Situated in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, TSX-listed Frontier Rare Earths’ (Frontier) Zandkopsdrift project is one of the largest known, high grade rare earth deposits globally. In combination with its shallow, high grade rare earth zones and significant quantities of critical rare earth oxides, it presents one of the most attractive projects in the sector, writes Laura Cornish.
Contained within Frontier’s 15 000 ha of prospecting rights is Zandkopsdrift, the biggest rare earths intrusion discovered in a complex of carbonatite (ancient volcanic) intrusions. “In numbers, we have identified approximately 1 Mt of total rare earth oxides (TREO) within 42 Mt of rock,” Frontier CEO James Kenny states. This confirms Zandkopsdrift as one of the largest known rare earth deposits – globally.
As significant as this may be however, the viability of successfully developing a rare earths mine is dependent on a variety of factors in addition to size and grade of the resource. This includes a favourable relative distribution of the contained rare earths, low levels of radioactivity, proven extraction strategy, endbuyers and conventional mining and processing methodologies. Frontier has ticked all these boxes, making Zandkopsdrift Africa’s potential rare earths ‘golden child’.