Norwest has mobilised a rig to test its high priority Arunta West project for rare earth elements and associated copper-gold and base metal mineralisation.
The rig will carry out a 20-hole reverse circulation drill program totalling 2,000m over the REE anomaly, which was defined by coincident cerium, lanthanum and yttrium extending along a 3km section of the geological contact between the Mount Webb granite and Bitter Springs Group sediments.
The anomaly is broadly similar to the high-grade Dazzler and Iceman REE deposits at the third party Browns Range project located outside Halls Creek, Western Australia.
However, Norwest Minerals (ASX:NWM) noted that the tenor of the coincident cerium and lanthanum surface samples over Arunta West are more than double those of the same elements used to identify the Dazzler and Iceman prospects at Brown’s Range in 2013-14.
Phase 1 program
This Phase 1 drill program, which is due to begin in about one week’s time, is supported by the Western Australia state government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme, which co-pays half the drill costs up to the grant amount of $180,000.
“Norwest is happy to be drilling these exciting geochemical targets prior to the end of this year and we certainly appreciate the recognition and support received from the WA government via its $180k EIS grant,” chief executive officer Charles Schaus said.
“The Norwest drilling follows the announcement by explorer WA1 Resources Limited (ASX: WA1) of the REE discovery on its West Arunta project located nearby.
“Importantly, the pending wet season risks are mitigated by a fully maintained road passing close to the drill site which will allow rapid demobilisation in the event of monsoonal conditions.”
The area identified by the company’s independent consulting geochemist on tenement E80/5031 is open to the west.
The geological contact location between the Bitter Springs sediments and Mount Webb granite is supported by geophysical evidence including radiometric and magnetic surveys.
Geophysics also defines a major northeast-southwest trending structure crossing and disrupting the geological contact.
This article was developed in collaboration with Norwest Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.