ASX-listed junior Pensana Metals has been granted a new exploration licence prospective for NdPr rare earth mineralisation adjacent to its Longonjo project in Angola.
The 7 456 km² Coola project lies 16 km from Longonjo and contains two known carbonatites with reported NdPr rare earth mineralisation.
The project further hosts five additional alkaline intrusive complexes and five strong geophysical anomalies which collectively represent an immediate and wide range of very well defined ‘walk – up’ exploration targets prospective for NdPr and other rare earths.
The two carbonatite complexes, Coola and Monte Verde, are confirmed as mineralised through academic work identifying NdPr rare earth mineralisation in rock samples.
The Coola and Monte Verde complexes have never been commercially evaluated and a significant portion of each lie beneath shallow soil cover.
The large project area is easily accessible and is well located close to established road and rail infrastructure.
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“Our main focus is on completing the current programme at Longonjo and reporting an upgraded mineral resource estimate for the DFS, which is expected to significantly extend the mine life of the project,” says COO Dave Hammond.
“Having received the mining licence for Longonjo our plan is to capture and test the high potential Brownfield opportunities within trucking distance of the proposed treatment plant which have the potential to increase overall production.”
The Coola and Monte Verde carbonatite complexes are of similar size to Longonjo and have been identified as being rich in NdPr mineralisation.
Pensana holds a 90% beneficial interest in the licence with two Angolan partners each holding 5%. The licence was granted for a period of two years, renewable to seven years.
Rare earth mineralised carbonatites
The Coola and Monte Verde carbonatites, like Longonjo, are intrusive or volcanic ring structures containing carbonatite rock and are known to be enriched in elements and minerals associated with rare earth mineralisation such as fluorite, strontium, barite, phosphorous and niobium.
They are also the same Cretaceous age (135 million years) age as Longonjo and part of the same
regional geological event.
Previous academic work on the three carbonatites identified rare earth enrichment from limited rock samples with the maximum values of 3.64% REO from Coola and 0.93% REO from Monte Verde, comparing well with the 1.41% REO returned from Longonjo in the same study.
The Coola and Monte Verde carbonatites have not been commercially explored and, like Longonjo, much of the area is covered by a veneer of ferruginous soil.
The company plans to complete initial soil, rock and geological mapping, which if successful may rapidly define drill targets.