Encounter (ASX:ENR) builds carbonatite collection at Aileron

Encounter (ASX:ENR) builds carbonatite collection at Aileron

January 29, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

Encounter Resources‘ first-pass RC drilling over its Hurley prospect has struck extensive niobium and rare earth mineralisation in all four lines, over a kilometre of strike, and confirmed another large, mineralised carbonatite to add to a growing collection at its fully owned Aileron project in the West Arunta region of Western Australia.

The new assays also extended the mineralised carbonatite at the Crean prospect and have now confirmed that four mineralised carbonatites were discovered through last year’s reconnaissance drilling, with another batch of high-end targets waiting in the wings for a large-scale 2024 campaign.

Encounter blipped the resources radars hard after claiming discoveries in a fast-emerging West Arunta province and Managing Director Will Robinson said that every hole from its first pass at Hurley had successfully penetrated the transported cover and intersected the prized carbonatite.

“In 2023, niobium-REE mineralised carbonatites were intersected at four separate prospects at Aileron in broad-spaced drilling: Crean, Hurley, Emily and Green. Associated near-surface, enriched niobium-REE mineralisation has been intersected in the initial drilling at two of the four prospects to date; Crean (up to 4 metres at 3.8% Nb2O5 from 56 metres) and Emily (up to 12 metres at 2.3% Nb2O5 from 54 metres),” Mr Robinson said.

“Drilling in 2024 will aim to quantify the scale and near-surface potential of the four niobium-REE mineralised carbonatites identified so far.

“In parallel, a diamond-drill rig will commence initial testing of the large-scale geophysical targets identified in the eastern part of Aileron.”

Significant results


  • 24m @ 0.93% Nb2O5 & 0.24% TREO from 66m (EAL034),
    part of 74m @ 0.53% Nb2O5 & 0.20% TREO from 64m
  • 28m @ 0.68 % Nb2O5 & 0.16% TREO from 210m (EAL115),
    part of 165m @ 0.36% Nb2O5 & 0.15% TREO from 90m to end of hole
  • 72m @ 0.45% Nb2O5 & 0.14% TREO from 82m (EAL118) to end of hole


  • 6m @ 1.10% Nb2O5 & 0.56% TREO from 72m
  • 2m @ 1.03% Nb2O5 & 0.11% TREO from 188m to end of hole (EAL018)

Forward plan

Encounter is plotting as much as 20,000 metres of combined drilling for the year, directed at quantifying the grade distribution and scale of its discovered carbonatites while aiming to add more from its collection of exploration targets.

More detail on the 2024 campaign is slated for next month before beginning, set to come alongside an initial metallurgical assessment of the large body of mineralisation at Crean.

Encounter is not alone in the West Arunta, with WA1 Resources, CGN Resources, new entrant MTM Critical Metals, and Rio JV partner Tali Resources all investing heavily in a region presenting nicely as one of the most exciting exploration hot spots of Western Australia.

ENR Aileron Map

Gravity survey highlighting numerous high priority targets

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