West Arunta

The West Arunta Project is located approximately 490km south of Halls Creek in Western Australia.  It comprises the Sambhar (containing the Luni carbonatite), Pachpadra (containing the P2 carbonatite) and Urmia prospects, all of which host large gravity (+/– magnetic) anomalies.


A carbonatite is an igneous rock formed from a deep, mantle-derived magmatic intrusion. They are defined by their composition, being rich in carbonate minerals and often occurring as plugs within intrusive complexes, or as dykes, sills, breccias or veins. They may be mineralised with niobium, rare earth elements (REE), phosphorus, tantalum and titanium, among other elements.


Luni was discovered in November 2022 in the Company’s first drill program in the West Arunta. Luni is part of the Sambhar prospect area and is characterised by a discrete, high amplitude gravity anomaly with a limited but coincident magnetic response. It is also located at the intersection of two key interpreted regional structural features.

Initial drilling at Luni returned highly anomalous niobium, REE and phosphorous mineralisation in three holes up to 1.3km apart. The Luni geophysical anomaly covers an area of approximately 3km x 1km and since the discovery, step-out drilling has been completed on a pattern grid to define the extent of the mineralised system and support of maiden Mineral Resource estimate in the first half of 2024.

Drilling to date has shown a shallow blanket of high-grade niobium mineralisation exists over a significant extent. This enriched layer is yet to be laterally constrained. The enriched layer often exists within part of a broader mineralised zone with more moderate average grade. Grades returned in drilling compare favourably with the resource grade of the world’s operating niobium mines.

Preliminary mineralogy and metallurgical testwork has been undertaken at Luni in advance of more detailed testwork using core samples. The preliminary work indicates the primary niobium bearing minerals are pyrochlore and columbite. These minerals show strong liberation properties and are consistent with the minerals present at the world’s existing global niobium operations.

Further key workstreams supporting a future development have been initiated including water, environment, power, transport studies and niobium marketing are underway.


P2 was the first carbonatite discovery we made in the West Arunta during drilling in October 2022. The P2 target area is characterised by a large gravity anomaly and semi-coincident magnetic anomaly which covers an area of approximately 2.5km x 1.0km.

Similar to the initial drilling at Luni, anomalous niobium, REE and phosphorous was encountered over large widths.

A ground-based gravity survey was completed in late 2022, followed by a ground-based passive seismic survey, to further refine drill targets. A reconnaissance drill program was then completed and confirmed a significant intrusive system of the scale of the originally interpreted geophysical anomaly.

Further RC drilling was completed at P2 in 2023, confirming the potential for a large mineralised carbonatite system. The P2 target may represent a future satellite opportunity for any potential development at Luni, located 30km west of P2.


The Company’s tenement package now spans over 6,400km2 with regional geological modelling and interpretation underpinning the expansion of the West Arunta project into the Northern Territory.

Several other geophysical targets have been identified in the West Arunta, the majority of which have not been subject to any previous drill testing.

Outside of Luni and P2, the only target which has been drill tested within the project area is the P1 which is located 7km northwest of P2. P1 presents as a regionally significant magnetic anomaly that extends in strike for over 12km and within a folded sequence of metasediments containing multiple interpreted gravity anomalies.

Three holes were completed at P1 over a length of 600m and did not test the gravity anomalies within the system. The drilling intersected quartz-rich metasediments of sandstone protolith, a high iron magnetite rich unit and a paragneiss unit consisting of quartz, garnet and sillimanite metamorphosed to amphibolite grade. Low level niobium, REE and copper was reported. Further work at P1 is required.

For further information and the latest updates on our West Arunta activities, please refer to our recent ASX Announcements.