Diversification is a buzzword easily associated with Western Australia–focused exploration play Aruma Resources (ASX: AAJ).
Aruma Resources holds a portfolio consisting of 100 per cent ownership of four highly prospective gold exploration projects throughout the state in major, active mineralised belts.
Reverse circulation (RC) drilling completed earlier this year at the Salmon Gums gold project in the Eastern Goldfields encountered multiple zones of anomalous gold while expanding the gold mineralised footprint at the priority Iris and Thistle prospects.
The campaign followed previous drilling at Salmon Gums that returned bonanza gold grades, including five metres at 50.2 grams per tonne of gold.
‘As we learn more about the Salmon Gums gold model, we will undertake targeted diamond drilling in several orientations to follow up that five metres at 50.2 grams per tonne of bonanza gold intersection to increase our understanding of what is controlling the high-grade gold,’ Aruma Resources Managing Director Glenn Grayson told Future Mining.
In the meantime, Aruma Resources received results of sighter metallurgical testwork carried out at its Mount Deans lithium project near Norseman.
Flotation testing confirmed a lithium concentrate can be produced with a lithium oxide concentrate grade 3.1 times higher than feed grade returned from earlier flotation tests.
The results also delivered encouraging upgrades for other metals; namely potassium, rubidium, caesium, tin, and tantalum.
The tin and tantalum recoveries highlighted the potential value that both provide by being able to be separated in the flotation process.
‘What is important about the tantalum and tin grades at Mount Deans, which is primarily a lithium project, is that the tantalum is close to economic grades,’ Grayson explains.
‘This means mining and processing costs could potentially be covered by the tantalum, and to some extent the tin, which means the lithium could be mined at a pure profit.’
Aruma Resources displayed further diversity by claiming discovery of rare earth elements and cobalt-copper enriched rocks at its Saltwater project in the Pilbara.
Aruma reported the discovery based on results from its first phase of surface sampling at Saltwater, which had reaffirmed the project’s potential to host unconformity heavy rare earth elements, while highlighting potential for Saltwater to host base metals deposits.
AR12232: 1158 parts per million total rare earth oxide, 25 per cent neodymium-praseodymium, and 21 per cent heavy rare earth oxide
AR12291: 1022 parts per million rare earth oxide, 25 per cent neodymium, and 27 per cent heavy rare earth oxide.
‘The sampling program results exceeded our expectations, reaffirming our view of Saltwater’s potential for hosting unconformity heavy rare earth elements,’ Grayson says.
‘We consider these results to be a resounding success for our exploration approach.
‘Furthermore, the grades of the surface samples for base metals are exciting and provide an additional exploration focus at the Saltwater project.
‘We intend to investigate this potential much further via ongoing field work at Saltwater.’