Castillo Confirms Broken Hill Rare Earth Potential

14 June 2023 10:47

Castillo Copper (ASX: CCZ) continues to develop the historic Broken Hill Project’s rare earth element potential, with new metallurgical testwork from the Projects East Zone showing Total Rare Earth Element plus Yttrium grades up to 1,632 ppm TREY.

Testing Rare Earth Potential

Metallurgical testwork was undertaken by specialist consultant ANSTO and was performed on six samples taken from the Fence Gossan, Reefs and Tors Tank prospects across BHA’s eastern zone, with results showing TREY grades between 227 and 1632 ppm, which the Company noted was consistent with previous findings.

Testwork also revealed that the samples contain considerable proportions of high-value Magnetic Rare Earth Oxides (MREOs), with MREOs comprising up to 27 per cent of total rare earth oxide grades, further validating the Castillo’s belief that uncovering REEs in the East Zone is a “game-changer” for the Company.

The program follows up on preliminary testwork which showed up to three times rare earth enrichment from the head grade with recoveries up to 70 per cent.

Leaching Extractions

For metallurgy, all six samples were subjected to the direct leaching process which showed a peak TREY extraction rate of 30 per cent, the Company is now reviewing potential next steps proposed by ANSTO to potentially increase extraction rates.

Proposals from ANSTO include the assessment of a wider variety of samples from across the East Zone to confirm the current extraction rates as well as the consideration of alternative leaching tests using an alternative lixiviant to assess whether REE dissolution can be achieved with an increased leach duration time.

Looking Forward

The Company said that as it reviews ANTSO’s recommendations on how to unlock the East Zones rare earth potential, it is now shifting focus to its namesake red metal, with the Company close to receiving the pit optimisation and mine design study for the 2.1Mt @ 1.1% Cu for 21,886t Big One Deposit and delivering an update to the 3.2Mt @ 3.35% for the 107,589t Cangai Copper Mine.

“The Board is pleased the work by ANSTO ratified the earlier assay results and high MREO to TREO ratio. However, the Board is now reviewing ANSTO’s recommendations on how to improve the metallurgical results from the BHA Project’s East Zone,” Chairman Ged Hall said.

“The Board’s focus is now on the Australian copper assets, with critical reports due on Cangai Copper Mine and Big One Deposit that could aid materially in securing development partners.”

CCZ’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price was trading at 1c today (10:09 am UTC+ 8 hours).

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