TANAMI WEST PROJECT – REE & GOLD.
(held by wholly owned subsidiary Rich Resources Investments Pty Ltd)
Located in the West Tanami desert region in northern WA, prospects within the Tanami West Project area were known from the 1960s as a number of small low grade uranium occurrences 8 kms apart in a basal conglomerate unit of an extensive flat-lying sandy sediment sheet straddling the WA/NT state border.
During the initial evaluation of the prospects in 1969, a limited suite of outcrop samples were submitted for analysis for REE (albeit with rudimentary techniques with limited accuracy) and petrological examination. These determinations established the presence of high values of REE (especially the HREE end members) in what was identified as small well-formed crystals of xenotime and florencite, possibly of hydrothermal origin.
Since 2010 when ORM acquired the project, systematic outcrop rock chip sampling, close spaced RC drilling, and regional assessments, including a detailed high resolution airborne geophysical survey, have been completed.
As well as confirming highly anomalous levels of REE by modern analytical techniques in outcrop and drilling samples, analysis has also discovered encouraging gold values. At KK East a shallow 6 metre hole averaged 5.85 g/t Au, while at the KK West Prospect intersections of 40m @ 0.92g/t Au and 44m @ 0.49g/t Au were recorded in the last drilling programme. The latter suggest a significant gold mineralised system in the area of the prospect and future drilling is planned to test the open ended extensions to the east and north.
What appears to be a useful geochemical association of high order strontium and barium values has also been reported in the drilling and this may assist the broader scale appraisals of the region. Levels of both thorium and uranium are quite low in the KK mineralisation.
Preliminary metallurgical testing has demonstrated that the xenotime mineralisation can be recovered by fine grind and high intensity wet magnetic separation techniques.
During 2012 ORM will concentrate on regional reconnaissance to follow up anomalous features defined by the airborne survey (which may help to determine the source of the KK East mineralisation), repetitions and extensions of known radiometric anomalies and general fieldwork in newly acquired licences. Programmes of testing open-ended mineralised zones will be undertaken.