Northern Minerals’ tenure around the Browns Range Project covers an area of approximately 3595km2 and is centred on the Browns Range Dome, a major geological feature covering approximately 1,500km2. The Dome is located in the northern Tanami region, within both Western Australia (WA) and the Northern Territory (NT).
This massive landholding is highly prospective for heavy rare earth (HRE) mineralisation with outstanding potential for further discoveries. Northern Minerals’ exploration success to date has been exceptional, with six out of 13 targets converted to mineral resources and many more highly prospective targets identified.
Northern Minerals has 100% ownership and marketing rights for all but three of the tenements covering the Browns Range Dome. The other three tenements are a Joint Venture with Toro Energy, where Northern Minerals is earning up to an 80% interest.
Since 2009, exploration by the Company has been focussed on the WA tenements, which has led to the discovery and completion of HRE Mineral Resource estimates at Wolverine, Gambit West, Gambit, Area 5, Cyclops and Banshee (see Mineral Resources page). From these deposits Wolverine, Gambit West, Gambit and Area 5 all have Ore Reserve estimates.
All six of the current JORC compliant Mineral Resources remain open at depth and to varying degrees, along strike, indicating further potential to increase the current Mineral Resources. Additional drilling has only been limited by funding, with each deposit flagged for further drilling as a key strategy to increase the Browns Range Project’s mine life.
Limited drilling in 2014 identified a number of new targets, in particular, the Polaris prospect which produced several encouraging results. Drilling at Polaris was highlighted by a single hole (BRR0460) which intersected several mineralised intervals, including 2m @ 0.69% Total Rare Earth Oxide1 (TREO1), 11m @ 0.31% TREO1 and 7m @ 0.28% TREO1 .The results at Polaris are characterised by broad zones with a high ratio of heavy rare earth oxide2 (HREO2) which indicates the potential for a significant sized mineralised system.
The 10 priority targets currently identified within Browns Range WA, include six prospects which have returned several significant drill intercepts from limited drilling, and require follow-up drilling. This includes Area 5 North, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Dazzler, Polaris and Havok. Targets that are yet to be drill tested include the Rogue and Longshot prospects.
A recent targeting exercise completed by the Exploration team has identified 170 conceptual targets within the Company’s tenement package in the Browns Range Dome region. These prospects are now being prioritised and will be systematically explored.
Pipeline of prospects
Other targeting work within the WA tenements has included geochemical soil sampling, airborne and ground geophysical surveys, regional mapping and geomechanical modelling. This has resulted in a number of additional targets being defined which require on-ground follow-up and possible drilling. Numerous geochemical soil anomalies remain untested in the Wolverine and Gambit areas, and geochemical soil sampling needs to be extended to cover areas in the north and south of the project area within WA.
The WA tenements only cover 12% of the Browns Range Dome, with the remainder in the NT, most of which is covered by Northern Minerals’ tenure (approximately 1,200km2). Early stage exploration has commenced on the NT side of the Browns Range Dome, with airborne geophysical surveys, reconnaissance geological mapping and geochemical soil and rock chip sampling. During 2015, the work program will continue to be focussed on identifying and defining drill targets within this vast unexplored area.
Competent persons statement
The information in this report that relates to Exploration Results or Exploration Targets for the Browns Range Project accurately reflects information prepared by competent persons (as defined by the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves). It is compiled by Mr R Wilson, an employee of the Company who is a Member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy with the requisite experience in the field of activity in which he is reporting. Mr Wilson has sufficient experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and the type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which he is undertaking to qualify as a Competent person as defined in the 2004 Edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”. Mr Wilson consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.
The information presented herein in relation to Browns Range Mineral Resource Estimation is extracted from the ASX announcement dated 26 February 2014 titled “Wolverine Total Resource Doubled in a Major Upgrade of Browns Range HRE Mineral Resource Estimate”. The Competent Person responsible for the Browns Range Mineral Resource Estimate is Mr John Tyrrell, a full time employee of AMC Consultants Pty Ltd. This report is stored on the ASX website under ASX:NTU announcements and on Northern Minerals website, northernminerals.com.au. Northern Minerals confirms that it is not aware of any new information or data that materially affects the information included in the original market announcement dated 26 February 2014 and in the case of estimates of Mineral Resources, Northern Minerals confirms that all material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning the estimates in the relevant market announcement continue to apply and have not materially changed. Northern Minerals confirms that the form and context in which the Competent Person’s findings are presented have not been materially modified from the original market announcement.
¹TREO = Total Rare Earth Oxides – La2O3, CeO2, Pr6O11, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb4O7, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, Lu2O3, Y2O3 ²HREO = Heavy Rare Earth Oxides – Total of Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb4O7, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, Lu2O3, Y2O3