VANCOUVER – Defense Metals Corp. [DEFN-TSXV; DFMTF-OTCQB; 35D-FSE] reported high-grade Rare Earth Element (REE) assay results from an additional two core drill holes, totalling 717 metres, collared from the same site within the northern area of the 100%-owned Wicheeda REE Deposit 80 km northwest of Prince George, central British Columbia.
Infill drill hole WI22-68 (-55◦ dip / 220◦ azimuth), the deepest hole to date on the Wicheeda Project at 395 metres, was drilled southwest within the northern area of the deposit and yielded a broad mineralized intercept of high-grade dolomite carbonatite averaging 3.58% total rare earth oxide (TREO) over 124 metres; including an exceptionally high-grade zone of 6.70% TREO over 18 metres that included one 3-metre sample yielding 8.58% TREO.
Drill hole WI22-63 (-60◦ dip / 204◦ azimuth) collared from the same drill site, tested the interpreted eastern contact of the carbonatite body at depth and returned 2.29% TREO over 39 metres; including 5.08% TREO over 9 metres.
Luisa Moreno, President, and director, stated: “These two core drill holes, in particular WI22-68, once again demonstrate the potential for high REE grades over significant widths within the northern Wicheeda Deposit. Assays for WI22-68 were prioritized based on readily visible, coarse-grained REE mineralization. We look forward to receiving additional assay results of other resource infill drill holes from the northern and central Wicheeda Deposit that appear similar in terms of visually estimated REE mineralization percentage.”
The 4,244-hectare Wicheeda REE Property 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 preliminary economic assessment technical report (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 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 five years.
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