In the world of finance, rare earths have emerged as a highly sought-after resource, with applications in magnets for electric vehicles, smartphones, and wind turbines. Currently, China monopolizes the production of rare earths, with only two mines operating in Australia and one in North America. This market control has driven exploration companies to look elsewhere for potential deposits. Enter Caspin Resources, a Perth-based company that has made a groundbreaking rare earths discovery in Western Australia’s West Musgrave region.
A Promising Exploration Endeavor
Under the leadership of managing director Greg Miles, Caspin Resources has embarked on an ambitious exploration project in a region with no previous systematic rare earths exploration. The company’s technical team, led by Miles, has reported a significant find in the form of rare earths mineralization at the Duchess Prospect in Mount Squires. The discovery boasts an impressive total rare earth oxides (TREO) content, with results showing up to 2.03% TREO and a consistent high proportion of heavy rare earth elements (REE).
An Accidental Discovery
Interestingly, this rare earths discovery was not part of Caspin Resources’ original drilling plan. While exploring for molybdenum anomalies alongside other base metals, gold, and silver, the team stumbled upon a unique anomaly with a diameter of approximately five kilometers. Intrigued, they conducted additional reconnaissance air core drilling, which led to the remarkable discovery of significant rare earths mineralization with a different style from what is typically found in Australia.
Australia’s Untapped Potential in Rare Earths
Miles emphasizes the significance of this find by highlighting Australia’s lack of rare earths resources in comparison to the country’s vast size. He points out that Australia has minimal rare earths deposits, making Caspin Resources’ discovery even more valuable. The mineralization in West Musgrave showcases a rhyolite hosted style, similar to certain intrusive styles in Canada and cyanide hosted type deposits in Texas.
The Value of Heavy Rare Earths
One of the notable aspects of this rare earths discovery is the rich concentration of heavy rare earth elements. Caspin Resources recognizes that dysprosium and terbium are highly valuable rare earths, but it’s the presence of heavy rare earths that truly adds immense worth to this find. Caspin Resources aims to produce an economically viable concentrate, as concentrates can be shipped long distances due to their significantly lower weight compared to unprocessed ore.
Australia’s “Final Frontier” for Mineral Exploration
With the rare earths discovery in West Musgrave, Caspin Resources has set its sights on the West Yilgarn province, specifically the Nebo and Babel nickel-copper deposits belonging to mining giant BHP. Caspin Resources sees the West Musgrave region as Australia’s final frontier for mineral exploration. While this discovery is groundbreaking, the company believes it is only scratching the surface and intends to continue exploration drilling in the area.
Unlocking Further Potential
The latest results from Caspin Resources not only highlight the potential for rare earth mineralization across the project but also emphasize the vast untapped opportunities waiting to be explored. As the focus shifts towards developing an economically viable concentrate, Caspin Resources is eager to demonstrate the true potential of this discovery. This rare earths find signifies a major advancement for Australia’s mining industry and offers a glimmer of hope for reducing China’s domination in the rare earths market.