Caspin Resources (ASX: CPN) have unveiled ‘significant results’ from the first 7 holes of its drilling campaign at the Duchess Prospect within Mount Squires Project in Western Australia, with additional drilling outcomes yet to be disclosed.
The recently release results stem from a 4500m RC program conducted in June of the current year, with the goal of drilling to test several rare earth elements (REE), gold, nickel and copper targets across the Project.
The Mount Squires tenement has vast potential for further REE exploration, with detection in historic drills holes reported throughout the year.
Among the initial 7 holes, assay data has indicated an expansion of mineralisation at the Duchess Prospect, with notable results including 27m @ 0.70% TREO from 42m, encompassing a higher-grade zone of 12m @ 1.15% TREO from 55m (MSRC0003), as well as 12m @ 0.81% TREO from 68m, featuring a higher-grade zone of 6m @ 1.15% TREO from 12m (MSRC0006).
Furthermore, the assays highlighted low levels of deleterious elements such as uranium and thorium, averaging less than 20ppm and 10ppm respectively.
Figure 1: Drill hole locations and significant mineralisation at the Duchess Prospect
The aim of the drilling campaign was to extend the REE mineralisation discovered in the initial hole, MSAC0141, which reported 46m @ 0.71% TREO including 22m @ 1.25% TREO.
Caspin have drilled a pattern of 9 holes across approximately 100m extending from MSAC0141, guiding the exploration under the focus of understanding geological contacts and faults that may influence mineralisation.
In addition, 3 further holes (MSRC0008 – MSRC0010) have been drilled southeastward at Duchess East, an area displaying concurrent REE and base metal mineralisation. Results from these remaining holes, alongside outcomes from the Handpump Prospect (gold) and the Sienna and Auburn Prospects (nickel-copper), are still pending.
Caspin’s ‘Unique’ Position
The mineralisation reported at the drill holes remains open along two interpreted controlling structures over 1000m, with significant proportions of high value heavy REE (HREE) in TREO up to 73%.
The HREE included metals such as dysposium (Dy) and terbium (Tb), with light rare earth elements (LREE) including neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr). The Company has observed that the proportion of HREE to LREE can vary significantly, ranging from 23% in MSRC0003 up to 73% in MSRC0001.
Figure 2: Significant Aircore Drill Intercepts
These results are significant for the Company and present opportunities of strategic advantage, with HREE holding higher market value over the more common LREEs, which are the dominate profiles of many Australian rare earth projects and Caspin’s industry competitors.
Caspin’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Miles noted this opportunity, saying this discovery offers the Company a unique position amongst its peers.
Potential for a Large REE System
The initial drilling results also confirmed a hydrothermal mineralisation style hosted by volcanic rocks. The mineralisation reported remained open along both the volcanoclastic-rhyolite and dolerite contacts over at least 1,000m, providing the Company with further opportunities for discovery at the tenement.
In conjunction with the RC drilling program, Caspin engaged AXT to analyse the mineralogy of REE mineralisation with the results of the study recognising REEs are predominately hosted in monazite, with accessory xenotime.
These findings have ‘positive implications’ for further metallurgical testing aimed at enhancing comprehension of the correlation. While the primary source of REE mineralisation remains undetermined, the Company postulates that it is probable to originate from the rhyolite itself.
The assay results from the remaining holes are still pending, which will test further extensions to the east of the currently defined mineralisation at Duchess.
The Company announced that it will evaluate the results when they have been finalised, and develop an appropriate follow-up drill program to encapsulate the data. This program will likely focus on the untested extensions and contacts that are now recognised to host mineralisation.
Caspin’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Greg Miles, commented, “this is a great start to our Mount Squires drill program which tested several targets and commodities across the Project.”
“Results returned from only a small number of holes have demonstrated that there is growing potential for a large deposit of rare earth mineralisation at Mount Squires, a region that has never had systematic rare earth exploration. The mineralisation remains open in multiple directions with no previous drilling of the controlling structures.”
“Importantly, this mineralisation contains an exceptionally high proportion of heavy rare earths, which are many times more valuable than the light rare earths which dominate the profiles of many Australian rare earth projects. This offers Caspin a unique position amongst its peers. It is also encouraging to recognise rare earth mineralisation associated with monazite, a common rare earth ore mineral with a well understood processing route.
“We look forward to the return of the remaining rare earth assays, as well as gold, nickel and copper results from the remainder of our program.”
CPN’s Australian Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently trading at 21 cents (2.45pm UTC+ 8 hours).