Power Metals Resources PLC (AIM:POW), with a 58.59% interest in First Development Resources, has released a noteworthy exploration update for the Selta Project in the Northern Territory of Australia, actively enhancing its understanding of mineral exploration potential through a high-level geophysical and GIS-based desktop study commissioned by FDR to identify and prioritise exploration target areas for post-IPO field inspection.
Figure 1: Selta Project regional setting in relation to existing deposits and known mineral occurrences.
Expansion of Rare-Earth Element & Lithium Exploration Target Areas
The key highlights of the exploration update include the expansion of rare-earth element (REE) and lithium (Li) exploration target areas, building on previous ground-based exploration and desk-based data reviews.
The study compiled historical drilling and surface geochemical data, establishing specific mineral exploration target areas for orogenic gold (Au) and base metals, including the potential for iron-oxide copper-gold (IOCG) and iron-sulphide copper-gold (ISCG) mineralisation within the Project area.
REE Mineralisation Potential
One notable outcome of the study is the improved understanding of the potential for REE mineralisation, sharing geological similarities with Arafura Rare Earths Ltd’s nearby Nolans Project.
Additionally, lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites related to granite intrusions were identified, offering insights into potential sources for REE, tin, and tantalum mineralisation.
Background & Study Methodology
In preparation for First Development Resources’ planned IPO, the Company commissioned Resource Potentials Pty Ltd to conduct a geophysical and GIS-based desktop study on the mineral exploration potential of Selta.
The study involved a detailed compilation and review of historical mineral exploration reports, technical data sets, and publicly available datasets, including drilling, geophysical, geochemical, and geological information.
A total of 10,622 drillholes were identified and integrated into a GIS database, providing a comprehensive dataset for analysis. Eight target areas were initially identified, with First Development Resources’ technical team adding a ninth target area based on their in-house analysis.
Proposed Selta Exploration Strategy
The proposed exploration strategy at the Selta Project outlines comprehensive programs aimed at advancing the understanding of key target areas.
The Ingallan LCT and REE target area will undergo further detailed interpretation, including field visits for rock sample collection, soil geochemical surveying, and potential follow-up RC drilling.
The southwest areas, encompassing Hawkshead, Spring Creek, Loora Creek, and West Nintabrinna lithium and REE targets, will see field inspection and geochemical sampling to identify targets for hard rock drill testing.
Additionally, a geochemical soil sampling campaign at Lander West aims to refine current target areas, while the largely unexplored Yundurbulu Gold target will be subject to field inspection, prospecting, and subsequent drilling if necessary. FDR’s short to medium-term goals include drill testing on various walk-up targets, covering base metals, gold, and LCT/REE pegmatite targets.
The evaluation of exploration possibilities for a roll-front uranium target in the northwest of the Project is also underway.
Figure 2: Selta Project targets identified for further exploration located within FDR’s mineral exploration tenements (black outline).
Tristan Pottas, CEO of First Development Resources, expressed optimism about the findings, stating, “Our updated mineral target inventory has been significantly boosted with the findings announced, including notably gold and base metals in historical drilling, along with the realisation that the province is also prospective for IOCG and ISCG targets.”
“At Wallal, we are drill ready and eagerly looking to commence deep drilling on high priority gold targets at the earliest opportunity, commencing with the magnetic bullseye Eastern Anomaly target which we believe bears striking geophysical similarity to the Havieron discovery made by Greatland Gold plc in the same Paterson province as Wallal.”
Sean Wade, CEO of Power Metal Resources PLC, acknowledged the challenges posed by stagnant market conditions but expressed confidence in the added value the updated exploration target areas bring to First Development Resources.
He stated, “I am confident that First Development Resources’ updated exploration target areas add substantially to the investment case for First Development Resources’ and will help to take the Company forward for obtaining funding to aggressively explore these target areas.”
POW’s London Stock Exchange-listed share price has risen 2.28% and is currently trading at 0.52 Great British Pence (9.00am UTC+ 8 hours).