Defense Metals Corp. (DEFN:TSX.V; DFMTF:OTC; 35D:FSEQB) reported in a news release its 2020 goals for its Wicheeda rare earth elements (REEs) project near Prince George, Canada.
"We expect 2020 to be a watershed year of significant rerating for Defense Metals and an elevated presence amongst our peers," President and CEO Craig Taylor said in the release.
This year, the Canadian company intends to finish developing the hydrometallurgical flowsheet for Wicheeda, start flotation pilot plant processing of the bulk sample and update the project's mineral resource to encompass the 2019 drill program results.
Also in the release, Defense Metals provided work highlights from 2019 at Wicheeda.
The minerals exploration company sent the 30-ton bulk sampled it had collected in 2018 to SGS Canada for metallurgical and processing test work. Flotation testing yielded a 48.7% light rare earth oxide (LREO), high grade concentrate of cerium, lanthanum, neodymium and praseodymium oxides, and showed an 85.7% recovery on locked cycle tests.
Defense Metals began hydrometallurgical studies, which initially indicated that high REE extractions can be accomplished via acid leaching and caustic conversion. Tests on removal of impurities were positive.
The company completed a drill program of 13 core holes over 2,005 meters (2,005m). Results further delineated the main body of high-grade dolomite carbonatite at Wicheeda and extended the REE mineralization to the north. One of the highest grade REE intercepts drilled to date at Wicheeda was 4.43% LREO over 83m, including 5.47% LREO over a drill core interval of 33m (hole WI19-31). The deposit currently remains open.
Within only 12 months' time, Defense Metals already exceeded its exploration spending requirements for years one and two, "demonstrating its commitment to rapid advancement of this project," the release noted.[NLINSERT]
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