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Mount Ridley Mines Limited (ASX:MRD) has a Rare Earth Story in the Esperance Region

✦ Guy Le Page, Non-Executive Director of Mount Ridley Mines Limited (ASX: MRD) on the realisation of a Clay-Hosted Rare Earth Region.

We've dug into the Rare Earth story before with Mount Ridley Mines Limited in our Brilliant Investments. The last time Guy Le Page shared, it was about the growing importance of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) as our world becomes more and more technological.

The Rare Earth narrative continues to gain pace. There are still questions such as:

  • What constitutes a workable project?

  • What is a number or grade that is a cause for celebration?

  • What is a good-sized resource that will make a project economical?

What is worth taking note is, Mount Ridley's REE project appears to have checked off all the boxes that make a good resource project. Its grade and length of intercept in the current drilling all look acceptable based on comparisons with peer projects.

Guy Le Page explains the path forward for REE players, and the importance of working out the chemistry of it.

Jump to interview

Take note that the Esperance region in Western Australia could be the "Pilbara" of Rare Earths. This is a region made for industry, and everything is set for an industry to come along and take advantage of the facilities. Basically, when companies come up with a flow sheet to drive REE, the business will have a very smooth transition as the Esperance township will embrace the opportunity with open arms.

As I always say, DYOR. Doing Your Own Research is a very healthy habit for investors to adopt. Start now, right here with this interview.

Dig into the REE story in this video


00:00 Start

00:20 Introduction

00:52 What is Mount Ridley all about?

02:20 A new province?

04:43 Can or will Australia be moving into an era of being a Rare Earths player?

06:07 Is Clay harder than Hard Rock projects?

08:12 Is Rare Earths all about volume like the Cola story?

09:47 REO Type Breakdown.

10:55 The Geopolitical Issue.

14:59 MRD has been a quiet achiever.

16:50 Thoughts on the market.

17:59 News flow for the next 12 months.

19:13 Why MRD?

20:02 Conclusion

About Guy Le Page

Non-Executive Director

B.A., BSc (Hons), MBA, MAusIMM, FFIN

Mr Le Page is currently a Director & Corporate Adviser of RM Corporate Finance specialising in resources. He is actively involved in a range of corporate initiatives from mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings to valuations, consulting and corporate advisory roles.

Mr Le Page was Head of Research at Morgan Stockbroking Limited (Perth) prior to joining Tolhurst Noall as a Corporate Advisor in July of 1998. As Head of Research, Mr Le Page was responsible for the supervision of all Industrial and Resources Research. As a Resources Analyst, Mr Le Page published detailed research on various mineral exploration and mining companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. The majority of this research involved valuations of both exploration and production assets.

Prior to entering the stockbroking industry, he spent 10 years as an exploration and mining geologist in Australia, Canada and the United States. His experience spans gold and base metal exploration and mining geology, and he has acted as a consultant to private and public companies. This professional experience included the production of both technical and valuation reports for resource companies.

Mr Le Page holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Science and a Masters’ Degree in Business Administration from the University of Adelaide, a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) from the Curtin University of Technology and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia.

About Mount Ridley Mines Limited (ASX:MRD)

Mount Ridley Mines Limited is undertaking the exploration of a significant deposit of valuable clay-hosted rare earth elements in Western Australia. The Project was initially acquired for its nickel and copper sulphides potential and is now recognised as being prospective for ionic clay REE deposits.

Currently, this style of deposit is mined and processed only in China and Myanmar.

In November 2020 Mount Ridley Mines Limited (“MRD”) commenced a review of data for its namesake Mount Ridley Project and surrounding area.

The review concluded that areas of the Biranup and Nornalup geological provinces in south-eastern Western Australia have the potential for REE mineralisation, and in particular, the style of mineralisation referred to as Ionic Adsorption Clay (IAC-REE).

Globally, deposits of IAC-REE are most significant in southern China and are the world’s main source of heavy Rare Earth Elements.

The Mount Ridley REE Project

REE mineralisation occurs as large, horizontal, near surface, sheet-like lenses up to a depth of 89 metres. REE mineralisation is interpreted to be present within the in-situ saprolite clay horizon. Patchy lower grade zones occur within transported cover which may vector towards stronger REE mineralisation deeper within the regolith.

Geological Survey of Western Australia (DMIRS) mapping [1] shows that the Mount Ridley Project REE mineralisation occurs within the weathered mantle (regolith) of the Recherche Super-suite, which is described as “granitic and mafic gneiss; may include intrusions of Esperance Super-suite”.

While the source of the REE mineralisation is currently unknown, a detailed sample and litho-geochemistry dataset from bottom of hole aircore samples has been established which includes whole-rock chemical analyses, sample pulps and some end-of-hole air core samples. These samples and data are being studied by the Company’s consultant geochemist to identify the primary rock-type and whether units are REE-enriched.

Re-assay of 950 air core samples (162 pending) returned significant REE values over an apparent strike in excess of 25 km with over 20 samples returning >1,000 ppm Mineralisation remains open in all directions with a peak value so far at the Keith’s Prospect from MRAC0711 with 10,461ppm (1.05%) from 23m downhole.

Significant REE intersections have been identified and grouped into 5 prospects – Winston’s, Keith’s, The Lake, Tyrell’s and Marcellus.

Planning underway for a 25,000m aircore program to test newly acquired tenements in addition to step-out and infill holes.

[1] (DMIRS) Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety 1:100,000 Interpreted Bedrock Geology

Contact Mount Ridley Mines Limited

a/ Ground Floor

168 Stirling Hwy

Nedlands, WA, 6009

t/: +61 8 9389 8033

f/: +61 8 9262 3723



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About the Author

Noel Ong, CEO of Samso tells compelling stories by engaging business leaders to reveal insights beneficial to the investment community.

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