Cobra Resources launches sonic core drilling at Boland to unlock rare earths potential
Cobra Resources, a leading exploration entity focused on unlocking the potential of the Wudinna Project in South Australia, has officially commenced sonic core drilling operations at its promising Boland rare earths prospect. This initiative marks a pivotal step in Cobra Resources’ strategy to showcase the Boland discovery’s significant value, emphasizing its scale, grade concentration, and notably, the potential for in situ recovery (ISR) of rare earth elements (REEs). Announced in September 2023, the confirmation of ionic recoveries of REEs at Boland has set the stage for a comprehensive exploration program aimed at proving the site’s economic and environmental viability.
Scheduled to span 8-10 days, the drilling program consists of five sonic core holes designed to investigate the concentration of ionic rare earth mineralization along sand/clay boundaries. This exploration effort will critically assess the feasibility of ISR extraction, a method that promises to revolutionize the recovery process for REEs by minimizing environmental impact and reducing capital expenditure. The program’s location was chosen based on preliminary data showcasing variable recoveries across different sand/clay interfaces, with the goal of identifying high-grade REE concentrations and informing future metallurgical process development.
The core drilling will yield samples essential for narrow composite sampling, bench scale laboratory ISR testing, and the development of a metallurgical flow sheet. Additionally, it will aid in assessing sample densities and permeabilities, crucial factors in determining the viability of ISR. Cobra Resources has also taken significant steps to ensure the program’s environmental compliance, including obtaining necessary permits and planning the installation of monitoring wells for baseline hydrological and environmental studies, as well as evaluating the potential production capacity of the confined aquifer.
Rupert Verco, CEO of Cobra Resources, expressed optimism about the Boland prospect’s disruptive potential in the magnet rare earths supply chain. He highlighted the economic and environmental benefits of ISR, stating, “Through this programme, we aim to demonstrate the unprecedented economic and environmental advantages that in situ recovery provides.”
Cobra Resources’ exploration efforts at the Boland rare earths prospect represent a strategic move to capitalize on the growing demand for REEs, crucial components in various high-tech applications, including electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. By focusing on ISR technology, Cobra Resources aims to establish a low-capital, environmentally friendly process for extracting these valuable resources, potentially setting a new standard in the mining industry.