- STH 2: 1,947 parts per million (ppm) TREO; 1,696ppm HREO; 187ppm Dy2O3; 993ppm Y2O3; 9,168ppm ZrO2; and 3,243ppm Nb2O5;
- STH 3: 1,872ppm TREO; 1,688ppm HREO; 159ppm Dy2O3; 1,088ppm Y2O3; 8,885ppm ZrO2; and 3,094ppm Nb2O5;
- STH 4: 1,751ppm TREO; 1,607ppm HREO; 165ppm Dy2O3; 989ppm Y2O3; 8,111ppm ZrO2; and 3,223ppm Nb2O5; and
- STH 8: 2,309ppm TREO; 2,051ppm HREO; 206ppm Dy2O3; 1,272ppm Y2O3; 10,201ppm ZrO2; and 3,432ppm Nb2O5.
As a comparison, a recent analysis of a composite sample of near surface, oxidised material from the resource zone returned a grade of 1,806ppm TREO, 1,518ppm HREO, including 161ppm Dy2O3, 991ppm Y2O3, 8,505ppm ZrO2 and 3,432ppm Nb2O5.
Additionally, one sample collected from some 4 kilometres to the south of the resource zone, and within Hastings' prospecting licences, returned elevated ZrO2 (4,081ppm) and TREO (1,723ppm).
Although a single sample, this result indicates that the company's tenements hold potential for rare earth and rare metal mineralisation away from the currently defined resources.
Hastings plans to undertake more detailed mapping and sampling of the southern extension at the completion of the current rainy season.
A drilling program will then be considered to test the mineralisation at depth.
Producing 10% of the world's Dysprosium
Hastings is the largest heavy rare earth project in Australia, and ranks fourth largest globally, (HREO projects defined as > 35% HREO:TREO).
The project has resources for +25 years at 1 million tonnes per annum, to produce over 10,000 tonnes per annum (tpa), including heavy rare earths - 140tpa Dysprosium oxide (equating to 10% of world supply), 830tpa Yttrium oxide (equating to 6% of world supply), and 590tpa mixed rare earth oxide, along with 2,630tpa Niobium oxide and 6,170tpa Zirconium oxide.
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