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Encounter Resources (ASX: ENR) has commenced an aircore programme at the Aileron project in the West Arunta region of WA targeting the presence of rare earth mineralisation.

Multiple regional scale targets will be systematically tested in ~20,000m aircore drill programme with initial drill testing of Green, Joyce, McIlroy and Macklin and follow up drilling to extend mineralisation identified at Hurley, Crean-Hoschke and Emily targets.

Reconnaissance aircore drilling will take place at the Crabeater, Leopard, Mawson and Wordie targets to determine bedrock geology and establish cover conditions.

Encounter will follow up with RC and diamond drilling in areas of significant mineralisation.

“This aircore drill programme will include the first pattern-testing of numerous exciting targets defined in this highly fertile, new mineral belt. We will start with broad spaced aircore traverses and then prioritise closer spaced drilling based on initial observations,” Managing Director Will Robinson said.

“We believe that aircore drilling will be a fast and cost-effective method to test for the presence of shallow, enriched niobium-REE carbonatite hosted mineralisation. RC/diamond drilling would then follow to determine continuity and scale.”

Robinson added that a diamond rig will arrive at Aileron in the next two weeks to start drilling at the Perce IOCG target with this rig to be utilised to provide rapid diamond core follow up for the aircore program.

“For the next few months we will have two rigs (~20,000m aircore and ~2,000m diamond) operating at Aileron and we will also have access to an RC drill rig at short notice,” he said.

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