Defense Metals Corp. ("Defense Metals" or the "Company") (TSXV: DEFN) (OTCQB: DFMTF) (FSE: 35D) is pleased to announce 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 returned 3.79% TREO (total rare earth oxide) over 150 metres; including 4.77% TREO over 60 metres1. 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 x 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 (-70o dip / 190o azimuth) expanded and further delineated broad intervals of REE mineralized dolomite-carbonatite intersected in drill holes WI21-33 and WI21-40, yielding 3.79% TREO over 150 metres; including 4.77% TREO over 60 metres1 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% TREO1 from 84 to 96 metres downhole, which contained the highest single (3 metre) combined neodymium-praseodymium (Nd-Pr) oxide assay value to date on the Wicheeda Project of 1.41% Nd-Pr Oxide at 10% TREO (Table 1 and Figure 1).
Drill holes WI21-50 (-50o dip / 215o azimuth) and WI21-48 (-60o dip / 280o 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% TREO over 127metres; including a higher-grade interval of 3.34% TREO over 35 metres1. 2.50% TREO over 176 metres; including 6.14% TREO over 20 metres1 from surface (Figure 2).
About the Wicheeda REE Property
The 100% owned 2,008-hectare Wicheeda REE Property, located approximately 80 km northeast of the city of Prince George, British Columbia, 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 PEA that demonstrated an after-tax net present value (NPV@8%) of $517 million, and 18% IRR3. A unique advantage of the Wicheeda REE Project is the production of a saleable high-grade flotation-concentrate. The PEA contemplates a 1.8 Mtpa (million tonnes 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 5 years.
Methodology and QA/QC
The analytical work reported on herein was performed by ALS Canada Ltd. (ALS) 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 the Defense Metals and the QP. Drill core samples were subject to crushing at a minimum of 70% passing 2 mm, followed by pulverizing of a 250-gram split to 85% passing 75 microns. A 0.1-gram sample pulp was then subject to multi-element 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 (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, P.Geo. (BC) Principal and Consultant of APEX Geoscience Ltd. of Edmonton, AB, a director of Defense Metals and a "Qualified Person" as defined in NI 43-101. Mr. Raffle verified the data disclosed which includes a review of the sampling, analytical and test data underlying the information and opinions contained therein.
About Defense Metals Corp.
Defense Metals Corp. 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, defense 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% of the Wicheeda Rare Earth Element Property located near Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Defense Metals Corp. 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".