Neotech Metals options Thor rare earths project, Nevada

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Neotech Metals Corp. [CSE-NTMC; OTCQB-NTMFF; FSE-V690] has entered into an option agreement with Willoughby & Associates PLLC (the vendor), dated December 13, 2023, whereby the vendor has granted the company the right, at its option, to acquire a 100% interest in 22 mining claims comprising the Thor rare earth elements (REE) project, a mid-stage exploration property located in the eastern Mojave Desert region, approximately 119 km south of Las Vegas.

The Thor REE project, previously under the ownership of Elissa Resources Ltd., comprises contiguous unpatented lode mining claims staked between late 2009 and 2010. This acquisition marks a significant step in Neotech’s continuing commitment to securing and developing a portfolio of rare earth element projects.

Proximity to REE deposit: The project is strategically located near one of North America’s significant REE deposits – the Mountain Pass mine, currently owned by MP Materials Corp., approximately 30 km away. Based on the 2021 technical report summary prefeasibility study of the Mountain Pass mine (the MP technical report, which may be accessed on MP Materials’ EDGAR profile) the operation returns an after-tax net present value (NPV) with a 6% discount of US$2.6-billion. According to the MP Materials website, the mine accounts for approximately 15% of the global rare earth supply, with a long-term focus on neodymium-praseodymium (Nd-Pr).

Historical context: The area has a history of exploration, with earlier programs targeting precious metals, turquoise and uranium. REE-thorium (Th) occurrences identified during the 1950s uranium rush highlight the area’s favourable geology for prospecting, growth and development.

Geological advantage: The region is characterized by Precambrian-age rocks known for hosting significant REE deposits. The Thor REE project area’s principal mineralization is monazite-apatite-xenotime vein systems.

Findings: The primary REE mineralization zone, known as the Lopez trend, stretches over an area that is 2,500 metres long. Initial exploration and grab sample assays have returned significant REE values, with the highest-grade sample from the historical pile within a trench showing 10.6% total REE plus yttrium and 1.45% Th. An 11-metre-long composite channel sample from a trench along the mineralized Lopez trend returned an average of 1% total REE plus Y, including 1.5 metres of 3.71% total REE plus Y and 0.49% Th.

Enriched in valuable heavy REE: The project demonstrates an enrichment in valuable heavy REE (HREE), a critical component for various high-tech and green energy applications.

Favourable infrastructure: The claims are readily accessible by road in a climate and terrain that allows year-round work. The claims are approximately 60 km south of Las Vegas and 60 km northwest of Bullhead City, with a wide array of services to support exploration and mining activities.

Neotech plans to commence a phase I exploration program to define potential REE targets further through detailed ground geophysics, trenching, focused sampling and an initial phase of shallow drilling.

The Thor REE project represents a significant opportunity for Neotech to expand its portfolio in rare earth elements, crucial for the growing technology and renewable energy sectors.

Under the option agreement, the company can acquire a 100% ownership interest in the Thor REE project upon the company paying the vendor an aggregate of USD$200,000 in cash and issuing to the vendor common shares of the company with an aggregate value of US$400,000, with the number of common shares determined by the value-weighted average price of the common shares on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

The aggregate consideration is payable by the company on or before December 1, 2025, as follows: US$50,000 in cash within seven business days of the date of the option agreement and US$75,000 in common shares within 10 business days of the effective date; US$75,000 in cash and US$125,000 in common shares on or before December 1, 2024; and US$75,000 in cash and UIS$200,000 in common shares on or before December 1, 2025.

The company owns 40 rare earth mineral claims and holds an option on the EBB nickel-cobalt property, all located in British Columbia, Canada.

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