German investor Susanne Bunnenberg has increased her stake in Australia-based rare earths explorer Impact Minerals.

Susanne acquired an additional 450.2 million shares for A$460,169, raising her interest from 15.83% to 16.85%.

The stake increase follows Impact’s receipt of a $180,000 grant from the Western Australian government.

These funds are earmarked for drilling at the Caligula copper target within the company’s wholly owned Arkun Project, reported.

The drilling programme will consist of 40 holes spanning 2,000m, aiming to investigate a rare earths soil geochemistry anomaly at Hyperion.

This anomaly has shown promising results, with up to 5,880 parts per million of total rare earth oxide and yttrium.

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The Arkun Project, covering 1,900km2, is located 200km southeast of Perth. It includes eight tenements and is primarily focused on an 850km2 area between York and Corrigin, 100km east of Perth.

The project was initially identified through public regional geochemistry datasets, which revealed nickel-copper-gold anomalies.

In addition to copper and gold, the project area also exhibits several geochemical anomalies for nickel.

These were identified in regional datasets with samples collected at intervals of around 500m along roads and tracks. The soil geochemistry dataset, which highlighted these anomalies, is proprietary to Impact’s consultants, Milford Resources.

Following Impact’s initial work on the Arkun project, Anglo American staked a significant area of around 10,130km2 surrounding Impact’s project on three sides.

Impact managing director Dr Mike Jones said “We view the arrival of one of the world’s largest mining companies in the middle of the Western Australian wheat belt as a very positive endorsement our exploration targeting criteria at Arkun.

“In addition, it is also an endorsement of the entire concept of a new emerging nickel-copper-PGE province in this part of WA thanks to the recent discoveries at Julimar and Yarawindah.”