Quantum Rare Earth Developments Corp (CVE:QRE) announced Wednesday it intersected 0.46% total rare earth oxide (TREO) at its Elk Creek niobium mine in south-eastern Nebraska.
Assays from the first of five drill holes completed on the property to date found 235.22 metres grading 0.43% TREO and 0.73% niobium pentoxide, including 0.46% TREO and 1.17% niobium pentoxide over 54.13 metres, in hole NEC11-001.
The discovery also indicates a significant zone of middle and heavy rare earth oxide (MHREO) mineralization associated with the Elk Creek niobium deposit. The zone grades between 25% and 35% MHREO and has notable enrichments in europium, gadolinium, terbium, and dysprosium.
Rare earth oxides (REO) are often used in batteries, magnets, and super alloys for the aerospace industry. Over 95% of the world's REO currently comes out of China.
Over the same intervals, the hole, which was drilled in the south-eastern portion of the property, returned 0.109% MHREO, including 0.161% MHREO.
Quantum said its drilling program at Elk Creek is intended to upgrade the current NI 43-101 resource estimate from the inferred category to the indicated category, and to expand the known niobium resource on the property.
The current inferred resource estimate includes over 80.1 million tonnes grading 0.62% niobium pentoxide, for a total of 493.2 million kilograms of niobium pentoxide, which is most often used in alloys.
Drilling of three other holes on the deposit was completed, with one to the east of an aeromagnetic anomaly, and one to the south of hole EC-93, which returned 155.5 metres grading 2.7% TREO in March 2011.