Norwest Minerals snaps up prime West Arunta ground so close to WA1’s Luni niobium-REE discovery

Feb 14, 2024 | Media

  • Norwest Minerals picks up prime REE ground in the West Arunta region
  • New tenement is the closest ground position south of WA1’s Luni niobium-REE discovery
  • Norwest is an established West Arunta explorer holding 1560 km² where critical mineral targeting across current and the new ground packages is under way


Special Report: Norwest Minerals has scored the closest ground to WA1 Resources’ exciting Luni niobium-rare earths discovery that has turned the West Arunta region into Australia’s No.1 exploration hot spot.

Norwest Minerals (ASX:NWM) is no stranger to the West Arunta region, given that it has been exploring at its own West Arunta critical mineral project since 2019, well before the drill intersection of 54m at 0.62% niobium, 0.18% rare earths and 3.85% phosphorus from 162m that heralded WA1 Resources’ (ASX:WA1) discovery of Luni.

NWM’s exploration efforts thus far have proved there is indeed REE mineralisation on its West Arunta tenure.

Drilling carried out in 2022 into a 3km REE soil anomaly returned evidence of clay-hosted REE with three of the southern-most holes returning +1,000ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) in granite saprolite clays.

What this all means is that not only does the company already have an established ground position in a highly sought-after region of WA, it also has proof that REEs are present on its acreage.

Map showing key West Arunta explorers, tenements acquired by Norwest and WA1’s Luni discovery. Pic: Supplied (NWM)

Tantalisingly close to the play opener

NWM has now secured a further 360km2 of ground – including tenement E80/5846 – to its current 1,560km2 project.

Notably, E80/5846 is the closest ground position south of the game-changing Luni discovery, as well as tenements held by Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) where niobium-REE mineralisation has also been reported.

“This exciting acquisition includes ground immediately adjacent to WA1’s Luni niobium discovery; being just south of their project border,” NWM chief executive Charles Schaus said.

“Our status as an established West Arunta explorer holding a 1,560km² ground position allows us to expedite the start of exploration activities across the newly acquired tenements.  

In the meantime, Norwest is developing a number of carbonatite and other critical mineral targets from its significant geochemical database and recent geophysical analysis.”


Capital raising and advisor appointment

Investors certainly seem to believe in the prospectivity of NWM’s acreage, providing firm commitments towards a placement of 50 million shares priced at 2c each to raise $1m.

The company has also sought to improve its balance sheet by reducing short-term liabilities
in the form of loans from certain directors.

Subject to shareholder approval, these directors have agreed to convert half of the outstanding loans – totalling $750,000 – into shares.

NWM has also appointed Perseus Mining (ASX:PRU) founder and lithium expert Mark Calderwood as its advisor to the West Arunta project.

This article was developed in collaboration with Norwest Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.