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Defense Metals drills 251 m of 3.09% TREO at Wicheeda

2022-04-27 10:04 ET - News Release

Dr. Luisa Moreno reports


Defense Metals Corp. has released results for the final five diamond drill holes totalling 1,079 metres from the company's 29-hole, 5,349-metre diamond drill program completed during fall 2021. Drill holes WI21-57 through WI21-61 were collared from the two sites within the eastern area of the Wicheeda rare earth element (REE) deposit.

Resource definition drill hole WI21-58 in conjunction with WI21-59 collared from the same setup yielded two of the three highest-grade-by-width intercepts of the 2021 drill campaign, with WI21-58 averaging 3.09 per cent TREO (total rare earth oxides) over 251 metres, including 3.92 per cent TREO over 80 metres; and WI21-59 returning 2.76 per cent TREO over 212 metres, including 3.25 per cent TREO over 90 metres from surface.

Luisa Moreno, president and director of Defense Metals, stated: "We are extremely pleased to publish the last assay results for our 2021 Wicheeda REE deposit drill campaign with some of the highest-grade and widest drill intercepts encountered to date on the project. Our first hole of 2021 yielded 3.17 per cent TREO over 196 metres within the untested northern zone (WI21-33). With the final holes released today we have WI21-59 collared 200 metres to the south besting that result with exceptionally REE high grades over a 250-metre interval."

Infill drill hole WI21-57 (minus 50-degree dip/290-degree azimuth) testing a gap within the central area of the deposit returned a high-grade dolomite carbonate interval averaging 3.45 per cent TREO over 116 metres from surface, giving way to mixed syenite at depth averaging 1.37 per cent TREO over 96.5 metres along the western contact.

Delineation drill holes WI21-58 (minus 60-degree dip/355-degree azimuth) and WI21-59 (minus 70-degree dip/15-degree azimuth) targeted inferred resources at depth along the eastern contact and intersected two of the three highest-grade-by-width intercepts of the 2021 drill campaign, with WI21-58 averaging 3.09 per cent TREO over 251 metres, including 3.92 per cent TREO over 80 metres; and WI21-59 returning 2.76 per cent TREO over 212 metres, including 3.25 per cent TREO over 90 metres from surface.

Infill drill hole WI21-60 (minus 55-degree dip/205-degree azimuth) targeting the southern area of the deposit returned 2.93 per cent TREO over 154 metres, including 5.47 per cent TREO over 39 metres from surface representing the third highest-grade reported drill intercept.

Like WI21-57, drill hole WI21-61 (minus 50-degree dip/210-degree azimuth) targeted the central gap area from a pad 200 metres north. The hole collared into east side limestone host rock before intersecting a broad high-grade dolomite carbonatite interval averaging 3.44 per cent TREO over 114 metres, giving way to mixed xenolithic carbonatite and syenite rocks at depth returning 0.93 per cent TREO over 79 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 (NPV) at an 8-per-cent discount 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 to 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 to 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 (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) fusion), B.C. ALS is an ISO-IEC (International Organization for Standardization/International Electrotechnical Commission) 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 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 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.

Qualified person

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 (B.C.), 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.

About 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 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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