(Alliance News) - Cobra Resources PLC on Wednesday said it has begun sonic core drilling at the Boland rare earths prospect in Australia.

The South Australia-focused gold and rare earth exploration company said the programme is expected to take eight to 10 days.

It said it will provide narrow composite sampling to identify the anticipated high grade rare earth elements concentration, adequate samples for bench scale laboratory in-situ recovery testing and inform metallurgical flow sheet development, and to help determine sample densities and permeabilities.

Cobra noted that it confirmed ionic recoveries of rare earths at Boland in September of last year and is working to demonstrate the value of the discovery by "proving the scale, grade concentration and in situ recovery potential".

"This programme is a key workstream in Cobra's objective to demonstrate ISR potential," said Cobra.

A total of five sonic core holes are planned, which Cobra said will enable it to determine the concentration of ionic rare earth mineralisation on sand/clay boundaries and evaluate the potential for ISR extraction.

Cobra said drilling will be focused on one of the signature intersections drilled in April last year, which yielded exceptional results as announced in June.

"We believe that the Boland discovery has the potential to disrupt the current supply of magnet rare earths. Through this programme we aim to demonstrate the unprecedent economic and environmental advantages that in situ recovery provides," said Chief Executive Officer Rupert Verco.

"Core samples from the programme will enable several workstreams that will provide high value news flow as we work to define a low-capital metallurgical process and determine the productivity potential of in situ recovery."

Shares in Cobra were down 1.6% to 0.91 pence each in London on Wednesday morning.

By Greg Rosenvinge, Alliance News senior reporter

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