|Cummins Range – Fast Facts|
|JORC Resource:||4.90Mt @ 1.74% REO, 11.2% P2O5 & 145ppm U3O8|
|Total Rare Earth Oxide:||85,000 tonnes|
|Independently assessed value of Cummins Range:||A$20-30 million|
|Potential to increase resource with substantial exploration opportunities.|
The Cummins Range Rare Earth Project is located 130km southwest of Halls Creek in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. The Project is on the northern margin of the Great Sandy Desert and comprises one granted Exploration Licence with an area of 48.5km2.
The Cummins Range carbonatite was discovered in 1978 by CRA Exploration Pty Ltd (CRAE) who conducted mainly shallow geochemical drilling with limited deeper diamond drilling up to 1984.
In 2007 Navigator completed a reverse circulation (RC) drilling program in the central part of the Cummins Range diatreme leading to an independent JORC compliant Inferred Resource of 71,700 tonnes of rare earth oxides (REO) at a 1.0% REO cut-off grade, as well as uranium oxide and phosphate. Significant niobium and tantalum are also present.
|Cummins Range Aeromag Image|
Only a portion of the Cummins Range diatreme has so far been drilled to any depth, and as such there is exploration upside which could significantly increase resources at the Project.
Following the publication of an updated independent resource at Cummins Range and against a global backdrop of increasing rare earth metal importance to the global economy, Navigator sought to have the Project independently valued in late 2009. As a result, Green Leader Equities Research, through a peer comparison process, independently valued the Project in the range A$10-20 million.
Two sectors of the rare earth market, magnets and phosphors, accounted for 70% of rare earth element use in 2008. The most important category by volume and growth is the magnet sector which depends mainly on the rare earth metal neodymium with minor dysprosium and possibly praseodymium.
Rare earth metals are key components in many modern technologies such as TVs, DVDs, MP3 players, x-ray machines, MRI machines and missile guidance. They are also a key part of the earth’s green future, used heavily in both hybrid cars and wind turbines.
Currently 95% of the world’s rare earth oxides are mined in China, and with that country's rapid development, it is consuming more of its own rare earth oxides and exporting less to the rest of the world. The Chinese government has already indicated it may restrict the export of some rare earth metals. It is therefore of growing importance that rare earth mines are developed outside of China. Australia will be one of the key countries in this trend, with a strong mining history and a number of rare earth deposits. It is also the nearest potential major producing country to the big rare earth consuming markets of China and Japan.
An increase in interest regarding rare earths and their application prompted Navigator to seek a review of the project evaluation. This was completed in late 2010 and resulted in an indicative value range of A$20-30 million for the project.
To learn more about the rare earth metals market, click here.