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Australian miner discovers Rare Earth Elements

Australian miner, Prospect Resources said results of exploration conducted at its Chishanya project in Buhera, South East Zimbabwe, showed the existence of “significant sized” Rare Earth Elements (REE) deposits.

Prospect, which is also developing the Arcadia Lithium Mine on the outskirts of Harare, said the Chishanya deposit was a known source of apatite-hosted phosphate but was previously untested for REE.

As such, the discovery has presented the company with a unique opportunity for growth.

Company managing director, Sam Hosack, said: “We are excited by the soil sampling results as an initial indication of Chishanya’s potential to be a Rare Earth Element project. Based on these results, we have exercised the option on the adjoining ground to bulk up the project with a view to undertake further exploration and evaluation.”

The option agreement exercised over adjoining ground, has delivered 10 mining claims covering an estimated area of 2.2 square kilometres.

Planning for Phase 2 exploration activities has already commenced.

“These results of moderate tenor from two well defined anomalies, in an area of limited surface outcrop, likely indicate the presence of sub-surface mineralisation and significant extra potential at depth,” the company said.

REE are a set of 17 metallic elements, which are necessary components of more than 200 products across a wide range of applications, especially high-tech consumer products, such as cell-phones, computer hard drives, electric and hybrid vehicles, and flat-screen monitors and televisions.

“While our core focus is on the development of our flagship Arcadia Lithium Project, Chishanya offers a niche opportunity to evaluate the REE potential of this ground and to also assess other targets in the region that have never been explored for REE on this basis before.”

Meanwhile, Prospect noted that the Chishanya area still had massive phosphate potential.

“Despite the metallurgical test-work by African Consolidated Resources (now named Vast Resources plc) indicating the difficulty in extracting the phosphate economically, this test work was limited in scope and the grades do compare favourably with the Dorowa mine, located 100km to the north. At Dorowa, the Industrial Development Corporation is currently mining rock phosphate at 6.5 percent to 8 percent P2O5, from a similar carbonatite.” New Ziana

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