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Voltaic Strategic Resources (VSR) is opting for a different approach to exploring for rare earths at its Paddy’s Well project in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

Instead of getting stuck into follow-up drilling after promising results from a maiden drilling campaign, the company has set its sights on the end goal of production.

Voltaic’s maiden drilling targeted shallow clay-hosted rare earths, confirming several wide zones of REE anomalism while testing only five per cent of the Paddy’s Well project area.

VSR CEO and Chemical Engineer Michael Walshe told investors at The Market Herald’s From Mine to Magnet event, that rather than pouring more money into the ground, the company would first test if the rare earths were “ionic” or “refractory” and whether it would be feasible to mine.

“Any clay-hosted rare earths deposit needs to have significant “ionic” component to be economically viable,” he said.

“We have identified halloysite, which is a kaolinitic clay mineral commonly found in true REE ionic adsorption deposits, which is highly encouraging.”

Mr Walshe said if its bold cost-effective strategy didn’t pan out, there was a plan B.

“If the REE-enriched clays do not demonstrate significant “ionic” potential, we will explore our hard rock REE targets – and we have more than 50 already pinpointed across our 1300 square kilometre Paddy’s Well project,” Mr Walshe said.

VSR also has the Ti Tree lithium project in the region, a gold and base metals project near Meekatharra and a nickel/cobalt project in Nevada.

VSR by the numbers
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