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Rimfire Pacific Mining Commence 4000m Scandium Drill Program

12 February 2024 12:13
Fifield History2

Rimfire Pacific Mining (ASX:RIM) has commenced a 4000-metre aircore drilling program at its Murga Prospect within the Fifield Project, situated in the Lachlan Orogen region of NSW, aiming to determine the extent and continuity of scandium mineralisation across the Murga Intrusive Complex.

Extensive Aircore Program

The extensive 4000 metre program, fully funded by Rimfire’s exploration partner Golden Plains Resources (GPR), aims to ascertain the scandium mineralisation across the prospects 20 square kilometre Murga Intrusive Complex.

Aircore drilling will target Murga North on 100 x 100 meter centres, while the remainder of the Murga Intrusive Complex will be tested on 400 x 400 meter centres.

Typically found within a strongly weathered horizon overlaying magnetic ultramafic intrusive rocks within the complex, the scandium mineralisation at the Murga Prospect spans an interpreted surface area of approximately 20 square kilometres.

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Figure 1: Rimfire 2023 Aircore drilling locations – background TMI image. Approximate boundaries of the Murga Intrusive Complex shown as yellow dashed line on TMI background image.

Historic Drilling

The program is buoyed by previous results at the Murga prospect, which returned multiple intercepts at including 27 metres @ 188ppm Sc from surface including 12 metres @ 224ppm Sc, and 18 metres @ 164ppm Sc from surface including 6 metres @ 208ppm Sc.

Other notable results from the drilling reconnaissance conducted late last year include:

  • 3 metres @ 132ppm Sc from 3 metres in FI2425
  • 15 metres @ 125ppm Sc from 3 metres in FI2427
  • 3 metres @ 101ppm Sc from 15 metres in FI2428
  • 6 metres @ 131ppm Sc from 15 metres in FI2429
  • 6 metres @ 106ppm Sc from 3 metres in FI2430
  • 6 metres @ 173ppm Sc from 3 metres in FI2435

Underexplored and Poised for Success

The largely unexplored Murga Prospect presents significant potential for the Company, as previous exploration efforts in the area primarily focused on testing for gold and platinum mineralisation around the Sorpresa Gold Deposit, situated on the eastern margin of the Murga Complex.

As the Company gears up for its next drilling campaign, the rising global demand for scandium, driven by decarbonisation and the pursuit of greener energy, further underscores the importance of this exploration endeavour.

Scandium, essential for hydrogen electrolysis solid oxide fuel cell technology and high-strength aluminium alloy production, has gained prominence, being listed in Australia’s 2023 Critical Minerals List and the United States Geological Survey’s 2022 List of 50 critical mineral commodities.

Rimfire expects growing demand for scandium from manufacturers preferring long-term supplies from jurisdictions like Australia for their scandium-alloyed aluminium products. Therefore, Rimfire’s Fifield and Avondale Projects are well-placed to capitalise on this surge with sizeable deposits and high grades.

Strategically Positioned

Furthermore, the Project enjoys a strategic location near the Owendale Scandium Project, situated just 10 kilometres north of Murga and Melrose.

This project was recently acquired by a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Ltd for up to $14 million USD, highlighting the escalating market interest in Australian scandium projects.

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Figure 2: Rimfire Fifield and Avondale Project Locations and competitors (Rio Tinto – blue and Sunrise Energy Metals – green).

Identifying Scandium Targets

To enhance the identification of potential scandium targets, Rimfire has initiated pXRF scanning of historical rock chip and drill chip samples extracted from the extensive Fifield Ultramafic Zone, spanning over 50 kilometres.

This zone comprises a significant geological formation encompassing volcaniclastics, sediments, and mafic-ultramafic intrusive units, with the Murga Prospect being among the noteworthy critical minerals prospects situated within this belt.

The pXRF scanning process identifies historic samples with relative scandium anomalies, facilitating their submission to a commercial laboratory for detailed analysis and validation, ultimately aiming to establish a robust pipeline of additional scandium targets within the designated corridor.

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Figure 4: Murga Intrusive Complex auger (maximum Scandium) geochemistry with +50ppm Sc (yellow) and +100ppm Sc (red) contours shown. Approximate boundaries of the Murga Intrusive Complex shown as yellow dashed line on TMI background image.

The Next Steps

The Company expects the aircore program to last approximately three weeks, with analytical results expected four to six weeks after drilling completion.

After completing drilling at Murga, Rimfire intends to begin its JORC program at the neighbouring Melrose Prospect to support the JORC Mineral Resource Estimate.

Although this drilling is pending final regulatory approval, it is scheduled to begin by mid-March this year.

Company Comments

Rimfire’s Managing Director, David Hutton, provided comments regarding the commencement of the program.

“Rimfire is focused on exploring for critical minerals that are associated with global decarbonisation strategies,” he said.

“Globally, western governments and advanced manufacturers are looking to secure long term supplies of critical minerals such as scandium from stable political jurisdictions, at quantities many times the current annual global production.”

“Rimfire believes that our Fifield and Avondale Projects offer significant opportunities for these groups both in terms of deposit size and grade.”

“2024 is shaping up as a pivotal year for Rimfire and its shareholders with multiple programs across a range of critical minerals commencing with aggressive scandium – focussed drilling programs at Murga and Melrose.”

RIM’s Australian Securities Exchange share price has risen 4% and is currently trading at $0.026 (11.45am UTC+ 8 hours).

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