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West Arunta
Stansmore Project
  • Lycaon enters into binding Heads of Agreement to acquire Stansmore Carbonatite Project in West Arunta region prospective for Niobium and Rare Earths (REE)


  • West Arunta quickly becoming a significant rare earths and copper province, with the recent Niobium-REE mineralised carbonatite discovery by WA1 Resources¹ and Encounter Resources Worsley IOCG – REE discovery²


  • The Stansmore carbonatite target consists of a regionally prominent 700m long magnetic feature analogous to WA1’s discovery and Encounter’s Worsley prospect


  • Located at the juncture of two major regional faults and offset from the major North Australian Craton Boundary – conducive for the emplacement of deep-seated intrusions like REE carbonatites and IOCG mineral systems


  • Carbonatites are important sources of niobium and REE’s and host all three of the world’s operating niobium mines and Lynas Rare Earths Limited’s Mt Weld deposit


  • Potential for Iron-Oxide-Copper-Gold (IOCG) mineralisation, supported by geochronology completed by the GSWA at ENR's Worsley prospect

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Figure 1. Reduced to Pole Magnetics (TMI grid) highlighting the prominent magnetic anomaly at Stansmore Prospect and other magnetic targets.

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Figure 2. Stansmore REE Carbonatite – IOCG Project Location Map.

Figure 3. West Arunta Cu-REE projects, highlighting the discrete magnetic anomalies associated with both WA1 and ENR discoveries (Magnetics TMI overlay)

Figure 4. Magnetics TMI overlay, showing Stansmore prominent magnetic anomaly extending for ~700m, displaying similarities to WA1 and Encounter Resources REE/IOCG prospects, which both extend for ~1,200m respectively. Source DMIRS Geoview

Figure 5. Magnetics First Vertical Derivative overlay, showing Stansmore prominent magnetic anomaly extending for ~700m, displaying similarities to WA1 and Encounter Resources REE/IOCG prospects, which both extend for ~1,200m respectively. Source DMIRS Geoview

Figure 6. Drilling at Stansmore (refer Appendix 1) overlain on magnetics TMI and 1VD imagery. Source DMIRS Geoview

Carbonatite Overview


Carbonatites are a type of igneous rock defined by their composition being rich in carbonate minerals, typically calcite or dolomite. They often occur as plugs within alkali intrusive complexes, or as dykes, sills, breccias or veins. They are generally associated with major crustal scale features in rift-related tectonic settings. Carbonatites may be mineralised with rare earth elements, niobium, phosphorus, tantalum, uranium, thorium, copper, iron, titanium, vanadium, barium, fluorine and zirconium.


The identification of a mineralised carbonatite intrusion is a significant finding for the West Arunta region and given the presence of other intrusive bodies within the region enhances the potential for further discoveries with future exploration efforts.


Carbonatite deposits are an important source of REE and niobium production. This includes the world’s largest REE mine, Bayan Oho in Inner Mongolia, Lynas Rare Earths’ Mt Weld deposit and the world’s three major operating niobium mines.


Niobium Overview 


Niobium (Nb) is a ductile refractory metal that is highly resistant to heat and wear. Like tantalum, it is resistant to corrosion owing to the formation of a surface oxide layer.


Approximately 90% of niobium use is attributed to the steel industry, predominantly as a micro alloy with iron. The addition of small, relatively cheap, amounts of niobium (much less than 1%) significantly increases the strength and decreases the weight of steel products. This results in more economic, beneficial products for use in the construction industry, in gas and oil pipelines, and in the automotive industry where weight savings result in increased performance and fuel reduction.


Niobium, along with other refractory elements such as tantalum, is also used in nickel and nickeliron superalloys, particularly for applications requiring strength and heat resistance. Uses for such superalloys include turbine blades in jet engines within the aeronautic industry, and gas turbines in the energy industry.


Niobium becomes a superconductor at very low temperatures. When alloyed with titanium (NbTi) or tin (Nb3Sn), it produces the superconducting magnets used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) equipment and particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research).


Niobium is one of a suite of commodities identified by the Australian Government as critical minerals, i.e., minerals (or elements) considered vital for the well-being of the world's economies, yet whose supply may be at risk of disruption. Niobium is essential for advanced technology.

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