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Namibia Rare Earths Inc
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Namibia Rare locates three mineralized zones at Lofdal

2013-02-07 08:28 ET - News Release

Mr. Don Burton reports


Namibia Rare Earths Inc. has intersected two new mineralized zones by exploration drilling in area 6 and one new zone in area 5 at the company's Lofdal rare-earth project in northwestern Namibia. This brings the total number of discoveries at Lofdal to 17 over a two-year period, one of which has been drilled into a 43-101-compliant resource at area 4. Rare-earth mineralization occurs in these new zones over very broad widths grading 0.2 per cent to 0.7 per cent total-rare-earth oxides, with moderate levels of heavy-rare-earth enrichment (10 per cent to 25 per cent). Highlights include:

  • 0.70 per cent TREO over 31.0 metres with 9.5 per cent HREE enrichment from area 6 (including 1.12 per cent TREO over 15.0 metres with 8.2 per cent HREE enrichment);
  • 0.66 per cent TREO over 35.0 metres with 9.3 per cent HREE enrichment from area 6 (including 1.49 per cent TREO over 10 metres with 7.5 per cent HREE enrichment);
  • 0.42 per cent TREO over 76.0 metres with 13.3 per cent HREE enrichment from area 6 (including 1.06 per cent TREO over 8.0 metres with 8.7 per cent HREE enrichment);
  • 0.30 per cent TREO over 39.0 metres with 21.3 per cent HREE enrichment from area 5.

Intercept widths are reported as downhole widths and are not necessarily true widths. Interpreted dips of the mineralized zones vary from 45 degrees to 80 degrees. All results have now been received from the December, 2012, drilling program. Sample preparation and analytical work were provided by Activation Laboratories Ltd. (Windhoek, Namibia, and Ancaster, Ont.) employing ICP-MS techniques suitable for rare-earth-element analyses and following strict internal quality assurance/quality control procedures inserting blanks, standards and duplicates.

As the company awaits completion of the Mintek metallurgical test work on the area 4 core samples, one geological team has been deployed to the Marinkas permit in southern Namibia to complete reconnaissance mapping and sampling of the Marinkas Quellen carbonatite complex. A second team will carry out orientation and prospecting of the Florida permit, which is contiguous with Lofdal, with the objective of determining if certain airborne geophysical anomalies from government surveys are related to extensions of the Lofdal carbonatite complex.

Don Burton, president of Namibia Rare Earths, stated: "In addition to completing the initial 43-101-compliant resource for area 4 in 2012, our exploration team carried out detailed geological mapping, which has led to the discovery of four more rare-earth occurrences at Lofdal, on top of the 13 occurrences discovered during our first exploration campaign in 2011 following the IPO in April of that year. Area 6 continues to provide encouraging results over a very large area, and while the levels of 10 per cent to 25 per cent heavy-rare-earth enrichment are lower than what we have in area 4, this is still a heavy enriched zone with potential for much higher tonnage. It is a completely different mineralizing system than what we have drilled off in area 4. Mapping in area 6 shows that two of the three zones occur in a well-defined, broad corridor of strong alteration in the basement gneisses and breccias, coincident with an IP chargeability trend over a strike length of two kilometres. The single hole drilled on the soil anomaly returned very encouraging results, demonstrating the potential for at-surface discoveries under shallow cover. While our field teams carry on with preliminary exploration at Marinkas and Florida, the most important work under way is the metallurgical test work being conducted by Mintek to determine the amenability of the area 4 resource to concentration and extraction. Management is working closely with both Mintek and our independent consultants at Specialized Metallurgical Projects and expects to have this metallurgical work completed by the end of first-quarter 2013."

Significance of most recent exploration drill results

Area 6

The intercepts being reported today are similar in character to the previously reported discovery in area 6 announced in 2011 (company news release dated Dec. 5, 2011):

  • 0.71 per cent TREO over 18.7 metres with 15.1 per cent HREE enrichment (including 1.07 per cent TREO over 10.2 metres with 13.8 per cent HREE enrichment);
  • 0.42 per cent TREO over 41.0 metres with 19.0 per cent HREE enrichment (including 1.09 per cent TREO over 6.5 metres with 13.7 per cent HREE enrichment).

