Commodities, Exploration/Development, News

The rising rare earths potential of Tanami

Rare earths

Home to Newmont Corporation’s Tanami gold operation, the Tanami Desert is the Northern Territory’s premier gold mining hub.

The Tanami region has produced more than 10 million ounces of gold since 1986 and its output will continue to grow with Newmont currently working on a Tanami expansion project.

Boosting the Tanami mine life beyond 2040, the upgrade will result in a 150,000 to 200,000-ounce increase in annual gold production from the operation.

To complement the region’s gold affluence, two exploration companies are demonstrating Tanami’s potential for rare earths.

PVW Resources has been exploring its Tanami rare earth elements (REE)/gold project in Western Australia since August 2021, with drilling initially focussed on the Killi Killi East and Watts Rise prospects.

August and October field programs involved REE rock chip sampling and reconnaissance geological mapping at Killi Killi East and Watts Rise.

August fieldwork demonstrated the potential for REE mineralisation at Killi Killi East over a 1.8km strike length.

Assays found 14 of 20 rock chip samples to hold more than one per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO), with the highest reading indicating a TREO of 12.45 per cent including 11,592 parts per million (ppm) of dysprosium.

Follow-up fieldwork in October found 13 of 23 rock chip samples to hold more than one per cent TREO, headlined by an 8.77 per cent TREO reading from TARK0037.

Killi Resources commenced trading on the ASX on February 10 and on February 14 had identified 95 kilometres of REE strike at its West Tanami project in WA.

Killi is completing geochemical evaluation of the tenement package, with particular focus on the Oracle, Bannock and Chickasaw prospects given their proximity to PVW’s emerging REE structure.

“Recent success from our neighbours has highlighted the potential for a significant rare earth discovery in the region and particularly within our 100 per cent owned ground,” Killi chief executive officer Kathryn Cutler said. “With the desired contact extending into Killi tenements, further investigation is warranted with groundwork to commence shortly.

“Rare earths are becoming more and more important to the supply chain for industry particularly around decarbonisation and electrification of cars, and this commodity pathway provides additional value to our West Tanami project.”

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