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Exco Resources reports 7m at 0.65% total rare earth oxides intersection at Toolebuc JV project


Exco Resources (ASX: EXS) has reported that joint venture partner Paradigm Metals (ASX: PDM) has intersected high-grade rare earth elements (REE) from drilling at the Toolebuc project.

The Toolebuc project is a JV between Paradigm and Exco (PDM 50%: EXS 50%) and is located 50 kilometres southeast of Cloncurry, northwest Queensland. 

A 51 metre air core hole intersected 7 metres at 0.65% total rare earth oxides (REO) from 35-42 metres, including 3 metres at 1.06% REO from 35 metres, beneath 35 metres of soft sedimentary cover.

The hole is located about 160 metres from a previous hole drilled in late 2010, which intersected 4 metres at 0.31% REO from 37 metres depth, and  mineralisation remains open along strike.

The drilling has so far been preliminary, with only vertical air core holes drilled. Eleven holes were drilled in the 500 metres air core program in November 2011, with holes drilled to a maximum depth of 51 metres.

The dominant REE’s intersected in the recent hole are neodymium (Nd), lanthanum (La) and yttrium (Y). The ratio of neodymium (Nd) to total REE’s is high, at about 0.3/1.

Neodymium is an important REE used in the high tech industry, for example in the making of strong permanent magnets and for uses in electric/hybrid vehicles.

Neodymium plus the high-value heavy REEs make up more than 50% of the total contribution of REE’s in the recent intercept. Importantly, levels of the radioactive elements uranium (U) and thorium (Th) are very low, around 20 parts per million for each element.

Paradigm is now planning to carry out a ground gravity survey over a 1 square kilometre area in the coming weeks which will aid in the targeting of more extensive REE mineralisation.

To assist in the identification of the REE bearing minerals, indicative samples have also been sent for petrographic analysis.

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