Lately there have been several new discoveries of rare earths mineralization, and at least one company has expanded mineralization at its project through additional drilling. The news is encouraging in that while rare earths are not actually very rare in terms of distribution in the Earth’s crust, it’s difficult to find deposits that are economically mineable.
Lately there have been several new discoveries of rare earths mineralization, and at least one company has expanded mineralization at its project through additional drilling.
The news is encouraging in that while rare earths are not actually very rare in terms of distribution in the Earth’s crust, it’s difficult to find deposits that are economically mineable. On that note, here’s a look at a few companies that have come out with interesting results in the past week or so.
Search Minerals (TSXV:SMY)
On Tuesday, Search Minerals reported a new rare earths discovery in the Port Hope Simpson rare earth element (REE) district in Labrador. It is the company’s second REE discovery in the area, with the first being the Foxtrot deposit.
So far the new prospect, called Deepwater Fox, has the potential to be wider than Foxtrot, and could be up to 500 meters long and 34 meters wide. The company has noted that assay results are “generally higher than any of those at Foxtrot.” Assay highlights include:
- 5.96 meters of 1,433 ppm yttrium, 2,156 ppm neodymium, 48 ppm terbium and 286 ppm dysprosium
- 17.5 meters of 1,284 ppm yttrium, 1,893 ppm neodymium, 41 ppm terbium and 241 ppm dysprosium
“These initial channel results from Deepwater Fox are very encouraging. They support and strengthen our business strategy for Search Minerals which is to develop the Foxtrot Project first and self-fund the development of the 100% owned REE District,” said Search Minerals’ interim president and CEO, Jim Clucas, in a statement.
Search owns over 20 more prospects in the district, and Clucas said the company continues to advance them.
Ucore Rare Metals (TSXV:UCU)
While Ucore didn’t announce a new discovery, the company did report a respectable expansion to the mineralization at its Bokan-Dotson Ridge project in Alaska. The company conducted a 17-hole drill program at Bokan in 2014, and five of those holes were aimed at testing for mineralization at depths greater than the existing deposit.
The results came up positive, as all five holes intersected mineralization an average of 100 meters below all previous drill intersections. Currently, the average depth of the resource at Bokan stands at about 220 meters.
What’s more, the grade and rare earth content of those results is consistent with the existing resource, adding further weight to the potential for “significant resource expansion” at Bokan. The market seems to have been modestly happy with the results — on Wednesday, when Ucore announced the news, its share price rose just over 4 percent.
US-based private company RioSol and its Peruvian arm, Compania Minera Rio Sol, got a lot of attention when they announced a huge rare earths discovery in Peru last month. The companies followed up with more details on the discovery last Thursday.
Citing a report on the Capacscaya site and adjacent claims that was finalized in January, RioSol said that geologists have confirmed the site has “the highest range of rare earth metals in Peru.” More specifically, neodymium, which is a relatively in-demand rare earth used in the strongest rare earth magnets available, ranked highly. Europium and yttrium, which are used in phosphorescent materials for lighting applications, also ranked high in the study.
“Capacscaya contains both light- and heavy rare earth elements and metals, as well as copper, zinc, cobalt, aluminum, iron and other base metals,” the report states. “It proves that the potential for rare earth elements exists outside of China with significant opportunity for development of new production in Peru.” Further exploration is expected to take place at the claim in 2015.
Certainly, it is heartening for both investors and end users to see further exploration taking place for rare earths deposits outside of China. Those interested in the critical metals space will no doubt be keeping an eye on the growing number of rare earths projects throughout the year.
Securities Disclosure: I, Teresa Matich, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
For more insight into the rare earths market, check out our recent video interview with Jon Hykawy of Stormcrow Capital.