engaged two firms to help complete the prefeasibility study (PFS) of its Wicheeda project in British Columbia, a stock catalyst expected in H1/24, reported Agentis Capital analyst Michael Gray in an August 16 research note.
"Wicheeda is the most advanced rare earth element development asset in Canada," Gray wrote. "Advancing to PFS will make Wicheeda a standout target for potential Critical Minerals Strategy initiatives and funding by the government of Canada as well as the U.S. Department of Defense."
Firms Providing Services
Gray reported that in its recent update on Wicheeda, Defense Metals management named the companies brought on board to assist with the PFS and described their roles.
SRK Consulting, involved in preparing the 2021 preliminary economic assessment, will take the lead. It will tackle resource estimation, geotechnical engineering, the mine plan, and economic analysis, among other contributions. Already, SRK has begun assessing the sites on which the various facilities will be built.
The engineering firm, Hatch Ltd., will design the light rare earth elements metallurgical recovery plant.
"This is the key to the PFS, in our view, as the project net present value will be driven largely by the metallurgical processing parameters and outputs," commented Gray. "We think any potential offtakers will rely heavily on the Hatch PFS work."
One-eighty Consulting Group will assist with permitting and engaging the local Indigenous community.
Progress Being Made
Defense Metals continues to advance toward completion of the PFS, Gray reported. The company has carried out 13 test pits and four sonic drill holes to characterize subsurface soil material in some of the key areas. They include the sites designated for the waste rock storage facility, the tailings storage facility, and the contact water pond.
Geotechnical work at the site is ongoing. It includes "geotechnical engineering studies, tailings alternative assessments, and geochemical characterization," wrote Gray.
What To Watch For
Investors can expect some potential stock-moving events throughout the next 12 months, Gray reported. They include results of pilot plant testing and an updated mineral resource estimate, both in H2/23. PFS completion is to follow next year.
Defense Metals is currently trading at about CA$0.21 per share.
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- As of the date of this article, officers and/or employees of Streetwise Reports LLC (including members of their household) own securities of Defense Metals Corp.
- Doresa Banning wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor.
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Disclosures for Agentis Capital, Defense Metals Corp., August 16, 2023
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