Ardea Resources has confirmed some solid nickel-cobalt intercepts with bonus previously undocumented scandium and rare earths after re-testing historic drill pulps at its Kalpini Nickel project in WA. Noteworthy assay results included a 12 metre section grading 1.7 per cent nickel, 0.151 per cent cobalt and 28 grams per tonne scandium with 0.244 per cent total rare earth oxides and 1.32 per cent total rare metal oxides.
Other significant intercepts from the program include a 4m hit going 1.66 per cent nickel, 0.102 per cent cobalt and 40 g/t scandium from 29m downhole with 0.1297 per cent total rare earths and 0.7193 per cent total rare metal oxides. Elements included in the calculation of total rare earths included neodymium, praseodymium, lanthanum and cerium with total rare metals composed of titanium, yttrium, zircon, niobium, hafnium, tantalum and tungsten.
Ardea hopes the rare earths and rare metals mineralisation will provide potential by-product credits in addition to the cobalt and scandium mineralisation whilst processing its nickel deposits. Bench-scale metallurgical test work is currently being conducted to test the viability of the scheme.
Although the rare earths mineralisation encountered to date is about a tenth of the grade required to run a standalone rare earths operation it is still a valuable discovery as its essentially a necessary by-product of the exisiting nickel refinement process.
CREDIT- Bulls N Bears