LSE and ASX-listed rare earths developer Pensana Rare Earths has substantially upgraded the mineral resource estimate for its Longonjo neodymium and praseodymium project in Angola.
International mining industry consultants SRK Consulting has reported an upgraded measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate of 313 Mt at 1.43% REO including 0.32%neodymium and praseodymium oxide (NdPr) for 4.47 Mt oftotal rare earth oxides (REO) including 990 000 t of NdPr, at a 0.1% NdPr cut-off.
The upgraded estimate:
- contains more than 2.3 timesthe previous estimate of the measured and indicated resources used in the preliminary feasibility study announced 15 November 2019;.
- has increased the proportion of the resources reported in the measured and indicated categories from 31% to 68%; and
- has increased the overall contained NdPr by 35%;
A number of previously announced drill holes in fresh rock mineralisation immediately below the weathered zone have reported continuous mineralisation to a depth of 80 m, which remain open. Further drilling is planned in this area, which will form the basis for future mineral resource estimation.
At a 0.2% NdPr cut-off grade, the measured and indicated mineral resource estimate for the weathered zone is 39.9 Mt at 2.38% REO including 0.52% NdPr for 948 000 t of REO including 208 000 t of NdPr.
The upgraded resource estimate is being incorporated into the technical studies currently underway and is expected to support an extended mine life on completion of additional workstreams of the bankable feasibility study (BFS).
“This is a substantial upgrade which will underpin the bankable feasibility studies. Says Pensana Rare Earths executive director Dave Hammond.
“We now have 2.3 times the amount of mineralisation in the measured and indicated category, which we expect will lead to a significantly extended mine life beyond the nine years defined in last year’s preliminary feasibility study.
“We have only just begun to explore the fresh rock mineralisation which lies immediately beneath the weathered zone. We’ve tested it to 80 m depth so far with several holes ending in mineralisation.
“Metallurgical test work is currently underway on this material to confirm the optimum process route to treat this second style of mineralisation, which if successful, could add significantly to the scale of the project,” concludes Hammond.
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