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Defense Metals Corp. and SRC Investigate XRT Ammenability of Wicheeda Rare Earth Element Mineralization

·7 min read

VANCOUVER, BC, Jan. 13, 2021 /CNW/ - Defense Metals Corp. ("Defense Metals" or the "Company") (TSXV: DEFN) (OTCQB: DFMTF) (FSE: 35D) is pleased to announce that it has commissioned the Saskatchewan Research Council ("SRC") to complete an X-Ray Transmission ("XRT") sorting amenability study with respect to mineralized feed sourced from its 1,708 hectare (4,220 acre) Wicheeda Rare Earth Element (REE) Property ("Wicheeda") located close to existing infrastructure near Prince George, British Columbia (BC).

Defense Metals Corp. Logo (CNW Group/Defense Metals Corp.)
Defense Metals Corp. Logo (CNW Group/Defense Metals Corp.)

Defense Metals and SRC have been awarded National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) funding, a Government of Canada funded program mandated to provide financial support for technology innovation. Funding awarded under the NRC IRAP will cover approximately 70% of the estimated cost of the XRT amenability study test-work.

The Wicheeda project has indicated mineral resources of 4,890,000 tonnes averaging 3.02% LREO (Light Rare Earth Elements) and inferred mineral resources of 12,100,000 tonnes averaging 2.90% LREO1. Flotation pilot-plant processing of a 26-tonne bulk sample of Wicheeda REE material yielded a mineral concentrate averaging 7.4% NdPr oxide (neodymium-praseodymium) critical magnet metals2.

The objective of the SRC amenability study is to investigate XRT sorting for the purpose of upgrading Wicheeda REE mineralization prior to downstream processing. Sensor based sorting has several advantages when applied to REE mining projects in that beneficiation occurs without water and with reduced grinding requirements. The investigation will assess how much gangue can be removed from the head feed. The investigation will then carry out an iterative study of different sorting sizes to process in the XRT sorter assessing both the grade of the upgraded concentrate and the grade of the waste for economic studies whereby the optimum operational parameters can be determined.

XRT sorting has the potential to realize several significant project benefits including:

  • Relatively low-cost gangue (unmineralized waste) removal and volume reduction at the front-end of the Wicheeda REE processing stream;

  • Potential to have a significant positive benefit on downstream flotation and hydrometallurgical processes via reduced water, heating, and reagent consumption costs; and

  • Depending on the success of the test-work these reductions may contribute to overall lower size / throughput and capital cost of potential future commercial REE concentration and refining facilities at Wicheeda.

Craig Taylor, CEO comments:

"Defense Metals looks forward to investigating the potential of low-cost front-end upgrading of Wicheeda REE mineralization via XRT sorting. We have already demonstrated the ability to produce a greater than 50% REO concentrate during flotation pilot plant test-work and we hope unlocking the benefits of XRT sorting will yield downstream processing benefits of increased head grade, flotation concentrate, and hydrometallurgical feed streams".

Details of XRT Study Methodology

X-ray Transmission (XRT) Analysis:

The XRT investigation requires the selection of large samples containing both gangue and REE mineralization for analysis. The samples are analysed using:

  • Dual energy X-ray transmission measurements (DE-CT), and

  • QEMSCAN for calibration and mineral identification and modal mineralogy.

Photographs of the polished QEMSCAN samples are used to verify the atomic differences measured by DE-CT. The modal mineralogy is used to determine REE grades.

Image Analysis:

The DE-CT images are analyzed using different sized grids to determine how much gangue can be removed for a range of particle sizes. This process determines the upgrading possibilities for different sorting sizes, the grade of the concentrate and the grade of the waste.

Wicheeda REE Project

The Wicheeda REE project has indicated mineral resources of 4,890,000 tonnes averaging 3.02% LREO (Light Rare Earth Elements) and inferred mineral resources of 12,100,000 tonnes averaging 2.90% LREO3.

Qualified Person

The scientific and technical information contained in this news release as it relates to the Wicheeda REE Property has been reviewed and approved by Kristopher J. Raffle, P.Geo. (BC) Principal and Consultant of APEX Geoscience Ltd. of Edmonton, AB, a director of Defense Metals and a "Qualified Person" as defined in National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.

About Defense Metals Corp.

Defense Metals Corp. is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition of mineral deposits containing metals and elements commonly used in the electric power market, military, national security and the production of "GREEN" energy technologies, such as, high strength alloys and rare earth magnets. Defense Metals has an option to acquire 100% of the 1,708 hectare Wicheeda Rare Earth Element Property located near Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Defense Metals Corp. trades in Canada under the symbol "DEFN" on the TSX Venture Exchange, in the United States, under "DFMTF" on the OTCQB and in Germany on the Frankfurt Exchange under "35D".

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Information

This news release contains "forward–looking information or statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, which may include, without limitation, statements relating to the Company's plans for its Wicheeda project, XRT study and the expected benefits and results therefrom, the technical, financial and business prospects of the Company, its project and other matters. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts, that address events or developments that the Company expects to occur, are forward-looking statements. Although the Company believes the expectations expressed in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, such statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Such statements and information are based on numerous assumptions regarding present and future business strategies and the environment in which the Company will operate in the future, including the price of rare earth elements, the ability to achieve its goals, that general business and economic conditions will not change in a material adverse manner, that financing will be available if and when needed and on reasonable terms. Such forward-looking information reflects the Company's views with respect to future events and is subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those filed under the Company's profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include, but are not limited to, continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions, adverse weather conditions, failure to maintain or obtain all necessary government permits, approvals and authorizations, failure to maintain community acceptance (including First Nations), decrease in the price of rare earth elements, the impact of Covid-19 or other viruses and diseases on the Company's ability to operate increase in costs, litigation, and failure of counterparties to perform their contractual obligations. The Company does not undertake to update forward–looking statements or forward–looking information, except as required by law.

_____________________

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