Defense Metals Corp. (“Defense Metals” or the “Company”) (TSX-V:DEFN / OTCQB:DFMTF / FSE:35D) is pleased to announce results for an additional six diamond drill holes totalling 845 metres from the Company’s 29 hole, 5,349 metre diamond drill program completed during fall 2021. Drill holes WI21-39 and WI21-40 collared from the same pad, and holes WI21-41 through WI21-44 sited 100 metres north were designed to further delineate the Wicheeda Rare Earth Element (REE) deposit.
Drill hole WI21-40returned3.23% TREO (total rare earth oxide) over 162 metres. Along with previously reported drill hole WI21-33 on section grading 3.17% TREO over 196 metres, these two holes yielded the highest-grade x width of the 2021 drill program to date. In addition to significant composite mineralized widths, these holes continue to demonstrate the presence of higher-grade zones of carbonatite at surface and at depth extending below the current resource pit shell.
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 days and weeks.
Luisa Moreno, President, and Director of Defense Metals commented: “Drilling at depth within the northern Wicheeda Deposit has intersected significant new zones of high-grade REE mineralization with the potential to expand the mineral resource, and importantly may also contribute to supporting higher grades across the range of potential mine life.”
Resource infill drill hole WI21-39 (-60o dip / 285o azimuth) returned assays of 2.62% TREO over 110 metres1 and in conjunction with WI21-36 and WI21-37 completes sectional drilling within the northern quarter of the Wicheeda Deposit confirming the presence of high-grade dolomite carbonatite within 2019 near surface drill holes to a vertical depth of 175 metres and horizontal width of 160 metres (Table 1 andFigure 1).
Delineation drill hole WI21-40 (-60o dip / 285o azimuth) intersected mineralized dolomite carbonate from surface grading 3.23% TREO over 162 metres1; including higher grade intervals from surface of 4.21% TREO over 44.75 metres1, and at depth of 3.67% TREO over 71 metres1 extending 15 metres below the current resource pit shell (Figure 2). Importantly drill holes WI21-33, WI21-36, and WI21-40 establish the presence of a previously unrecognized zone of high-grade dolomite carbonate at depth within the northeast quadrant of the Wicheeda Deposit. Mineralized zones within WI21-40W and WI21-33 extend downhole 60 and 80 metres respectively below the current resource, and 15 and 32 metres below the resource pit shell providing the potential to expand mineral resources.
Drill hole WI21-44(-60o dip / 240o azimuth) collared 100 metres to the north intersected a mixed interval of dolomite carbonatite near surface and REE mineralized syenite at depth high averaging 1.72% TREO over 108 metres; including 2.59% TREO over 54 metres near surface (Figure 3).
A series of short drill holes WI21-41 (-55o dip / 025o azimuth), WI21-42 (-70o dip / 025o azimuth), and WI21-43 (-85o dip / 045o azimuth) totalling 285 metres successfully delineated the northeast margin of the deposit. Drill hole WI21-43 intersected several carbonate dykes, syenite and limestone host rocks above resource cut-off averaging 0.55% TREO over 113 metres (Figure 3).
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% IRR. 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”.