Coffee with Samso Episode 190 is with Richard Brescianini, Executive Director of Heavy Rare Earths Limited (ASX: HRE).
Over the past two years, the journey to comprehend the intricacies of the Rare Earth sector has been limited. The sudden surge in the REE sector has been clouded by a lack of understanding.
Our initial encounter with the Rare Earth narrative on the Samso platform was a conversation with Brett Hazelden from OD6 Metals Limited. We all know that the Rare Earth story is not new. Companies such as Arafura Rare Earths Limited (ASX: ARU), Hastings Technology Metals Limited (ASX: HAS), Lynas Rare Earth Limited, and Northern Minerals Limited (ASX: NTU) have been actively involved in this industry for over a decade.
There has been a recent surge of interest in the sector, specifically in Clay-hosted Rare Earth projects. These projects are focused on developing metallurgical flow charts, with the "ionic" styles leading the way. In simpler terms, the discussion revolves around whether the deposits are refractory or non-refractory.
The learning journey in this field has been well-documented in various Coffee with Samso conversations, with recent Rare Earth stories. According to Richard Brescianini, we have overcome the hurdle of Ionic and Non-Ionic and are now entering the business end of the story.
In this episode, Richard gives us an update on the Mineral Resource upgrade and what the numbers mean in terms of the business for Heavy Rare Earths Limited.
Heavy Rare Earths Limited is steadily progressing towards the production of a Rare Earth product, which will ultimately generate revenue for the company. The recent upgrade of the Mineral Resource demonstrates HRE's capability to become a significant player in the industry.
Richard Brescianini, who possesses extensive knowledge of the sector, emphasises the importance of maintaining a Tier 1 grade for the materials processed in the plant. With his expertise, Richard will anticipate and overcome potential obstacles faced by all participants in this field. His experience will be crucial in attracting buyers for HRE's product.
For those interested in gaining insights into the business aspects of the Rare Earth Elements (REE) sector, I highly recommend watching this informative Coffee with Samso interview with Richard.
01:07 Richard updates
03:08 An upgrade in resource and grade
06:21 A natural mineralisation cut-off
06:47 What investors need to understand about resource grade and mill grade
07:43 Are there more high-grade pods in your project?
12:03 Grade/Thickness and Grade/Tonnage Curve
17:08 Is there a sweet grade spot in the project?
19:06 Metallurgical Flow Sheet
20:21 New metallurgical drilling samples
21:37 Aim to produce a mixed REE carbonate for potential customers
22:27 Giving reasons for potential customers to invest in HRE
22:59 Strategy to Brand HRE to potential customers
24:21 Branding HRE as a real REE producer
25:46 The market of REE, the upside, the current price of REE, and why it's rising
29:25 What is the sweet sustainable price for REE?
30:38 Upgrade in Mag REE for HRE
31:29 The importance of Magnetic REE
32:39 Recovery results tend not to change very much
33:29 Other projects
34:49 Exploration Target for Cowalinya - Pending
35:10 Why buy HRE?
37:43 Focus should be on the business
About Richard Brescianini
Richard commenced his career in mineral exploration with BHP Minerals in 1987 working in teams focused on the discovery of base and precious metal deposits across Australia and North America from offices in Brisbane, Perth, Toronto and Denver.
Richard’s experience extends further, including his time working as the Director of the Northern Territory Government’s Geological Survey in Darwin, and being part of the executive management team for rare earths developer, Arafura Resources.
About Heavy Rare Earths Limited (ASX: HRE)
Heavy Rare Earths Limited (ASX:HRE) is an Australian rare earth exploration and development company. Rare earth materials are used in a wide array of technology and future facing applications, including smart phones, wind energy, and hybrid and electric vehicles.
HRE’s key exploration project is Cowalinya, near Norseman in Western Australia. This is a clay-hosted rare earth project with a JORC Inferred Resource of 28Mt @ 625ppm TREO and a desirable rare earth composition where 25% are the valuable magnet rare earths and 23% the strategic heavy rare earths.
