- MOU Executed with Edith Cowan University Mineral Recovery Research Centre
- Direct Rubidium Process Extraction Development encompassing purification, refining and ultimately conversion into a final product of Rubidium slat and metal
- Intellectual property rights deriving from the project will be owned by EMC
Everest Metals Corporation Limited (ASX: EMC) (“EMC” or “the Company”)is pleased to announce that the Company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Edith Cowan University (“ECU”) to collaborate on Direct Rubidium extraction from the Mt Edon LCT Project (M59/714) located 5km southwest of Paynes Find, in the Mid-West region of Western Australia, 400km northeast of Perth.
The MOU will allow cooperative activities in the ECU’s Mineral Recovery Research Centre (“MRRC”) for a period of 36 months to undertake Direct Rubidium Extraction process though advanced processes such as ion exchange. The process encompasses purification and refining, ultimately leading to the conversion into a final product such as Rubidium slat and metal. Under the MOU any intellectual property rights deriving from the project will be owned by EMC.
“EMC’s high grade intersections of the critical mineral Rubidium has led to rapid assessment of processing options. EMC is very excited to team up with the very experienced team at ECU’s Mineral Recovery Research Centre to explore the extraction of Rubidium at its Mt Edon project. EMC’s management is very impressed with the substantial laboratory assets available to the team at the research centre it visited in recent weeks. The EMC geological team will work through next steps of resource development in coming months. Grade is the key and grade is what we have”.Chief Operating Officer, Simon Phillips commented
Figure 1: One floor of ECU’s Mineral Recovery Research Centre
MRRC offers a world-class service to resource recovery challenges faced by mining corporations, state, and national organisations, as well as international industries. The centre develops efficient mineral processing and recovery technologies, making the processes more environmentally friendly (low carbon and water footprint) and developing waste-to-value strategies. MRRC has a unique role in Western Australia owing to its distinguished vision, high capabilities of the staff and ability to address the current and emerging challenges in demanding areas including mineral processing, brine mining, process decarbonisation, mineral carbonation, down streaming in the battery supply chain, and greener and more efficient waste recycling.
Rubidium Market (Rubidium Carbonate US$1.2m per tonne)
Rubidium is a designated Critical Mineral by the most recent US Government Geological Survey of 2023. Its potential uses across a wide range of high tech and traditional industry are growing rapidly.
Rubidium is often associated with caesium and lithium mineralisation and its compounds are used in biomedical research, electronics, specialty glass, pyrotechnics as well as military industrial applications. Since it is easily ionised, researchers believe it will also be used as a propellant in ion engines on spacecraft.
Importantly, Rubidium is used interchangeably or together with caesium in many uses.
Its recent applications in specialty glasses used in fibre optic telecommunication systems has been an important contribution to its growing demand.
Rubidium has several uses in medical science, such as in Positron Emission Tomographic (PET) imaging, the treatment of epilepsy, blood flow tracer and Rubidium Chloride is used as an antidepressant. A dozen or more other uses are known, which include use as a co-catalyst for several organic reactions and in frequency reference oscillators for telecommunications network synchronisation.
Developing uses ensure the current price of around USD1,200/kg for Rubidium Carbonate remain for many years to come.
MATERIAL TERMS OF MOU
- Operates for a period of 3 years.
- Makes no reference to costings.
- EMC will grant to ECU a royalty free, non-exclusive licence to use the Project IP for further research and non-commercial purposes.
- Any background intellectual property rights remain the property of each party.
