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Rare Earth Elements (REE) Exploration

Goongarrie West, KNP REE Discovery

As part of the Prefeasibility Study (PFS), a drilling program designed to finalise the site layout General Arrangement Plan for the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project (KNP) – Goongarrie Hub, was used to test Rare Earth Element (REE) targets previously generated by the Company’s Critical Mineral Research and Development (R&D) in rocks adjoining the nickel laterite mineralisation.

Three single hole traverses which were designed at Goongarrie West as broad-spaced aircore drilling over a 3km NNW strike in a location containing no previous drilling, returned significant intercepts of Total Rare-Earth Oxides (TREO). (see ASX release 30 January 2023 full table of assays)

These are considered significant intercepts, particularly based on such consistent mineralisation occurring in 1km spaced reconnaissance drill holes.

Mineralisation in the three holes, based on drill-chip logging and associated geochemistry, is controlled by regolith contacts, specifically hosted by Saprolite Lower clay at its regolith contact with the underlying clay-weathered Saprock.

Interpretation of results indicates the system is an Ionic Adsorption Clay (IAC) Rare Earth occurrence. As such, the drill intercept grades are considered particularly significant, precluding Goongarrie West as an infrastructure site option.

In view of the drill results at Goongarrie West and as required by the WA Mines Act 1978, the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has been notified that a discovery of economic interest has been made.

Ardea’s Managing Director, Andrew Penkethman said:

“The Feasibility Study for the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project – Goongarrie Hub has completed pit optimisations and confirmed the production pit locations and thus likely infrastructure site requirements. The two main infrastructure alternatives were east of the Pamela Jean pit, or southwest of Elsie Tynan at Goongarrie West. Requisite drilling was completed in September 2022.

With the high grade TREO results returned for the three holes at Goongarrie West, it has been an easy decision to instruct the Consulting Engineer to site the key production infrastructure at Pamela Jean East.

The Goongarrie West REE Prospect will have confirmatory reverse circulation drill traverses completed as soon as possible, followed by bench-scale metallurgy designed to quantify the IAC REE potential.

This additional drilling is an unexpected variation for the PFS work programs, being an unavoidable if not valuable outcome from the PFS. We trust that KNP stakeholders are as excited as the Ardea Team with these REE drill results.”