The company has completed a 441 drill hole program confirming widespread occurrence of shallow, thick and/or high grade rare earth mineralisation. The Company anticipates a Mineral Resource update and an estimate Exploration Target for the project in Q3 2023.
Cowalinya Project - Western Australia
The Cowalinya rare earth project is located 70 km south-east of Norseman in Western Australia. It comprises a single 230 km2 exploration licence E63/1972 on unallocated crown land hosting dominantly granitic type rocks in the Central Biranup Zone of the Albany Fraser Orogen.
The mineralisation being targeted is shallow, flat lying, supergene concentrations of rare earths present in the weathering profile overlying granitic basement. This mineralisation is similar in style to southern Chinese ionic rare earth clay deposits, the world’s main source of heavy rare earths. Although this type of rare earth deposit is low grade, low-cost open pit mining and simple inexpensive metallurgy make them profitable to exploit.
The Cowalinya area was primarily chosen on the basis of historical drilling which indicated the presence of anomalous rare earths in fresh bedrock and higher grade supergene concentrations of rare earths in the overlying in-situ weathered saprolite profile.
In June 2021 HRE drilled 109 aircore holes at Cowalinya by HRE discovered significant supergene concentrations of rare earths in two areas, Cowalinya South and North. The rare earths mineralisation, occurring as flat lying sheets within the in-situ clay-rich weathered saprolite, is contained within an average ~8-9 m thick layer which starts ~17-18 m below surface.
Independent resource consultant JMCT Consulting was engaged to prepare and report Cowalinya’s maiden Inferred Mineral Resource estimate for the project in accordance with the 2012 JORC Code: 28 Mt @ 625 ppm TREO (Total Rare Earth Oxides) using a 300 ppm TREO-Cerium Oxide (CeO2) cut-off grade. Importantly, the resource has a desirable rare earths composition where 25% are the valuable magnet rare earths and 23% the strategic heavy rare earths, and very low average concentrations of radioelements (15 ppm ThO2, 5 ppm U3O8).
Mr John Tyrrell of JMCT Consulting is the Competent Person for the Cowalinya Mineral Resource estimate (in accordance with 2012 JORC Code). TREO = La2O3+CeO2+Pr6O11+Nd2O3+Sm2O3+Eu2O3+Gd2O3+Tb4O7+Dy2O3+Ho2O3+Er2O3+Tm2O3+Yb2O3+Lu2O3+Y2O3. Magnet REOs = Pr6O11+Nd2O3+Tb4O7+Dy2O3 ; Totals may not add due to rounding ; Reported above a TREO-CeO2 cut-off grade of 300 ppm
The resource at Cowalinya remains open in all lateral directions and currently covers only a small proportion (<1.5%) of the project tenement.
Preliminary metallurgical test-work on 40 samples from the 2021 drilling program shows the rare earths are successfully brought into solution using a weak hydrochloric acid leach. Recoveries of >90% for some of the rare earths have been achieved.
Upgrade of Mineral Resource
Resource Exploration and Expansion Drilling Program – 2023
The Company has successfully completed a 441-hole resource exploration and expansion drilling program at Cowalinya (refer to ASX announcements). These assays confirmed the widespread occurrence of shallow, thick and/or high-grade rare earth mineralisation in clay-rich saprolite over a 14 x 3-kilometre area west and south-west of the Cowalinya South deposit (Figure 1). This Western Zone discovery is open to the north and northwest, has an average thickness of 11.3 metres, and includes the following significant drill intercepts (on a grade-thickness basis) reported during the quarter:
19 metres @ 3190 ppm TREO from 16 metres (AC225)
10 metres @ 2087 ppm TREO from 17 metres (AC221)
26 metres @ 1201 ppm TREO from 19 metres (AC360)
17 metres @ 1069 ppm TREO from 11 metres (AC223)
42 metres @ 790 ppm TREO from 12 metres (AC226)
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