Five of the new holes were drilled on two sections 575 metres west of the 2011 discovery, following geophysical trends and mapped geological alteration. Interest in this area was first drawn by a VTEM airborne geophysical anomaly, which was followed up with ground geophysics (IP) and mapping in early 2012. Subsequent traverses on outcrops with a hand-held X-ray fluorescence analyzer confirmed the presence of rare earths prior to drilling. One hole (NLOFDH6010) located 400 metres to the north of the 2011 discovery tested a soil anomaly from an orientation survey conducted along a single traverse line between Emanya and area 6. This hole intersected three discrete zones with the hole ending in mineralization in the last intercept (0.34 per cent TREO over 28.0 metres with 13.4 per cent HREE enrichment). Samples of the mineralized cores will be taken for mineralogical studies to determine what rare-earth minerals are being encountered in area 6.

Area 5

With 10 documented rare-earth occurrences, area 5 is the most prolific mineralized area on Lofdal. The degree of HREE enrichment can rival that of area 4 in places but shows a general trend of decreasing levels of HREE enrichment as one moves westward away from the main intrusion. There is a wide area of weak to moderate alteration that has been mapped toward the western margin of area 5 over a strike length of two kilometres, and this was the focus of the latest drilling. Surface sampling from 2010 had indicated low grades (0.1 per cent to 0.5 per cent TREO) with moderate levels of HREE enrichment throughout this alteration zone, and the objective is to find zones of much greater thickness than occurs in area 4 with the exceptionally high levels of HREE enrichment (70 per cent to 90 per cent). Two holes intersected a zone of modest thickness (six metres to eight metres), but two others intersected considerably greater thickness (26 metres to 39 metres), with moderate levels of HREE enrichment (20 per cent). While not a primary target at this stage, it is areas like this that can eventually contribute significant resources in an established mining district. Samples of the mineralized cores will be taken for mineralogical studies to determine what rare-earth minerals are being encountered in these latest holes in area 5.

Area 8 (Emanya)

Emanya is an elongate intrusive carbonatite plug. Previous drilling in 2011 (company news release dated Sept. 15, 2011) reported up to 0.35 per cent TREO over 152.2 metres with 10.8 per cent HREE enrichment. Controls on mineralization at Emanya were not clear, and in an effort to gain more understanding on the potential of the intrusion to be of economic significance, Namibia Rare Earths supported an undergraduate thesis from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, to characterize the lithologies and mineralogy. This work determined: "The REE-bearing phases are the LREE-fluorocarbonates bastnasite-(Ce), synchysite/parisite-(Ce) and the REE-phosphate monazite-(Ce). The main gangue minerals were identified as calcite, biotite/phlogopite, albite, quartz and aegirine. Textures of the REE-bearing phases suggested a possibility of two mineralization events -- a combination of two separate hydrothermal events, or a magmatic event followed by a hydrothermal event."

Geophysical surveys (IP) over Emanya in 2012 indicated deeper (more sulphide rich) phases present on the northern side of the intrusion that would have been missed by the 2011 drilling. Higher grades were intersected at depths of 100 vertical metres to 120 vertical metres in holes NLOFDH8005C and NLOFDH8006, with one of the holes ending in mineralization (NLOFDH8006 intersected 0.69 per cent TREO over 22.9 metres to the bottom of the hole at 149.9 metres). While still a low-priority target at Lofdal, Emanya will be further evaluated given its substantial tonnage potential as a satellite deposit.

Mintek metallurgical program

The company recently announced the first 43-101-compliant resource in area 4 (news release dated Sept. 19, 2012), which, at a cut-off of 0.3 per cent TREO, provided 900,000 tonnes of indicated resources at 0.62 per cent TREO with 85.6 per cent HREE and 750,000 million tonnes of inferred resources at 0.56 per cent TREO with 85.1 per cent HREE. The contained tonnage of rare-earth oxides essentially can double in both categories at a lower cut-off of 0.1 per cent TREO. It is therefore an objective of the Mintek metallurgical test work to determine the amenability of the area resource to concentration and extraction at this lower cut-off grade.

