Kimberley Rare Earths (ASX: KRE) is advancing closer to a resource upgrade and is awaiting drill assays from a recently completed reverse circulation drilling program at its Cummins Range rare earths project in Western Australia.
A total of 4,230 metres of drilling was completed in 77 holes aimed at boosting both the size and classification of the existing JORC Inferred Resource of 11 million tonnes at 1.1% total rare earths oxides (TREO) (0.5% cut-off).
A boost to the project is the fact that the resource oxide blend at Cummins Range is very similar to Lynas Corporations' (ASX: LYS) Mt Weld, believed to be the richest known deposit of rare earths in the world.
Each of the five high priority aeromagnetic targets defined previously within the Cummins Range pipe were subjected to scout drill tests.
Drill sites were selected by combining the gravity and geochemical data to prioritise the more prospective zones within the five aeromagnetic targets.
Chief executive officer Tim Dobson told Proactive Investors today Kimberley Rare Earths has also confirmed a proper specific gravity estimate of the Cummins Range deposit which was not undertaken previously.
"Resource estimators are usually reluctant to put things into an Indicated category without a proper measurement of the specific gravity, or the SG, of the deposit," he said.
"So we’ve done downhole gamma gamma logging now and we have an idea of the SG."
Difficult drilling conditions including binding clays, voids and water flow in several holes curtailed a component of the planned drilling resulting in a reduced program over the central resource area.
Such ground conditions are characteristic of the most strongly mineralised zones of the Cummins Range rare earth resource.
All reverse circulation drill samples have now been received by the laboratory and initial analytical results are expected shortly, with final completion of all analyses due by late November or early December.
Field activities at Cummins Range are currently being wound up for 2011 due to the onset of the northern wet season including regular thunderstorms and scrub fires.
Dobson said Kimberley Rare Earths expects to probably resume work at Cummins Range in about March or April 2012, when the wet season ends and access is restored to the project.
“When we go back in we’ll be taking a diamond drill rig in to collect metallurgical samples, as well as more reverse circulation drilling,” he said.
In other news, Kimberley Rare Earths is due to complete legal due diligence on the Malilongue rare earths project in Mozambique in mid-December.
In late September, the company announced it had entered into an agreement with Great Western Mining to secure an option over the project.
Boosting Kimberley Rare Earth Expertise
Kimberley Rare Earths has appointed Michael Chan as General Manager – Project Development for Cummins Range.
The appointment is a coup for Kimberley Rare Earths as rare earths metallurgical expertise is known to be almost non‐existent outside of China.
Chan, who will take the reins in mid-December 2011, has direct experience on the Mt Weld rare earths project being developed by Lynas Corporation.