Cobra Resources (LSE:COBR) has unveiled noteworthy findings from its Boland Prospect within the Wudinna Project, with positive metallurgical results having affirmed the presence of ionic rare earth mineralisation, prompting the Company’s application for a new tenement to expand the Project’s footprint.
‘Changing the Future Supply of REEs’
The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) carried out the metallurgical testwork on the Boland Prospect, located in the Wudinna Project in South Australia, and confirmed the mineralisation was cost-efficient, easily recoverable, ionic adsorption rare earth clays.
This provide significant opportunities for Cobra, with the low extraction costs, high recoveries of heavy magnet rare earths, and scalability of the operations putting the Company in a strategic position for future exploration activities in comparison to its competitors.
Cobra is optimistic about the geological concept’s potential to reshape the future supply of critical rare earth elements (REEs), driving decarbonisation efforts.
In the wake of this discovery, Cobra has submitted two additional applications to the west of the Wudinna Project. If approved, this move would establish the Company as the dominant landholder in the Narlaby palaeo-channel.
Figure 1: Locality plan highlighting the Company’s exploration tenement applications on the Narlaby palaeo-channel
The results from the testing conducted by ANSTO demonstrated to Cobra that the areas within the Boland Prospect have preferred mineralogy for fostering REEs.
The ionic clay REE deposits are a superior source of Heavy Rare Earth Oxides (HREOs) and Magnet Rare Earth Oxides (MREOs) due to their enrichment relative to Light Rare Earth Oxides (LREOs) and their ability to be desorbed through ion exchange rather than aggressively baked and acid leached.
This form of mineralisation is lower in cost and holds less environmental risk, ultimately creating a competitive advantage for the Company.
The Next Steps
Cobra is determined to leverage the importance of the findings at the Boland Prospect and initiate a work plan to further develop this discovery. The Company’s objectives include:
The Company plans:
- Conducting sonic core drilling to gain deeper insights into the mineralization’s characteristics.
- Installing monitoring wells to support pilot Insitu Recovery Mining extraction trials.
- Expanding the footprint of Ionic REE mineralization through aircore drilling.
- Obtaining a Maiden Boland Mineral Resource Estimate.
- Reanalyzing historical drill samples to identify new occurrences of ionic REEs.
- Undertaking regional palaeo-channel testing to assess the scalability of the province.
Cobra Resources CEO Rupert Verco stated that the metallurgy results place the Company in a select group of projects that can demonstrate the presence of highly sought-after ionic rare earth mineralisation.
“Low-cost metallurgy, coupled with low-cost insitu recovery mining, are the key ingredients to enable a clean, low-impact sustainable source of rare earth metals,” he said.
“The REE mineralisation at Boland can be rapidly recovered using a lixiviant comparable to orange juice in acidity, in a mining practice that can be integrated into current agricultural land practices.”
“It is these attributes that make this discovery significant. The Boland discovery has the right technical components to secure the future supply of critical rare earth metals necessary to decarbonise the western world.”
“With the further two exploration licence applications, Cobra is now the dominant holder of REE prospective palaeo-channel in the region, a jurisdiction experienced in, and supportive of, insitu recovery mining.”
Cobra Resources Non-Executive Director David Clarke added that the results at the Boland Prospect demonstrate exceptional geological thinking within the Company.
“It was a strongly reasoned concept but nothing like this model has previously existed,” he said.
“It may take some time for the full implications of Cobra’s model to be apparent – but it is already clear that it is positive for Cobra’s shareholders and the western world’s ready access to a range of critical rare earth metals required for permanent magnets that are the efficiency enabler for electrification.”
COBR’s London Stock Exchange-listed share price is currently trading at 1.10 pence (3pm UTC+ 8 hours).