A Tasmanian mining company might be sitting on a 6 kilometre stretch of prized rare earth elements in forest plantation land near Deloraine.
Diversifying bauxite miner the ABx Group told the ASX it had discovered a new rare earth element prospect at Rubble Mound, 6 kilometres east of its Deep Leads rare earth element project.
The areas are north of the Bass Hwy, between Deloraine and Westbury.
The company said the Rubble Mound discovery was its fourth, and confirmed a "rare earths province" at least 52 kilometres wide, stretching to an area east of Launceston.
"Our new EL10/2021 (exploration licence) secures the gap between Deep Leads and Rubble Mound, which significantly increases the size of REE resources," chief executive Mark Cooksey said.
"Deep Leads REE mineralisation could connect to Rubble Mound.
"Our exploration manager, Paul Glover, and national operations manager, Nathan Towns, are also assembling a bulk sample for metallurgical testwork to learn more about our potential to produce a saleable REE concentrate using simple leaching processes."
The company said it was the first to discover clay-hosted rare earth elements in Northern Tasmania.
It said prices of super-magnet rare earth elements were rising strongly because of a significant supply shortage and aggressive buying by major consumers and governments.
"China currently controls 86 per cent of global REE supply, but is not expanding production at the same rate that demand for the critical REEs has risen," it said.
It said the super-magnet rare earth elements were needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines, mobile phones and computers, and for military applications.
"ABx's REE mineralisation is enriched in this super-magnet suite of REE, especially Nd (neodymium) and Pr (praseodymium)," it said.
"ABx is increasing its ability to identify REE prospects in this province, which has been subjected to a range of intense geological events."
The Sydney-headquartered company plans to start bauxite mining in Tasmania at its Fingal Rail site near Campbell Town, and aims to produce aluminium fluoride at Bell Bay for use in aluminium smelters.
Chaired by former Labor premier Paul Lennon, it is also working towards mining bauxite in Queensland.
It previously mined bauxite at Bald Hill, near Campbell Town.