Geomega Resources (CVE:GMA) Wednesday announced results of diamond drill hole MVL-12-59B at its Montviel rare earths-niobium project near Level-sur-Quévillon, Québec, which included a “bonus” enrichment zone of niobium oxide (Nb2O5).
The company said highlights from hole MVL-12-59B, which completed
phase 2 drilling, included 2.06 percent total rare earth oxides (TREO)
and 1.38 percent Nb2O5 over 95.5 metres from 334.5 metres; and 2.42
percent TREO and 3.08 percent Nb2O5 over 29.6 metres from 351.4 metres.
Geomega noted that hole MVL-12-59B intersected silico-carbonatite
(host rock) at the start of drilling (from 0 to 318 metres) and then
intersected ferro-carbonatite from 318 to 501 metres.
Additional results from the remaining phase 2 assays, which include
over 15,569 metres in 35 diamond drill holes, will be released once
check assays have been completed, said the company.
"The technical team accurately predicted the location of the rare
earths enrichment zone in preparing phase 2 drilling," said CEO Simon
"The enrichment in niobium is a bonus. The enrichment zone niobium
grade compares favorably to the average grade mined at Niobec (Iamgold),
the only niobium producing mine outside Brazil, also in Quebec.
"Following excellent preliminary results on the recovery of
pyrochlore, the niobium bearing mineral, the preliminary economic
assessment (PEA) study will include a niobium oxide concentrate
Geomega said that hole MVL-12-59B is corralled approximately 170
metres and 60 metres south-east of holes MVL-11-32D and MVL-11-34
respectively, on section 6+80 West.
Highlights from those drill holes, previously released in February,
included 2.59 percent TREO and 0.55 percent Nb2O5 over 19.5 metres from
219 metres in hole MVL-11-32D; and 3.09 percent TREO and 0.60 percent
Nb2O5 over 46.5 metres from 318 metres in hole MVL-11-34.
Niobium is used for making high strength, low alloy steels,
specifically used in manufacturing green technologies, turbines,
aerospace, automobiles, oil and gas.
According to Geomega, global annual consumption of ferro-niobium is
approximately 90 million kilograms per year, and is growing at an annual
rate of five to seven percent.
The long term forecasted price of ferro-niobium is US$45/kilogram,
said the company, adding that there are three producers worldwide, which
include CBMM and Anglo American (LON:AAL) in Brazil, and Iamgold (TSE:IMG) (NYSE:IAG) in Canada.
The Montviel project is located approximately 100 kilometres north of
Lebel-sur-Quévillon in the southern, developed, part of Quebec's "Plan
Nord", an $80 billion economic, social and environmental development
plan of Northern Quebec over a period of 25 years.
In September last year, the company released an initial NI 43-101
compliant resource for the project at a base cut-off grade of 1 percent
TREO, for a total of 183.9 million tonnes averaging 1.45 percent TREO in
the indicated resources category, and 66.7 million tonnes averaging
1.46 percent TREO in the inferred resources category.
The miner said another NI 43-101 compliant resource calculation for
the Montviel core zone is slated to be finished in July. The company
completed its phase 2 drill program at the site in March, totaling
24,234 metres over 50 holes.
The asset is lauded as one of the largest TREO resources outside
China, which has the potential for a "significant near term role" in the
growing permanent magnet sector due to its proximity to infrastructure
and available labour.
In April, Geomega closed the second and final tranche of a $3.5
million private placement financing, and earlier this month announced
plans to raise another $206,250 through a non-brokered private
financing, as it seeks to fund development at its Montviel project.
The company will issue 375,000 units priced at 55 cents per unit, and
use the funds to advance the PEA at Montviel. The proceeds will also go
toward working capital purposes.
The Cree Mineral Exploration Board (CMEB) and an institutional board
will participate in the offering, Geomega said in a statement.
Rare earths refer to a group of 15 specific elements, known as
lanthanides, plus scandium and yttrium, used for everything from
smartphones to guided missiles. While some rare earths are relatively
common, they are dispersed in a way that makes it difficult to find
deposits with high enough ore grades to economically exploit.