MT EDON LCT PROJECT BACKGROUND
Mt Edon Pegmatite Project sits on mining lease M59/714 and covers the southern portion of the Paynes Find greenstone belt in the southern Murchison which hosts an extensive pegmatite field. There are several large irregular shaped felsic pegmatites which have intruded into the Paynes Find Greenstone Belt, a northeast trending sequence of mafic, ultramafic, and sedimentary rocks, with east-west structures cutting these metasediments. Pegmatites appear to be folded sills dipping in variable directions and angles and are connected at depth representing both sill and dyke structures. These prospective pegmatites have a northeast-southwest strike of up to 350m and occur along a 1.2km interval of the LCT Pegmatite corridor. Larger pegmatitic bodies appear less influenced by the underlying structural trends and fabrics, with many of these bodies cutting both structural fabrics. The larger pegmatitic bodies are interpreted as blowouts related to structural intersections.
Figure 2: Mt Edon mining lease location map
Two phase of RC drilling completed at Mt Edon mining lease in late May and early August 2023. During Stage-1 drilling in late May 2023, drill hole ME23-07 intersected a mixed zone of altered mafic host rock and 62m of pegmatite up to a depth of 111m and remained open (Figure 3). Geological logging of the chip samples highlighted well-developed muscovite-rich zones. Hole ME23-007 intersected over 40 metres grading 0.26% Rb2O from 49m, including 19m at 0.33% Rb2O (0.43% Rb2O + Li2O), in addition to three higher grade zones of 2m @ 0.53% Rb2O + Li2O (14-16m), 2m @ 0.53% Rb2O + Li2O (20-22m) and 2m @ 0.53% Rb2O + Li2O (30-32m). The entire mineralised intersection within ME23-007 indicates the highly fractionated and fertility of the pegmatite in the northeast corner of Mt Edon. The pegmatite body in this hole remained open at a depth of 111m (dip 60 degree) and shows there is high potential for lateral extensions particularly toward the northeast.
Stage-2 drilling was designed to unlock the potential of a 600m pegmatite sitting along a northeast-southwest strike. This zone is interpreted to be a mineralised alteration zone located between the intrusive pegmatites and the mafic country rock. 10 x RC holes were drilled along this trend and all intercepted significant rubidium-lithium results. Some of the thickest and highest grade intersections are outlined below:
- Hole ME23-019 intersected over 80 metres grading 0.32% Rb2O and 0.11% Li2O from 25m, including 9m at 0.47% Rb2O from 87m.
- Hole ME23-018 intersected 31 metres grading 0.21% Rb2O and 0.12% Li2O from 35m, including 7m at 0.34% Rb2O from 39m.
- Hole ME23-016 intersected 2 metres grading 0.34% Rb2O and 0.42% Li2O from surface and 8 metres grading 0.13% Rb2O from 19m.
- Hole ME23-015 intersected 15 metres grading 0.22% Rb2O and 0.27% Li2O from 14m, including 5 meters at 0.27% Rb2O and 0.6% Li2O from 22m.
- Hole ME23-021 intersected 10 metres grading 0.21% Rb2O from 25m.
Figure 3: A schematic cross section looking northwest – Shows significant mineralised intersections in hole MD23-07, 15-16 and 18-19 located in the northwest area of the Mt Edon tenement
Significant anomalous LCT elements that occur in association with rubidium with a maximum value 0.51% Rb2O, include maximum values in individual drilling assay Li2O at 0.94%, Cs at 535 ppm, Nb at 247ppm, Ta at 278ppm and Sn at 155 ppm. Additionally, findings from both the Stage-1 and Stage-2 drilling programs suggest that Mt Edon has the potential to be classified as a Rubidium-Lithium project.
It seems that the high value of rubidium grades is primarily associated with well-developed white mica zones.
 ASX: EMC announcement; Mt Edon Drilling Results Confirms High Grade Rubidium, dated 13 July 2023
 ASX: EMC announcement Mt Edon Drilling Program Continues to Deliver, 80m High Grade Rubidium Intersection with Associated Lithium, dated 21 September 2023
 The high grade intersected Rubidium is in line with world class Rubidium occurrences including the Karibib pegmatite deposit in Namibia (8.9 Mt at 0.23%Rb) and Guobaoshan deposit in China (234 Mt at 0.12%Rb).