Ms. Luisa Moreno reports
DEFENSE METALS CORP. DRILLS 3.79% TOTAL RARE EARTH OXIDE OVER 150 METRES; INCLUDING 4.77% OVER 60 METRES AT WICHEEDA - HOLE WI21-49 YIELDS HIGHEST GRADE SINGLE ASSAY TO DATE OF 1.41% NEODYMIUM-PRASEODYMIUM OXIDE AT 10% TOTAL RARE EARTH OXIDE
Defense Metals Corp. has released results for an additional two diamond drill holes totalling 189 metres from the company's 29-hole, 5,349-metre diamond drill program completed during fall 2021. Drill holes WI21-45 through WI21-48 were collared from the same site and within the northern area of the Wicheeda rare earth element (REE) deposit.
Drill hole WI21-49
3.79 per cent TREO (total rare earth oxide) over 150 metres, including 4.77 per cent TREO over 60 metres. The drill hole was designed to further delineate at depth drill holes WI21-33 and WI21-40 that in conjunction with WI21-49 represent the three highest grade times width intercepts of the 2021 drilling to date. Together these three drill holes define a newly discovered zone of high-grade REE mineralization that occurs below both the current mineral resource and resource pit shells.
The company continues to receive additional assay results from the 2021 Wicheeda REE deposit resource expansion and delineation campaign that will be released in the coming weeks.
Luisa Moreno, president and director of Defense Metals, stated: "We are excited with the consistently high-grade results to date. Wicheeda is emerging as a world-class deposit, and we are fortunate to be part of the development of this project." She added: "Drilling within the northern Wicheeda deposit has resulted in the discovery of an emerging zone of high-grade REE mineralization at depth. This area of the deposit was first tested by WI19-32, the last drill hole of our 2019 drill campaign. Drilling during 2021 has now shown high-grade REE mineralization extends a further 100 metres vertically below the bottom of WI19-32, and beyond the current mineral resource extents."
Delineation drill holes WI21-49 (minus-70-degree dip/190-degree azimuth) expanded and further delineated broad intervals of REE mineralized dolomite-carbonatite intersected in drill holes WI21-33 and WI21-40, yielding 3.79 per cent TREO
over 150 metres, including 4.77 per cent TREO over 60 metres
that extends 80 metres beyond the current mineral resource and 40 metres beyond the constraining pit shell. This higher-grade interval includes 12 metres averaging 8.06 per cent TREO
from 84 to 96 metres down hole, which contained the highest single (three metres) combined neodymium-praseodymium (Nd-Pr) oxide assay value to date on the Wicheeda project of 1.41 per cent Nd-Pr Oxide at 10 per cent TREO.
Drill holes WI21-50 (minus-50-degree dip/215-degree azimuth) and WI21-48 (minus-60-degree dip/280-degree azimuth) established the northwest margin of the Wicheeda deposit in the near surface intercepting a broad mixed syenite and xenolithic carbonatite interval above resource cut-off grade averaging 1.60 per cent TREO over 127 metres, including a higher-grade interval of 3.34 per cent TREO over 35 metres, 2.50 per cent TREO over 176 metres, including 6.14 per cent TREO over 20 metres
About the Wicheeda REE property
The 100-per-cent-owned, 2,008-hectare Wicheeda REE property, located approximately 80 kilometres northeast of the city of Prince George, B.C., 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 preliminary economic assessment that demonstrated an after-tax net present value (8 per cent) of $517-million, and 18-per-cent internal rate of return. A unique advantage of the Wicheeda REE project is the production of a saleable high-grade flotation-concentrate. The PEA contemplates a 1.8-million-tonne-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 five years.
Methodology and quality assurance/quality control
The analytical work reported on herein was performed by ALS Canada Ltd. at Langley (sample preparation) and Vancouver (ICP-MS fusion), B.C. ALS is an ISO-IEC 17025:2017- and ISO 9001:2015-accredited geoanalytical laboratory and is independent of Defense Metals and the qualified person. Drill core samples were subject to crushing at a minimum of 70 per cent passing two millimetres, followed by pulverizing of a 250-gram split to 85 per cent passing 75 microns. A 0.1-gram sample pulp was then subject to multielement ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) analysis via lithium-borate fusion to determine individual REE content (ME-MS81h). Defense Metals follows industry standard procedures for the work carried out on the Wicheeda project, with a quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program. Blank, duplicate and standard samples were inserted into the sample sequence sent to the laboratory for analysis. Defense Metals detected no significant QA/QC issues during review of the data.
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release as it relates to the Wicheeda REE project has been reviewed and approved by Kristopher J. Raffle, PGeo (British Columbia), principal and consultant of Apex Geoscience Ltd. of Edmonton, Alta., a director of Defense Metals and a qualified person as defined in National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Raffle verified the data disclosed, which include a review of the sampling, analytical and test data underlying the information and opinions contained therein.
Defense Metals Corp.
Defense Metals is a mineral exploration and development company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral deposits containing metals and elements commonly used in the electric power market, defence industry, national security sector and in the production of green energy technologies, such as rare earths magnets used in wind turbines and in permanent magnet motors for electric vehicles. Defense Metals owns 100 per cent of the Wicheeda rare earth element property located near Prince George, B.C., Canada. Defense Metals 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.
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