Northern Minerals stepped-up the rare earth element exploration program at its Browns Range project in northern Western Australia with the arrival of additional drill rigs at the end of July 2012. The next phase of drilling will include approximately 5,000 m of step-out and infill drilling to define a maiden JORC resource. In total, Northern Mineral’s Browns Range exploration program involves up to 20,000 m of drilling.

                As of early July, Northern Minerals had a diamond drill rig operating at the Wolverine and Gambit prospects on the Browns Range property, testing extensions to mineralization along strike and at depth. Ten holes had been completed, and the first batch of samples had been sent to a laboratory in Perth for assay. The company was awaiting approval to expand its exploration camp.

                The Browns Range project is located in the Tanami Desert approximately 150 km southeast of the Halls Creek township and adjacent to the Western Australia-Northern Territory border. The exploration target is hydrothermal xenotime mineralization, a rare earth phosphate mineral.

                Northern Minerals Managing Director George Bauk said, “We have been encouraged by the drilling progress to date, and we have had visual indications of the targeted xenotime mineralization in several of the holes.” (