Western Australia (WA)-focused gold and lithium explorer BMG Resources (BMG) has signed a deal for an exclusive option to acquire a 90% stake in three exploration licences in the West Arunta region in WA.

The area is known for its niobium-REE potential.

This move positions BMG at the forefront of exploration in a region where significant discoveries have been made by industry peers.

West Arunta has garnered attention following substantial niobium-REE mineralisation discoveries by companies such as WA1 and Encounter Resources.

The area is becoming a hotspot for exploration, with major players like Rio Tinto, CGN Resources and MTM Critical Metals also conducting operations there.

BMG’s Dragon Niobium-REE Project encompasses a land area of 1,470km², situated in the central part of West Arunta.

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The Australian Government has classified niobium as a critical metal, while the US Government labels it a strategic metal, highlighting its importance in the defence, clean energy and aerospace sectors, as well as its limited supply sources.

Niobium oxide is currently being used in the manufacture of superconductive magnets, capacitors, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) equipment and optical lenses.

The critical nature of niobium underscores the strategic value of BMG’s latest acquisition.

BMG believes that the systematic exploration of this strategic landholding with modern exploration methods could offer an excellent opportunity for a new discovery.

BMG non-executive chairman John Prineas said: “We are very excited by the opportunity to acquire a large landholding in the West Arunta region, including ground immediately adjacent to WA1 Resources’ significant Luni discovery and also adjacent to global major Rio Tinto.

“Since listing on the ASX [Australian Securities Exchange] in February 2022 following an IPO of its shares at $0.20 per share, WA1 has been spectacularly rewarded for its exploration success at the West Arunta with its share price now at $10.006.

“The West Arunta is underexplored elephant country where exploration investments have potential to deliver remarkable returns for investors.

“BMG’s preliminary review of the tenements under option confirms that they are prospective for carbonatite-hosted niobium and other REE mineralisation.”

In December last year, BMG obtained and processed all assays from the second drilling programme at its 100%-owned Bullabulling Project.

The project is in the Coolgardie region of the Eastern Goldfields, WA.