Mintek has been engaged to undertake preliminary metallurgical test work on representatives samples obtained from two HQ-diameter drill holes. Portions of these samples were shipped to Commodas Ultrasort in Germany, where detailed sorting test work was completed, and all samples were subsequently shipped to Mintek, together with unsorted fines. Final results are pending receipt of analytical data; however, it has been determined that the mineralization is highly amenable to sorting through the use of dual-energy X-ray transmission (DEXRT) sensors, which detect variations in mineral densities. Sorting has been successfully achieved on material down to 10-millimetre-size fractions. The objective in utilizing sorting technologies is to upgrade the run-of-mine feed by eliminating waste material prior to milling.

The results of this work are anticipated to be available by end of first quarter of 2013.

Exploration on the Florida permit (EPL 4208)

The Florida permit covers 570 square kilometres and is held 100 per cent by Namibia Rare Earths (Pty.) Ltd. as an exclusive prospecting licence (EPL 4208) granted in 2012. The permit is contiguous with, and immediately south of, the Lofdal permit (EPL 3400). The area will be prospected primarily to determine if there exist any extensions of the Lofdal carbonatite complex and associated rare-earth mineralization. Government airborne radiometric and magnetic surveys flown during 2006 to 2007 will be used to identify prospective areas, as was done on the Lofdal permit. Field crews are assessing access routes to the priority areas and will undertake rock sampling of all favourable lithologies based on their experience from Lofdal.

Exploration on the Marinkas permit (EPL 4360)

The Marinkas permit covers 87 square kilometres and is held 100 per cent by Namibia Rare Earths as an exclusive prospecting licence (EPL 4360) granted in 2010. The Marinkas Quellen carbonatite complex consists of a sequence of intrusive silicate and carbonate rocks that crops out over an area of around 2.5 square kilometres, approximately 25 kilometres north of the Orange River, in southern Namibia. The complex is dominated by carbonatite and syenite intrusions and was most recently investigated in a joint Namibian-Japanese co-operation through JOGMEC between 1994 to 1995. The rare-earth mineralization was clearly identified as being associated with the carbonatites. The JOGMEC work indicated that Marinkas hosts a light-rare-earth-dominated system; however, discussions with geologists at the Geological Survey of Namibia raised the potential of exploring for more heavy enriched phases within the complex. Preliminary investigations by Namibia Rare Earth geologists in 2012 confirmed widespread light-rare-earth mineralization but also identified more heavy enriched phases and that the complex may be more expansive than first mapped. Geologists will therefore undertake to map the entire complex in more detail and collect sufficient rock samples to determine the potential of the complex for significant levels of heavy-rare-earth enrichment to be of economic significance.

Research programs at Lofdal

The unique character and exceptional levels of heavy-rare-earth enrichment at Lofdal have captured the attention of several rare-earth-deposit specialists in the academic world. Dr. Anthony Mariano and Peter Siegfried first recognized the heavy-rare-earth potential at Lofdal, and Dr. Mariano encouraged the first PhD-level studies through the Geological Survey of Namibia, which was undertaken at the Camborne School of Mines, University of Exeter, United Kingdom. Since 2005, Namibia Rare Earths has supported a number of undergraduate studies at the University of Namibia, Dalhousie University and Acadia University in Canada, and Stellenbosch University, South Africa, as well as one MSc-level program at Camborne School of Mines. The company will be supporting a second MSc program from Camborne School of Mines and both an MSc and a PhD from McGill University, Canada, starting in 2013. These research programs provide academic support to both Namibian geology students and also have attracted the practical attention of two of the world's leading academics in rare-earth-deposit research in Dr. Frances Wall (Camborne) and Dr. Anthony Williams-Jones (McGill).

Donald Burton, PGeo, president of Namibia Rare Earths, is the company's qualified person and has reviewed and approved this news release.

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