Pensana Rare Earths Plc (LSE: PRE, ASX: PM8) has announced further high-grade intersections including 18 metres at 7.93 per cent REO from the last 86 holes of the 8,000 metre drill programme completed at the Longonjo NdPr Project in Angola.
The company reported that the latest results confirm the continuity of the weathered zone mineralisation from surface and also outline a wide area of mineralisation in fresh rock immediately below the current pit design that could add an extra dimension to the project beyond the initial mine life.
Significant intersections from the weathered zone include 18 metres at 7.93% REO including 1.50% NdPr from surface; 22 metres at 6.69% REO including 1.30% NdPr from surface; 22 metres at 5.61% REO including 1.11% NdPr from surface; and 14 metres at 5.37% REO including 1.01% NdPr from surface.
Highlights from Fresh Rock include 18 metres at 4.40% REO including 0.86% NdPr from 44 metres and 10 metres at 3.90% REO including 0.76% NdPr from 66 metres; 24 metres at 3.64% REO including 0.60% NdPr from 28 metres and 8 metres at 4.45% REO including 0.79% NdPr from 58 metres; and 14 metres at 3.23% REO including 0.64% NdPr from 18 metres and 20 metres at 3.46% REO including 0.68% NdPr from 60 metres to end of hole.
The company said that the new Mineral Resource estimate is on track for completion in September 2020 and will form the basis of the BFS mine plan.
Longonjo NdPr Project
The Company’s 84% owned Longonjo NdPr Project is located in Angola. The project has an updated inferred Mineral Resource estimate of 240 million tonnes at 1.60% REO including 0.35% NdPr for 3,850,000 tonnes of REO including 840,000 tonnes of NdPr.
It may be noted that NdPr stands for Neodymium and Praseodymium (neodymium+praseodymium oxide) which are two rare earth elements used in the magnets for electric motors.
Drilling at Longonjo
The company had recently completed an ~8,000 metre infill and extension reverse circulation drilling programme in support of Bankable Feasibility Studies (BFS) for Longonjo.
PM8 said that the drilling was completed with the aim of supporting an extended mine life based on the near surface weathered zone mineralisation.
The company has now reported new intersections from 86 drill holes for 3,462 metres from infill drilling in the area of planned first mining, and also to the south east and north east in areas of currently Inferred category mineralisation. PMS8 said that some holes were also extended to provide the first systematic test of mineralisation in the fresh rock.
Pensana said that the drill spacing in the majority of the project is now closed to 50 x 100 metres or closer, which is expected to support the upgrade of Inferred to Indicated and thereby support an extended mine life as the majority of the Inferred mineralisation was excluded from the PFS mine plan.
Further high-grade intersections
The company has now reported numerous new high-grade weathered zone intersections from surface. PM8 said that wide, continuous high‐grade intersections were also returned from the fresh rock immediately below the weathered zone.
PM8 said that the latest and final results continue to confirm the continuity of high-grade rare earth mineralisation from surface in the weathered zone. The Company reported that it expects to upgrade substantial amounts of Inferred mineralisation to higher categories, supporting an extended mine life.
Intersection highlights from the new drill results include LRC289: 16 metres at 5.08% REO including 1.00% NdPr from surface; LRC295: 18 metres at 7.93% REO including 1.50% NdPr from surface; LRC298: 22 metres at 6.69% REO including 1.30% NdPr from surface; LRC303: 16 metres at 5.05% REO including 0.91% NdPr from surface; LRC310: 22 metres at 5.61% REO including 1.11% NdPr from surface; LRC316: 10 metres at 5.11% REO including 0.99% NdPr from surface; and LRC344: 14 metres at 5.37% REO including 1.01% NdPr from surface.
Fresh rock mineralisation
Pensana reported that wide, continuous high‐grade intersections grading 2% to 4% REO have been returned from the fresh rock immediately below the weathered zone. The company said that the mineralisation remains open below the 80 metre drill depth and to the north and west.
PM8 said that the reported grades and potential size of the further mineralisation are very encouraging and whilst not currently included in the current Bankable Feasibility Studies work has commenced on including this mineralisation in the overall development of the project.
Significant intersections include LRC274: 18 metres at 4.40% REO including 0.86% NdPr from 44 metres and 10 metres at 3.90% REO including 0.76% NdPr from 66 metres; LRC277: 10 metres at 3.60% REO including 0.90% NdPr from 70 metres to end of hole; LRC278: 10 metres at 4.65% REO including 0.77% NdPr from 68 metres to end of hole; LRC289: 14 metres at 3.23% REO including 0.64% NdPr from 18 metres and 20 metres at 3.46% REO including 0.68% NdPr from 60 metres to end of hole; LRC293: 24 metres at 3.64% REO including 0.60% NdPr from 28 metres and 8 metres at 4.45% REO including 0.79% NdPr from 58 metres; LRC301: 6 metres at 3.26% REO including 0.60% NdPr from 28 metres and 12 metres at 3.73% REO including 0.63% NdPr from 38 metres.
PM8 noted that with fresh rock hosted mineralisation in the 2 to +4% REO range open at depth and in many directions, the potential for widespread fresh rock hosted mineralisation is substantial.
The Company said that it has commenced metallurgical test work to evaluate the processing of this second style of mineralisation which, if successful, could add substantially to the mine life of the initial weathered zone – based project.
Updates on North east margin, South East
Pensana announced that additional intersections received from the north east margin of the carbonatite add to recent results in defining a consistent zone of deep weathering containing NdPr enriched rare earth mineralisation. The company said that the 400m long zone of deeply weathered carbonatite hosted mineralisation is 200 metres wide along the contact with the fenite. Mineralisation remains open to the north and south.
PM8 said that at South East, eight vertical holes were completed to test the continuity of mineralisation within thick transported gravels and deeply weathered carbonatite beneath. The company noted that the previous and new intersections in this south east area of the project show mineralisation to continue over a 400 strike length where it remains open to the south west and north east
New Mineral Resource estimate.
The company announced that work has commenced on an updated Mineral Resource estimate to be reported in September 2020.
PM8 said that SRK Consulting has commenced work on a revised Mineral Resource estimate for Longonjo that will incorporate the new data from the ~8,000 metre drilling programme.
Updates and next steps
The company said that the latest results reported are the fifth and final batch from 86 of a total 195-hole infill and extension RC drilling programme testing the shallow weathered zone and an area of underlying fresh rock mineralisation at Longonjo.
PM8 said that the drilling is designed to provide data for a revised Mineral Resource estimate and to upgrade a significant portion of the large amount of Inferred weathered zone Mineral Resource at Longonjo to Indicated or Measured category, thereby enabling the current 9-year mine life as defined in the November 2019 Preliminary Feasibility Study to be extended.
The company reported that the revised Mineral Resource estimate will form part of the Bankable Feasibility Study for Longonjo.
Pensana’s Executive Director & COO Dave Hammond said: “These final results have further highlighted the world‐class opportunity at the Longonjo Project. The drilling continues to prove the continuity of the weathered mineralisation, returning significant grades from surface outside of our current mine plan.
We expect these infill drilling results will allow us to upgrade the existing resource categories and extend the mine life.
Further drill testing of the fresh rock zone, which is not in the current mine plan, has also exceeded expectations. With many holes ending in mineralisation at eighty metres depth, identifying several open positions, the potential for a sizeable deposit of this second style of mineralisation is an exciting possibility.
All assay results have now been received, and SRK Consulting has commenced the estimation process. We look forward to reporting a new Mineral Resource estimate in September.”