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Hammer Metals Limited (Hammer) has commenced a strategic review of the rare- earth-element (REE) potential of its Mount Isa Project as part of a broader asset review.

An initial investigation by Hammer of its drilling database has highlighted the potential of the Andy’s Hill iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) prospect near Kalman and the Koppany prospect near Mary Kathleen for light REE’s specifically cerium, lanthanum, neodymium and praseodymium.

Neodymium and praseodymium are the core ingredients for the manufacturing of permanent magnets (NdFeB magnets), which are used in high-efficiency electric-motors and electric vehicles.

Significant quantities of light REE’s are known to occur at the Mary Kathleen uranium mine however the REE’s were not recovered at the time of mining, said Hammer’s Chairman Russell Davis.

“Assessment of the drill hole database for the Koppany Project, located immediately along strike to the south of Mary Kathleen, has highlighted the presence of REE’s (as well as copper) in several of the diamond holes drilled to test a separate sulphide alteration zone indicated by strong VTEM anomalies,: Mr Davis said.

Koppany is part of the Mt Frosty JV including Hammer with 51 percent ownership and MIM at 49 percent.

A full assessment of the project drilling data is underway, said Mr Davis.

“Whilst Hammer’s exploration at Mount Isa is focused on copper and gold there is definite potential for REE’s in our extensive tenement package, and the company will investigate ways to assess and maximize the value of this potential for our shareholders,” he said.

“The Koppany prospect near Mary Kathleen is of particular interest.”