Geomega Resources (CVE:GMA) Wednesday announced results of diamond drill holes MVL-11-36 to MVL-11-51 on its Montviel rare earths/niobium project, near Lebel-sur-Quévillon, Québec, intersecting high grades of rare earths and niobium.
The company said the 15 holes are part of its recently completed
phase 2 drilling program in the Montviel core zone and that assay
results of holes west of section 5+45W were not included in Geomega’s
initial NI 43-101 resource calculation.
"Assay results of DD holes on these sections should increase both
grade and tonnage of the Montviel Core Zone resource," said the company
in a statement.
Highlights from assay results released Wednesday include hole
MVL-11-37 in section 3+00W, which returned 1.62% total rare earth oxides
(TREO) and 0.15% Niobium oxide (Nb2O5) over 780 metres from 141 metres;
and hole MVL-11-40 in section 5+00W, which returned 3.02% TREO and
0.20% Nb2O5 over 26.5 metres from 140.5 metres.
Hole MVL-11-43 in section 6+35W yielded 2.80% TREO and 0.51% Nb2O5
over 52.5 metres from 117 metres, including 3.14% TREO and 1.37% Nb2O5
over 11 metres from 117 metres; and hole MVL-11-47 in section 6+35W
returned 2.22% TREO and 0.33% Nb2O5 over 85.5 metres from 172.5 metres,
including 2.96% TREO and 1.49% Nb2O5 over 10.5 metres from 172.5 metres.
Geomega reported that hole MVL-11-49 in section 6+80W returned 1.95%
TREO and 0.25% Nb2O5 over 222 metres from 45 metres; and hole MVL-11-50
in section 5+45W yielded 2.57% TREO and 0.33% Nb2O5 over 73.2 metres
from 39.3 metres.
Additionally, hole MVL-11-51 in section 6+80W returned 2.16% TREO and 0.20% Nb2O5 over 226.5 metres from 148.5 metres.
Geomega noted that neodymium and dysprosium are the critical rare
earth components in the neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) permanent magnets.
The company said that NdFeB permanent magnets accounted for 95 per
cent of the magnet applications in 2010, the largest tonnage (33,250
tonnes, 27%) and gross value ($1.1 billion, 43%) of all rare earth
Dysprosium highlights in the latest diamond drill hole series
included hole MVL-11-36, which returned 126 parts per million (ppm) of
dysprosium oxide over 19.5 metres from 82.5 metres.
Further highlights included hole MVL-11-42, which yielded 100 ppm of
dysprosium oxide over 197.5 metres from 264.5 metres; and hole
MVL-11-43, which returned 166 ppm of dysprosium oxide over 16.5 metres
from 397.5 metres.
Geomega said that final results from the phase 2 drilling program,
with over 7,919 metres in 19 holes still due, will be released once
check assays have been completed.
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% TREO,
for a total of 183.9 million tonnes averaging 1.45% TREO in the
indicated resources category, and 66.7 million tonnes averaging 1.46%
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 Montviel 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.
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.
Last week, Geomega closed its previously announced non-brokered private placement financing with the Cree Mineral Exploration Board and an institutional fund, raising $206,250.
The company said it will use the proceeds to advance its preliminary economic assessment for the Montviel project.
In May, Geomega unveiled preliminary metallurgical results from the
property, with recoveries as high as 97% total rare earth oxides (TREO).
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.