Caprice Resources (CRS) told investors at today’s Thematica Live industry showcase event in Perth that it’s ramping up its search for rare earth elements (REEs) with its Mukinbudin project 250km northeast of Perth.
The company is in the early stages of exploration, with works including rock chip and soil sampling and mapping underway to define pegmatite-hosted REEs.
Managing Director Andrew Muir said the Mukinbudin project was a “natural complement” to the company’s Murchinson Gold and Northhampton Base Metals projects.
“The region has many known pegmatites, which have been long known to have REE associations, however, there has been next to no historical exploration,” Mr Muir said.
High value neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium and terbium are amongst the minerals being targeted by CRS, rare earths which are crucial for the production of permanent magnets, electric vehicle batteries and other applications.
“The shift to EVs and electrification is only going to increase, driven by demand and technological change, so we see the need for these key battery metals only increasing,” Mr Muir said.
“Even though exploration and the development of rare earths in Australia has been around for at least 20 years, it is still in a state of relative infancy.
“With the recognition of the strategic importance of REE – particularly in the current geopolitical environment – exploration and development of these rare earths is only going to grow.
“Rare Earths are like all commodities, with a lead time of several years from discovery to production for the better-quality projects, longer for the lower quality.
“However, in eight-10 years’ time, I can see a sizeable vertically-integrated REE sector as the West seeks to have a secure supply chain for these important elements.”