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Defense Metals Corp
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Defense receives Wicheeda prepilot test work results

2021-03-01 11:15 ET - News Release

Mr. Craig Taylor reports


Defense Metals Corp. has received results from additional prepilot hydrometallurgical test work utilizing high-grade rare earth element (REE) mineral concentrate produced during the company's highly successful 26-tonne flotation pilot plant that yielded a mineral concentrate averaging 7.4 per cent NdPr (neodymium-praseodymium) oxide.

The road-accessible Wicheeda REE property is located close to infrastructure approximately 80 kilometres northeast of Prince George, B.C. The Wicheeda project has indicated mineral resources of 4.89 million tonnes averaging 3.02 per cent LREO (light rare earth elements) and inferred mineral resources of 12.1 million tonnes averaging 2.90 per cent LREO.

Highlights of the additional infill hydrometallurgical test results, which centred around optimizing gangue leach test conditions, conducted at SGS Canada Inc.'s Lakefield site are as follows:

  • Gangue leach optimization resulted in increased manganese rejection from approximately 40 per cent (pH 4) to approximately 85 per cent (pH 3) from the flotation concentrate resulting in only minimal REE losses of approximately 1 per cent;
  • Increased concentrate weight reduction from 20 per cent.

Continuing hydrometallurgical optimization test work being conducted at SGS Lakefield is investigating options for reducing the caustic crack retention time and acid concentrations in the caustic crack residue leach toward reducing acid consumption and downstream neutralization requirements.

Craig Taylor, chief executive officer of Defense Metals, stated: "Defense Metals is extremely pleased with rapid advances being made in our prepilot hydrometallurgical optimization. We continue fine-tune our gangue leach, via milder conditions versus base case, with an eye to striking the optimal balance of high front-end impurity rejection with minimal REE losses. The results announced today speak to the success of these efforts."

About the Wicheeda REE property

The 1,708-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 nearby to infrastructure, including power transmission lines, the CN railway and major highways.

Geologically, the property is situated in the Foreland belt and within the Rocky Mountain trench, a major continental geologic feature. The Foreland belt contains part of a large alkaline igneous province, stretching from the Canadian Cordillera to the southwestern United States, which includes several carbonatite and alkaline intrusive complexes hosting the Aley (niobium), Rock Canyon (REE) and Wicheeda (REE) deposits.

Qualified person

The scientific and technical information contained in this news release as it relates to the Wicheeda REE property 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, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects. Mr. Raffle verified the data disclosed, which include a review of the analytical and test data underlying the information and opinions contained therein.

Methodology and quality assurance/quality control

Hydrometallurgical product assays for neodymium was determined through lithium-borate fusion of a 0.5-gram sample analyzed by wavelength dispersion X-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF). The remaining rare earth elements for the head sample were determined by 0.5-gram sodium peroxide fusion multielement ICP-MS.

The SGS analyses included a quality assurance/quality control program, including the insertion of rare earth element standard and blank samples. Defense Metals detected no significant quality assurance/quality control issues during review of the data. Defense Metals is not aware of any drilling, sampling, recovery or other factors that could materially affect the accuracy or reliability of the data referred to herein. SGS is an ISO/IEC 17025- and ISO9001:2015-accredited laboratory. SGS is independent of Defense Metals.

About Defense Metals Corp.

Defense Metals is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition of mineral deposits containing metals and elements commonly used in the electric power market, military, national security and the production of green energy technologies, such as high-strength alloys and rare earth magnets. Defense Metals has an option to acquire 100 per cent of the 1,708-hectare 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 the symbol DFMTF on the OTCQB and in Germany on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol 35D.

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