Field reconnaissance at Buxton Resource’s (ASX:BUX) Narryer Project has delivered an unexpected yet outstanding indication of the Project’s Rare Earth Element (REE) potential, with rockchip sampling undertaken at the Project’s Prodigy Prospect returning results of 0.45 per cent Total Rare Earth Oxides (TREO).
The outstanding results were returned from a chip sample taken from a relatively fresh basaltic rock which itself was taken from a recently identified outcrop of mafic volcanic rocks, with these results being up to 93 times higher than background for basaltic rocks which average grades of 0.01% TREO.
Also of particular interest is that a significant portion of this sample is comprised of high-value heavy rare earth oxides, with HREOs comprising 0.24 per cent of this sample’s overall TREO grade.
So far Buxton’s focus for this Project has been on its potential to host Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation, but the return of this rock chip has given the explorer a compelling new avenue for exploration, with Buxton believing that due to this high level of REE enrichment being held within a moderately weathered rock, the Project hosts considerable potential for carbonatite-type REE mineral systems.
While the Project area has yet to see any serious REE-focused exploration, XRF analysis of the outcropping volcanic at Prodigy returned elevated levels of pathfinder elements such as niobium, phosphorus, barium, and copper, which are often indicators of REE mineralisation.
Additionally, a recently completed Ground Electromagnetic Survey undertaken across the Project’s Ranger and Bandito Prospects has identified three conductive plates which it has now earmarked for future drill testing.
Figure 1: Magnetic Image showing the newly identified conductors at Bandito and the location of the highly-anomalous REE rock chip.
The highest value conductive plate is located within the Ranger Prospect and is estimated to be 230m deep, bears an 870-metre strike length and is being targeted for Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation due to its high conductance value of 2,100 Siemens being consistent with a high priority target for magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide mineralisation identified in a previous survey.
The two remaining plates are located at the Bandito Project and bear respective conductance values of 100 and 250 Siemens, which while far lower than the plate at Ranger, is consistent with the Carbonatite related REE model.
The combination of the new targets and the outstanding rock chip result has given the explorer confidence to move forward with a planned four-hole 835-metre drilling campaign at the new targets, testing for carbonatite-associated REE mineralisation at Bandito, and Ni-Cu sulphide mineralisation at Ranger.
To take full advantage of the Project’s rapidly growing potential, Buxton has also taken important steps to secure its holdings in the Project and has now been granted Exploration Licence E09/2922, which covers the along-strike extension of the Bandito Prospect and brings the Project’s tenue to 1,918 square kilometres.
Securing this additional licence is another demonstration of the confidence Buxton has in its projects, with the Company similarly expanding its Copperwolf Project in Arizona to 29.5 square kilometres.
The Company has already secured a Project of Work approval for drill testing on the newly modelled conductive plates and has now engaged the Wajarri Yamaji Aboriginal Corporation to heritage survey at Bandito and Ranger, aiming to secure further approval for the planned drilling campaign.
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