Kimberley Rare Earths (ASX: KRE) is successfully continuing to unearth more rare earth anomalism at its Malilongue Project in Mozambique, with soil sampling returning peak values of greater than 1,100 parts per million total rare earth oxides (TREO) from the Vundu Prospect.
Strong comparisons have been drawn between the Vundu prospect and Quest Rare Minerals’ (TSX-V: QRM) Strange Lake pegmatite-hosted deposit in northern Quebec, which hosts an Inferred Resource of 230 million tonnes at 0.91% TREO.
Further upside of the soil sampling program is that the soil anomalism discovered exceeds five times background over the Vundu target.
The initial results are from just 30% of assays, which were prioritised for rapid assessment of the target, with the remaining 70% expected by the end of July, and likely to be highly anticipated given the results so far.
On average the ratio of heavy rare earth oxides (HREO) to TREO within the soil is 27%, which is consistent with that expected from pegmatite-hosted rare earth elements deposits such as Strange Lake.
Increasing the potential of the Malilongue Project is the definition of a second target 4 kilometres to the east of Vundu.
Strong neodymium anomalism
Of particular economic importance is the neodymium anomalism observed at the Vundu Prospect. Values regularly exceed 100 parts per million and peak at 183 parts per million.
Neodymium is a non-substantial, critical rare earth element used in the manufacture of high powered permanent magnets, and is one of five consistently identified rare earths in terms of strategic importance and supply risk.
Soil geochemical coverage
A total of 1,847 soil samples have been collected from around the margins of the Malilongue Granite, covering around 80% of the granite margin.
All samples are being analysed for the full suite of rare earth elements, precious and base metals, as well as other selected metals.
Next exploration steps
Kimberley Rare Earths is now planning a campaign of trenching to follow up on the soil anomalism.
Importantly, this will be a low cost, effective follow up test given the shallow regolith over the extended Vundu Prospect area.
The company expects to begin drilling in August once targets have been identified following the receipt of the remaining soil geochemical assays.
Tete is the closest regional centre to Malilongue and is experiencing boom-type conditions given the influx of capital associated with the local coal fields currently being developed by both Vale and Rio Tinto.
The Cahora Bassa hydro-electric power facility is located within the Tete District and the government has successfully supplied cheap grid power to many of the villages in the area.
An extension line to Malilongue has been promised should a substantial project develop there.
The market is yet to realise the value of Kimberley Rare Earth’s highly prospective Malilongue Project, which is already drawing comparisons to Quest Rare Minerals’ Strange Lake pegmatite-hosted deposit in northern Quebec, which hosts an Inferred Resource of 230 million tonnes at 0.91% TREO.
With $13 million in cash reserves at the end of the March quarter and a market cap. of just $7 million, the market has assigned no value to the company’s highly prospective Malilongue and Cummins Range, which hosts a JORC Resource of 4.9 million tonnes at 1.74% total rare earth oxides.
At Cummins Range, Kimberley Rare Earths has defined a simple process flow sheet to produce saleable rare earth products, a milestone in the development of the Cummins Range project.
This is of particular importance given the geological and mineralogical diversity of rare earth deposits and the complexity of extracting and separating multiple metal-based products.
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