Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU), a prominent developer of heavy rare earths, is pleased to announce significant developments related to its Wolverine deposit, situated within the Browns Range Heavy Rare Earth Elements (REE) project, located approximately 145 kilometers southeast of Halls Creek in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Assay Results from Wolverine Ore Characterization and Geotechnical Drilling Program:
The company has recently received the assay results from the residual orebody component of the Wolverine Ore Characterization and Geotechnical Drilling program, which was successfully completed in March 2023. These assay results represent infill intersections in the Indicated category of the Wolverine Mineral resource estimate, as of October 2022.
- Assay results include:
- BRWD0057: 3.47m @ 7.79% TREO
- BRWD0058: 12.77m @ 1.13% TREO, including
- 1.22m @ 1.20% TREO
- 8.58m @ 1.49% TREO
- BRWD0062: 11.4m @ 1.34% TREO
- BRWD0064: 9.25m @ 1.61% TREO and 10.28m @ 0.4% TREO
- BRWT0503: 22.79m @ 0.50% TREO, including.
- 9.49m @ 0.52% TREO
- 10.34m @ 0.62% TREO
The importance of these assay results cannot be understated, as they significantly contribute to enhancing our confidence in the structural and mineralization interpretation of the Wolverine deposit. This, in turn, will play a crucial role in informing updates to our resource estimates, ensuring they accurately reflect the potential of this valuable resource.
The Wolverine deposit is characterized by the presence of the rare earth phosphate mineral xenotime (YPO4) within a structural brecciated zone, rich in dysprosium and other heavy rare earth elements (HREEs). Approximately 89% of the Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO) at Wolverine are heavy rare earths, making it a strategically significant deposit for the production of these critical elements.
New Co-funded Resource Definition Drilling Program:
In a significant development, Northern Minerals Limited has initiated a new Resource Definition Drilling Program at the Wolverine Deeps Deposit. The program commenced with the collaring of the first drillhole in November 2023.
The primary objective of this drilling program is to achieve infill drill spacing to a nominal 25-meter grid, thereby enhancing geological confidence in future Mineral Resource Estimate updates. The program specifically targets the deeper Inferred Mineral Resource, with the goal of upgrading the geological confidence in this area and converting it to an Indicated Resource category.
The program is designed to target approximately 1.99 million tonnes at 1.25% Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO), containing an estimated 24,900 tonnes of TREO. Successful conversion of the Inferred Resource to Indicated Resource status may further allow for the conversion of Indicated Resource to Probable Reserves, in accordance with the JORC code for Ore Reserve estimates.
The initial program design involves drilling 24 Parent holes and 42 descendant holes, totaling approximately 18,000 meters. The program is expected to be completed during Q2 2024, with potential adjustments to the design based on intersections and geological team interpretations. Directional drilling techniques will be employed to enhance accuracy in achieving planned intercept targets.
These recent developments mark significant progress in Northern Minerals Limited's commitment to responsible exploration and development of heavy rare earth resources. The company remains dedicated to meeting global demand for these essential elements and looks forward to sharing further updates as the program progresses.
Executive Chairman Mr. Nicholas Curtis commented: “The new assay results are encouraging and emphasis the unique nature of the Browns Range system and high-grade opportunities in the area. This allows for the confidence in the development of the Wolverine Orebody within the Browns range system. We are also extremely pleased to have commenced the Wolverine Resource Definition Drilling program and are confident that the results of the Program will add important knowledge to our extensive Wolverine Deposit geological database, and regional geological understanding. The Company was able to progress the Program as a result of the grant monies received from the Federal Government and due to the assistance from our Native Title Partners - The Jaru People who assisted in ensuring required heritage surveys were completed prior to the campaign commencing. The completion of the Program coincides well with the Company’s planned FID event in Q2 2024.”
Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) (Northern Minerals, or the Company) owns 100% of the Browns Range Project (Project) in northern Western Australia, tenements uniquely rich in the heavy rare earth elements dysprosium (Dy) and terbium (Tb).