C is for Carbonatite; that’s good enough for me

Paul Howard | Analyst | Canaccord Genuity (Australia) Ltd.


Commencement of drilling at C1-C5 carbonatite targets: The much anticipated drilling of the C1-C5 rare earth element (REE) carbonatite targets has commenced at Dreadnought Resources’ (DRE-ASX) Mangaroon Project in the Gascoyne of WA. Eighty-three holes for 6,600m of wide-spaced, first-pass drilling is designed to test the carbonatites undercover. DRE believes that the carbonatites could be the source REE intrusion for the region and analogues to LYC-ASX’s Mt Weld.

Carbonatite exploration in the region: In November 2021, DRE identified 6 carbonatite intrusions at Mangaroon from a recent magnetic survey flown in the area. Carbonatites are known to host significant rare earth deposits (i.e. Mt Weld – LYC-ASX, Nolan’s – ARU-ASX). Around Mangaroon, most of the carbonatites are obscured by calcrete cover and were not focussed on by previous explorers. The classic carbonatite model envisions multiple pulses of carbonatites intrusions associated with radial or ring- like REE-bearing ironstone dykes and sills and niobium-bearing veins, all associated with widespread fenite alteration of the host rocks. These intrusions are nearly always associated with major crustal scale structures, at Mangaroon that it interpreted to be the Lyons River Fault, which is a major crustal-scale structure. Economic mineralisation is often concentrated within the carbonatite plugs (as primary magmatic, structural/vein hosted or residual enrichment) with additional minor mineralisation associated with the radial and ring ironstone (ferrocarbonatite) dykes. DRE already has the ironstones in Yin, Sabre and Y8, and is now hunting the prized carbonatite source. Watch this space!

Ongoing results and news flow: We recently initiated coverage of DRE. Since then, DRE has released another batch of assays from its Yin discovery. The assays confirm REE mineralisation and follow up previous visuals announced. All up, 41 holes out of the 120 RC holes completed along a 3km portion of the 16km Yin prospect have been released with the latest results from earlier this month including:

  • 26m @ 1.31% TREO from 16m (incl. 8m @ 2.55% TREO) – 30% NdPr
  • 50m @ 0.72% TREO from 72m (incl. 5m @ 2.81% TREO) – 32% NdPr
  • 19m @ 1.15 TREO from 52m (incl. 8m @ 2.33% TREO) – 36% NdPr

These results are in addition to the first batch, which included 35m @ 2.75% TREO from 94m. While TREO grades generally appear lower in these latest assays, it is important to note that the NdPr: TREO ratio would appear to be increasing as drilling moves north.

DRE has recently confirmed that initial drilling at Y3 (renamed Sabre) intercepted REE mineralisation. Today, it has confirmed Sabre over 1.5km of strike and reported that mineralised ironstones have been uncovered along a further 1.5km strike at a new discovery – Y8. All up, DRE has now confirmed rare earth mineralisation over 6km at Mangaroon and has a strike rate of three discoveries from three targets drill tested.
The main Sabre ironstone lode is confirmed as a sub-vertical lode with intercepts up to 21m in thickness in multiple drill lines with potential parallel lodes in excess of 5m also intersected in wide-spaced fence lines. The new Y8 appears to be skinnier (averaging 3-4m thick) but could be an extension of Sabre. Assays are expected in early November.

DRE is targeting a maiden resource for Yin in the DecQ’22 and now one for Sabre/Y8 in the JunQ’23.

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