Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) has begun a 2,000m diamond drilling programme in the West Arunta region of Western Australia, co-funded by the state government's Exploration Incentive Scheme.

The drilling scheme aims to uncover valuable critical minerals and metals, including copper and rare earths, as demand for lithium-ion batteries continues to grow.

Encounter Resources' Managing Director, Will Robinson says: "The Crean, Worlsey, and Caird targets will be the first of the large scale magnetic and gravity anomalies to be tested at the 100km wide Aileron project in the West Arunta."

He also says the targets have similar geophysical characteristics to the IOCG deposits in South Australia, such as Prominent Hill, and the recently discovered niobium-REE carbonatites in the West Arunta.