HALIFAX, NS / ACCESSWIRE / February 11, 2020 / Namibia Critical Metals Inc. (“Namibia Critical Metals” or the “Company” or “NMI”) (TSXV:NMI) today announced details of the Term 1 planned work program for the Lofdal Heavy Rare Earths Project (“Lofdal”) in northern Namibia. As was recently announced (Company press release dated January 27, 2020) the Company has entered into an agreement with Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (“JOGMEC”) to jointly explore and develop Lofdal. Following the first meeting of the Management Committee formed by NMI and JOGMEC, the objectives of the initial Term 1 work program have been agreed to as follows:
- Complete a 7,700 m drill program at Area 4 with the objective to double the current mineral resource and deliver an updated NI43-101 report
- Complete 1,500 meters of exploration drilling on two priority satellite deposit targets
- Undertake further metallurgical test work on sorting, magnetic separation, flotation and gangue acid leaching to refine the process flow sheet
The $3,000,000 Term 1 work program will be undertaken from February 2020 to March 2021 and will be sole funded pursuant to a firm non-refundable commitment by JOGMEC. Following completion of the Term 1 program, JOGMEC has the right to earn a 40% interest in the Project by funding an additional $7,000,000 in exploration expenditures and may earn an additional 10% interest by funding an additional $10,000,000 in exploration expenditures. Further details of the agreement are provided in the Company release dated January 27, 2020.
Area 4 Resource
The Lofdal Heavy Rare Earths Project is located 450 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Windhoek in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia (Figure 1). The project area covers 314 square kilometers centered on the Lofdal carbonatite complex which hosts a number of rare earth occurrences, including the Area 4 deposit. Mineralization at Area 4 is dominated by xenotime, which is highly enriched in heavy rare earths. Value drivers at Lofdal are dysprosium and terbium as opposed to praseodymium and neodymium which are the value drivers in light rare earth deposits.
Current mineral resources for the Area 4 deposit are estimated to be 2.88 Mt of indicated mineral resources at a grade of 0.32% TREO1 yielding 9,230 t of REO, of which 7,050 t are estimated to be heavy rare earth oxides (“HREO”) and 3.28 Mt of inferred mineral resources at a grade of 0.27% TREO yielding 8,970 t of REO, of which 6,700 t are estimated to be HREO. The current mineral resource has been drilled to depths of between 125 – 225 vertical meters.
Planned drilling will test for extensions of the mineralization along strike and to vertical depths of 250-300 meters. Figure 2 shows a typical drill section with the outline of the current mineral resource and planned drill holes to test for extensions of the mineralization to a vertical depth of 300 meters. The Management Committee has set an objective to double the size of the mineral resource through the provision of 7,700 meters of diamond drilling at Area 4.
The Area 4 deposit is one of several rare earth occurrences know within the Lofdal carbonatite complex and the Company has evaluated a number of these occurrences with detailed mapping, geophysics and drilling. There are two priority heavy rare earth targets that have not been drill tested and a total of 1,500 meters of diamond drilling has been allocated in Term 1 to investigate xenotime mineralization at the Northern Splay and at Dolomite Hill (Figure 3).
A number of sequential processing stages have been recommended for treatment of the xenotime mineralization at Lofdal and include upfront sorting, magnetic separation, flotation and gangue acid leaching to produce a mineral concentrate. Each of these stages will be further evaluated during Term 1 through metallurgical test work programs at the appropriate facility/laboratory. Provision has also been made to re-evaluate gravity processing techniques. The initial focus will be on XRT and XRF sorting using an 18 tonne representative sample that has been prepared by Light Deep Earth at their test facility in South Africa. Sorter tests will be conducted by Rados International using a Rados XRF sorter and by IMS Engineering using a Steinert XRT sorter. Products generated from this first step test work will be utilized for subsequent process stage test work.
Namibia Critical Metals is the operator for the Lofdal Joint Venture with JOGMEC and will provide updates on the progress of the drilling and metallurgical programs as results become available.
Figure 1 – NMI project areas in Namibia highlighting location of the Lofdal Heavy Rare Earths Project near Khorixas
Figure 2 – Drill section 550E showing limits of current mineral resource and proposed drill holes to test for extensions of the mineralization to a vertical depth of 300 meters
Figure 3 – Geology of the project area showing the location of the Area 4 deposit and the two exploration drill targets at the Northern Splay and Dolomite Hill
About Namibia Critical Metals Inc.
Namibia Critical Metals Inc. holds a diversified portfolio of exploration and advanced stage projects in the country of Namibia focused on the development of sustainable and ethical sources of metals for the battery, electric vehicle and associated industries. The Company also has significant land positions in areas favourable for gold mineralization.
At the Erongo Gold Project, stratigraphic equivalents to the sediments hosting the recent Osino gold discovery at Twin Hills have been identified but not yet sampled. Detailed soil surveys are planned over this highly prospective area.
In addition to Lofdal, the Epembe Tantalum-Niobium Project is also at an advanced stage with a well-defined, 10 km long carbonatite dyke that has been delineated by detailed mapping with over 11,000 meters of drilling. Preliminary mineralogical and metallurgical studies including sorting tests (XRT), indicate the potential for significant physical upgrading. Further work will be undertaken to advance the project to a preliminary economic assessment stage.
The Kunene Cobalt-Copper Project comprises a very large area of favorable stratigraphy (“the DOF”) along strike to the west of the Opuwo cobalt-copper-zinc deposit. Secondary copper mineralization over a wide area points to preliminary evidence of a regional-scale hydrothermal system. Exploration targets on EPLs held in the Kunene project comprise direct extensions of the DOF style mineralization to the west, sediment-hosted cobalt and copper, orogenic copper, and stratabound manganese and zinc-lead mineralization.
Earlier stage projects include the Grootfontein Base Metal and Gold Project which has potential for magmatic copper-nickel mineralization, Mississippi Valley-type zinc-lead-vanadium mineralization and Otjikoto-style gold mineralization.
The common shares of Namibia Critical Metals Inc. trade on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “NMI”.
Donald M. Burton, P.Geo. and President of Namibia Critical Metals Inc., is the Company’s Qualified Person and has reviewed and approved this press release.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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The foregoing information may contain forward-looking information relating to the future performance of Namibia Rare Earths Inc. Forward-looking information, specifically, that concerning future performance, is subject to certain risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially. These risks and uncertainties are detailed from time to time in the Company’s filings with the appropriate securities commissions.
1 “TREO” refers to total rare earth oxides; “HREO” refers to heavy rare earth oxides; “heavy rare earths” as used in all Company presentations comprise europium (Eu), gadolinium (Gd), terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Dy), holmium (Ho), erbium (Er), thulium (Tm), ytterbium (Yb), lutetium (Lu) and yttrium (Y). Light rare earths comprise lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), neodymium (Nd) and samarium (Sm). “Heavy rare earth enrichment” is the ratio of HREO:TREO, expressed as a percentage
SOURCE: Namibia Critical Metals Inc.
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