Taruga Minerals ASX TAR South Australia state funding ionic rare earth elements Mt Craig copper
Taruga Minerals ASX TAR South Australia state funding ionic rare earth elements Mt Craig copper

Taruga Minerals (ASX: TAR) has secured $325,000 in funding from the South Australian government for exploration of the Mt Craig ionic adsorption clay (IAC) style rare earth elements (REE) project.

The funding falls under the state’s Accelerated Discovery Initiative (ADI) which is aimed at fast-tracking new discoveries for key minerals in regional and frontier provinces using innovative technologies and concepts.

Chief executive officer Thomas Line said Taruga was one of 13 companies to be awarded the funds.

“We are extremely pleased to have secured this highly-competitive funding for exploration at our massive Mt Craig project which now spans more than 850 square kilometres and remains largely unexplored,” he said.

Morgan’s Creek prospect

Clay-hosted REEs were discovered by Taruga during exploration for copper last year at the Morgan’s Creek prospect.

The geological setting expands across a significant portion of Mt Craig, however there is no history of previous targeted REE exploration drilling at the project.

“This government funding represents validation of the huge potential for Mt Craig to host significant clay-hosted REE deposits and will help accelerate the development of these targets,” Mr Line said.

Copper exploration

Mr Line said a portion of the funding would also be used to explore for Central Africa-style sediment-hosted copper at Mt Craig.

Work will follow-up on results from the Wyacca prospect, where the company discovered high-grade sediment-hosted copper during maiden drilling last year.

The mineralisation is believed to be concentrated in the basal unit of the Tapley Hill formation which strikes for over 58km within the project and remains largely unexplored.

Mt Craig also includes the Birthday Ridge target where extensive sediment-hosted copper mineralisation discovered by historical explorers from surface and is yet to be followed up.

The target is hosted within the Niggly Gap Beds, which are exposed for many square kilometres within the project and are also unexplored.

The Tapley Hill formation and Niggly Gap Beds collectively have more than 70km of strike through the folded geology at Mt Craig.

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