Explorer eyes rare opportunity at Cummins Range

It’s early days for Kimberley rare earths player Rarex but a 47 per cent resource upgrade at its Cummins Range project near Halls Creek this week provides a firm base on which it can build (reports The West Australian).
29th July 2021
Resources Rising Stars

On Monday, the John Young-chaired company unveiled a resource of 18.8Mt at 1.15 per cent total rare earths oxide with some 60 per cent in the indicated category.

The resource includes a high-grade zone of 6.5Mt at nearly 2 per cent TREO.

The Cummins Range deposit contains the same rare earths elements present in the resource at Lynas Corporation’s high-grade Mt Weld deposit, namely neodymium and praseodymium.

But Rarex has also identified the presence of niobium, which has high-end uses in superalloys and commands a significant price premium above NdPr.

The company is still awaiting assays after completing its RC program at Cummins Range but next week it will begin diamond drilling to test the deposit at depth.

Rarex has so far drilled only the oxide component of the deposit, which remains open both down-dip and along strike.

Managing director Jeremy Robinson is eyeing the completion of a scoping study before the end of the year but has indicated the company’s focus is firmly on growing the resource at Cummins Range.

Rarex has a draft agreement in place with China’s Shenghe Resources to ultimately ship its product as a mixed rare earths concentrate but local offtake opportunities may also emerge in the form of Lynas’ processing facility at Kalgoorlie and similar plants mooted by Iluka Resources in the Mid West and Hastings Technology Metals in the Pilbara.

Cummins Range was discovered by CRA in the late 1970s while the Rio Tinto predecessor was looking for diamonds.

It has changed hands several times since the 1980s, having once been within the stable of the former and ill-fated Navigator Resources and its spin-out Kimberley Rare Earths.

Rarex picked up the project from Pilbara manganese player Element 25 three years ago and backdoor listed through Clancy Exploration.

Rarex is far less advanced than its Gascoyne-focused rival Hastings but also trades at a sizeable discount ($37m v $300m).

Respected analyst Dr Chris Baker, of Sydney-based Bridge Street Capital Partners, said in a note this week he expected a progressive re-rating of the stock as it shored up the resource at Cummins Range and hit development milestones.

The company — which has about $4m in the kitty and closed yesterday at 8.5¢ — is backed by Singaporean resources investor and former Equigold chairman Simon Lee, who holds a 5 per cent stake.

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