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Northern Minerals makes rare earth discoveries at Dazzler and Iceman prospects

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Australian heavy rare earths producer Northern Minerals Limited (Northern Minerals) has announced that assays from reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the Iceman and Dazzler prospects in northwestern Australia have confirmed both as exciting new high-grade heavy rare earth discoveries.

The assay results follow an earlier announcement (on 2 August 2018) whereby the company reported preliminary results using portable XRF (pXRF) measurements of yttrium.


Located south of the Browns Range Pilot Plant, Dazzler is on the edge of a small scarp adjacent to a strong geochemical soil anomaly. The prospect was previously drilled in 2013, with seven RC drill holes completed. These holes were located at the base of the scarp slope and drilled directly into the Browns Range Metamorphics (BRM) unit.

The current programme is the first to assess the unconformity between the Gardiner Sandstone and the underlying Browns Range Metamorphics. Thirteen holes for 1242 m have been drilled in the current programme.

Follow up drilling is planned for 4Q18, including diamond drilling.


The Iceman prospect is located approximately 400 m along the strike to the southeast of Dazzler. This is the first drilling at the Iceman prospect and was targeted on the edge of a small scarp adjacent to a strong geochemical soil anomaly. Drilling from above the scarp firstly intersected the overlying Gardiner Sandstone unit before entering the lower Browns Range Metamorphics. Nine holes were drilled for 754 m at Iceman. Follow-up drilling is planned to commence later in the December quarter, with diamond drilling likely to be included to assist with the interpretation of the structural controls on mineralisation.

Northern Minerals has been using pXRF successfully at Browns Range since the project’s beginning. The current procedure for using field pXRF has been in use since 2014. Using this technique, a reliable indicator of final assay TREO is obtained at the drill rig utilising historical correlations built between pXRF analysis of yttrium and paired assay data for TREO (TREO = Total Rare Earth Oxides). According to Northern Minerals, as with previous comparisons between pXRF and assay results for RC drilling samples, these current assay results support the ongoing use of pXRF as a reliable preliminary indicator of mineralisation.

Managing Director and CEO, George Bauk, commented: “These very high-grade assays confirms our belief of having two new discoveries located close to the Browns Range processing infrastructure. We will be mobilising as soon as practicable to follow up on these results as well as other high-priority areas targeting the Gardiner Sandstone unconformity.”

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Australian mining news