Encounter (ASX:ENR) jumps on high-grade West Aruntan niobium

Encounter (ASX:ENR) jumps on high-grade West Aruntan niobium

June 24, 2024 Off By Jack Baker

Encounter Resources has intersected a headlining 52 metre at 3 per cent niobium pentoxide strike from 81 metres to end-of-hole, including a 16m stretch of 6.0% Nb2O5 at its fully owned Aileron project in Western Australia’s West Arunta region.

The first four aircore drill lines into the Crean carbonatite intersected continuous near-surface carbonatite and shallow, high-grade niobium from three adjacent holes.

First assays from the westmost drill line also included hits of 32m at 2.5% Nb2O5 and 15m at 1.5% Nb2O5, likewise going to the end of the hole and showing the region’s niobium allure near ascendent WA1 and its recent results out of Luni.

The company noted that the early returns have demonstrated a shallow and open mineralised trend going over 800m long, which appears to strengthen westward.

Encounter Resources Managing Director Will Robinson said the first aircore drilling results were opening up new fronts for shallow carbonatite-hosted mineralisation

“The aircore rig completed over 10,000 metres of drilling in its first month on site. This drilling has expanded the near-surface footprint of the Crean, Hurley and Emily carbonatites,” he said.

“The aircore rig has now moved to the untested Green and Joyce targets located east of WA1 Resources’ Luni carbonatite discovery.”

Robinson added that based on initial observations, drilling would start with broad-spaced traverses and then move onto a closer spaced program.

“Aircore drilling is proving to be a fast, low-impact and cost-effective method to discover near-surface niobium-REE mineralisation in this part of the West Arunta,” he said.

A second bath of aircore samples, including more from the Crean, Emily, and Hurley carbonatites, is now in the lab, with assays due next month.

The West Arunta region is remote and infrastructure-poor compared to the more eminent mining regions of WA, but the location has done little to dim the promise of what might be the nation’s most high-profile discovery in years.

Continued drilling success has been enough to turn WA1 from a small fry to billion-dollar company before even releasing a maiden resource, and Encounter’s first results were likewise rewarded by a 50%-plus share price jump by mid-morning in Perth.

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