Argos Strontium Deposit

Dateline Resources Limited has agreed to acquire an 80% interest in the Argos Strontium Project, located approximately 100 kilometres away from the Colosseum Gold and Rare Earths project in San Bernardino, California.

Strontium is used in the manufacture of high-performance ferrite permanent magnets.

Ferrite magnets have recently been increasingly viewed as a possible low-cost alternative for Neodymium-based permanent magnets in electric vehicle motors.

The Argos deposit comprises four patented mining claims covering 75 acres and is considered the largest strontium deposit in the USA.

Dateline is specifically interested in strontium’s application in the future of permanent magnets for EV car manufacture, in particular where carmakers are looking to meet increased EV demand with lower cost options that are suitable for mass-market deployment.

Hitachi and Ferrite Magnets

Hitachi Metals has verified in simulations that by optimising the design of motors that use their high-performance ferrite magnet NMF15, they are able to achieve the same level of output as some motors for EVs that use neodymium magnets.
Hitachi Metals has proposed high-performance ferrite magnets for EV motors.
While Neodymium based magnets perform better in high-performance situations, many carmakers are looking at options that are suitable for mass-market deployment.
Tesla and Hitachi are diversifying their product offering of permanent magnets for EV motors due to increasing costs, limited future supply and the fragility of current supply chains.
Studies conducted by Hitachi Metals have indicated that ferrite magnets are approximately 33% cheaper than Neodymium based magnets when compared on a volume output basis, and importantly, they do not suffer from the same supply chain issues as neodymium magnets.,
The simulations run by Hitachi have demonstrated that ferrite magnets could achieve the same output level of a Neodymium-based magnet with only a 20% increase in magnet weight (but the same overall motor weight) by increasing the maximum rotational speed by 50%.

As a result of these announcements, permanent ferrite magnets may have an important place in the development and manufacture of EVs for the mass market.

Strontium is a key component of permanent ferrite magnets.

Hitachi Metals NMF15 ferrite magnet

Hitachi Metals NMF15 ferrite magnet optimisation results, 2022

Argos Project Area and History

Strontium was discovered at Cady Mountains in the early 1900s, with the first recorded production from the area from 1916-1918. Mining continued through to the 1950s, with the largest production from the Rowe-Buehler Mining Company on an area owned by the DuPont company and known as the Argos Zone.

 The Argos deposit comprises four patented mining claims covering 75 acres and is considered the largest strontium deposit in the USA.

Argos 100 metres

Google Earth view showing the four patented mining claims that make up the Argos Strontium Project

Argos 1 kilometre

Google Earth view showing proximity of road (yellow) and rail (black) to the Argos Strontium claims

The Argos deposit exhibits strontium mineralisation primarily in the form of celestite, a lustrous mineral with a silvery-grey appearance.

Figures 1 & 2: Argos Trench, looking west and historical celestite workings (Source Gregg Wilkerson, April 2021)

Dateline Argos

Figure 1

Dateline Argos

Figure 2

At Investor Day, Tesla teased a rare earth-free motor.