Rare earths elements mining company Rainbow Rare Earths, announced an update on its Gakara Rare Earth project (‘Gakara’) in Burundi, where first production and sales of rare earth concentrate are on schedule for Q4 2017.
Since its IPO in January 2017 Rainbow Rare Earths has targeted first production and sales of its mineral concentrate before the end of the calendar year.
Rainbow Rare Earths has been working closely with various agencies of the Government of Burundi to ensure that the exportation process for Rainbow mineral concentrate takes place efficiently.
Gakara is one of the highest grade rare earth element mining projects globally, with an estimated in situ grade of 47-67% Total Rare Earth Oxide (‘TREO’), Rainbow Rare Earths is targeting a production rate of 5 000 tpa by the end of 2018.
“With the first shipment of Gakara concentrate imminent, we are encouraged by the identification of at least four highly prospective anomalies which could directly enhance the longer-term production profile of this project," comments Rainbow Rare Earths CEO Martin Eales.
"We have believed for some time that the high-grade Gakara veins must have emanated from a substantial carbonatite source and through our recent work we have established some extremely positive indicators for the locations of what may be multiple carbonatites within our licence area that will be a key focus for our near-term exploration campaign," he continues.
The Gakara deposit is made of a system of high grade veins, described as “stockworks”, with the veins typically varying in thickness from a few centimetres to up to 50 centimetres.
Field observations have also shown that these veins pinch and swell, laterally and vertically and that they can be continuous over tens of metres.
Most scientific studies postulate that the Gakara rare earth mineralisation is associated with late-stage hydro-thermal fluid phases expelled from carbonatite magmas into the earth’s crust and therefore, the genetic parent rock of the veins could be a large carbonatite intrusion in the form of pipe or several pipes, similar to kimberlite pipes that typically host diamonds.
Rainbow Rare Earths commissioned a helicopter-borne magnetic and radiometric survey, which was flown by New Resolution Airborne Geophysics in the first half of October 2017 over the entire Gakara exploration licence, which covers approximately 135 km².
Rainbow Rare Earths exploration strategy has focused to date on extending the company’s understanding of the deposit, both in advancing near term new mining areas to augment initial operations at Gasagwe and to seek the possible carbonatite source or sources for Gakara’s extensive vein stockworks.
In addition, the airborne survey has provided Rainbow Rare Earths with a detailed geological and structural map of the entire exploration licence, showing previously unmapped lithological domains and better delineating reported geological formations and also comprehensive data to assist decision making around the scheduled expiration of Rainbow Rare Earths Exploration Licence area in 2018.
Feature image credit: Rainbow Rare Earths