Defense Metals Corp. [DEFN-TSXV; DFMTF-OTCQB; 35D-FSE] provided an update for ongoing diamond drilling at its 100%-owned Wicheeda Rare Earth Element (REE) deposit located approximately 80 km northeast of Prince George, central British Columbia.
The 2022 diamond drilling campaign commenced in the northern resource area with the first two resource delineation drill holes totalling approximately 615 metres now nearing completion.
The first two drill holes were collared from the same site oriented southwest at -50 and -60 degree dips. The holes are designed to establish the eastern carbonatite contact near surface, and for the purpose of resource infill near 2021 drill hole WI21-33 that yielded 3.17% TREO (Total Rare Earth Oxides) over 196 metres, including 4.29% TREO over 55 metres at depth that expanded high-grade REE mineralization beyond the mineral resource pit shell. Both holes intersected significant intervals of visually REE mineralized dolomite carbonatite between as predicted by the geological model.
The company plans to complete up to 5,000 metres of diamond drilling designed to further delineate existing resources, assess near deposit exploration targets, collect geotechnical and hydrogeological drilling for the purpose of optimization of open pit slope design, and generate additional REE mineralized material for continued metallurgical testwork.
Kristopher Raffle, P.Geo., Director and QP of Defense Metals commented: “With the second drill hole of our 2022 resource infill campaign nearing completion, we look forward in the coming days to initiating co-purposed infill and pit slope geotechnical drill holes in the main deposit and PEA mine schedule pit highwall areas, in addition to continuation of pad building for planned exploration holes. With 2022 drilling operations once again based at the Wicheeda Deposit site field camp, we expect to be able to take advantage of logistical efficiencies; most notably a reduction on helicopter utilization.”
Defense Metals recently staked additional mineral claims contiguous to the Wicheeda REE Property. The Wicheeda REE property is now 4,244-hectares.
The Company paid US$100,000 to Digitonic Limited, an arm’s-length party to provide investor relations services and to provide content creation, digital and video marketing services.
The Wicheeda property is readily accessible by all-weather gravel roads and is near infrastructure, including power transmission lines, the CN railway, and major highways.
The Wicheeda REE Project yielded a robust 2021 PEA that demonstrated an after-tax net present value (NPV@8%) of $517 million, and 18% IRR. A unique advantage of the Wicheeda REE Project is the production of a saleable high-grade flotation-concentrate. The PEA contemplates a 1.8 Mtpa (million tonnes per year) mill throughput open pit mining operation with 1.75:1 (waste:mill feed) strip ratio over a 19-year mine (project) life producing and average of 25,423 tonnes REO annually. A Phase 1 initial pit strip ratio of 0.63:1 (waste:mill feed) would yield rapid access to higher grade surface mineralization in year 1 and payback of $440 million initial capital within 5 years.