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Aurium Resources acquires iron and manganese exploration tenement in WA

Aurium Resources (ASX: AGU) has acquired an iron and manganese exploration application in the Earaheedy Basin in Western Australia for a cash consideration of $15,000.

The tenure is located 14 kilometres southeast of Cazaly Resources' (ASX: CAZ) Cecil Rhodes Project, which is subject to the recent farm-in by Anglo American (LON: AAL).

The exploration tenement (EA69/3025) covers parts of the iron-rich Frere Formation in the Earaheedy Basin, which is highly prospective for large scale iron ore deposits. The new tenure is also prospective for manganese mineralisation.

The Frere Formation is found on the northern margin of the basin, in the Lee Steere Ranges, and will be the primary focus for iron ore exploration upon grant of the tenement.

The iron formations generally increase in thickness and abundance in a north westerly direction within the basin, and recent detailed studies have indicated similarities to the economically important iron formations of the Lake Superior region of North America.

There is also potential for stratiform bedded manganese mineralisation in the Karri Karri Member of the Chiall Formation that overlies the Frere Formation and is believed to share similarities with the giant Kalahari manganese field in South Africa.

Past iron exploration work in the 1970s, principally by Amax Exploration and BHP (ASX: BHP), outlined extensive areas of hematite/goethite enrichment with surface grades of up to 66% Fe along the Frere Formation.

More recently, ground traverses and rock chip sampling of the same Formation by Dragon Energy (ASX: DLE) and Zenith Minerals (ASX: ZNC) have returned values up to 59.6% iron and 64.2% iron, respectively.

Drilling completed by Cazaly at its Cecil Rhodes Prospect, included 34 metres at 54.4% iron (including 22 metres at 58.1% iron), and 22 metres at 57.8% iron and 26 metres at 55.1% iron.

The results support the Frere granular iron formations as being an important iron resource. Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG), Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), BHP Billiton and Atlas Iron (ASX: AGO) have land-banked substantial parts of the basin, including the Frere Formation.

The manganese potential was recently highlighted with the discovery of high grade manganese (assays to 47.4% Mn) by Zenith Minerals (ASX: ZNC)  at their Red Lake Prospect, 57 kilometres southwest of the tenement.

Also, Ausquest’s (ASX:AQD) Manganese Dome project is located 90 kilometres southeast of the application.